Excited to bring you another Plain to Polished post today! In this series we break down style by looking at plain outfits and talking about SIMPLE ways to make them polished. Simple is the name of the game!
Today’s focus is on fit. Years ago, I wrote a lengthy post on the importance of proper fit in Part 3 of the Wardrobe From Scratch Series. I don’t have more to add, rather with today’s post I just wanted to highlight the topic again in case you haven’t seen that post.
Fit is so, so, so important for making your outfits look good. Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear used to say all the time, “If you don’t have fit, you don’t have style.” The way items fit you can totally change how an outfit looks, causing you to go from plain or frumpy to polished and put together, just by choosing things that fit better.
And before thoughts like, “But…I don’t know which clothes flatter my body shape!” get the better of you, put those aside. We’re not even there yet. I’m not referring to knowing which silhouettes and cuts fit your body shape, though that’s helpful and important, too. (And if you want that, search it on Pinterest. There’s so much there about it.??) I’m talking about one step before that–how those clothes we each deem as flattering actually FIT.
It’s not going to be quite as helpful to know which clothes flatter your body type if you buy ones that don’t fit you well. For example, you can determine that bootcut jeans are best for your body shape, but if you buy bootcut jeans that don’t fit well, your outfit will still be missing the mark. So back up a step, and let’s first talk about fit and how it affects your outfits.
Our first outfit:
This outfit is a blouse with bootcut jeans. The blouse actually fits me well, but it kind of does not appear so here because the jeans–they SORT OF fit. In fact, I used to love these jeans once upon a time. I got compliments in them ALL THE TIME! But, after doing FASTer Way to Fat Loss, these jeans aren’t working well for me anymore. And while they were once compliment-magnets for me, they have now become my “what not to wear” example purely because they no longer fit me well.
I tried to use a front-tuck to define my waist, but with jeans that only sort of fit, this outfit looks OKAY at best. It’s not the worst ever, but it’s not an outfit that would cause me to do a double-take in a GOOD way and think, “Oh, I wish I could dress like that person!” You know what I mean?
So, let’s trade the jeans for something better:
BAM! What a difference! This pair of jeans fits me much better and transforms the overall look from “just okay” to polished and put together. Just by wearing better fitting jeans! Here’s a side-by-side look:
Isn’t it amazing what better-fitting clothing can do? Magical!
It isn’t so much the cut or style of denim that made the difference, it’s how they fit. Meaning, it isn’t about whether or not skinny jeans or bootcut jeans are most flattering on my body. Like I said earlier, you can determine that bootcut jeans work best for your body, but if you buy bootcut jeans that don’t fit well, your outfit will still not quite work. In both of these examples I’m using bootcut jeans, and one is a little sloppier, or okay at best, while the other is more polished. The difference is primarily due to how the jeans fit me. One just fits way, way better!
So often, we settle for clothing that fits “okay.” Don’t do it! Do a little more work to find clothes that fit you well. I get it, shopping is tiring. You may think because I blog about clothes that I actually like shopping. Mostly, I do not like shopping. I like clothes, but I do not like searching for them or trying on a billion things. Haha! It’s hard work, and I’d honestly rather be doing lots of other things. But, friends, it is not worth it to settle! Do the work of finding clothes that fit properly. I’d rather you have a few pieces in your closet that fit you well and make you feel fantastic than a billion pieces that don’t fit well and make you feel blah. ?
So, let’s do something about it!
Two Ways You Can Take Action
#1: Check out Part 3 of the Wardrobe From Scratch Series for basic guidelines for how clothes should fit. It’s everything I learned from the masters Stacy and Clinton while obsessively watching What Not to Wear for years when it was on air. ? None of the rules are rigid, as I break some of them on a regular basis. Instead of seeing them as black and white rules to follow by the letter, see them as guidelines that give you a good place to start.
#2: Just a few, one by one. In other words, if you really don’t have ANY clothes that fit you well, start by focusing on a VERY SHORT LIST, and then focus on one piece at a time. You don’t have to replace everything at once. If you need help knowing what to focus on, use one of the free seasonal PMT Starter Kit Wardrobe Checklists. They’ll help you focus on just a few pieces that will still give you plenty of options in your closet.
Details About My Bootcut Jeans
In case you are wondering about the jeans in my second outfit, they are a huge PMT favorite. They are INCREDIBLY soft and stretchy, plus they have elastic panels in the waistband for extra comfort. I’ve talked before about how they’re so stretchy that they might as well be yoga pants!
SIZING: I sized up to 8. When I tried size 6, they fit comfortably but were a little more snug around my thighs which actually brought the length up a couple of inches. My legs didn’t look as long in size 6 compared to the looser size 8 which I’m wearing here. However, for most others who don’t have larger hips or thighs, their regular size has been perfect. Don’t be shy to order multiple sizes and see which fit you like better. It’s part of doing that work to get items that make you look and feel amazing! Plus, Nordstrom offers free return shipping on all orders, so I often order multiple sizes to find what fits best. 🙂
They come in petite and regular lengths, but they are only 32″ long in regular so they haven’t been that great for taller ladies.