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How to Pick the Best Clothes for You

How to Pick the Best Clothes for You

By Valerie Burn

No matter what your shape, picking out clothes can be a drag. If you’re a little thicker, many jeans give you a muffin top. If you’re thin, some dresses make you look like a pre-pubescent boy. We like to think everyone’s body is different—you’re not a “pear,” you’re you. So, this article steers clear of those “body type article” clichés, and helps you figure out what you will feel most comfortable in. Besides sweatpants, of course.

Play up your legs.

First of all, try skirts. Novel idea, we know, but many of my friends tend to shun them. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: no pants > pants. Sure, you cannot play most sports or wrestle in them without flashing the world, but skirts are comfortable, cute, and easy to wear.

Our advice: The most flattering skirt shape is A-line. This means that when the skirt is laying flat, it looks like an A. (Well, maybe more accurately, an upside-down trapezoid. Thanks, geometry.) This look is flattering because the skirt hits at your natural waist (after your ribs, before your hips), and flares out around the widest part of your body—your rear end and hips.

Result: slim legs.

Wear clothes that fit your ladylike body.

No need to become the Queen of Cleav, even if you love your lady lumps. Often, ladies with bigger chests have a really hard time finding things that are flattering and cute and actually fit. Thus, shirts and tanks end up in too big/small/insert other fashion misfortune.

Our advice: First, if you have a more ample chest, try shopping in the women’s or ladies’s departments. Juniors clothing is just that—meant for growing teens.

We know, we know. Mom clothes are boring, and you’ve tried that. We suggest trying stores with just a slightly older audience than most juniors’ departments. Sometimes the patterns scream “Sassy Mom,” so just stick to solids.

Try: Ann Taylor Loft, the Gap, J. Crew, INC at Macy’s. Yes, many of these are more expensive than Forever 21, H&M, or Target, but think about all the stuff in your closet you never wear. One well-fitting shirt or dress is better than 10 ill-fitting items. Plus, we live and die by clearance sections.

Bring the eyes up to the part that’s important—your face!

First, we are big fans of statement jewelry. A huge, chunky, funky, or blingy necklace (that sits on the collarbone or chest, not a long dangly one) really draws the attention up to your face. It makes you light up and says look at me! You might not be comfortable with this at first, but you will get used to the attention after 10 or so compliments.

Next, wear v-necks. Again, this acts like an arrow (and is a perfect canvas for a great necklace). It draws your sight upwards, and, bonus, has a slimming effect.

Find your color scheme.

Everyone has colors that look great on them and colors that look not so great. For me, I look washed out and ashy in black, so when I need something dark, I go for navy, charcoal, or burgundy. But my best friend looks amazing in black, she has more olive skin, and black always looks sophisticated and alluring on her.

So, if you love your skin tone, figure out how to play it up. You can do this in a Forever 21 dressing room (they will have something in every color), or at home with what you own. Try on every color you can get your hands on, and enlist a friend to figure out what looks good on you.

And then stick to it! Certainly if blues look stunning on you it does not mean you are never wearing red again. But it will help you narrow things down when a great shirt comes in a few colors: grab the blue in a couple of sizes and head to the dressing room.

Take away: care less about what shapes and colors are trendy—and find things that work for you.

Sparklers, what’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received? Where are your favorite places to shop?

Topics: Advice, Fashion
Tags: body image, fashion, clothes

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About the Author
Valerie Burn

Valerie Burn is a very cool Midwestern lady. She has lived in tons of exciting places, such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. She spends her free time snuggling her beautiful, perfect dog Teddy, and reading the entire internet every day. Valerie enjoys eating things, buying things, and writing things, as well as watching terrible TV.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.