People think that stylists have some secret sauce that makes all of their outfits magically come together, and we do. It’s a mirror. 🙂 Seriously, though, sometimes style involves some trial and error. The main difference between being a stylist and not being a stylist is that the learning curve is shorter and we know why certain things don’t work and how to fix them.
We understand the principles behind a flattering outfit, but that doesn’t mean that we never experiment or try different combinations.
Sometimes, you just need to play around with your clothes until you found a combination that works, or works better, or just feels more like you.
Today, I’m going to show you 5 real-life examples of transforming outfits from frumpy to flattering. Some of the before outfits were awful, and some were merely ok, but in every case, the After is infinitely better.
The Borderline Jumpsuit
What happens when you love ALMOST everything about an item? You fix what you don’t love. When this jumpsuit from Petite Principle arrived in my Short Story Box, I almost rejected it until I put it on. It’s so comfortable, and flattering, and a perfect fit. It’s also the perfect in-between weight, doesn’t wrinkle, has pockets, etc. It checked so many boxes. But the PRINT. The print wasn’t awful, but it’s what I call a nothing print. It doesn’t ADD anything to the outfit. But I decided to keep the jumpsuit and style it to play down the potential frump or boredom factor of the print.
Just for illustration, I added a dated cardigan and shoes to the first look to really take the jumpsuit in a frumpy direction and to show you the contrast between a modern look with the jumpsuit and a dated look with the same item.
The Tricky Two Piece
Just when we all stopped wearing matchy-matchy outfits, they came back. However, rather than looking like two separate but coordinating pieces, many of these sets look like two-piece jumpsuits or two-piece dresses. The pattern on the top and bottom match exactly, which makes this a much more modern matching look. And it also adds to the versatility and potential fit, because with two pieces you can customize a fit.
However, this specific two-piece set looked a little borderline, much like the jumpsuit. The combination of print and fabric stumped me a little, and I wanted to modernize it because I loved the fit, comfort, and ease.
Here’s how this looked styled 3 different ways.
The Peplum Problem
Peplums can be flattering and helpful to define a waistline, but this particular peplum top wasn’t fitted enough through the waist to add any real flattery. Combined with the flowy pants, my waistline was just lost and it was too much fabric. The solution? I tucked the thin fabric into the pants, and created a much more flattering look.
The Pants That Ate Nada
I’m in love with the hot pink Banana Republic pants, above, but as you can see, they require a little extra effort to style. I modeled a few different combinations to show you how the pants look with different tops. You’ll see that some of these looks are way better than others. (Excuse the informal closet try-on!)
The Maxi Mistake
I often get asked if petites can wear maxis, and the answer is yes. As long as the maxi itself is flattering and it fits well, then it can definitely work as a petite. They are easier to pull off as a petite with longer legs than a petite with shorter legs.
Since maxis are long, however, you want to skip pairing them with long completer pieces. Long over long is rarely flattering, as shown here.
What did you think of these before and afters? Did you find these illustrations helpful? Let me know in the comments!