Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It's Not Easy...

Contemplating this outfit, I wanted to look feminine.  Or at least create an illusion of femininity.  That's a bigger job than you'd expect.

I envy you guys.   With your naturally curvy bodies, smooth skin and long hair, you toss on a pretty dress and look instantly beautiful.  Sure, adding makeup and accessories takes effort but the process isn't unusually hard for you.  It is for me. 

To look feminine, I need to carefully plan how to create curves that aren't there, minimize certain physical attributes and focus attention on others.  Most critically, I need to generate a mist of poise and charm that real women (like you) possess.  Believe me, it ain't easy to do this with my raw materials.

But I'm up for the challenge.  I gave it a shot here with three thrift-store purchases (dress, belt, shoes).  How close did I come?  Any suggestions for how to look more feminine?


 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

47 comments:

  1. You always do a great job at putting together outfits and color combinations as well as looking very feminine. I think this outfit is really cute and may look abit more feminine if you wore a little black sweater with it or something- in my opinion the cut of the sleeves are not as flattering on you as other ones I've seen. This style also doesn't suit me because I am broad in the shoulders. I think a halter-style cut would look good on you and I seem to recall you wearing something like that before. AND I am not a REAL fashionista so take it with a grain of salt :) Gorgeous shoes too by the way :)

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  2. I would try a cap sleeve or 3/4 sleeve to minimize the broadness of your shoulders. Also, a fuller skirt to give the illusion of hips. Another trick when taking pics is to put your hand on your waist, your smallest part, as it draws the eye there and makes it appear more hourglass-y.

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    1. You and Jodi and the others are right -- my broad shoulders need to be minimized and the sleevelessness of this dress doesn't work for me. I need sleeves.

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    2. This was going to be my suggestion as well. I also have broad shoulders (you know this) and they can work against feminine looks. One way to offset broad shoulders is the suggestion MaggleBish gives above; a fuller skirt will make you look curvier. But those legs? Keep working those, Friend; you absolutely can't go wrong there!

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  3. You always look lovely to me and I am always in awe of how good your legs look.

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  4. You look wonderful. Lower your necklines - every girl's secret! And don't kid yourself...most women crawl out of bed looking like one of Macbeth's weird sisters. What I wouldn't give to be able to hide my wattle behind a beard!

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    1. Nice idea. It never occurred to me. Lacking a bust, I'm not conscious about dressing for and around that area.

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  5. The shoes are great and the bracelet too. The dress is mostly good but the sleeves are a bit unflattering. Broader shoulders need a a cap sleeve or even a Tee shirt worn under the dress to give the illusion of sleeves. Or as someone else said a little shrug or jacket. It is a teeny bit too short (though I'd kill for those pins) and I think if it was a little longer and fuller then you could bring the belt down to really flatter your waist. As usual though your smile and attitude trump and you look great.

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  6. I agree with the others, cap or flutter sleeve would be lovely. I wonder is you went with a black belt if it would create more of a curvy waist. It could a titch longer I wonder if a chic pair of leggings would like nice with it, but it am no fashion maven. I will give you all my curves! I battle with them everytime I buy a dress, I am short waisted and find it tough find a good fit and usually go with a wrap style or empire waist. It looks pretty on you just the same Ally!

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    1. Thanks, Dar. I was debating using a black belt for the reason you cite. And a longer length would help but I'm tall and normal-sized clothes always look short on me.

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  7. Ally, I love this post and all the comments! I grinned at the "mist of poise and charm" - if that's what makes a "real" woman, well, I am in heaps of trouble.

    As for wardrobe tricks, your shoes are fantastic, as is whatever hemline makes you happy! Deeper V or scoop necklines, and a variety of more detailed bodice types would be worth trying out. This may be a thing that only bothers me, but I find it's important to note where a garment's waist sits in relation to my waist - in recent years so many dresses sit way too high for the taller and / or longer torso'd figures among us, which contributes to an allover "off" proportion. HTH!!!

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    1. So nice to hear from you Amber! I hope you're doing well.

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  8. It can be easier for women, yes, but even those with seemingly fabulous bodies do struggle a bit sometimes. Even super models don't look amazing in every garment (for example, the modern circle of supes usually don't have much in the way of curves, so wiggle dresses, for example, aren't lusciously filled out the way they would be if, say, someone like Marilyn Monroe was sporting them). I think you do a great job of curving your figure with belts, well placed waistlines, high heels, and other feminine elements.

    I second what Amber said above me, think about where the waist on a garment hits, that is an important element for sure. Also, longer lengths, layers, and accessories such as hats, scarves and handbags can all go a long ways to capturing the spirit of how many ladies like to dress. I'm always here if you have any specific questions you'd like to bounce of someone else. :)

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. You're right that the waist is very important. My problem is that dresses for normal-sized gals are short and tight on me, usually putting the waist higher than intended. A struggle when you shop at thrift-stores which contain normal-sized clothing. But I'm conscious of the issue and try to work with it.

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  9. Well, I never feel more girly than when I'm wearing floaty, flowy maxi dresses. I think you would look smashing in them as well, maybe with an empire waist. It would be a shame to hide your gorgeous gams, but the fluttering feeling is exquisite.

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    1. Good suggestion. I've never worn a maxi and should try.

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  10. Hmm a tough one, I'd probably style it with a cardigan, patterned stockings and black pumps xx

    Thrive on Novelty

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  11. I think the red belt is very good. It is making your waist look smaller. I agree that a fuller skirt will help create fuller hips. Have you ever thought of a petticoat? Those will make everything fuller, and they have short ones.

    A capped sleeve will help with the shoulder broadness and hide your big guns.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Smart suggestion about the petticoat. I own a few but rarely think to wear them. I should.

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  12. Something else I was thinking is that the reason I started blogging was that I was taking on the way I dressed. I wanted to figure out what clothes would look best on my body type. I started doing research and thus became aware of the who world of fashion bloggers. From there I searched blogs and identified bloggers who seemed to have the same kind of body type as me (curvy, fuller broader hips, tall- 8 shaped body) and then I began learning from them what would look good. You may want to look at some of your blogger friends to see what kinds of things they are wearing--
    I would say your body type is broader shoulders, narrow waist/hips, athletic legs-- which bloggers do you know that have some of these features and what do they wear? You could also do a bit of research on ideas for what to wear for ie. narrow hips... anyway, in most cases I think you already know, this just may help you confirm that as well as expand on it to get additional ideas. Some Wednesday morning thoughts from me :)

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    1. Thanks, Jodi. Your suggestion makes sense. I found one blogger (Gracey) who shares my height-issue (she's taller than me) but, like most women, she's curvy and I'm not. I need to find fashion-bloggers who look like me or at least address the several body-issues I have.

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  13. The polka dot dress is very ladylike! I think I'd add either a cardigan or a blazer with this sleeveless dress.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  14. I agree with the others about the sleeves, but otherwise I love this dress! I also love the shoes you chose, they are super fun!

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    1. Thanks, Beth. I worried the shoes were too fancy for this dress but I like them so much I decided to wear them anyway. I thrifted them recently for very little money.

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  15. I don't know, I think polka dots, a touch of red, and sassy long and lean legs are pretty feminine if you ask me!

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  16. I think you always look super feminine. Your efforts pay off. I know you have terrific looking feminine poses....poses that look "dainty" and elegant...and I think the attitiude and stance you give off goes a long way in creating a look.
    Love the collar on this dress and the sandals you've chosen...both are adding to the feminine elements here.

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  17. Well you have great, super-feminine legs, so anything that shows those off (especially heels!) should be your starting point. The belt was a great addition; it creates the illusion of a more hourglass shape.

    Have you considered shapewear? Something like a girdle might cinch in your waist, giving you the appearance of curvy hips.

    Also, for what it's worth from a woman with relatively few curves, not-always-smooth skin and verrrry short hair, I'd say that expressing femininity is very much about the way you carry yourself--and how you dress. You're nailing it, I think :)

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    1. Thanks. And, of course, you're right about presentation being the key.

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  18. I think you look great in this combination. I love dresses with fun collars like that. Hmmm... dressing feminine. A little boob helps and so do girly shoes and feminine hair. Other than that makeup and accessories and nails and stuff are icing on the cake. Hope that helps.

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    1. Thanks, buddy. Maybe I should show off my bust more... :-)

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  19. I think you did a great job with this outfit ! I agree with some comments, sure a sleeveless dress is not the most feminine one for broader shoulders, and I assure you I have female friends with large shoulders, it's just a matter of body type. I like this dress, anyway, and it reminded me a bit of mine in my latest outfit, don't you think ? :-)) You look good and got killer legs Ally ! Another advice: I would try more eye makeup if you want to spice up your looks, it's just my piece of mind, but you got beautiful eyes that deserve more attention ! Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies

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    1. You're right about the eye-makeup. Thanks!

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  20. I agree with all of the above sentiments as well :) The dress is adorable and you have great legs. The belt to cinch the waist is a great, feminine touch. I also agree about the eye makeup, making your beautiful eyes pop will make a big difference! I also agree with the idea of adding a cardigan! Everyone has such great suggestions!

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  21. Ally, i believe a few years ago I once asked if you would allow me to photograph you, this was before the confidence and strength you built over these years. I also gave a critique to you long ago, and that one critique remains the same. It is also one, I would love to explore with you, ...your smile!
    Aside from that You have legs to die for, you are envious of so many qualities that women have, yet girl, you have qualities that women would drool over. This particular dressd oes not help with arms, however legs..YEAH!

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  22. Wow, I think you look great! Any tips I would have given you are already here-sleeves, a lower cut neckline and a fuller skirt. All these are great! And keep showing off those legs!
    How about giving into your feminine side? There must be other things about being female, other than dressing as one, that you like. Perfume? Mani/pedi? Watching Fashion Police? I dare you to embrace those qualities!

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    1. You're right -- and I'm pursuing them with enthusiasm. I found and wear a wonderful scent (Harvey Prince's Hello); I paint my toes every week; and I not only watch Fashion Police every Friday, I bought my own Joan Ranger tee-shirt. (They only come in women's sizes!)

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  23. This dress fits you really well! I tend to associate feminine dressing with romantic pieces - pink, ruffles, flowy... Though really any outfit that accentuates curves can be considered feminine. I agree with wearing perfume, always works for me too!

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  24. I think the dress is already great on you - good thing you chose the belt, it instantly draws attention to the waist!

    -Kati

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  25. Well, when I want to create curves, I add some shoulder pads and a belt.
    I also try for my bottoms either skirt or trousers to be long, to create a long silhouette. Of course you are tall so it should be easier :) Just my 2 cents.

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    1. Thanks, buddy. Your "2 cents" are worth $100!

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  26. I"m late arriving here, so it looks like you've received lots of good tips. I love this dress, and it's very cute on you, but I can understand how you might want to minimise your shoulders. All of us, even those who roll out of bed looking female, have figure issues we want to minimise or highlight and we aren't necessarily as hairless and smooth as we first appear! LOL Much more so than males, females have been told over the past century that our natural bodies are not good enough and must be altered, enhanced, reduced, changed. When I watch a movie or telelvision show where some female is stranded on an island for more than a couple of weeks and yet she never grows any body hair, gets grey roots, her period or pimples, I just roll my eyes.
    xoxo

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    1. You're right, of course. And I was incredulous when I saw a movie depicting humans in pre-historic times and saw the women were all wearing modern makeup!

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  27. Echoing Shawna a bit further, I looked back at your photos, and I just see you, Ally, my friend. I don't see someone who needs more curves or to cover her arms or more this or that.

    I see Ally in a cute dress.

    In fact, I love the hands on hips photo the best. You have so much more confidence in your more recent photos than the past, and I see more 'you' coming through than your photos instead of just your outfits.

    Don't be ashamed because you're broader of shoulder or less of curves. You have your assets that your friends very much envy across the other side of the screen and wish we could swap our one thing for your other. Grass is always greener. I think you look great.

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    1. How interesting! And, yes, you're right -- I did feel fierce in that pose. I believed it was unfeminine but decided to do it anyway 'cause that's how I roll. I never conformed to male gender-expectations, why should I conform to female ones?!!

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  28. You look great! Remember, not all woman are 'curvy'. I have a very small bust and broad shoulders and contrary to popular advice, I like sleeveless and boatneck tops! I also love a good deep v-neck... Perfect to show off necklaces :)

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