I’ve noticed that there are a few styling strategies that I use frequently in my outfits. The first three pander to my personal figure-flattering priorities which are to create outfit structure, shorten my neck, and lengthen the leg line. The last panders to my need to create polish and look visually pulled together. 

1. Chunky Pearl Necklace Fills the Gap

I have a long neck that looks even longer because of my narrow shoulder line and pixie haircut. I effectively shorten my neck and broaden my shoulders by wearing close-fitting, narrow, and high necklines because the coverage is visually shortening on the neck and lengthening on the shoulder. Sometimes though, crew necks and boat necklines are still too wide and I need more coverage. My pearl necklaces add coverage by filling the gap, and do the shortening trick. Bonus that they add a dressy integrity to my outfit.

2. Scrunch Long Sleeves

Showcasing skin adds structure to an outfit because it reveals the natural contour of the body. When I scrunch long sleeves to showcase my forearms, I add structure to my look, which makes proportions work better on my slight frame.

3. Semi-Tuck or Tuck Tops

I wear flats 99% of the time. I don’t want to feel dumpy, overly long in the torso, or flat-footed, so I lengthen the leg line from the hips upward by semi-tucking or fully tucking a top. This brings up the position of the hem of the top, thereby shortening the torso and lengthening my leg line. Hinting at or fully defining the waist adds structure to the outfit too.

4. Sport a Complement

I will often add a complement of footwear and accessories to my outfit to pull it together. In other words, I’ll match my bags to my shoes, or match my shoes to my belt. I can also match my bag to a scarf, or my scarf to a belt. I’ve also matched bag, belt, scarf and shoes for maximal good measure.

GIANVITO ROSSI Leather Loafers

NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD Beya Metallic Textured-leather Point-toe Flats

Wearing a tailored topper over a fluid or flowing untucked top is one favourite styling technique among my clients. The untucked fluid top camouflages muffin top, while the tailored topper tempers the volume and adds structure. Keeping a jacket or blazer open in front is another favourite. It creates a line down the centre front of the body which accentuates the vertical integrity of the outfit. Another is to add heels to an outfit to lengthen the leg line.

Over to you. What are your favourite outfit styling techniques and why? Are they similar or the opposite of mine?