Happy Friday, my friends, and happy 1st day of March! March! When did that happen?! Didn’t we just have Christmas?! But, I’m good with the flipping of the calendar page… that takes us one more step away from Winter and one more step towards the sun and warmth of Spring!
Did you ever buy an item of clothing, particularly online, only to have it fit in a way that you’re not quite happy with? Not that it doesn’t fit… it just doesn’t fit the way you want it to. And you either can’t, or are too stubborn (or lazy) to return it?
Well, that’s what I’m dealing with…
I RARELY buy full-length skirts or dresses (because of my own lack of full-length), but during the late Fall/early Winter I found this great Philosophy full-length t-shirt dress STILL TAGGED online from Goodtwice.com. The price was exceptional, especially on such a good brand that still had its tags, and it seemed like such a versatile piece, I just couldn’t pass it up. I love Goodtwice, but they don’t always give the details of a piece – in description or measurements – as thoroughly as some other online thrifts, such as ThredUp, and, as luck would have it, when the dress arrived it was a much more body conscious dress than I usually care to wear. But, I still LIKED the dress and, quite frankly, I was just too lazy to take the time to return it and it has hung in my closet, having only been worn once since then. A sad state, to be sure.
Finally, I decided enough was enough! I either need to find ways to wear this dress or simply send it off to another thrift store! Not one to back down from a fashion challenge, find ways to wear it I did, and share one with you I shall!
So, how DO you take an overly body con dress and wear it in a way that doesn’t make you embarrassed to go out of the house? Here’s what I did…
The advantage that I had to work with in this dress is its color. I’m going to make that work to my advantage as much as possible.
We’ve talked before about using color to make things appear larger or smaller – dark color makes things appear smaller or recede, light colors and patterns make things appear larger or come forward. Since the primary problem is that I don’t like the extreme fitted-ness of the dress, which of course accentuates anything I perceive as a body flaw, I’m going to use these color concepts, as well as a few other tricks, to hopefully, minimize the unwanted effects.
When working with a body con dress, step #1 is always to start with a good undergarment. Whether you’re a size 0 or plus size, a one piece body shaper to keep the silhouette as smooth as possible is an absolute MUST!
Step #2 is choosing the right top layer. One thing that I stock up on as much as possible is “top layers” or what I call “finishing pieces”. These would be items such as cardigans, kimonos, long vests, blazers etc. I troll the thrift shops for them at great prices and try to pick them up in as many colors, shapes and styles as possible. This is one area where I actually let myself “hoard” just a little “for such a time as these”. The level of their usefulness is almost immeasurable. You can wear basic jeans and tees everyday and if you just change out your finishing piece you’ve got a whole new look!
Now, I had quite a few to choose from that would “work” with the dress, but there were definite characteristics for which I was looking. I wanted a long piece: to complement the length of the dress and to fully skim over the body, effectively “hiding” any offending bumps and bulges that the body shaper did not eliminate. After finding several long pieces, I decided I also wanted a piece that flowed or gathered a little in the front, adding, yet again, a little more distraction from body flaws.
My last requirement for the finishing piece is to bring the color into play. Using the rule of light and dark, I chose the lightest long vest I had that met all the other requirements, as well. By doing this, the eye is going to draw forward to the vest and the darker dress, with its unwanted characteristics, and the attention the dress draws to MY unwanted characteristics, are going to recede into the background. I further played into the dark color recession by wearing dark knee boots with a block heel in a similar color to the dress. This creates a monochromatic column which is both slimming and elongating, helping both any bump and bulge issues, as well as my height issue with a longer dress. (Making me look taller will help create a slimmer look, as well. Double bonus!)
Finally, I finished off the look with some statement bling. I chose a large statement piece necklace so that, once again, it would draw the attention up and away, and give the eye something more interesting to look at. Likewise, I chose a coordinating light-colored earring, again, drawing attention UP toward the face. By the time the outfit is complete, we’ve used the dress itself primarily as a backdrop – a canvas on which to accessorize the rest of the picture – useful, but not the centerpiece.
Do you have any problem pieces in your wardrobe you don’t know how to deal with? What do you do with them? I’d love to hear your creative solutions or to help you find solutions to your fashion dilemma!
Until We Meet Again!