Striped Shirt Outfit
When I picked out this plaid button down shirt, I also found this striped tee. It’s part of J. Crew’s “perfect-fit” line, which is the long sleeve tee that I love for layering, so it’s not surprise I like it. The sleeves are a bit longer than most tees, which is just a little cozier now. And I absolutely love how the classic stripes look with my ‘edgier’ embroidered leather jacket in this striped shirt outfit! Compliments on this jacket are still flowing in every time I wear it, which is great because I just love how easy it is to wear and how great it is for schnazzing up every outfit!
I’ve realized over the last few years how important it is to know your body. I’m not really talking about body image but just understanding what your body is and isn’t. Besides being good for your physical and emotional health, taking a look at yourself in the mirror is mandatory from a fashion standpoint, I think. My students are all about 20 years old and they’re figuring out who they are as adults, their clothing styles included. They’re all so cute but some of the trends they were boggle my mind. Part of it is just trying trends, but I think at 20, we don’t truly grasp what shape our body is yet (maybe because it isn’t done figuring itself out either)! Anyway, I get compliments on my style and I really think so much of it is just wearing clothes that work for my shape. So in the hopes of getting each of you to own up to what your body is and isn’t, I thought I’d share my self-analysis (judgement-free) of what my body is and isn’t and how that affects my style choices…
Starting from the top. I have broad shoulders – there’s just no getting around them. I think my boisterous personality holds them up well, so they don’t bother me. Because of my broad shoulders, I also have a wider chest, which makes my already small-chested self seem even smaller in that department. Add this to my narrower waist and that eliminates a lot of styles for me. It means that a lot of tops small enough to fit my chest and waist can’t make it over my shoulders. Sleeveless tops are easy for me to find, but tshirts have to have some stretch or I’m out. Alternatively, tops wide enough for my shoulders tend to cloud my upper body shape and I look like a blob – a no-go in my book as well. Because of my wide-set, smaller chest, v-necks aren’t really my jam. There’s nothing to be showing off there, so I just don’t even try. That means I opt for higher necklines and, occasionally, much lower necklines (i.e. unbuttoning an extra button for a night out with a bralette underneath). I do, however, like my somewhat protruding collar bones, so I like necklines that show that off a little. (side note – for those of you with smaller chests, I can’t recommend The Little Bra Company enough – I’ve worn their bras exclusively since discovering them nearly four years ago – you can read my review here).
Moving down. My mom jokes that though my three sisters and I are all different heights and sizes, we all have the same basic shape (like hers) – we have thighs. I remember before I lost weight (read that story here), I thought by losing weight, I’d have thinner legs. Well, pilates has helped a bit, but I’m really just a smaller version of the same shape. And that’s ok. Thighs are good for you. And, honestly, they make my waist seem smaller. That’s great news in an of itself, but I’ve realized that my smaller waist gives the illusion of a slightly bigger chest. So really, my body is trying to work together, I think! Anyway, about my thighs. I used to struggle to find jeans that fit me and my thighs – I (jokingly) assume skinny girls didn’t have curves until 2016 (eye roll at that madness). It’s become a lot easier to find perfect jeans, however, because now I know which brands and cuts just won’t work from me. I LOVE the look of Gap and AG Jeans, but their jeans just don’t fit my curves properly. Rag & Bone and Current/Elliott, however, fit me perfectly almost every time. Additionally, skinny (not cigarette), boyfriend, and bootcut jeans are best. Mom jeans, flares, cropped, and straight leg styles are immediate no’s and never see the light of day in my world. Also, because of my thighs and the way the back of my legs look, I hate shorts season. I wear shorts now (I didn’t between junior high and grad school), but I don’t love it. You’ll notice my whole style gets a lot snugger and form-fitting when the weather cools down. And let’s be honest, my style just gets a lot better in fall and winter because I’m more comfortable in my own skin!
My height is in my torso. My husband is nine inches taller than I am, but when we sit down, I’m only one inch shorter, which tells you just how tall my torso is and just how looooooong his legs are. With slighter shorter legs (with curves), I’ve found that wearing perfectly fitted bottoms is a must. Additionally, I LOVE cuffing my jeans to get them to the length I want, but you’ll rarely see me with bold cuff widths. I usually opt for about 1-inch cuffs since they seem dainty compared to my legs. Thicker cuffs seem to make my legs look stockier, which goes along with the blob thing as a no-go.
As it turns out, there’s not many women shaped exactly like me and that’s just fine. Really, the kind of clothes I have and my body shape were part of the reason I started a fashion blog – I wasn’t seeing me in any of the other blogs. My unique shape makes me more selective about what clothes I do buy though. I expect every piece of clothing in my wardrobe to last me a long time, so that means I’m more focused on items that fit me well and will stand the test of time rather than on-trend pieces. So, let’s cheers our 20 year old selves for surviving until now and rejoice that we know a little more about our bodies even if parts of us are still trying to figure life out!