I spend a fair amount of my down time reading about or watching videos from the ‘influencers’ and ‘bloggers’ in the fashion industry, as they share the way they like to shop, organise and wear their clothes. They give insights into what’s new in store, what’s in fashion and how to create outfits using these new trends.
Many of the bloggers and vloggers I follow are young, very slim and above average height. Some of them have what is purported to be ‘the ideal figure’. (Whether or not you agree with that, is another matter.)
You’d think that this would mean that any outfit they could choose to wear, especially one that’s on trend, sometimes expensive, usually oozing the kind of contemporary cool vibe that we mere mortals can only dream of, would make them look fabulous.
But, amazingly, they don’t. Sometimes (in my opinion) they look terrible. Or, uncomfortable. Or, inauthentic.
So, what is going on here? Beautiful outfit + beautiful woman = flaming disaster.
I call it: the ‘below the neck’ effect.
Imagine a perfect outfit – everything goes well together, the colours are co-ordinated, the accessories beautifully finish off the outfit, and the textures, and/or prints are in harmony.
These are the kind of outfits you see in a shop window, or laid out, ready to be packed in a ‘capsule wardrobe, holiday ready’ fashion article. The articles are accompanied by phrases in bold captions such as:
‘This dress works for every body shape.’
‘This colour works for all skin tones.’
‘Everyone should own at least one pair of these jeans/shoes.’
You, the innocent reader, might order the full outfit, try it on and, feel rubbish and wonder what is wrong with you. After all it is supposed to suit ‘everyone’.
But, I have to be honest, you’ve got exactly the same chance of creating a flaming disaster as that ‘perfect’ body shaped vlogger does.
We are all beautifully different. We suit different things. Finding the best colours, shapes and styles for you makes ALL the difference to how you look, and more importantly than that, how you feel. An outfit can be perfectly put together, but if it doesn’t ‘go’ with YOU, it’s never going to work. You will look uncomfortable or inauthentic.
The factors that determine which clothes will truly suit you are:
Your colouring: your natural hair colour, skin tone and eye colour.
Your body: your proportions, your bone structure
Your features: how you look, your face!
Take in the full picture
When you are putting together an outfit or trying on clothes in a fitting room, don’t just focus on how the outfit looks below your neck. Your head is the most looked at part of your body which means it has to be part of your outfit. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Does this colour (the one or ones closest to your face) reflect well on my skin tone?
A colour that doesn’t flatter you may overpower you, make you look pale, sallow or more tired.
- Does this outfit ‘go’ with me. Does it suit my face?
Is it too plain, too fussy, too smart, too scruffy?
- Do I feel like the very best version of me in this outfit (even if it’s a casual outfit).
The most important thing about the outfit is whether it makes you feel like you, a good version of you. You don’t want to feel like an imposter, trying to be someone that you are not.
Rather than asking ‘does this top go with these trousers?’, ask yourself, ‘does this outfit go with me?’. That’s much more important.