Malaysia-based Shameena, a leading fashionista, and our Fashion Editor, discusses the perfect outfit ideas after discussing in detail the body types of women. She gives invaluable tips for choosing clothes, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Recap: The five main body shapes (or silhouettes if you will) are Hourglass, Rectangle, Pear, Apple and Inverted Triangle body shape. Examining your shape allows you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of what these areas are, which will allow you to learn about dressing to fit and flatter your figure. What’s most important here is to take a note of the proportions of your body – lower compared to upper half. And then figure out what needs to be trimmed or added to create a proportional body shape or to create more of an hourglass effect.
Now, that we had determined and learned about our body shape and its features from my last week’s article, next question which might arise in your mind would be: How to choose good clothes? Or what are the prefect outfit ideas?
Good Fit = Good fashion: What is a Good Fit?
When it comes to looking good, it’s not only your size or shape that matters, it’s the fit of your clothes. Wearing the right clothes shouldn’t be about following the latest fashion trends; it should be about choosing what actually suits you and what makes you feel comfortable and confident.
Fitting clothes does not mean suffocating in a slim fit if you are oversized or hiding your form by wearing baggy clothes to act more relaxed. It simply means wearing what works for you that allows you to breathe without you getting lost in what you wear.
From a personal perspective, what you wear affects how you present yourself and how you feel about yourself. This translates into your confidence level, making people think of you as less confident and over time, your confidence will get affected by this.
In fashion, there are some qualities that drive nearly all of your clothing’s effect on your appearance. They are good cut, shape, colour, texture and pattern.
A good fit, fabric and style are the major elements that define a piece of clothing, for good or ill effect. They’re where you’re getting the most “bang for your buck” in your clothing purchases.
The fit of your clothing has the ability to be a total make-or-break, no matter what its other characteristics are. A good fit doesn’t just slide onto the body without discomfort it’s one that’s tailored to flatter your frame specifically, emphasising the features you want to draw attention to and minimising the ones you want to conceal.
- Length: The easiest bad fit to spot is the garment’s length, if it is either too short or too long.
- Width: Different bodies need vastly different widths – which can be a problem when buying clothing in simplistic sizes like “small,” “large,” “extra-large” and so forth. Length also differs from US, EU, UK sizes and even from brands of clothing.
You can usually get a good sense of whether or not a garment’s width is correct just from how it feels to wear it. If the fabric is pinching and wrinkling because it’s being stretched too far, or swaying and flapping because it’s hanging too loose, the clothing is going to need adjustment. A too-tight or too-loose fit is uncomfortable as well as unsightly, making this a key one to fix.
- Colour: Our fashion colour choices say a lot about the image we are trying to portray and how we feel about ourselves. Colours produce different reactions when used in different fabrics and when put together in different colour combinations. The rights colours can make your skin tone appear more even, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles and make you look brighter and healthier. While on the other hand wearing a colour which isn’t so good for you can make you look tired, dull and even ill.
I will be discussing colour analysis in details in my upcoming article exclusively on Different Truths. Once you know your personal colour, practice by understanding their association with seasonable colours (spring, summer, winter, and fall). They can give a set of guidelines for a flattering effect of your clothes. You’ll also be able to forecast colours for the next season.
- Prints and Patterns: Prints and patterns not only give an outfit a shot of personality, but they also have the ability to complement your beautiful body shape and provide proportion.
I will be discussing print and patterns in details on my upcoming article on Different Truths. With the simple knowledge, you’ll have an easier time shopping (and cleaning out your closet) for what prints and patterns work best for your body.
Price tags of clothes are set based on based on the fabric you select. This should give you an idea of how important fabric selection is. It’s the first fundamental choice in a garment’s construction.
The fabric used can affect many things about a garment; its weight and texture, most obviously, but also the way it drapes on the body, the way it feels after hours of prolonged wear; the care and cleaning it requires.
Style is the cornerstone of appearance, it’s a reference to the overall character of an item — to the impression it gives other people when they glance at it.
I always lay emphasis on selfhood for style. Our sense of well-being, of contentedness, of meaningfulness, of how we perceive our personal identity – all these relate directly to the individual’s notion of selfhood. My golden rule is “Always wear what you want to wear”.
Good design is not just what looks good. It also needs to perform, convert, astonish, and fulfil its purpose. A good design cannot be measured by a finite way – multiple perspectives are needed. Innovative design can both be a break-through the existing fashion and a redesign of an existing fashion. A breakthrough design adds a before unseen value and function to the user, while a redesign improves an existing style. If that style is derived from your own self-hood. Viola!
A good design has an important objective. It builds on sustainability in the sense that design and materials are durable and not just a trend. A good design should be based on its use and designed to improve a given situation for its user.
Moreover, a good design is effective and efficient in fulfilling its purpose. It relies on as few external factors and inputs as possible, and these are easy to measure and manipulate to achieve an expected other output, especially with your own styling. A good design is always the simplest possible working solution.
How to Choose Good Clothes?
Most of us find going clothes shopping difficult and confusing. Sometimes you head to a department store with an idea in mind, but once you get there you have no idea where to start. There are so many different styles, cuts, sizes, colours and brands that you may feel overwhelmed. Often ask ourselves How to choose good clothes?
Having an idea of what looks good on you will make choosing good clothes much easier. There are some tips you need to know before you go clothes shopping.
- Examine and determine your body shape: Please refer to by last two articles on body shape and what to wear according to your body shape.
- Know your measurement: Whether you’re buying clothing off-the-rack or having it tailored, it’s best to keep your exact proportions in mind. Use a tape measure and write down the exact numbers. This helps you to examine and determine your clothes size as well.
- Get to know your body: We often have a pre-set mind that not every trend works for every woman. That’s ok, but unless you don’t try variety you would never know! Trying on a wide range of clothing, instead of the same types over and over, can help you find new styles that feel and look better on you.
- Find brands and labels that suit you: Discovering stores or clothing line that flatters your body and fits you well, you will likely find that they will be consistent in this. This is always handy to save yourself some time and frustration, keep going back to the stores with clothes that have fit you well in the past. But don’t get stuck in a fashion rut. Often we find a label we like and don’t look around for what could possibly be a better fit.
- Give yourself a lot of time: Finding the time is always the problem, but when we feel rushed, we’re more likely to grab the first few items we see, not necessarily the ones that fit us best. I love to take a lot of time to shop clothes. I window shop first, then try each of them what I like, instead of just wearing I feel it on me and then determine.
- Primary opinion should be yours: Shopping is fun with a companion or friends. People have many different opinions because they have different life experience and perspectives. Always very little can be said with absolute certainty outside the realm of mathematics. Hence when you choose or confused follow your heart’s desire or let the primary opinion be yours always and second opinion from your companion.
Try these given tips, if you have any opinion of your own? Leave us a comment and share the article with your network! I will be discussing about patterns and colour in my upcoming article, so stay tuned. Till then happy shopping!
Photos sourced by the author.
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Shameena is a Self-made independent entrepreneur, Fashion Designer and Stylist, Artist, Photographer, Fitness freak, Poet, Blogger, Graphic Designer, Life strategist and many other things. Her collections cater to a broad range of women, from classic to modern, fusion and embrace all attitudes from romantic to dramatic. She is currently situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.