Marie writes: Would you please help me know what to wear? I am 5-feet-tall and 160 pounds. (Yes, I know I'm fluffy and am losing weight slowly).
I have white hair, big brown eyes and pale skin. I'm a winter. I really like black and white and try to always have the colour I'm wearing on top as close to the colour I'm wearing on the bottom. I really like to wear silver jewelry.
Marilyn replies: Regardless of where you carry your weight the idea of wearing a column of colour is elongating and slimming.
1. Keep lighter hues and prints on your top to keep the attention next to your face so you get eye contact.
Often a person like you, who defines themselves as a winter, will wear black and white almost exclusively. Don’t be afraid to wear your best colours. In fact, try cobalt blue, clear red, grape, fuchsia and others for variety.
Your brown eyes will be accented when you use dark brown as a neutral basic. Navy and grey are also excellent alternatives to your black.
2. Colour blocking can be slimming. When you wear white, accent colours or print tops, add a jacket or vest on top to match your pants to block yourself narrower.
3. Avoid wearing bulky textured items since they will add pounds to your look.
4. Don’t shy away from scarves. A scarf tied loosely down the front adds another vertical detail and can be slimming too. Try it and wear it to achieve your best look.
5. Make the most of your bling by wearing your silver jewelry so it not only attracts the eye but also creates flattering lines. If, for example, you have a short neck, wear a necklace that creates a V shape and elongates your ‘shortcoming.’ If you have a big bust, make sure the necklace falls above your bust, thus avoiding the ‘cliffhanger’ effect.
It is not just about what you wear, but how you wear it.
You mention you are losing weight. Maintain your best look as you shed pounds and reward yourself with items you need once you have shrunk out of your current clothes. When you do buy new items, purchase them so they fit you precisely and then jacket or vest them so their close fit is not exposed.
Think tight under loose. You can buy jackets that fit your shoulders and have an inch to pinch across your back and wear them open. Make sure they sit over your bust and the gap in the front is no more than three inches. This “almost” fit won’t make you look as if you have outgrown your clothes and will accommodate your weight loss as it occurs.
Determine where you carry your weight and then select clothes that are cut to flatter you. If you are top heavy and have a waist, select tops with more open necklines and jackets that show your waist.
Alternatively, if your weight is around your middle, tops that fall easily over your lumps and bumps will conceal them.
Dressing your best is possible once you assess yourself realistically and make it your goal to play up your positives and camouflage whatever you feel needs to be hidden. Your full-length mirror is your best friend.
Experiment with your best colours and their placement and with styles and their fit. Then wear what makes you feel comfortable and look your best as you evolve to the woman you wish to be.
"Wardrobe Doctor" Marilyn Wetston is the owner of Marilyn’s, 200 Spadina Ave., Toronto, Ont. Send your questions to Marilyn.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Marilyns.ca or follow her on twitter @marilynsstore.