Link Love: A YLF Members Special

This collection from Pyer Moss blew nuancedream away. “Inventions” is inspired by the untold story of Black people and the under-celebrated ideas that they brought into the world.

She also “knew that sooner or later Ed Hardy would make a comeback. I’m certain other early aughts brands like True Religion and Miss Sixty may rise again like a phoenix from the ashes.”

This is about grey hair trending at Cannes this year. Runcarla really appreciated the general fashion coverage of Cannes this year because it put the spotlight on quite a few mature women who were looking fabulous.

She also liked the tone of Alyson’s blog post about how being comfortable with one’s age is a stylish thing!

Runcarla also thought this was interesting: “The demise of skinny jeans is giving Levi’s a boost.”

She’s always impressed by how very good YLF forum members manage to look in their outfit posts when you consider they are doing a phone selfie without a lot of editing. Turns out editing is not new! Not even 20th century!

Fashintern directs us to this post about how tech culture is hurting the lingerie industry.

Kkards thought this proves that the new normal is not the old normal, and that no one should ever say never in fashion.

JAileen was outraged to read that female beach handball players are required to wear bikini bottoms while male players do not have to. When the Norwegian team wanted to wear shorts for a match they were fined for doing so.

Suntiger was then pleased to see that singer Pink has offered to pay the team’s fine.

In light of the above, JAileen wanted to add this article about the sexualization of women in sports.

Sloper directs us to this article about the Liberian Olympic team’s wardrobe.

April is reading The Curated Closet with great enjoyment, and adds: “So far, it very much embodies Angie’s YLF values. Plus closets are my thing.”

Classically Casual wanted to share this interview about how Nordstrom is pivoting as shopper habits change during the pandemic.

This article made nemosmom’s inner cosplay nerd cheer: “Finally, female superheroes costumed in something other than high heels and skintight catsuits!”

Vildy got a kick out of this blog post about shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

L’Abeille loved the dress, designed, sewn, and beaded by Inuit women, that new Governor General Mary Simon wore on her installation day.

Chewyspaghetti loves the idea of the Revenge Dress, and already has her own version of it.

Roberta thought this was a good read: “So Your Body Changed During the Pandemic. Here’s How to Rebuild Your Wardrobe.

I’m in my statement jewelry years.” Annagybe says: “Salty language, but really funny, especially to this GenX’er.”

Finally, nuancedream brings our attention to the beautiful, ethical, and sustainable fashion for Muslim consumers and Eid al-Adha. She loved this quote:

“We are entrusted to take care of the earth and to look after it, and that means to be obviously environmentally conscious and not harm the environment and subsequently all the beings that live on it.”

The Fantastic Forgettable Outfit

For a few days I am republishing some posts that have been particularly popular on YLF. Five years ago I suggested that the most successful outfits are the ones that you forget about during the day. I still believe that today.

There are many ways you can rate an outfit. Is it appropriate, interesting and current? It is comfortable and practical? Is it traditionally flattering, or just flattering enough? Does it create positive body image? Does it highlight your best features? Is it suited to your lifestyle? Does it align with your style goals and aspirations? Does it garner compliments from others? Does your significant other like it? Do you feel confident and attractive wearing it?

It’s fun to think about these questions, and to analyze an outfit based on the ones that are most important to you. But there are also ways to judge an outfit that are much less analytical.

I find that one of these is the amount I think about my outfit during the day. I obviously put a good deal of thought into my outfit in the morning when I’m getting ready, because a good outfit will make me feel fabulous and give me a confident start to the day. After that, the best outfits blend into my day and I hardly think about them at all. Much later I might catch a glimpse of my outfit in a mirror, and I love it all over again. But aside from that my outfit is forgotten.

I think this is a good test of an outfit. An outfit that makes you feel confident and attractive, and then gets out of the way, is a great outfit. It means the outfit was comfortable, unfussy, stayed put, and ticked all the right aesthetic boxes. It didn’t have any niggles or sources of insecurity. It is an empowering outfit.

Does this sound familiar? Do you have other interesting ways that you assess your outfits?

Dressing a Short Waist

For a few days I am republishing some posts that have been particularly popular on YLF. I wrote this particular post six years ago, and the tips hold true today. It’s absolutely not essential to follow these guidelines when you’re shorter in the waist. But in case you do want to elongate your waist, they’re a good starting point. Feel free to add to the list.

You are short-waisted when the distance between your shoulders and waistline is shorter than average. There are two ways to determine whether this is the case. 

  •  Stand up straight and see if you can fit two hand widths into the space from under your bust to your natural waist. Your fingers should not be spread. If you can fit less than two hand widths, you’re short-waisted. Some of my clients can only fit one hand width into this space. 
  • Measure the length from shoulder to hip bone. Measure the length from hip bone to just below the knee cap. If the former is shorter by about two inches, you’re short-waisted. 
Generally, being short-waisted means having a relatively short torso and longer legs. More rarely, you can be short in the waist but long in the body when you have a very long rise measurement. And you can also be short in the torso and relatively short in the leg, but this is even more rare. 

The guidelines for dressing short-waisted bodies can be less than useful when they do not take other body modifiers into account. They’re often very general and assume that the rest of your body has typical proportions. They are also focussed on creating conventionally flattering proportions, which might not be your style goal. But the guidelines do provide a solid starting point if your goal is to lengthen the torso to create a more balanced visual between the top and bottom parts of your body. Interestingly, the first three tips work equally well to shorten a long torso. 

1. Wear a Well-Fitting Bra

The right bra lifts the bust, creating a waistline while smoothing out the silhouette. Make sure you’re wearing the right bra size and are adequately supported. The wrong bra can make a short-waisted person seem even more short waisted, especially with a larger bust. 

2. Wear a Column of Colour 

This means wearing the same colour on the top and bottom, or wearing a top that creates a very low contrast against the bottom. The column masks where your torso ends and legs begin. A solid dress is an easy way to wear a column of colour. 

3. Wear Empire Cuts 

This sounds counter-intuitive because you might imagine the empire cut will raise the waist, shortening the torso even further. But what it actually does it hide the waist and create a different cutline across the body.

4. Wear Mid or Low-Rise Jeans and Trousers

Dropping the position of the waistband to below the natural waist visually lengthens the torso and shortens the leg line. For this to work you must showcase the waistband of the jeans or trousers by tucking or semi-tucking the top. 

5. Wear Garments with a Dropped or Natural Waist 

Wearing dresses and tops with a dropped waist lengthens the torso because it draws the eye downwards. Dresses with a defined natural waist can balance out the length of both a short and a long torso. 

6. Wear Tops with Diagonal Hems

Regular length tops with diagonal hems visually lengthen the torso on the longer side, while the shorter side creates structure. Semi-tucking a top into a pair of mid or low-rise bottoms is a more subtle version of the same strategy. 

7. Wear V-Necklines

V-necklines visually lengthen a short neck and short torso. This is especially effective when you are petite with a larger bustline. 

8. Keep Tops UNTucked 

Untucked regular and tunic length tops effectively lengthen the torso and shorten the leg line, especially when you create a high contrast between the top and bottom. Short waists look best in skirts with shorter untucked tops. Tucking a top into a high-waisted skirt or pair of pants shortens a short waist even further. 

9. Create Vertical Integrity with Accessories

Wearing long statement necklaces, or necklaces with chunky pendants, visually lengthens the torso in a more suble way. Tying a scarf vertically so that the ends hang down, or wearing an infinity scarf, draws the eye up and down, which achieves the same effect. 

10. Wear Low-Slung Belts 

Low-slung belts reposition the waist by lowering it, which lengthens the torso. Soft skinny belts worn loosely around the waist so that they “dip” lower in front are an excellent way to balance out a short torso. The soft V-shape in front effectively draws the eye up and down. 

11. Wear Self-Colour Belts on the Waist

If you’re going to wear a belt on the natural waist with a high-contrast top, match the belt to the colour of the pants or skirt. That way you’ll soften the cutting horizontal line across the body, thereby lengthening the torso in a subtle way. 

12. Wear Long Layers Over a Belted Waist

Wearing a high-contrast belt on the natural waist shortens an already short waist. By layering a long layer like a tunic cardigan over the belted top, you’ll visually lengthen the torso, offsetting the cutting line of the waisted belt. Belting at the natural waist over a longer jacket also helps to lengthen a shorter waist.

You can use a few of these tips in one outfit: combine an asymmetrical V-necked ink tunic with a pair of black skinny jeans and chunky pendant necklace. Or wear a low-slung, soft, low-contrast belt over a column of colour. Feel free to ask further questions on how to dress a shorter waist in the comments section.


Assorted Items

Items for Summer, both in and out of air conditioning.

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Casual Summer Vibes

This week's top picks are good for a casual Summer vibe.

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Summery Earth Tones

These items are for those who like to wear casual earth tones in warm and hot weather.

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Hints of Spring

Some tried-and-tested winning items to refresh your style for Spring.

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Dressier Items

An assortment of dressier top picks might be just what the doctor ordered.

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Quiet Items

A range of items for Team Quiet Wardrobe Items.

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How to Build Your Wardrobe’s Colour Palette

For a few days I am republishing some posts that have been particularly popular on YLF. This six-year-old post might be useful when you’re planning and building the colour palette of your wardrobe. Try to be deliberate when you add a new neutral or non-neutral to your to your wardrobe. Be patient, thoughtful, and build the right colours over time.

There is no one correct way to build your wardrobe colour palette. Unless you’re in the very unusual situation of starting a wardrobe from scratch and building it all in one go, your palette will evolve organically over time through an intuitive process. That said, it is definitely worthwhile to give the colour palette of your wardrobe some thought so that the items work together to create cohesive outfits that make you feel fab.

Helping clients with their wardrobe palettes is a fascinating aspect of my work. I find that palettes differ quite a bit from one client to another, and seldom do they mirror my own. Over the years I’ve found that being in touch with the way colours make you feel, assessing your affinity for colour mixing, identifying your important neutrals and colours, and being deliberate when adding a new colour to your wardrobe, are all important parts of mastering your wardrobe palette.

Listen to Your Emotions 

The colour of a wardrobe item can make us feel happy, sad, confident, blah, serious, playful, powerful, weak, energetic, anxious or alluring. LISTEN to these emotions and make sure that the emotion associated with the colour of a particular wardrobe item is the right one. 

Do a little soul-searching with colour because it’s not always as straightforward as it seems. You may love a colour in theory — like magenta — but feel off when wearing it as a wardrobe item. Or perhaps it’s a question of sporting a particular colour in the right smaller dose — like through an accessory. Explore how colours make you feel on a regular basis because this does change over time. 

Assess Your Affinity to Colour Mixing

The more willing you are to combine unexpected and clashing colours together in an outfit, the easier it is to manage a wardrobe with a large assortment of colour. 

In other words if your affinity for colour mixing is high, you’ll happily combine all sorts of weird and wonderful colours into an outfit and feel fab. Because you like wearing a wide assortment of colours and in unconventional combinations, you feel in control of a wardrobe that is steadily increasing in colour possibilities. This is not the case when your affinity for colour mixing is low. In this case a wardrobe full of colour will be overwhelming. The colour combinations that tickle your fancy will be narrower, so it will be a good idea to limit the range of colours in your wardrobe. 

Identify Your Favourite Neutrals

Identifying which neutrals work best for your complexion and style creates a foundation that can be mixed and matched with other neutrals and non-neutral colours.

It’s important to choose a range of neutrals — from dark to light — because some neutrals work better with non-neutrals than others. For example, whites and tans work particularly well with pastels. Dark neutrals work well with brights and jewel tones. And chocolate and cognac work well with earth tones.   

If you like to keep it very simple, choose a dark, mid-tone and light neutral as the backbone of your wardrobe. Stick to these neutrals and don’t add another unless you’re prepared to move out of your comfort zone when styling neutrals in outfits. 

Again, if your affinity for colour mixing is high, you’ll effectively build a wardrobe with a larger assortment of neutrals. For example, there is no need to choose between dark neutrals like black, chocolate, charcoal and ink blue when you like wearing them together in an outfit or styling them with a large range of non-neutrals. The same holds true for mid-tone and light neutrals. 

Identify Your Favourite Colours 

Most people also enjoy wearing a range of non-neutral colours, even if the range is very small. Identify the colours that work with your complexion and make those the permanent colours in your wardrobe. Having a dark, mid-tone and light neutral to work with them will increase the outfit combinations you can create. 

You might find that you wear colours seasonally, in which case you need to ensure that you have the right neutrals to support the wardrobe colour spectrum that changes with the seasons. 

In the rare instance that you ONLY wear neutrals, you can skip this step entirely. Building a wardrobe that consists solely of neutrals can be done if those are the only colours that create a positive emotion for you. 

Think in Capsules When Adding a New Colour 

It is inevitable that our style will evolve over time, and that is a good thing. It also means that you will be introducing new colours to your wardrobe from time to time. But you have to be mindful about how you’re going to integrate that new colour into your outfits. Ask yourself whether you already have the neutral and non-neutral items to wear with the new colour. If not, purchase the new colour with a support act. Perhaps you need to purchase more than one item in the new colour in order to create cohesive outfits.   

For example, a dark neutral and jewel tone-loving client of mine wanted to add blush to her wardrobe for Spring. In order to make the blush work well in outfits, she also needed to purchase a few more separates in white and blush, as well as tan and silver shoes and bag. Having invested in a support act of light neutrals, it opened the door to add new colours like mint and lilac quite effortlessly because they also worked well with the white, tan and silver.

As I mentioned at the outset, building the colour palette of your wardrobe can be intuitive, which means that some of you are following these steps without giving them a lot of thought. This is especially true for those who have a high affinity for colour mixing. 

Just when you have it all figured out, your colour preferences will change. And so the thought process starts all over again, making our wardrobes a perpetual work in progress.

Fashion News Roundup: July 2021

A fashion rental service from an unexpected source, Ulta Beauty shop-in-shops coming to Target, and other fashion news that caught our attention in July.

Fun Fashion Quote

 I really like photographer Christine Han’s thoughts on her beauty philosophy:

“I watch my 13-month-old daughter and there’s no question of beautiful or not beautiful. She just IS. She is always in her body, in the moment, confident, strong. She is absolutely natural, and hasn’t had all the conditionings put upon her yet. Beauty is getting back to that natural state, becoming aware of your thoughts and realizing you are more than your body.”