Avenues Life- issue 01|May2016 (A quarterly magazine from Oman Avenues Mall)

Do you ever wonder what people really mean when they say someone has “great style”? It’s an elusive concept to be sure.

What they are really saying is that the person in question just looks good all the time, but when pressed to explain, most folks would have a hard time putting their finger on exactly what it is about that person’s look that makes it seem so effortless.

Well, let me tell you a secret: the reason you think that some people have such good style is simply because they always wear clothes that fit them-and fit them well.

When you banish ill-fitting clothes from your life and only allow proper fitting ones in, you open the door to having great style-forever.

It is a total lie that you need a certain body type to be truly stylish. Style is not something you are just born with. Being fashionable doesn’t mean a lifetime of shoes that kill, fretting that something is “so last season,” or waiting to wear something “as soon as I lose 5 pounds.” And skinny is not a goal.

The real, true enemy of great style is FIT. If your clothes don’t fit you properly, you will never look amazing. Once you learn how to tell if a garment is fitting you as it is supposed to, you will be amazed at how much better you look and feel in your clothes.

But fit is a loaded word- and it should come as no surprise to you that the Hollywood definition of it is actually a total lie.

Proper fit means that the clothes you wear should always perform as you need them to, PERIOD.

That means no garments that gape or bunch, no seams that twist, no pants with crotches that hang too low, no blouses that won’t stay buttoned, and no skirts that shift around annoyingly. These everyday nuisances are simply mechanical problems caused by poorly fitting clothes, and they can all be banished in a heartbeat- if you know how your clothes are meant to fit in the first place. Once you learn what the most common fit pitfalls are, you can start to spot and avoid them.

But first things first: you can’t even begin to determine if your clothes are fitting properly if you don’t have a full-length mirror. Once you have got that covered, you can move on to banishing bad fit from your life because great fit equals great style-ALWAYS.

For example:

The Right Pants:
The takeaway here is that when you find something that fits your body and performs the action you want it to, nobody notices whether it is technically “in” or “out”. They just think you look great- all the time- and that particular fit then becomes a permanent part of your personal wardrobe toolkit. Therefore,

  • Choose the right pants with the right rise for your natural waist
  • Avoid a poorly set zipper that pulls, gaps, and falls down slowly
  • Avoid pants that pull and “whisker” at the crotch or groin area when you try them on
  • Pants that pull and wrinkle across the very tops of your thighs will cause them to fit poorly everywhere else, too.

Getting the proper fit in a pair of pants is a true house of cars- because when one part of the structure is off, the whole thing is doomed! If they aren’t sitting properly on your hips, they’ll be far more likely to ride up your bum, gap at the waist, and end up being too short- all because they don’t fit correctly at that one specific area.

A Better Skirt:
Don’t choose a skirt that doesn’t sit properly at your natural waist line- not your hips, mind you- I am talking about your actual, factual waistline; This helps the skirt stay in place all day long without shifting or twisting. For ladies with bigger hips, buy your skirts in a size that fits you through the hips and thighs correctly- then have a tailor add darts at the waistband to provide more shape, keeping the skirt firmly in place. So keep in mind that as long as a skirt fits like it is supposed to through the waist and hips, the rest of it becomes a simple matter of personal style.

Once you start paying close attention to fit and stop fooling yourself into buying things just because they happen to be “in style”, you will be amazed at how much better you look and feel in your clothes. A little bit of trend following is fine- and totally necessary to great style. But knowing what fits properly and only buying what works for you will always trump whatever is allegedly in fashion. The old idea that certain styles are definitively “in” or “out” is dated, tired, and just plain lame. Fashion is an industry that runs solely on dissatisfaction.

Learning what works for you, fit-wise, and being happy with it is the key to real, lasting satisfaction with your style.

Monique Helou

Source: “How to get dressed” by Alison Freer


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