All U Pear Ladies...Fashion sense wish come true! Thanks Shabana Feroze!

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So when I wrote my wishlist series, I put down a wish to be fashion forward. The stylish and motivated Shabana Feroze of the vibrant Silver Kick Diaries  read my wish/rant. She said that she would help me wrap my head around concepts for my body type. We went about it in a systematic way. She asked me about what exactly bothers me about my body, what goes through my head when I attempt to pick out clothes, and what exactly the discomfort entails.

I wrote her a long email explaining many things. I am my own psychoanalyst (in jest...) and told her exactly what bothered my mind when I looked at clothes, and exactly what made me uncomfortable. She has addressed everything that is relevant and has done an outstanding job of it! Thank you Shabana! I'm so glad to be sharing this on my blog and have one wish off the wish list!

I LOVE Shabana's well organized and informative guide. Practical tips too, given my mad mad life! For more inspiration and style tips, do visit the Silver Kick Diaries

Shabana's guest post : 

Anne’s Dressing issues

I know Anne has been struggling with dressing/ styling herself for some time, so I decided to help her out. I asked her to send me her most pertinent style issues via email. Since they’re quite a few, I’ve addressed them one by one in this post. The objective is not just to help Anne, but also to hopefully help other women like Anne who are busy, young, mothers who sometimes struggle with shopping and finding their style. These are the major concerns I gathered from her email:

She doesn’t want to “look ‘posey’ or overdressed or stand out.
She has a “tendency to gravitate toward safe colors, dull colors, nothing dramatic.
Her hips are wider than her bust.
She loves sleeveless clothes but has stretch marks on her arms.
Outfit options and transitioning from formal to casual.
Suitable jewelry she can wear around the toddler as he tends to grab it.
Make up options for a busy mom-on-the-go who has dark circles from lack of sleep.

So let’s begin.

She doesn’t want to “look ‘posey’ or overdressed or stand out.
I do agree with her when she says she doesn’t want to look ‘posey’, because posing implies trying to be someone you’re not. The entire concept of dressing well is to look more like who you are. You dress up to bring your uniqueness and personality through. It’s a way of letting people know who you are without having said a word. And if you learn how to do that well, you WILL stand out, but in your own quietly confident way. And you’ll love it.

She has a “tendency to gravitate toward safe colors, dull colors, nothing dramatic
Obviously, you want color in your wardrobe. So all you need to do is go shopping, and try on colored clothes to see what suits you. I’m not even going to get into all the jazz about what colors work for which complexion, because that would just be too overwhelming at this point. Just go to your favourite shop, pick up clothes in the colors you think are oh-so-beeeyootiful, tell the voice in your head that’s telling you they’re too bold for you to shut up, and try them on. Some gorgeous colors may not look that great against your skin tone but some will take your breath away. Even if the clothes themselves don’t suit you, don’t worry, at least you’ll know what colors do. If you want, make a note in your phone or a notebook about which shades looked good on you. Or discreetly take a picture of the shade. And since you already have a wardrobe full of ‘neutrals’-  black, beige, gray, you can easily pair any color with these.

Her hips are wider than her bust.
Anne is a typical ‘pear’ shape- where the hips are wide than the bust and make the silhouette look bottom-heavy. This means that she has a problem in selecting pants and maintaining a balanced silhouette. But not to worry, there’s always a solution.

Tops/ Blouses:

a.      You need to bring the attention away from the bottom half of the body, so tops with interesting embellishments on the neck, or with wide or scoop necks will do the trick. Pussybow tops look great and are available everywhere now.

b.      Look for slightly loose tops that end just above your hips. This will create balance by adding a bit of a bulk to the top half while also covering any belly bulges.

c.      The interest can also be shifted to the sleeves. Look for blouses that have different lengths of sleeves or bell sleeves, bat wing sleeves, etc. 

d.      Choose tops in different colors and prints. 

2.      Skirts:
A-line skirts are your best bet. They not only cover up your hips, but also look elegant. Look for ones that end just below the knee for the most flattering look. Avoid pencil skirts. Unless you want to look like Kim Kardashian. ;)
3.      Pants:
Boot-cut jeans, straight pants and even flared jeans are for you. Wide-leg pants are popular now. What I’d really recommend are Pajama Pants. They’re wide leg, but usually come in a natural material like cotton and linen, and have an elasticated belt. Great for busy moms. All these pants will balance out the width of your hips and thighs. But stay away from the really wide-leg or palazzo pants. Not practical if you’re running around with a toddler on your hip. Also avoid skinny jeans and capri pants. Remember that you want to slim the bottom half and bring the eye to the top half, so get pants and skirts in dark colors like black, navy and charcoal gray. 

4.      Dresses:
Again, like the skirts, go for A-line or even Empire-cut. Choose silky materials that will skim over your beautiful curves instead of unflattering ones like clingy jersey. And remember to look for embellishments at the top half, and/ or interesting sleeves. Wrap-around dresses are fantastic for pears.

5.      Jackets:
Get more jackets! These help to balance your silhouette. Just steer clear from those that end at your waist. Slightly longer ones that end just above the hips will flatter your shape.  

6.      Accessories:
Scarves are great for you. They can be worn in multiple ways and they keep the attention to the top half. If you want to wear a belt, make sure it’s a thin one.

7.      Shoes:
If you don’t have super-wide feet like mine, try pointed shoes. They elongate the legs. Heels are great for your body type. Wear them if you’re comfortable in them and you’re not standing for too long or running around with the toddler.

 Outfit options and transitioning from formal to casual.
Once you have a few of the basic items that look good on you, it’s all about mixing and matching and taking the look from formal to casual or vice versa. For example, a pretty printed wrap-around dress can be worn to pick the kids from school. At night throw a smart jacket, accessories and heels on for dinner with your hubby and his coworkers. Or a pussy bow blouse worn with an A-line skirt for a PTA meeting, and change the skirt to boot-cut jeans for dinner out with the hubs and kids.

She loves sleeveless clothes but has stretch marks on her arms.

I asked Anne to send me a picture of these and it turns out, the stretch marks are barely noticeable! Really, ladies, we’re not perfect, and that’s okay!

Suitable jewelry she can wear around the toddler as he tends to grab it.
Since the baby would pull on grab-able pieces like earrings, may I suggest flat plate-like statement necklaces? These lie flat on your collar-bone and chest, look great with most tops and add interest to your neckline and outfit. And I’m sure the toddler’s tiny hands wouldn’t be able to grab it. Bonus: You can wear small studs in your ears that match the necklace instead of dangly earrings that the baby can pull off and hurt you. Try cuffs for your wrists. Basically, experiment with jewelry that you think wouldn’t be easy for the baby to pull.

    Make up options for a busy mom-on-the-go who has dark circles from lack of sleep.
Two words: Concealer and lipstick. These two make-up items can instantly make you look fresher. Choose lippies in bold colors like deep pinks and reds, to brighten up the face. If you wear lip gloss, please, throw it away, you’re not a teenager any more. And if possible, try adding an eyelash curler and mascara to your make-up routine. But if that’s too much, stick with the concealer and lipstick. Don’t leave home without applying these. It’s amazing how dabbing just these two on can make you look and feel more confident.

My last tip: 
Take a good friend on your next shopping trip, and let her pick stuff for you to try on. Don’t censor her or tell her not to pick that blouse from the rack because that is so not your style, just try it on. Go through the entire shop, letting her pick out tons of clothes. {Or do it yourself, if you’re brave.} You never know what ‘Aha!’ style moment you hit on while trying something on. Seeing how the material, color and cut looks on you, you’ll start realizing what looks horrendous on you and what makes you look like a goddess. And once you know how to dress like a goddess, just never stop.


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