by Tasi Zuriack
(El Paso TX, USA)
Hi Jane, As always I enjoy reading your style snippets. But I have another question. I'm 5-9 and a plus-size, apple-shaped lady in her 60's. I love bright print blouses (that I wear with black slacks or straight skirts), but I am told that they do not flatter my figure or are not age-appropriate. Any suggestions on how I can dress and still enjoy my bright colors?
Jane's answer... Hi Tasi. Another good question from you, thank you. And I'm glad you enjoy my Style Snippets newsletter.
Who told you that bright print blouses aren't age appropriate? What rubbish! The only print I can think of that's only appropriate to children and young adults is cartoon character style prints. There are ways to wear just about anything, so I'm sure you can get bright print blouses that will flatter your shape.
However, because bright colors, just like light colors, make the area they're applied to appear larger than they are you do need to take care how you wear your bright prints on your body shape. You also need to ensure that the type of print is flattering for you.
These are the general style aims for your apple body shape. You don't mention your vertical body shape which will be important for your best lengths.
At 5'9" you are on the taller side of average height, so you don't need to worry so much about appearing taller than you are, except that the rules for appearing taller will also make you appear slimmer.
Tips for wearing bright colors on your apple body shape
I'll assume that bright colors do suit your coloring (I can't tell from your photo). These are the most flattering ways for you to wear bright colors...
- Wear the bright top under a jacket, cardigan or vest/waist coat that is in a similar color, or similar color value to your bottoms. Leave the jacket, cardigan or vest open. This is called flowing color up the outside of your body and is a very slimming look. It creates 2 vertical design lines on your torso, which makes you look slimmer
- Avoid shiny fabrics -- these also act like light and bright colors and make the area they're applied to look larger
- Stick to fine and medium weight fabrics and avoid thick, bulky looking fabrics
- Choose tops with an open neckline such as a classic-V or a medium scoop rather than a jewel neckline or a turtle neckline
Tips for wearing patterns on your apple body shape
These are the most flattering ways for you to wear patterns...
- Scale is the key thing to remember. As a plus size woman you will find medium size patterns will suit you best -- that is patterns that fit between the center of the palm of your hand to your first finger joint
- Obvious repetition of the pattern : if the pattern has an obvious repeat make sure the repeat is not much larger than your medium pattern size
- Your best patterns will be complex patterns that don't have an obvious repeat -- these are more slimming than solid colors because the eye of an observer is confused and doesn't rest on any one spot
- Add a high focal point -- this can be a necklace, earrings, or bright lipstick. It will bring attention back to your face
To find out more
To find out exactly
which styles and lengths suit you and where to wear colors and prints taking all you body proportions into account I suggest you get a personalized estyle portfolio
Then to take your style to the next level and really get to grips with the impact of line and design I recommend the Style Wise and Shop Smart ebook