Sunday, January 25, 2015

Details Make The Difference

Layering can keep you warm and add some pizzazz to your basic pieces, but subtle small details can make the difference between fabulous and frumpy.

When we attended church with my family recently I wanted to wear a dress but it was too cold to wear my one winter weight dress with mesh sleeves alone. I added this silver chain link necklace from Stein Mart to tie in with a silver Traveler's cardigan from Chico's. The dress is also from Chico's. 

The sleeves are the most interesting feature of this dress. The ruching at the waistline makes the hemline a little less than perfectly smooth. When I added the sweater I covered the sleeves and the ruching. Adding the sweater took the dress down a few notches and made it less stylish. This is not a look I will repeat. A better more polished look would have been to wear a slim fitting skirt with a sharper hemline and slim fitting top in the same color with the silver cardigan. Limited time forced me to just go with this look.

When I added a top coat and bag the look was saved. Coat from the Loft. Calvin Klein bag from T.J.Maxx.

This is another gray and black layering look that worked much better than the dress example above. The pants are straight and narrow, but they are not leggings. The top is in a similar fabric as the pants but loose fitting. The cardigan has crystal sleeve details and it is long enough to cover the bottom. If I were petite (less than 5' 4") I would opt for a shorter cardigan. The slimmer leg pant keeps the loose fitting shape of the cardigan from making me look heavier.

Notice how showing my ankles and pushing up the sleeves a bit lifts the eye and makes me look a little taller and a little thinner. When it isn't freezing cold outside I always do this.

Here is another version of silver and gray layering with black. The longer length of this cardigan would not be good for a petite woman since so little of my legs are showing. The goal for a petite woman is to show as much leg length as possible. A jacket or sweater should end just below the waistline so that only the lower half of the bottom might be showing. Great fitting tailored pants are very important for the petite woman. A wide leg pant with a boxy jacket can make any of us look heavier and shorter.

Your choice of a base color may be brown or navy or even burgundy, but you can see from these examples how effective it can be to use the various tones of the same color to layer.

Details extend to how you tie your scarf. If you are petite a smaller scarf in a solid color or with a smaller print can be wrapped simply around your neck so that isn't too long. A bulky scarf tied once at the neck with long ends hanging freely adds bulk to give you an overall barrel shape.

Thank you for joining Mr. Mickey and me on this wonderful journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of

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