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What is “flattering”? This is a question I’ve been thinking a lot more about lately, especially since every blogger and her mom throws the word around like candy anymore in describing the clothes they’re sharing. It’s a word that’s also garnered some heat in the fashion world, since it’s been said to not be inclusive, and to be a term used moreso to mean that something makes you look “thinner,” that thinner is “better,” etc. I think there might be more to dressing for your body type, though, that isn’t meant to say dressing to look thinner. Rather, dressing to feel better because certain cuts or fabrics may highlight different shapes or features in a more defined way than others. So whether you’re wanting or trying to look thinner or thicker in one area or another, there’s a way to cater your closet accordingly so that in the end, you can just feel like your best self. Dressing for what YOU want to highlight for WHATEVER reason, and working with pieces of clothing to make it happen. Not wearing what society says “looks” good, but identifying what looks best on you to help you FEEL best.
I don’t think the word “flattering” should be automatically akin to making you look “smaller” or “thinner” (although that’s oftentimes what society makes it about) – I think it should mean that it accentuates your own favorite elements of your body. Pieces can be “flattering” to a specific body part – ie., flattering to your bum, or flattering to your arms, etc. – so it indicates that it’s calling more attention to something to highlight it.
Example: someone with a larger chest may not feel good in something where their boobs are free-falling, since they may hang down and feel like they’re “sagging,” shortening the appearance of your torso and having them creep too close to belly-button territory. They might prefer wearing something to support/hold the girls in more securely. On the flip side, someone with a smaller chest may not feel good in something strapless, since it may end up looking like you’ve got a mile-long decolletage and no boobs. They might prefer wearing something to add more volume up top and break up that otherwise emptier-feeling chest space.
There’s no denying the confidence boost we feel when we put something on and just feel it. We all have our favorite and least favorite features of ourselves, for whatever reason. And I don’t think there should be any shame in that game – in choosing to wear things that “flatter” our favorite features. Heck, it’s human nature to want to look + feel good, so it’s totally A-OK to care about how different styles or shapes lay on your body, since it’ll be different than on her body…and that’s all okay. “Flattering” dressing is really about creating illusions through your clothes to emphasize whatever you want to emphasize. What “flattering” means to one person might mean highlighting something to make it appear slimmer, while to another it means highlighting something to make it appear bigger – and to another, highlighting to show off muscle definition, or “length” instead of “width.” Heck, maybe you don’t want ANY shape whatsoever to be defined too clearly via your outfit – and a generally shapeless piece may end up just drawing attention all to your beautiful smile!
I really think the most flattering thing that ANY woman can wear is confidence, whether you’re a size 2 or 22. So long as you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing and highlighting whatever makes you feel that comfort, that comfort will translate to confidene that radiates the brightest.
$18 Bodysuit (One-Day Prime Shipping! I got a S) // Striped shorts (comes in other prints, too – runs TTS) // Studded sandals (a wprthwhile splurge in my book because they’re comfortable and SO pretty, + can be dressed up or down!) // Gucci bag // Marlyn Schiff bracelets (c/o)
I lovelovelove this look for spring/summer because it’s flattering to me, and just a really feel-good ensemble.
First off, let the record show that I typically HATE anything strapless. I don’t own strapless. I don’t buy strapless. I don’t rock strapless, because I end up feeling self-conscious that my top will just fall down altogether. I’m not busty by any means, so there’s not much for a top to hang onto, and I end up fidgeting all night long to make sure everything is still where it’s supposed to be.
I was curious about this $18 bodysuit from the moment I laid eyes on it, namely because it’s CUTE AF. But I was equal parts the skeptic, since girlfriend doesn’t do strapless.
MAN, am I glad I added to cart. While many strapless pieces are the opposite of flattering on me since they just really show too much decolletage skin without much else, the floral detailing at the top hits at the perfect spot to highlight my collarbone. Dust on a little shimmer from an actual highlighter (hollah @ Champagne Pop) and it’s actually flattering to my decolletage instead of awkward.
The sleeves also stay put without creeping up onto your shoulders, which is another personal pet peeve of mine with this style of top. The best part? ONE DAY SHIPPING. Get it tomorrow. Bless up.
Next, these shorts. Universally flattering on quite a few body types for quite a few reasons.
First up, they’re high-waisted. So anytime you’re trying to highlight your waist, if that’s something you’re intending on highlighting, you can tuck in (like I did here) and it simultaneously highlights the waist while elongating your legs (like what we said earlier about adding length!). Whether you’re tucking a top in or tying a knot in a basic tee like the model is wearing on the website, you can make it work!
Second, they’ve got swing! They nearly look like a skirt if you look too fast. They’re not too tight like so many short shorts can be, so whether you WANT a bit more coverage or just feel more comfortable in bottoms that feel like pajamas (aka me on both counts), they fit the bill. If you hate chafing in the summertime from too-short shorts or skirts (because thigh sweat is the worst), these give the look of a skirt while adding fabric in between. They come in quite a few print options, and they don’t fly up with the first light breeze – another pet peeve when you don’t want your booty on display for all. Heck, you chose shorts over a skirt or dress in this instance for a reason – ain’t nobody got time for a Marilyn moment!
What feels most flattering to you?
Do you have a personal favorite feature of yours that you lovelovelove highlighting in your outfits everyday? I wanna hear your thoughts on this! And let me know if you pick up this bodysuit or shorts – they’re both so clutch for the season.