Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pants Fit Clinic

One clothing item that seems to stress women out more than most are pants; there are so many fits, styles and cuts that it can make your head spin. I have compiled a handy-dandy how to that should assist any women struggling with the right fit. Please note that this pants clinic also applies to purchasing jeans.

Strategies for buying pants for any body style

- You need to fit the widest part of your body. Your pants should never pull in the front or around the thighs. If there is pulling going up one size chances are that you will lose all pulling. If the waist or legs or whatever is too big but it fits the largest part of your body get them and get them tailored.

- Look for pants with stretch this will help the fabric contract and expand with the curves of your body.

-Look for pants that are cut for your shape. Many stores are now making pants for straight bodies, average bodies and curvy bodies. This definitely helps you get the correct fit and hug all the right curves.

-Unless you are thirteen no embellishments. I will give you one caveat if you are buying a dressier pair of jeans you could be okay if there is a little bling on the back pockets.

-No pleats go for flat front styles only. The old standard was that pleats made you look thinner but all they do is place extra fabric around your tummy – do you really want that?

- Look for the right rise for your body. Too low you may end up with the dreaded muffin top and too high you may end up with that great “mom jean” look. A medium rise will flatter most bodies.

- Heels always will make your pants look more flattering. They will boost up your rear and make the lines look better.

- When you try on pants sit, squat, and bend over. See how the pants really will fit as your body moves.

- All cuts of pants can work on all body types. Skinny pants can balance your proportions especially if you are wearing a more blousy top. Stovepipe legs can make your legs look leaner if they come in close at the thigh and fall down flat. However a tapered pant will often fit largely at the top and get very narrow towards the bottom and is rarely flattering on anyone.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sizing Annoyances

One of the things I have come to realize is that all the help in the world is useless when someone hates their body. Women have so much pressure placed on them to be perfect and be exceptional that it has negative effects on how they feel. I hate that this is the society that we live in. I hate that women cannot celebrate who they are regardless of size. If you are fat you are worthless, you are unattractive and you are invisible. Heavy woman want to hide and often do so by dressing badly. Self-love doesn’t happen by accident or overnight. Women must learn to buck societal constraints and accept who they are in the moment. We may never be perfect, we may never be a size two but that has nothing to do with who we are.

I want women to feel beautiful and feel good. It frustrates me beyond belief to see women beating themselves up over the number on the scale or the number in their clothes. Why is it that we live in a country of abundance and yet everyone feels the need to starve themselves? Why is beauty tied into how far your bones stick out?

We live in a society where female clothing sizes fluctuate on an annual basis; sizes are never “true” or “real”. I doubt that men have the same issue. If a man is a size 34 he is a size 34 everywhere he goes, year in and year out. Men don’t have the same fashion industry mind fuck that women do. The way the industry is designed is to keep as oppressed, keep as constantly striving and always falling short. We may try our entire lives to be a size 6 only to find the next year that we are now a size 10 all due to stores deciding to change their sizing. We can never win. I wish I knew why this was done. I have so many people ask me why and I have no answer. The best I can guess is that it’s too easy to keep sizing the same. When sample sizes are a triple zero than everything is getting cut from that. It all goes back to the idea of models being a healthy weight. I’m at the point in my life where I just hate everything involved with sizing. It makes me so damn mad. I’m tired of listening to women bemoan their size and feel as though their self worth is tied to some tiny number in their clothing. I wish that it was not this way but it seems that it’s not changing anytime soon.

I find myself hitting a wall constantly when I talk to a group of women about clothes. It’s so hard to get through to women that the numbers will always change and you could make yourself crazy trying to keep up with the same size year to year. My best piece of advice is to remember that it doesn’t matter what size you are. Your self-worth should never be tied into a number. Being a size 6 doesn’t make you more valuable, beautiful or valid than being a size 16. Comfort in your skin can’t be dealt to you by a size that’s something you have to figure out on your own. If you can’t or won’t accept your beauty a size is going to make no difference in how you feel about yourself.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Why Wizard of Oz?

People often ask me about the choice to utilize characters from the Wizard of Oz. They wonder what a children’s story has to do with fashion or style. People are curious about what were we thinking. I have never thought of the Wizard of Oz as a children’s story or a simple book. I see it is an incredible story of survival, self discovery and courage. I find the book to be much more inspiring than the movie. In the book Dorothy is a small child and is faced with an incredible journey. What I found amazing is that often in life if we think about a circumstance we may say “oh I have no clue how I would survive”. Once you are in a negative circumstance you get to see what you are made of and that sometimes when we are faced with a mountain we can climb it with no problems.

Dorothy faces so many dangerous situations and sails through them all with the help of guiding forces. During the course of her journey she sees that the obstacles are nothing compared to the outcome. When you really want something you should pursue it with a fervor and passion that may seem almost unreasonable to others. You have to be so focused on your desired outcome that the obstacles seem small.

Glinda the Good Witch of the North personified the “hands off” approach of learning. She sent Dorothy on her trip seemingly alone. Unbeknownst to Dorothy she was under Glinda’s watchful gaze all the while. Glinda knew that it was imperative for Dorothy to go down her own path of survival, self discovery and courage. As Glinda said about Dorothy, “she had to learn for herself”. Glinda knew Dorothy had everything she needed inside of her. Dorothy just needed to see that she had the power all along.

Too often you see makeover shows they throw someone in a dress, slap on some makeup and declare success. I guarantee you that if you checked in with any of those people 6 months down the road they are right back to where they started. In order for change to stick and be real you have to get to the source. You have to discover for yourself why you make the choices that you do and decide that you want to change.

Glinda knew that experiences are what breeds self-reliance. Glinda was imbued with the wisdom of the ages and could have simply sent Dorothy home but Glinda knew that the journey was more important than any quick fix. As Glinda said about Dorothy “she had to learn for herself”. Glinda knew that Dorothy had an immense amount of personal power and had she simply sent her home Dorothy would have never discovered who she was and what she was capable of. After failing to find a way out of the Land of Oz Dorothy finally breaks down and asks who could possible help her, this is when she journeys to Glinda. Glinda provides her with the how to return to her own land. She never accompanies her on her journey, she simply promises to keep her safe and sends her on her way.

This is the promise that I provide to you. Glinda told Dorothy “You must walk. It is a long journey, through a country that is sometimes pleasant and sometimes dark and terrible. However, I will use all the magic arts I know of to keep you from harm.” This program will walk you through some things that may be scary but you will come out the other side changed and renewed. You will see your strength. You will know that you are in control.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Only the Emperor Gets a Pass

The one thing that we all have in common is that every day we get up and get dressed. Some of us make a devastatingly conscious decision about what goes on our bodies and some of us just throw on whatever is not stained and is comfy. Then there are those in between who spend plenty of minutes standing in front of the closet going “great, this again”. The never ending cliché of a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. One may wonder, how does that even happen? Well, it’s like having a pantry full of food and nothing in the stew pot. If you don’t know how to cook, all the groceries in the world won’t make dinner.

So back to the daily dilemma, there you are standing in your bathrobe just staring into your closet, praying that something, anything will pop out as wearable. Most women feel trapped by what is in their closet and I know from personal experience when getting dressed is stressful or a disappointment it begins to feel pointless. That’s when it just breaks down to the world of yoga pants and t-shirts. I personally believe that getting dressed should not only be easy but exciting every day. You should wake up and look forward to what is waiting for you in your closet. Everything in your closet should make you happy, make you feel like you look great and most of all make it easy every morning to get out the door and get out looking AND feeling great.

As the title says only the emperor gets a pass on walking around with no clothes. You have to make a decision everyday and it’s hard to get or to understand that how we look is how people will treat us. You may not get attention at work because of what you wear; you may not get attention by anyone ever because of how you look. If you think I’m full of it you need to take a long hard look at yourself and your wardrobe and take a wide eyed look at those around you. I notice how I get treated in comparison to others who do not dress the same. I’ve had people presume that I am more competent in my job, have more money, have a higher social status or have more perceived power simply based on how I dress. I do not wear designer labels or super expensive clothes I just pull myself together and walk out the door with my shoulders back and my head held high. I can tell that I often intimidate women when I’m out in public that my perceived power from other women makes them move mountains for me.

I want every woman to feel the way I feel every day. Imagine what we could accomplish as a group if every woman felt good about who she is and felt confident in her body and her dress. The results would be unimaginable. Too often in life woman hold themselves back because they do not feel good enough, pretty enough or valid enough to pursue what’s really important. I don’t want to validate you – I want you to validate you. You are worthwhile and you are an amazing woman you just may be buried underneath some self doubt and some bad clothes. Let’s shake it off and let go of those bad feelings and find the real potential underneath. The truth is undeniable that as woman our self image is tied up in body image. Dressing should not be a means to end (i.e., not being naked) it should be a means to express yourself and show who you really are or can be. When we don’t feel good about ourselves we want to hide in our clothes and use them almost as a barrier to the world. We figure if we look sloppy or dowdy that no one will pay attention and we can blend in to the background. The truth is that when we dress a mess we call more attention to ourselves. As Coco Chanel said “dress shabbily, they notice the dress. Dress impeccably they notice the woman”. Don’t you just want that to apply to you?

Site Meter