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Work Style

Cheats – How To Style The Imperfect

Cheats… as in « acting in a way to allow one to hide something one doesn’t want or need to reveal »…

We all have these pieces in our closet that are not quite perfect in terms of fit. We know about these ‘imperfect’ pieces, but for many good reasons we just don’t want to part from them. How many do you have within your wardrobe?

GUILTY OR NOT

Sometimes our body has changed. But that pair of pants or blazer is part of some of our work outfits that we’d hate to break up. Other times — we hate to admit it — we simply bought an item we fell for which was not exactly right for us. It’s so easy to make mistakes, especially when we go shopping alone. And let’s be fare, while at times we may be guilty of letting our emotions get in the way of our rational — choosing love over the perfect fit… Salespeople can also be really good at influencing us to make the ‘not quite ideal’ purchase. But unless it’s a total mistake that’s beyond using any ‘styling fix’, you don’t have to give it away.

SOLUTION MODE

So whatever the reason, here is when cheats come in handy. Making the right mix-and-match decisions so that people don’t notice any imperfections. And all of sudden that ‘imperfect’ piece becomes part of a stylish look!

CHEATS — BEFORE & AFTER 

Here is an example of a blazer that’s a bit too short on me. STYLE TIP : You could be tempted to add a belt, thinking it would fill the gap. But this would not solve the problem. It would actually have the reverse effect and make it more obvious.

CHEAT: By wearing a top over your pants — hiding the waistband — people lose knowledge of where your waist is. This small change erases the problem completely.

These next black pants are too short for the cut. STYLE TIP: Though all kinds of pant lengths are IN these days, the length for this straight cut is a little on the short side. Which makes the heels look a bit odd. That would not be the case had it been a narrower cut at the ankle.

CHEAT: Choose a low heel (ideally no more than 1.5 inches), like a nice ballerina. These leopard print ones add an extra touch of style for a nice and professional work outfit.

When tops and bottoms are bought separately, it can sometimes be very hard to match certain colors perfectly. Below is an example where the top has an accent of orange that’s derived from tones of red. Whereas the pants are in the true orange tones. STYLE TIP: Sometimes wearing a belt will cut the link between the top and bottom which will help alleviate the color difference. But in this case, it’s not quite making the job. The top accent color still comes out too much as a red and screams “wrong match“…

CHEAT: The best way to make your outfit look sharp is by wearing a vest or blazer. This will create enough diversion for the eye and make a cover-up for the tone differences.

In order for your blazer to look elegant — aside of course from having the right cut for your body type — pay attention to having the right sleeve length. Garments are made for a certain arm length standard — which standard varies as you know from one brand to another. So sleeve alterations become the norm for most people. Problem is, when you have long arms like I do, there often isn’t enough material left to get the proper length needed. STYLE TIP: A three-quarter length sleeve can look really sharp. This blazer’s sleeve length however is in the “no man’s land” — not short enough, not long enough. One of the solutions would be to not buy the blazer in the first place. But if the blazer is in your closet, you can cheat!

CHEAT: I personally love the rolled-up sleeves look! Bringing them to about a three-quarter length will do the trick. Sometimes I will roll up the sleeves even when my blazer has the right sleeve length, to create a more casual and comfortable look. Take note however that this tip doesn’t apply during winter season.

So go ahead, and use these cheats…nobody will know!

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