Styling High Waist Clothes When You Have A Short Waisted Figure

Body, Casual hourglass, Struggles, Wardrobe planning

If you’re wanting a bit more information on whether you have a short waist or not, a really good resource is Joy of Clothes.

In brief, a short waist means you just don’t have much length in the middle part of your body between where your ribs end and your hip bones start.  It’s apparently a defining feature of our hourglass shape, as it creates the dramatic out-and-in effect of an hourglass (as opposed to a longer waisted lady with similar measurements, who will have more gentle out-and-in ‘cello’ shape).  A short waisted girl will often not look great in a thick waist belt, but looks great in a skinny waist belt, which is one easy way to test.

I describe the impact the short waist has on your outfits in another post, but one of the key styles impacted by the short waist is the high-waisted trousers/jeans/shorts/skirts trend that prevails.  I personally love the look of high waisted stuff but I can remember the fateful day in Primark when I marched proudly towards the changing room with an armful of floral and denim high-waisted shorts ready for my beach holiday.  This was the day I realised that high-waisted shorts looked more terrible on me than I could’ve predicted.  I had no explanation why I hated how they looked on me, as I loved the look in general, had picked lovely shorts and great tops to go with, and generally knew what shapes and styles would look great or hideous on my frame.  But the information I was missing was the short waist concept.  It explains why some high waisted stuff just looks really ‘off’ on me.  I wonder if you’ve found the same.

I have come up with several strategies so far for wearing high-waist trousers/shorts/skirts in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing.  This is still an evolving aspect of my wardrobe, as several years ago I thought I couldn’t wear high waisted items, and now I’ve realised there’s ways I can enjoy this look without looking like just boobs stacked on legs!

-Wear matching colour top and bottoms; this reduces the visual torso-shortening impact of the high waistline, but still allows you to benefit from the put-together, waist-emphasising effects of the garment.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-15-32-am

-Wear high necklines so you lengthen the torso.  So, a classic torso-shortening move would be a low neckline with a high waist.  The opposite effect occurs with a high(er) neckline, but the proviso here is that if you are full busted, the high neckline emphasises the boobs and you can look bulky up top if you’re not careful.  I often counteract this by wearing a necklace over my high-neck (eg, roll-neck jumper) which creates a visual lower neckline effect and breaks up the boob silhouette.  Alternatively, wear a sports bra (or two) and be sure to scoop and swoop your boobs towards the middle in the bra, to minimise the volume of your boobs so you can wear the high neck without looking too big up top.  An important note here is that if you have quite a short neck, which I think I probably do, and many hourglasses might, you will not want a neckline that goes higher than your collarbones, lest you make your neck look too squat and chunky.  Not a great look, been there done that.  Photos were burned and sent to bad photo hell.

-Lift your boobs: ie, get a really effective, professionally-fitted bra, shorten the straps and lift your bust away from your midriff, in order to lengthen the waist area.  Small to medium busts will find this most effective.  Larger busted ladies will not be able to see because the boobs will be so high they’ll be blocking the sunlight.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya….:p. No but on a more serious note, I find Freya is an excellent brand for lifting larger boobs, and their bands are firm enough to hold you up.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-11-55-00-pm

My latest Freya purchase, the Rio Underwired Balcony Bra in nude – perfect for perky lifted boobs

-Play up the proportional mismatch by creating a very long legged look.  Like, stuff all the rules, who cares, lets just maximise the weird proportions.  This is currently one of my favourite smart outfits: long palazzo/wide-leg trousers with platform heels; and any top (I still tend to colour match with the trousers but I’ll get braver eventually).  This combo makes my short lil legs look like they go on forever, and combined with a short, teensy-looking torso, can look quite girlish and elegant.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-11-57-37-pm

I have no idea who this lady is but blimmin’ Nora she’s perfect…anyone know if she has a blog or Instagram??

Anyway, my next outfit plan is to get hold of some cute high waist, cropped ankle skinny jeans (like these I’ve seen in Forever New like this or more likely this (the mid-rise version) but I prefer the buttons on the first pair.  Then I was going to see if I could find a blue chambray or denim shirt to pair it with for a bit of a Kim K double-denim type look.  I’ll keep you posted if the jeans work or don’t work on my micro body 😀

cba1e396c5b16184fa8bbc62ce5c6e20

Notice that Kim actually has mid-rise jeans on here, and has created space in her torso by wearing less-than-high-waist jeans – the proportions of her outfit look great to me.

Hope these ideas prove useful!  Let me know if you have any other tips!

Emphasise Your Waist To Lose Ten Pounds, Part I

Body, Wardrobe planning

Slight disclaimer on the above title: I’m talking about the visual effect of losing ten pounds not the actual loss of ten pounds 😀 Although that said, I did do an article on tightening up your thighs that talked a bit about weight loss if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

For the rest of us however, grab yourself a coffee and biscuit and I’ll proceed :p

So, as I’ve said before, I’ve always struggled to feel like I look my best when wearing casual outfits.     They just look no more than ‘blah’ and I go walking around for the day feeling quite chunky and frumpy.  I believe I just haven’t been finding the right clothes for my body, and this is why this blog started in order to analyse this problem…aloud…in the company of you guys!  But my problem with casual outfits is compounded by the fact that I just cannot resist a good floaty, loose top.  The type that hangs from your boobs and floats about your body in an oh-so-casual, look-at-me-I-look-awesome-without-even-trying type of way.  In my head, I suppose I’m kinda idealising the type of look that Roxy often espouses, see pics below.

Just so you get an idea of what I’m referring to in my head.

Now I think that pink top looks fantastic on the model, who appears to have a fairly straight figure (I think this is her in a bikini outfit but could be wrong!)*.  But when I try the same sort of items on in the store, they never looked ‘cool, laid-back and surfy’ but just plain frumpy. xD.

I’ve used this image before but here’s J Law in dress-downs: jen-lawrence-062012-204

…and the feeling this image gives me is similar to what I get when I’m in dress-downs – like, her mate is doing practically nothing different but looks great and I can’t explain why (NB here is a pic with her actually rocking denim shorts, proving it’s about the garment itself and how you wear it)

Now I think it’s important for girls like me to change their mental image of casual outfits slightly.  It’s important to lose the idealism of the ‘super-laid-back’ loose/unfitted surfy outfit, and find a way to emulate the laid-back feel whilst emphasising the waist.  And it’s another challenge to do this without looking more dressed up than you want.  I find a lot of waisted garments have a more smart/casual feel for some reason, and this effect is sometimes compounded when you put them on a curvy frame making the overall look quite ‘womanly’ rather than ‘surfy’ or whatever you’re going for.

Below are some examples of small alterations to expectations that you can make to keep your beachy, surfy outfits flattering to your shape, meaning you look 10lbs lighter than if you didn’t flatter your shape.  I’ve focussed on the beachy look today, but the same principles will apply for, say, hiking or sporty outfits too.  I should cover those in another post at some point perhaps.  All my examples come from one of my favourite instagrammers, @gypsylovinlight – if you ever need to learn how to stack rings or accessorise a boho outfit, check out her pictures.  She’s not particularly an hourglass figure but the principles are what I’m trying to get at.  And a slight disclaimer, the rules for clothes are not exactly hard and fast so sometimes if you want that straight-up-and-down dress or top, you just damn well buy it and enjoy it because it’s just clothes at the end of the day!

Maxi dress

Look 1 is beautiful but obscures the waist, whereas look 2 clings to the waist more allowing a slimmer look on an hourglass figure.

Short beach dress

Cute look on the left, but bound to make a curvy girl look heavier than she is, whereas the gorgeous dress on the right follows the line of the body which is great for hourglasses.

Shorts and top

A straighter figure can look better with a floaty top paired with shorts, because often their hips and thighs are a very narrow point of their body to show off.  An hourglasses narrowest part is her waist, and if you play it up like the outfit on the right, you de-emphasise the thighs and hips which is our widest point, and avoid looking heavier than you are.

*Mid post I had a bit of an ‘aha’ moment too when I tried to look for the same model who wore the straight T-shirts in the bikini section to see how straight her figure was – I realised they very craftily use a curvier shaped girl to model the bikini’s than they use for the clothing.  And where they did use a straight waisted girl, she looked worse in the bikinis than she did in the straight-hanging tops.  Even the tall slim models can’t suit all different styles of clothing and have their strong and weak points.

Workout gear inspiration

Outfits, Wardrobe planning

I’ve compiled a gallery of hourglass celebrities in workout gear for inspiration.  These workout outfits are incredibly versatile, so if you are looking for something to wear around Disneyland or for a walking holiday or for going to the gym or other sports event, this type of thing will multitask perfectly.  I suggest investing in 2-3 co-ordinating gym outfits and a good pair of trainers (sneakers) that go with all three, and you’ll never feel sloppily dressed when you need an activewear outfit.  You’ll see by the following pics that the general principle is to keep your workout gear mostly tight-fitting – an hourglass figure comes into its own when clothes follow the shape of the body.  I’ve tried to find links to similar items online in case anyone is interested.  But no matter what your budget, good quality workout gear is available from many cheaper stores these days (Walmart USA, ASDA UK, The Warehouse NZ etc) so there’s no need to pull on your fella’s shorts and a baggy old t-shirt to be comfortable any more.  The one thing I would make sure you pay money for if you’re working out is a good sports bra.  I swear by the Panache Sports Moulded Bra – it’s excellent at keeping the girls in place and minimizing bounce, and has a j-shaped catch on the back straps so you can convert it to a racer back whenever needed.  In my opinion it runs slightly small, but have a look at the reviews on Figleaves if you’re after a good sports bra.

So, first up lets look at the ever-gorgeous Halle Berry for some inspo.  She tends to keep her sports gear fitted, even when pregnant (see the grey/blue top with black trim below).  One thing that strikes me about her is that she’s obviously naturally curvy but she’s always maintained her figure extraordinarily well and has aged well as a result.  I’m sure her army of personal trainers and chefs doesn’t hurt but hey-ho….:D

I like the pop-of-colour t-shirts and note how well the necklines work with a medium/larger bust, despite ensuring her chest is covered up sufficiently.

Here she has gone for a slightly looser jogger-style cropped trouser, but kept the top relatively fitted to avoid looking too sloppy.  I find this style and length of jogger tends to work well with slimmer legs like Halle – if you’re carrying more weight, especially on the thighs, this style can add a bit more so be careful on that one and go for black if in doubt.

Next up, one of my faves, Kim Kardashian.  She sticks to an all-dark pallette for her workout gear usually and it works well because black is easy and flattering (generally).  She will usually stick to fitted top and leggings, but I found a pic of her with bootcut style joggers, and thought that looked pretty cool on her.  I’ve included one look that I wasn’t so keen on, for comparison sake, and it’s because her T-shirt is too long (the light brown top below), illustrating that the ideal length T-shirt for an hourglass is likely either just on the hip, or meeting the upper thigh like a micro-mini skirt length.

Next inspiration comes from Kelly Brook, a UK model who is about 5’11 and whose weight can fluctuate quite dramatically.  She’s very large chested and although her legs are about the length of my entire body (and I’m just referring to her tibia too…) she still provides great inspiration for what works, and doesn’t work, on an hourglass frame.  I think she may be more of what is called a ‘vase’ than an hourglass (basically a longer, sleeker version of an hourglass, according to Trinny and Susanna – bodyshapestyle.com is where I get all my info about body shapes from!) and that means she has a longer waist/midsection than an hourglass.  This means high waists and belts will work differently on her than us, but the rest of her outfits are likely relevant.

The first picture above is a promotional shot for Reebok from years ago, but I’ve been obsessed with this picture of her ever since I saw it – she looks phenomenal.  Its amazing how similar my hair looks when I workout too (and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything haha – I’m more…erm…drowned rat…shall we say, when I workout!).  Below is a couple of looks with hoodies, but I included the grey hoodie because it’s an example of how too loose tops disguise the waist and pack on the pounds visually.  Both the colour and cut of the purple top is better.

Last workout inspo lady is the curvy Amber Rose (an American model, actress and fashion designer).  She’s apparently 5’8 and has 36HH bust with extremely hourglassy measurements of 42-27-41.  Amber’s workout outfits are fairly classic in silhouette, generally featuring close fitting top and leggings.  I love the orange hoodie jacket below, would be a great outfit for jogging on a rainy day.

Below I’ve featured one outfit I’m not keen on – the yellow top/highwaisted cropped leggings combo.  I’m not sure why this doesn’t work for me, as I like the highwaisted grey leggings on the left picture.  But the higher waist of the black leggings on the right, paired with the sleeved t-shirt seem to heavily over-emphasise her lower half, unless she is just carrying a bit more weight in this picture.  As a general rule however, I find that it’s best for high waist to come below the belly button on a shortwaisted figure, and in fact I find on my body that often normal rise waists come up to high-waist level (just on belly button) and low-rise waists sit normally at mid-rise for me.

Anyway, that’s all for this post, hope it’s useful for you to have inspo like this compiled in one handy place.  Below are some links to similar items of clothing to those above in case you’re interested.  Workout gear is actually not all that difficult for an hourglass figure given that most of it is quite tight, but remember to keep things fairly close fitting (avoiding drapey, baggy tops and joggers) and not too high-waisted for the most flattering silhouette.

Halle Berry outfits

  1. Under Armour pink top, similar grey leggings, Nike Air Rifts
  2. Under Armour Red top, brown leggings (similar pair), Nike’s as above.
  3. Nothing like her top but equally cool (!), dark grey sweater, grey Aasics trainer
  4. Black jumper, grey cropped joggers
  5. Similar VS PINK joggers, white racerback tank, Nike’s as above.

Kim Kardashian outfits

  1. Brown longline vest, black cropped leggings, Sketchers
  2. Tight black hoodie, grey leggings (hers are a bit more slouchy at the ankle), Nike Air Max
  3. Zip up navy top (I’ve not bought from this shop before, but it seems to have legit reviews), yoga pants, Nike trainers

Kelly Brook outfits

  1. White sports bra (Reebok no longer doing 😦 ), black capris, Nike tennis shoe
  2. Grey tank, grey capris, Nike’s
  3. Red top, grey capris
  4. Patterned leggings

*I haven’t got round to finishing this list just now – will be working on it over the next day or so, thanks for your patience*

That is one stunning outfit…

Casual hourglass, Outfits, Wardrobe planning

fb88ebd92f1e342aa455fcf4ccb135cd

This is just a quick post I meant to write a while back when I did my Kim Kardashian Style Hits piece.  I came across this outfit of Kim K, and I know I’m on a casual blog and just about nothing of the above outfit is casual, but just aaaaaaaaaaah (heavenly music whilst gesturing towards the photo above, in case you were wondering)!  It’s.  Such. A. Beautiful. Outfit.  I love it and think it’s actually pretty achievable for an hourglass.  I found some pretty good look-alike-y pieces for next to nothing on a quick search of Boohoo (Missguided could be another option for this sort of thing). No affiliate links yet by the way, I’ll let you know in any post that I’m using links that I profit from.  But anyway, maybe this could provide some cute outfit inspiration for an evening at the theatre, a posh meal out with family, office wear, or just randomly walking across STOP signs like Kim K above.

dzz75152_ivory_xl_2

Boohoo Megan Cropped Sweat – if you want to make the look a touch more casual

dzz83924_cream_xl_2

Boohoo Amber Roll Neck – plenty of these ribbed cropped tops online at the moment.

dzz84252_ivory_xl_2

Boohoo Sophia Twist Front Pencil Midi Skirt – could be good for tummy coverage if needed

 

dzz77885_ivory_xl_2

Boohoo Esme Ribbed Midi Skirt – get your spanx ready for this little number…!

image1xxl

Not cheap these ones, Sam Edelman sandals for $322.75 USD, but seem more wearable with blocky heel and are real suede.

00220217-02

Stiletto heeled nude ‘Caged Faux Suede Heels’ from Forever 21

Styling brogues when you don’t have skinny legs

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews, Uncategorized, Wardrobe planning

Brogues. They strike fear into the heart of many a curvy girl. Undeniably mannish in style, they contradict our feminine bodies to the extreme but here lies the draw: they’re hard to style. Every woman likes a decent challenge, a way to prove that despite her manly attire, she can still come off as a beacon of femininity.  Or something like that.

So, in short: challenge accepted, on behalf of all the short, chunky-legged, womanly-shaped women out there who would like to try a brogue or two.  Now as a proviso before I set off, if you are after a brogue this season to update your look, I would (now) completely encourage you.  Before I bought a pair and played around with some outfit looks, I would’ve said avoid completely if you’re an hourglass.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how it’s possible to style them fairly easily, and they got the husband seal of approval :p

The brogues to buy would be black patent ones like these from ASOS (as I’m typing this I realise I may be lumping in loafers alongside brogues – sorry about that.  I’m going to change my title to reflect the mix-up and for future reference, apparently brogues have little perforations/holes in, whilst loafers are slip-on and have the tassels.  Trust me to find a pair of shoes with both features – I’ll call them broafers).  Anyway, back to those patent brogues, they should be super shiny and I think they look awesome with a white sole, kinda reflecting the sport-luxe trend gently.  If you can’t get or don’t like shiny black ones, get some cool cut-out metallic ones, these often look a bit girlier too and gold or silver can be treated as a neutral when it comes to pairing with outfits.

I on the other hand thought about getting my ideal pair of black shiny loafers ($189 NZD), but instead had to invest in a couple of other bits and bobs for other posts, so I settled for some tan ones that were cheaper and I fell in love with them a bit.  Anyone else a sucker for a tan shoe?  No?  That will just be me then.  My brogues were from Novo on Queen’s street, Auckland, and I got them reduced for $40 NZD.

Here’s three looks with brogues that I felt reasonably happy to leave the house in; see what you think.

Look number 1: All black, city style with a tailored jacket

DSC_2809

This was probably my favourite look of the three – trust an hourglass to migrate towards the smartest possible option.  Bah, I’m unproving my own theory that ‘hey hourglasses, we can all look awesome without resorting to the smartest possible option’!  Anyway my jacket is from H&M (yonks ago – they usually have some current options year round however), button-down cotton polyester shirt from Primark (old) and the jeans I bought from K-Mart cheaply and added in some knee rips myself – search Pinterest for how to do this if you’re interested.  You’ll see I’m putting together outfits with a lot of pieces already from my wardrobe – it’s partly because I’m not a billionaire buying new clothes all the time (‘we never would’ve guessed’ I hear you cry), but it’s actually a deliberate policy to represent outfits that don’t cost the earth or require constant expenditure – I’m a believer in a good-quality basic wardrobe, that gets updated with key pieces as and when needed (e.g, brogues).  My sunglasses are new from Topshop – the round shape is an easy update this season.

DSC_2807

Look number 2: Laid back Saturday leather jacket and jeans

DSC_2778

This comfy look would be great for any number of daytime events, pottering round the shops, running errands, having a coffee out with your husband.  I kept the white top fitted (it’s a peplum style top from Pagani a year ago) so that my waist wasn’t completely lost in the loose leather jacket.  My jacket is old, from Miss Selfridge and is falling apart now!  But everyone needs both a black and a coloured (p)leather jacket in their wardrobes, they’re so versatile.  My jeans are my good ol’ Primark Lift n Shape.  Oh and my handbag was from The Warehouse, but any tan handbag would work here, to bring out the tan in the shoes.

DSC_2775

Look number 3: Back to school preppy styling with fedora and tights

DSC_2738

I bought this fedora from Topshop very recently, and am in love with it.  I’ve been wanting a floppy-brimmed light brown hat forever, and then found this one which combines a floppy brim with up-to-date fedora detailing.  I paired this hat with an old stretchy dress from Primark – the short length helps keep the brogues from looking too frumpy.  My bag is old, no clue where from but you can get a nice tan bag from anywhere these days.

DSC_2748

DSC_2751

Hope you enjoyed my three brogues outfits, if you’re interested in some super comfy stylish shoes, I can definitely recommend brogues as a worthy update to your hourglass closet.

What is your boob strategy?

Body, Casual hourglass, Struggles, Wardrobe planning

Sometimes dressing an hourglass figure elegantly or casually can feel like a complicated mass of curves that each need flattering in their own individual way.  This is why I need to ask you: what, ladies, is your boob strategy?!

What I mean is: boobs have the ability to change the entire overall effect of an outfit, and represent an important consideration when planning your outfit.  Instead of feeling constrained by having either big or small boobs as an hourglass, I see this as being an adjustable aspect you can use to make your outfit work better (obviously there are some limitations to the ‘adjustableness’ of A-cup or K-cup boobs but there is a good degree of playing up or playing down one can achieve :p).  So when you have a certain outfit/look you want to achieve as an hourglass, but you think the boobs may get in the way or spoil the line, have a think about how to improve the fit and look of your garments with a few careful tweaks to your underwear.  I’ll be focusing mainly on larger busts in this article.

So first let’s deal with how you decide which approach to take.


Firstly, playing up the boobs.

What? Closely fitted, bust emphasizing outfits on top of a good boobs-up-front-and-centre bra (or an excellent push up bra for smaller busts and those who want cleavage).

Why?  A busty lady will tend to look slimmer with her boobs perked up high, brought in from the sides, and some say, ‘lifted and separated’.  You provide the perfect contrast to your tiny waist, and counter-balance to your rounder hips.  Another benefit is that this look can be pretty show-stopping and your man will probably love it!  And an hourglass figure really will speak for itself aesthetically when the figure is undisguised by baggy clothes.  Smaller boobed hourglasses may wish to play up their bust with add-two-sizes bras from Victoria’s Secret (the Bombshell is a good one I believe) in order to add curves to your top half – especially a good idea if you are an hourglass who veers towards a pear shape.

Good for: More dressed up outfits; fitted, waist-emphasizing clothing shapes – tight tops, pencil-shaped dresses; balancing wide hips/thighs; more feminine silhouette; v-neck and wrap tops/dresses; jersey or stretch items, skirts and dresses.

How? Obviously getting an excellent bra fitting so that you lift your boobs and can define your torso beneath the bust better. You will want a bra with a good T-shirt bra shape so that your outline in fitted clothing is attractive – in specific, you won’t want too pointy boobs or a double boob silhouette, and saggy un-lifted boobs will make you look older. To narrow your torso, find a bra that can lift and project your breasts so the fullness is up front rather than out at the sides where it will make you look wider. Freya is a very good brand for projection, although you may want to browse more specialist lingerie blogs to find out if they’re good for you in relation to full-on-top vs full-on-bottom boobs and wide-set vs close set boob shapes etc.
To achieve the slimming effect of fitted outfits, the top should follow the line of your body under your boobs rather than hang/drape from the apex (which would add volume to your torso).  You need to separate your boobs from your torso, and ensure your outfit fits your waist – achieving both of these can be surprisingly hard for many hourglass women. Regarding clothing, Pepperberry, which is the clothing brand of the bra brand Bravissimo, is good at creating pieces which fit your boobs underneath, separating them from your ribs and belly, and creating a very flattering profile. Their clothing comes in normal UK dress sizes but has another measure that takes into account just how busty you are. I need to do a post specifically on this brand at some point – they don’t do edgy cool casual looks but are good for staples for busty women such as cardigans, jumpers, Breton style t-shirts and plenty more.  Don’t forget shape wear for your middle section if needed. This look emphasizes the midriff section so make sure your waist is tight and flat so your fitted clothes don’t cling to too many lumps and bumps.


Secondly there is the option of minimizing the presence of your boobs for your outfit. Why? It’s useful to be aware that smaller boobs tend to come across as more youthful, and casual outfits tend to project a more carefree, youthful look, so you can harness this knowledge to make your casual outfits work a touch better for you.  Another reason you may wish to compress your boobs is if you want to amp up cleavage, but have boobs that are wide set or on the smaller size.  Using compression is actually an option I use quite frequently for a variety of reasons, such as the following examples:

  • tight fitting sheath dress with racer back, worn with Converse or heeled boots
  • drapey grey wool poncho that makes my upper body look like a chunk unless I minimize the boobs or wear a slim belt over it (see this link to Jean’s ‘Extra Petite’ blog for the inspiration I used for this outfit – oh how I love this blog, no matter how not-extra-petite I am haha!)
  • work blazer – I can fit into mainstream blazers as my boobs aren’t huge (versus having to buy them from specialist stores like BiuBiu), but my blazers will hang oddly  over my boobs when undone, or fail to sit correctly when done up sometimes, whilst fitting my waist and shoulders fine; minimizing the boobs lets me get away with more, and provides a chic-er line for my professional outfits
  • high neck tops and crew neck sweaters – avoid a great big visual monoboob effect from your neck to your underbust by minimizing your boobs 🙂

What? Although you don’t seem to hear much about minimizing bras these days, I find them to be a useful aspect of my wardrobe. I don’t think it should be an every day thing: don’t quote me on this but I think continually compressing the breast tissue can cause some longer term loss of fullness, so make sure you give your boobs a good break from compression. But occasional minimizing is utterly harmless, and works by compressing the fatty tissue in breasts into a more compact, smaller shape (fat tissue is readily compressible as the cells are not tightly packed).
How? I most often use a sports bra (I get mine from Cotton On in Auckland – actually I have one of their sports bras under my fluffy top in this post), but you can purchase a minimizer bra (I learn from Her Room that they often only go up to a G which is a bit silly but anyway…). If you’re much over a D-cup, this gives you a few more clothing options, as the difference of a cup size or two can mean the difference between fitting into mainstrem clothes vs needing specialist clothes like Pepperberry or Biubiu. Also having less fullness up top can mean you can wear looser tops without looking too bulky, or make those straight-ish shift dresses or boho looks work a bit better.  If you are after killer cleavage, you can use your push-up bra under a sports bra, or just wear a well fitting minimizer which should push everything closer to your body, and smush boobs together a bit in the centre.

Anyway, there’s a few of my personal tips for coping with the complicating factor of boobs when dressing your gorgeous hourglass frame.  Any more suggestions or comments are welcomed, thanks for reading!

Book review: 1000 Outfits From Just 30 Pieces (Wendy Mak)

Casual hourglass, Reviews, Uncategorized, Wardrobe planning

I’ve always been a bit interested in the capsule wardrobe idea – if you got it just right, you’d probably look good most of the time.  And I like variety, so I like the idea of having a good solid ‘basics’ wardrobe, whilst updating a few key pieces and accessories each season to stay up-to-date but without costing the earth.

I don’t yet know if this concept will work with the type of style I’m trying to achieve.  I’ve always been a bit of a classic girly dresser by habit, just because I achieved that look a bit easier with my figure, and the capsule works well with that look.  But I’ve always wanted to do that edgy-cool-casual type of look (google Ellie Goulding casual or, like, Cara Delevigne casual to get the gist).  So we’ll find out during my exploits whether this capsule wardrobe thing can be adapted for the style we’re aiming for (or does the fashion move too quickly for the capsule to work?).

Buuuut anyway.  Back to the book.

After browsing around for a good book on the above topic, I came across Wendy Mak’s book on Kindle and downloaded it very cheaply.  It was exactly what I wanted – an actual list of fundamental wardrobe items, complete with reasons why I needed them in my wardrobe.  Also she includes a long list of the supposed ‘1000 outfits’ at the end of the book.

The explanations as to why you need each piece in your wardrobe are invaluable because I think this will enable the reader to adapt the capsule from the fairly ‘classic’ and middle-aged style Wendy proposes, to a more youthful or edgy style.  However, Wendy has also cleverly included casual and smart looks within her 30-piece wardrobe, and if you start changing up the pieces, the ability to dress smart and casual may come unstuck a bit.

After reading the book, I followed her instructions and developed the list of 30 pieces (they were either already in my wardrobe or had to be bought in newly).  I actually built this capsule wardrobe right before we emigrated from the UK to New Zealand.  It was brilliant because we moved over with just two suitcases, and my capsule fit in such a small space, and yet provided a multitude of good outfits.

So, did it work?

Well I do feel that since I invested time and a bit of money in developing this capsule of 30 items, I’ve not lacked any key pieces in my wardrobe.  I just feel like I can construct a whole load of outfits from not very many clothes.  I’ve existed off a small wardrobe for the last six months in NZ, and this wardrobe has sorted me out for both work and casual, somehow.  So overall, I’ve been delighted with the results.  Of course, since moving here, I’ve wanted to buy the odd pieces of clothing – like yet another white tee or some accessory or other.  But I’m quite sure it’s saved me a whole bunch of cash on not-very-useful clothing.

Over time, I’m also going to gradually update my capsule pieces to better quality ones, now that I know Wendy Mak’s capsule works for me.  So for example, I came to NZ with a thrifted high-waisted black skirt from ‘Morgan’ and have more recently replaced it with a more expensive, lovely quality skirt from ‘Cue’ in NZ (gorgeous high quality Aussie brand by the way).  So bit-by-bit I’m hopefully going to look a bit better dressed.

What are the cons of the book/capsule idea?

Well the 1000 outfits listed at the end actually included outfits which were identical to each other, save for changing the handbag for example.  So for me, a change in handbag didn’t really constitute a separate outfit although I’m sure it could change the look somewhat.  Similarly, I don’t consider it a new outfit when you change just your silk scarf.  But overall, I didn’t find this detracted too much from the principles of the book.

Also, as mentioned earlier, the capsule pieces Wendy suggests are in a very ‘classic’ style.  It remains to be seen if this works for a different style.

Wendy is quite open with the fact that she designed this capsule with the Australian weather in mind.  It’s proved quite helpful for me now I live in NZ (even though it’s a bit colder here), but it may need some tweaking for colder or more variable climates.  I found myself wondering if you really need a capsule for each season, rather than just one for the whole year.

Lastly, after about 6 months of using this capsule of clothing, I’m just starting to get a bit bored.  But bear in mind, Wendy does suggest you update with 3-6 pieces every season and I’ve not paid much attention to that so that may explain why I’m getting bored with the same clothes.

Anyway, if you like the sound of this book, Amazon should have hard copies or Kindle copies for you for a few bucks.  I got the Kindle version, and the colour pictures and ‘1000 outfit’ charts at the end don’t display as well as in the paperback, but this was ok for me.

Have you tried a capsule before?  Do you reckon we could adapt the idea for a casual hourglass style?