Discovering Your Signature Style: Know Your Body and Play Dress Up

“The more you dress up. the more fun you’ll have.” – Brian Molko

Introduction I Review Step 1 I Review Step 2

In my last post, I encouraged you to find the key elements of your style icon’s wardrobe and incorporate them into your own wardrobe. However, the only way to truly know what works (and more importantly, what doesn’t) is by trying the clothes on.

I cannot begin to tell you how many of my women friends tell me they hate shopping, they buy but don’t try, or they shop exclusively online. I also cannot express what a bad idea that is. If you have taken the time to truly study your style icons and observe the key themes and staples in their wardrobe you are bound to find pieces that you don’t own. And how can you know if they look good if you never try them on?

Various Body Shapes

Before you try a single thing on, you must understand your body type. Are you tall? Short? Long legs or long torso? Naturally high waisted or low waisted. Pear shaped? Apple shaped? Stick thin? Curvy? Busty? Hippy? Do you have great legs? Fabulous arms? A great, long elegant neck? You get the point. This is not an excuse to pick apart all the things you don’t like about yourself. It is a chance to truly understand your body type so that you can apply style and clothes that truly fit you.

I, for one, am average height for a woman (5′ 6″) but most of my height comes in my legs. I am naturally high waisted and carry most of my weight in my tummy area. I have great calves and a nice neck and dainty little wrists I love to show off with pretty bracelets. Because I know this about myself I will never, ever wear a cigarette pant (which make me look very wide) which is a wardrobe staple of my icons like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. What I also won’t be caught dead in? Anything with a drop waist. It makes me look especially round and preggers, even though I am not.

How do I know I look wide? Or round? Because I tried these clothes on. And, for every no I found (cigarette pants, drop waists, mini or midi skirts), there were a ton of yeses (belted shifts, crop pants w/ a more forgiving leg, high-waisted skirts, empire waist dresses, etc.). In fact, one of my style staples (a skinny belt on my natural waist) would not even exist had it not been for an especially long session of dress up and closet shopping.

BCBG Max Azria Drop Waist Dress

BCBG Max Azria Drop Waist Dress, Fuschia

Your assignment for this week is to channel your inner 8 year old girl and play dress up. I am NOT saying to go on a shopping spree. But I am saying you should get your hind parts to a few stores and try on key elements from your style icon. Even if they make you uncomfortable. See how it looks. See how you feel. What was a success? An #epicfail? You should also try the clothes in your closet on in a new way. If you only wear blazers with a suit but your icon is Gwyneth Paltrow, you might want to try that blazer with some skinny jeans. Do you relegate your shorts to weekends only? Try dressing them up Olivia Palermo style and see what you get.

Your Chic is Showing's Erika playing her own game of dress up.

Your Chic is Showing’s Erika playing her own game of dress up.

What are you waiting for?? In the words of Martin, “get to steppin’!” And, if you’re feeling especially brave go ahead and send in some pics of you playing dress up!

Your Chic is Showing,

4 thoughts on “Discovering Your Signature Style: Know Your Body and Play Dress Up

  1. dbaham says:

    Love it! I’m certainly no one’s style icon, but I think playing dress up over the years has helped me learn more about what does and doesn’t work on my body. (I look at some of the things I wore in college and CRINGE.) I don’t always get it right, but I feel like I get it right more often than I get it wrong. And the times I do get it wrong – it’s usually because I was being lazy and didn’t feel like trying on the item in the store lol.


    • erika says:

      Exactly. It ends up saving you more time in the end and money too! I have friends who don’t try things on and then when it’s the wrong size or a bad fit they will just keep it in their closet!!

      Actually, I should set-up a clothing swap party. Ohhh idea! Idea!


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