Yesterday, after I spent half the day trying to sleep off a massive migraine, Pi and I went shopping for a homecoming dress.
Based on years of being me, and being that kind of mom, I have these fashion tips to share. They may sound like they are geared to homecoming dress shopping, but really they are geared to anyone who wears clothes.
SEVEN FASHION TIPS FOR LOOKING GOOD AND FEELING GREAT
If It Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Buy It
There are few things less attractive than a great piece of clothing in the wrong size. Ok, there are lots of things that are less attractive, but the point is that clothing should fit. Ignore the tags with the sizes on them except as a general guideline for finding things to try on. Every designer thinks about sizes differently, every manufacturer cuts and sews a little differently, and even the same garment in the same size can be very different depending on where it was in the stack of fabric being cut. You look a zillion times better in something that fits than you do in something that doesn’t fit but has a tag with a size number you really like on it.
This goes double for shoes, even if you think you’ll have them off most of the evening.
Speaking of Shoes
If you can’t walk in them, don’t buy them. I don’t mean can you successful negotiate a strip of floor without falling face first on the carpet in the shoe store (although that should be a pretty good hint). I mean if you can’t look graceful, you need to practice (a lot) or buy different shoes. Prancing along saying “ooch ouch eech–but they look great, right” is not pretty. Looking like a galloping galloot or a new born colt is not sexy. Not even a little bit. So unless you plan to be teleported to a chair, spend the entire night sitting in it waiting for people to admire your shoes, and then be teleported home, rethink the footwear.
Undergarments Are Not Meant to Be Seen
Unless you are a mega star in which case undergarments are still not meant to be seen but you get paid gobs of money so what do you care? Pull up your pants (we don’t want to know if your boxers have bunnies on them), figure out how to cover your bra, and in general show off you and your clothes not your undies. The world will thank you. In several years you’ll be smart enough to thank your younger self.
Also, if the dress is so short or so tight we know what color your underwear is—put on something else.
Clothes and Costumes Are Not the Same
If your first reaction is “Oh, Kiss Of the Spider Woman” (we really said that yesterday) this is not a garment for you. If you want to wear costumes, join the drama club, wait for Halloween, or find a Civil War Reenactment group. Otherwise, just don’t.
Stand Up Straight
Very few of us constantly have the posture of a professional pianist, but it’s amazing how much better clothes look when you don’t slouch.
Your Body Is Not Going to Change in the Next Week
If it doesn’t fit well in the store, I promise it will not fit well in a week at home. If you’re short-waisted in the store and the dress requires a long waist to look good, it’s not going to work any better a week from now. If a skirt is too long/short/tight in the hips in the store, it’s going to be that way at home (with the possible exception of the too long part if you can find the time to hem it). Just because you love it on the hanger does not mean it is worth spending money on if it’s not right for you. Unless you plan to wear something else and carry this garment around on a hanger all evening.
Same thing for skin tone. If the color is bad for you in the dressing room, it will be bad in other places too. Go find something in a color that complements you in lots of different lighting situations.
Seriously. Smile and enjoy yourself. It’s a little cliché but your smile is your best accessory as long as you brush your teeth (do not roll your eyes at me—it’s true). Don’t try to be something that you’re not—especially on a special occasion. I’m not saying don’t dress up. But if you generally only wear a little makeup, don’t pack it on with a trowel for one evening. If you don’t wear a lot of jewelry on a regular basis, don’t go for a necklace, tie clip, shirt studs, cuff links, pinky ring, and rhinestone studded belt. In fact, you might want to think twice about the pinky ring no matter what.
Of course, sending your mom a quick text to say ‘I love you’ is also another Most Excellent way to look good.
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