10 January 2011

  • Winter White Sweater/Jacket Thing: vintage Piazza Sempione, mommed
  • Purple Layering Tee: Gap
  • Dark Wash Skinnies: Kut from the Kloth, via Nordstrom
  • Brown Riding Boots: Franco Sarto, via Zappos
  • Necklace: gifted

Happy Rule Breaking Monday! Sadly, I’m spending the last Monday before the start of term home sick and trying to design a survey instrument…. But, pity party aside, it gives me a great chance to explore one of my hardest-to-break styling rules: “surrendering” my waist in beltless looks and boxy, or oversized garments on my upper half.

Why hardest to break, you ask? Warning, dear readers: this is one of those stories that keeps threatening to start with youth soccer, but I’ll try to stick to the Cliff’s Notes version. (Query: do people even use Cliff’s Notes anymore?) For as long as I can remember, I’ve been one of those people who has bordered between being an hourglass and a straight-up pear shape. I’m neither the first nor the last woman to feel this way, but I have to admit it: it has taken me a long time to get to “like” with my thighs, and I am still a decent ways from “love.” As a result, most of my sacred cows of styling rules have to do with trying to optically balance out my proportions, and with highlighting those parts of my body I’m more excited about. In 99.999999% of cases, this includes calling attention to my waist in some way: a sheath dress with nipped-in detailing, a belt (wide or, lately, narrow), a high-waisted skirt or pant. Consequently, I’ve always struggled with how to wear this cozy, thoughtfully-detailed knit jacket my mother passed along to me. It doesn’t seem to work very well with skinny pants and low heels, nor with flowy or a-line skirts, and while I suspect it may make friends with boot cut jeans and sky high heels, I wasn’t quite up for it today! So, here, I’ve paired it with my trusty skinnies and boots, hoping that the shorter length and the weight of the boots will balance it out. While I’ve stuck with soft neutrals here, I could easily see this paired with a colored heel or, perhaps, a brightly-colored skirt to play off the winter white.

How would you style this piece, and save yet another white elephant of my closet? How have you tackled this particular styling rule and convinced yourself to surrender your waist from time to time?

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow with what I wore to the beautiful winter wedding of one of my closest law school friends on Saturday….

  • http://www.befabulousdaily.us Cynthia

    How about a not-too-exaggeratedly tight pencil skirt, or just a straight skirt? Knee length, with boots?

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      I think that would work :) Thanks!

  • http://hellomonkeyface.blogspot.com MONKEYFACE

    Ack! That sweater coat thing is stunning! Honestly I probably would’ve styled it just like you – skinny pants and tall boots, maybe some kind of layer underneath. GORGEOUS.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks! I’m thinking the underneath layer totally concealed works, but I could also see wearing it open for quite different proportions, with a longer under layer.

  • http://sisters4saymoreismore.blogspot.com sisters4saymoreismore

    i think this look still gives you a waist! and makes your legs look amazing!

    ~selina

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks so much! So nice meeting you!

  • http://chicchemistry.blogspot.com/ Beth Ellen

    That jacket/coat/sweater thing is just amazing! And what a wonderfully warm winter white. Oh, and I totally get the whole not loving your thighs thing. I’ve just barely learned to like mine as well…

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      My lack of self-love for my bottom half is definitely not something I’m proud of, but I feel like it’s important to be honest about both the good and bad aspects of our relationships with our bodies!

      Thanks for the note about the sweater! It was definitely screaming my name that morning, after having sat in my closet for so long!

  • http://omglydia.blogspot.com Lydia

    I think I’m kind of the same shape as you, sometimes I look in the mirror and all I can see are my thighs and butt! I think you look great though, it’s a pretty jacket.

    Shopping and Spreadsheets

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Lydia! And yes, I …totally have that moment.

  • http://fashionableacademics.blogspot.com/ La Historiadora de Moda

    I absolutely love that sweater coat! I’d probably be tempted to pair it with skirts and boots, too!

    I can empathize with your history with your legs. I have always tended to gain weight in my hips and legs first, which can change the fit of my clothes and at times seem to draw unwanted attention to my gams. I’ve tried to embrace the strength of my legs (I am a runner, after all) and accept them as they are.

    I hope you get to feeling better soon! I also have a cold and our semester started today….

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Historiadora. I hope you’re feeling better and getting over the sniffles as well! We don’t start class until next week, but I can only imagine the extent to which I’m going to regret the work slowdown this cold has caused me this week! eek…

      Running has definitely helped me, as well, in my ongoing struggle with my legs — but perhaps almost too much! After a fairly serious hip injury, I ran less and cycled more, and my body changed, as my legs tried to power 50 mile rides instead of five mile runs. I gained definition in places and lost it in others, and for a while nothing fit and I was disoriented and pretty unhappy about it. I’ve tried to embrace the experience as one that’s taught me that my body can and does still adapt to meet new challenges, and that it’s capable of some pretty impressive feats of strength — but I do think it’s important to be honest about the fact that it hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing!

  • http://ramzrevell.blogspot.com/ ramsey revell

    I adore this sweater on you!! You look completely classic and well pulled together! Such a magazine-looking oufit…Love it!

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, Ramsey!

  • http://the-new-professional.blogspot.com Angeline

    Great jacket! I think it would go great open over a flowy dress.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks! Now I have twice as many reasons to finish that blue dress I was working on… ;)

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  • http://lindsayliving.tumblr.com Lindsay

    Loving the long cuffs on the sweater. Is it a sweater or a jacket? It kinda looks like a cross between the two. Whatever it is, it’s gorgeous.

    • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

      Thanks, and nice meeting you! I think it’s probably a “knit jacket” or “knit blazer,” technically, but it’s definitely somewhere in between true sweaterdom and jacket land.

  • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

    You’re so right, Liz, we are our own toughest critics, and I’m so sorry if you found my comment offputting. I really appreciate the good vibes, though!

    • http://lizzypunch.blogspot.com Liz

      Oh don’t worry, on the contrary I was meaning to say that I know where you’re coming from!

      • http://narrowlytailored.blogspot.com S. of Narrowly Tailored

        Thanks! Just making sure.

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