When my 13-year-old, Eva, was a toddler, she had a LOT of questions. A LOT.
Her favorite question was: “When am I going to get a baby brother?” followed immediately by an endless stream-of-consciousness string of questions, ranging from “What is the road made out of” to “If we keep digging will we get to China” and “Why can’t I be a zookeeper”.
It was fun.
Sometimes, my brain would hurt from all of the questions. Okay, all the time. And even though technology in 2009-2010 was nothing like it is now, I still had the internet, and it saved me. I remember looking up such gems as “How is concrete made” and “What’s inside a wall.”
The questions were relentless and I didn’t have the answers.
Styling questions and comments, on the other hand, make me happy. Not only do I have the answers, it gives me an opportunity to do one of my favorite things ever, and that’s interact with you. The questions and comments are where we get to hang out on YouTube (and Facebook), and it means so much to me.
I always try to respond as quickly as I can, technology challenges aside (YT and FB sometimes “hide” comments only to reveal them months later!). But some questions require more than a response in the comments. They need pictures. An explanation. A little more detail,
I chose 4 of these questions for today’s video. One I used as the question of the week, incorporating this episode’s makeover into it as well.
If you have questions of your own, ask them in the comments here or on YouTube, and I’ll try to get to them in a future video. And I’ll definitely answer in the comments section!
Makeover/Question of the Week
Denise asked this question below my video on How to Choose Flattering Jeans Over 40. Because I’m trying to keep the videos under 2 hours (lol) I didn’t cover rise in this specific video. It’s a topic that requires a lot of time and is hard to generalize because so much of it is specific to your vertical measurements.
But there are some guidelines that can help a petite person feel more flattered in boyfriend jeans and other slouchy styles. And I created an image to illustrate these tips.
And now for the guidelines for wearing boyfriend jeans as a petite.
- Choose High Rise Pants: If you have a longer torso or balanced vertical proportions, choosing a high-rise pair of jeans will lengthen your legs and make you look taller. (Skip super high rise jeans if you are short waisted, like me). They also have the added benefit of doubling as shapewear. A well-fitting pair of high rise jeans can hold your stomach in and make your waistline appear slimmer.
- Pick A Slimmer Style: A modified boyfriend jean (often referred to as a girlfriend jean) still has a slightly slouchy fit, but is less bulky and oversized, making them more flattering and proportional for a petite person. Overly voluminous styles tend to swallow us up. So if you’re going for that slouchy look, remember that a little volume goes a long way when you are petite.
- Wear Lengthening Shoes: Although they are trendy and can be super cute, a pair of heavy shoes can abruptly cut off your leg line, making your legs look shorter. Choose a sleek, pointed, or strappy pair for more flattery.
Styling Questions, Answered
For this video, I chose 3 styling questions that I felt many of you might share, but that weren’t substantial enough to warrant an entire video.
The short answer? Yes! And it’s one of the most modern and stylish ways to wear these pieces. Here, some guidelines on reinventing those old work pieces.
- Pick The Most Promising Pieces: Some work pieces are going to be much more versatile than others. For example, a solid dark neutral blazer or a neutral pair of dress pants is an easy item to style, whereas a 3 piece skirt suit with lots of fussy details or a dated pattern is going to be harder to work with. Choose the best, and consign the rest. Ask yourself if the item is modern, in good condition, and fits you well before you hold on to it. Many nonprofits are seeking good quality office attire for women who are reentering the workplace.
- Mix Them With Casual Staples: The easiest way to reinvent your work wardrobe is to mix a single work staple (blazer, pants) with a casual wardrobe essential. Here are a couple of ways to take a work blazer, for example, and reinvent it for weekend or a more casual workplace. (Note: The solid neutral blazer is already in my Fashion Essentials Over 40 Wardrobe Guide because it is so versatile!)
- Seek Inspiration: IG and Pinterest offer oodles of ideas for styling everything from pantsuits to pencil skirts. Here are some of my favorite ideas for wearing work clothes casually.
Great question, Christina! After years of wearing skinny jeans, a palazzo or wide leg pant can seem difficult to style. First of all, let’s clarify the difference between the two.
Now that we’ve discussed the difference between the two, let’s talk shoes by seasons.
- Summer = Strappy. A strappy sandal that shows much of the foot can balance the voluminous fabric of a wide leg pair of pants. By showing some skin at the foot, it keeps the pants from swallowing you up.
- Winter = Sleek. A streamlined pair of boots or pumps is a leg-lengthening choice to pair with wide-leg pants for winter. They extend the leg line, especially when they are the same color as the pants.
What Not to Wear with Wide Leg Pants
You are not alone! A lot of women with classic style struggle to make their style feel fresh as they get older. Here, some ideas to make your classic style feel modern!
- Pick a Single Classic: One of the most modern ways to wear your classic pieces is to limit your outfits to a single classic piece per outfit, and to keep the rest of the pieces either modern or casual (or both!).
- Add Modern Accessories: Pairing a conservative or classic look with sleek and contemporary accessories, or even fun/funky ones, is an instant refresher for classic pieces.
- Add Color to Classics: A classic silhouette in a bold or trendy color looks fresh and more fun than that same piece in a neutral. Try incorporating one colorful element in your classic look.
- Make Them Modern: Ditch dated classics and make sure your pieces are contemporary. With very few exceptions, classics don’t last forever, and if yours are more than 10 years old you’ll definitely want to assess them to make sure they are still current. A classic suit from the 80s and one from 2021 look very different. Even pieces as old as 5 years may start to look dated.
I hope that you enjoyed these questions and illustrations! And now, you’re next! Please share your questions/comments here or below the YouTube video. I always love to hear from you!