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I’ll readily admit that being fashionable is not something that comes natural to me. As a young adult, I had a period of time where I began to feel a bit stylish. This was from having a few great mentors (thanks Zia Felicia!) and watching what others were wearing. Beyond finding colors I loved, I needed to learn the valuable lesson of how to dress for your body type.
Sadly, everything got shoved to the back of my brain with messy boys around the house and the mom ‘uniform’ of comfy pants and tees became the norm. Now I am relearning and reclaiming my own style so I can leave frumpy behind in the dust.
Learning How to Dress for Your Body Type
Thanks to Monroe and Main, it is easy to acquire this skill and end up with outfits that fit your personality and body shape. It is as simple as walking through their How to Dress Your Body Type Infographic Series. Through 4 simple ‘lessons’ you will be fully prepared to dress for your body type (and then have fun finding those pieces that work!)
The first step is to take your measurements. I thought I knew how to do this. Guess I was wrong (or lazy) as their infographic showed that I was measuring a bit off for my waist and hips. As much as I’d like a smaller number, I want to make sure my clothes fit correctly so I can look my best.
I’d also not considered remeasuring every 3 months to see if my size has changed. Yes, I’ve measured when actively trying to lose weight, but not when I’ve been in a hover pattern. New rule for me is to measure on a regular basis to check what size I really need!
Once you have your measurements on hand, you next identify what your body shape is. This entails looking at your bust, waist and hip measurements and find how they are relating to each other. Right now, my hips are the biggest number making me a triangle shape. If I look at measurements from 2 years ago when I was working out an hour per day including weight training, I had my bust and hips nearly identical making me an hourglass.
Something I have tried to avoid for a while is to find shapewear that will help smooth out the rough spots. Yes, I have bought control top pantyhose in the past, but never something that really targets my problem spots. With my wide hips and thighs that can be unruly, I need something to slenderize those areas. From the current selection at Monroe and Main, I selected a bra-less body suit which tames those areas and can work with my own bras. Bonus is that I can leave panty lines behind when I wear this!
The final step is to use prints and colors to accentuate your assets and minimize areas you don’t want eyes drawn towards. When picking my selections, I kept both the hourglass and triangle shapes in mind. That meant having something that will fit well up top and lay nicely across my midsection. Call me an optimist, but I am working towards rebuilding muscle mass and expect to be an hourglass again. So, you’ll see one dress that pushes the rules for a triangle a little but works because of the flattering cut.
Monroe and Main has a Pinterest Board specifically to help with your selection based on body shape. It is a great place for both educating yourself on what to be picking as well as being inspired for what is available.
Putting the How to Dress for Your Body Type Lessons Into Practice
For my triangle shape, I needed to create visual interest up top (with a bright color or print) while keeping the bottom neutral. While I could have gone for just a colorful top, I decided to order the new Convertible Diva Dress which comes in black and offers so much variety in how you wear it: as short sleeves, cap sleeves or sleeveless; halter-style, twisted straps or strapless; a dress belted at side or back, or just a skirt belted at the side. The flowing fabric coupled with being a timeless black color allow you to take this dress from casual to dressy just by changing out your accessories, shoes and way you are wearing the dress.
I love how adding the Border Ombre Scarf in blue multi allows me to create a pop of color on the shoulders to draw the eye up towards my face and away from my hips.
Alternatively, I can convert the dress into a long flowing skirt that pairs with a form fitting top in a lighter or brighter color. Below you see me wearing it with an offwhite tank top and the black crochet shrug which is also available at Monroe & Main. A long beaded necklace helps to create a vertical line and offers a splash of color against the more neutral white and black outfit. Adding a splash of color with a white shrug gives it a whole different feel.
With the way this fabric flows, I want to twirl about singing “I Feel Pretty.”
Note ~ I am not modeling the dress in formats which did not work with the particular piece of shapewear I chose. However, I like how with a quick twist of fabric and orientation of the dress I could get so many looks from one piece. This is one of those dresses perfect for travel as it is so versatile!
With that eye towards regaining my hourglass shape and knowing I had the power of shapewear to help out, I couldn’t pass up the Make It Mesh Floral Dress with its wonderful flow and colors. This dress is cut in such a manner that it really flatters a variety of body shapes. With my hair up, I went looking for a chunky necklace that complimented the colors and patterns. A gorgeous red purse recently picked up at a community sale pulls the red tones from the dress while my neutral colored sandals help to keep eyes up high on me.
The layering of fabric from the empire waist helps give the dress a wonderful flow. If I pull the fabric out to the sides, I can almost envision being a gorgeous butterfly poised to take flight.
Win a How to Dress Your Body Type Kit from Monroe and Main
One lucky blog reader will with their own How to Dress Your Body Type Kit like I received so they can be well on their way to looking stunning. This includes a $185 Monroe and Main shopping spree for shapewear and an outfit!
Note ~ The giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and up, only. Entries are through the Gleam app which closes on May 31, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. The selected winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.
Monroe and Main #DressYourBodyType
Remember to have fun while looking great!