Wardrobe Architect 2015 : Weeks 3 & 4 – Shapes, Proportions and Silhouettes

If you’ve been following along on my WA Challenge 2015 journey (here and here), you’d have heard me rant on about loving styles that don’t fit my body shape or proportions. Growing up, I had a lot of problems figuring out what looked good on my body and what kind of shapes I ought to be looking out for. I’m kind of short (162cm, which is 5′ 4″ for those of you who count in imperial units), which is inconvenient, but I also happen to be a pear-shape, and my legs (to me at least) seem disproportionately stumpy. I also love heels, but hate wearing them. The end result of this is that I often feel short and squat because the styles I love tend to work better on leggy, straight-figured people. You can imagine I was really excited to find out that today’s worksheets address my problem exactly by helping me determine what I feel the most comfortable in and what sort of proportions or silhouettes work best on my body! If you’ve ever had this problem, then keep on reading to find out more.

Week 3: Exploring Shapes 

This weeks’ worksheet was a short and relatively painless affair that had me rank different shapes according to what I feel the most comfortable in. Though I thought I already had a good idea or what I liked and disliked, this exercise really helped me pin down the kind of shapes I ought to be looking for in clothing (particularly helpful in online shopping!) Here is what I discovered I love:

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Knee-Length, Somewhat Full Skirts that start from the High or Natural Waist

Knee-Length, Somewhat Fitted Dresses with Full Skirts that begin from the Natural Waist

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Somewhat Fitted, Mid-Thigh Length, Natural-Waisted Shorts
(apparently I don’t like pants very much at all… which is true)

Somewhat Fitted or Somewhat Loose Tops that hit above the hip 

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Boatneck Necklines and Major love for Sleeveless tops and All Types of Sleeves (except Capped ones) 

ALL types of cardigans (except very fitted ones) 

All pictures were taken from ASOS which to me, is basically pinterest, without the pinning.

Week 4: Proportions and Silhouettes 

This next exercise takes what we discussed one step further – from identifying the shapes we feel comfortable wearing, to matching the silhouette they produce with the types of outfits we can put together. Like Sarai, I’ve opted to use Polyvore to create these sample looks to show you a little of the silhouettes I love (or what they would look like if I had access to the unlimited clothing on Polyvore).

Fitted Top and Loose Skirts (the classic Fit and Flare)

I suspect this has more to do with my pear shape than anything else. I love that this silhouette can be made formal for the office, dressed down for date night, or shortened to create a fun casual day outfit.

(Fun fact: That work outfit above is almost exactly what I wore to work today! Plus the Ann Taylor Signature Tote pictured above? Totally worth it. It fits my laptop with no problem and always looks professional, I love it! )

Sleeveless, Loose Tops and High-Waisted Pencil Skirts 

To balance out all the coverage (till my knees!), I prefer to keep my top simple, loose and sleeveless. This is more of an office-look and one that I would avoid if I knew I’d be having a big lunch that day! Of course, this look necessitates heels, so it helps that I’d be spending most of the day sitting behind a desk.

Structured top and high-waisted shorts 

I always feel like tailored shorts need a structured top to even it out. This is a style that I’ve been dying to try but haven’t yet figured out – it’s on my list this year!

Shift or Swing Dresses

I love shift dresses. They strike the perfect balance between fitted and loose and usually manage to camouflage my pear-ness. Since shift and swing dresses are relatively shapeless, I prefer to wear ones of a shorter length with flats or sandals. As a general rule, I like to pair shorter length clothing with flat shoes and longer lengths (ie. below knee-length) with heels. I’ve seen quite a lot of girls about who are able to pull off midi skirts with flats, but I suspect that has something to do with their taller height and longer legs – woe are the short-legged!

Loose top and Skinny Jeans or Jeggings 

This is a look that I wear to the office quite often on casual Fridays. Though I love pairing this outfit with heels (so classy!) I usually keep it comfortable and casual with flats.

When I was prepping this post I suddenly realised that I tend to apply these 3 golden rules in choosing my outfit silhouettes:

1. Fitted on top, flared at the bottom (to hide dat booty!)

2. When hemlines are short, the heels get shorter.

3. Balance out tight bottoms with loose tops (after all, when you compare China with Russia it doesn’t seem that big anymore doesn’t it?)

So there you have it! The 5 main silhouettes I apply to my dressing; I hope you guys (especially fellow pears) have found it helpful! What cardinal rules do you have for styling? I would love to hear them!

Bend-tastic // DIY Bendable Wire Headband Tutorial

Alright, you’ve caught me. I thought I could beat the festive season this year and successfully churn out a post a day, but it seems in just 4 days the holidays have gotten the better of me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been making every chance I get, and to prove it here’s the next post of Merry Making 2014, a DIY bendable wire headband tutorial!

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This accessory was all the rage last year (especially amongst twee-loving Asians and Blonde tumblr babes) but it seems to have died down in recent months. That doesn’t mean it’s old news though! In anticipation of all the photo booths (and photobombs) at the parties I’m going to attend this year, I made up a couple of these really fun headbands. In case you haven’t encountered them before, they’re essentially a fabric headband with a wire down the middle that lets it be bent into any shape you desire – think Rosie the Riveter but better!. It also facilitates dorky Teletubbies impersonations (between those things and Furbies, I had a very traumatic childhood indeed).

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These headbands are great as simple DIY Christmas gifts for groups of girlfriends (or boyfriends if they’re up for it) and are fantastic stash busters! The red polka dot fabric you see in the pictures below are from my Minnie Mouse costume that I blogged about here, and the blue fabric is from this kimono make. Each required only 2.5″ by 42″ of fabric and even then I lobbed off about an inch off the length because it was a little too long. If you want to get in on the action and make one of these beauties then read on below!

DIY Bendable Wire Headband Tutorial 

Materials needed:

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Scrap fabric – if you don’t have a single piece of fabric measuring 2.5″ by 42″, simply sew together a few lengths of your scrap fabric, right sides together, to meet the required dimensions (I did this on the red headband which can be seen in the pictures below)

Matching thread

Bendable wire (I got mine from a florist supplies shop)

Directions:

1. Cut your fabric to the required dimensions (2.5″ by 42″). Do cut a longer length if that is your preference.

2. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, and press.  Cut to taper the ends as shown below.

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3. Pin together the raw edges and sew up the sides of the headband using a 5/8″ seam allowance and leaving a gap of about 2″ in the middle of the headband. You can do this by starting at either end of the headband and working towards the middle. This is to facilitate turning the headband right side out later on.

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4. Snip horizontally across the tip of the tapered point and trim down the seam allowances to reduce bulk.

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5. Turn the headband inside out, using a chopstick or a point turner to get the tapered ends nice and pointy.

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6. Press.

7. Insert the wire into the headband through the gap you left in the stitching at the middle of the headband, as shown below.

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8. Close up the gap by stitching on the top of the headband.

And tadaaaaa! Your headband is ready to go. What do you guys think? Love it, hate it? I’d love to know!

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P.S. Well done if you could match the Teletubbies to the impersonations! Clearly, like me, you are still suffering the lingering effects of Post-Teletubbies Stress Disorder.