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Is feminine style limited to small and short women?

by Diana
(Queensland, Australia)

My style is feminine elegant. I am 5ft 7ins tall.

Why are feminine women always supposed to be small/short? Any sites about style on the web say feminine is small.

I am average sized and 72yrs of age.

Jane's answer... Diana, how wonderful that you can state your personal style! So many women can't. When you can express in words how you want to look it's so much easier to recognize when clothes, accessories and outfits will work for you and make you happy.

Let me assure you that feminine style doesn't have to mean small or short! And lucky you for being tall, especially at your age. It means you have more clothing choices available to you.

What message does feminine convey?

When we think of the positive aspects of what being feminine means we typically come up with attributes such as: nurturing; caring; approachable; friendly; warm; soft; empathetic; romantic.

By contrast masculine conjurs attributes such as: strong; direct; assertive; purposeful.

What is feminine style?

There are many ways to reflect feminine elements within our outfits. Feminine style elements include:
Feminine Style Elements

  • Patterns: florals; paisley; subtle patterns; small patterns

  • Lines: curves

  • Colors: soft colors, especially pinks and pastels; medium to low color values; medium to low contrast

  • Fabrics: soft and flowing

  • Silhouettes: hourglass, fit and flare; soft and flowing

  • Style elements: ruffles; soft bows

  • Clothing items: dresses; skirts; flowing pants; blouses; cardigans; soft tailoring

  • Grooming: long hair; curly hair; light makeup

  • Accessories: delicate looking; pearls; curved or floral designs; hearts; flowing scarves; delicate looking shoes, almond or rounded toes

What others can you think of?

Using feminine style elements in your outfits

When you want to express feminine elements in your personal style you don't have to go all out feminine. In fact, it's a good idea not to!

Identify the feminine elements that you love (the patterns, colors, fabrics, silhouettes, clothing items and so on). Then check your outfits to make sure you've included at least of few of these in every outfit.

Since you've identified your style as feminine elegant I suspect you'll opt for more restrained styles. Such as:
  • Not too many ruffles or frills, or exaggerated styling details

  • Lighter colors (what suits you best will depend on your coloring)

  • You may prefer solid colors to patterns

Examples of feminine elegant outfits

Here are 3 example outfits. Though please understand I've put these together without understanding quite enough about your personal preferences, your body proportions, or your coloring. However, I hope they'll give you some ideas and inspire you.
Feminine elegant every day style - dress

Feminine elegant every day style - skirt

Feminine elegant every day style - pants

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Dresses versus seperates
by: Diana Roberts

Dear Jane you queried my reason for wearing skirts and blouses,not dresses in your last reply.

The reason was that skirts and blouses are more versatile.
My skirts are 6to8gored, and my blouses are mostly fitted and buttoned down the front. They are always worn out because of a tummy.

Do you think that straight skirts would be better?

I have recently discovered that draped crossover dresses are vey good.


Needs a new article!
by: Jane of Style Makeover HQ


I'm so pleased you like my answer to your question!

Haha, without having seen you, I picked Cool Summer colours in my answer (there is some overlap between the Light Summer and Cool Summer pallets).

Is there a particular reason you limit yourself to skirts and blouses? Not dresses?

It sounds as if you may be choosing large blouses and pairing them with the full skirts? If so, this look will need some styling.

As a general rule: volume on your top half should be balanced by a slimmer look on your bottom half and vice versa.

If you send me a photo or two of you in some of these outfits, or of an example skirt and blouse that you're currently wearing together, I can give you ideas.

I'm also just about to publish a free ebook on hem lengths and styling which may help you.

It also reminds me that I should write an article on outfit proportions!

Style of dress
by: Diana

Dear Jane,

I am thrilled to receive a letter from you, and to see the answer to my question printed on your face website.

Thankyou very much and you are spot on!

My hair is blond and my eyes are blue. I am a Light Summer. I did have an hourglass figure, but since having five children, I have a slight protruding stomach This is a problem to me but your suggestions for style are doable. I don't wear pants or jeans.

Only skirts and blouses. My favourite skirts are 6or 8gored. But I think that the blouses which are worn over the skirt are probably the wrong way to wear them. Maybe overblouses are best worn with straight skirts? What do you think?


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jane liddelow

"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.

Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."

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