Style and Styling

5 MORE Common Style Mistakes

To Avoid… Or Not! It’s up to YOU!

Happy day, reader dear!

I have absolutely NO idea why this post did not publish on Tuesday… Let’s try it again. This time with feeling!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had the opportunity to do any people watching, but recently, I was lucky enough to get in an afternoon of outdoor people peeping.

I’d like to make clear that although my job is to help people find and rock their style, I’m not judgy. Some people find that hard to believe.

What I think about your outfit is irrelevant. (Unless you are paying me!)

What you think about your outfit is what matters!

If you love it, rock it!

If you ask me what would improve it?

That’s the place I probably have some thoughts… 😉

A while back, I wrote a post called 5 Common Style Mistakes. Some of these mistakes aren’t unique to women; men make them, too! (And some special ones of their own…) Here’s something to think about: Mistakes come in different flavors. Some mistakes are trend driven; as trends come and go, some less than flattering quirks fade away and others take their place. Other mistakes stand the test of time and trends!

With that in mind, let’s dive into some more Common Style Mistakes!

Proportion

Proportion can be tricky. AND trend driven. A long top over cropped pants is one of the usual suspects. So is a mini skirt and a tee. Both these pairings make the wearer look blocky because they both create a 1:1 proportio. That means the outfit is 1/2 and 1/2. (It’s the same issue that I write about in the Shorts Flattery post.)

How do you correct the 1/2’s when you want to wear a cropped trouser? Flip the fractions! Make sure your top is the 2/3 and your trousers under the tunic the 1/3. Right now mini skirts are all the rage (again) and super prone to creating a 1/2 and 1/2. (Which would be why crop tops are so popular with minis… They create a better proportion.)

The Wrong Shoes

I’m sure I’ll step on some toes with this one… (#badpun) I’ve been hearing complaints about the flatforms, sneakers and chunky boots with dresses trend/s. (If a trend works for your style personality, I’m fine with it! Wear the shoes that rock your personality style.

It’s shoes that don’t fit properly or flatter the wearer that make me a little crazy. (I am aware that flatter is a loaded word. In this case I mean shoes that harmonize with the wearer’s physical attributes.) Personality is another piece completely and trumps everything else. Everything except fit that is!

Fit Is It

Badly fitting shoes make me cringe! Your foot should sit comfortably on the footbed of the shoe. A shoe should snugly surround (not pinch) and support your foot. When you walk naturally, your shoes shouldn’t slip or flop, nor should you step out of them. Leather shoes will stretch with wear; make sure they fit properly at the start! I see women daily wearing sandals that don’t fit!

When wearing sandals, there should be NO overhang, front or back. Yes, I’m talking about those toes hanging over the front of your platforms. Just say no. When your toes slide over, that’s a sign that the front of the shoe is too wide for your foot. And those little toes poking out of the side? That means the straps aren’t placed properly for your foot. Yes, it’s frustrating. As vanity sizing has taken over in clothing, shoe width has also shifted. The typical B (or Medium) width shoe you find in your big box store is wider than it was 15 years ago. And the foot measuring tool you used to find in every shoe store and department? Now rare as hen’s teeth. Shoe manufacturers making only whole sizes to save money compound the problem!

Flattery (This is Where it Gets Messy)

Heels, Straps, and Sole Thickness. These three can create harmony with your body or disharmony. Look for elements in proportion with your body scale. A thin body and leg looks scrawny in a chunky platform sandal with wide straps. (The same goes for leggy teens in Ugg boots!) That same sandal will look fabulous on a woman of more substance. A spike heeled sandal will lengthen the leg; we all want that, right? But what heel? A narrow heeled shoe with dainty straps will make a wide foot or calf look even moreso, but a block heel of the same height will look more in sync. Horizontal straps (wide or narrow) across the ankles widen the ankle.

What do you look like from behind? Ar you more curved? Or more straight? Now, look at the shape of the heels you are wearing. Some shoe heels are very square and blocky, others more sculpted or curvy. Choose a heel that mimics your shape for a great look!

Toes reflect personality. Rounded toe shoes may appeal to Feminine or Relaxed personality styles, while sharp points fall more into the Dramatic or Rebellious territory. The almond toe, somewhere between the round and pointed is very popular and often found on Ms. Classic or Elegant Chic. As a flattering neckline mimics the shape of the chin, a flattering toe reflects the shape of the nose. This is why almond toed shoes so often look “right” and don’t really call attention to themselves. AND is why almond toes are generally not found on statement shoes!

One Bag 24/7/365

Changing your bag (and shoes) can dramatically change your outfit. One bag does not go with everything.

I know. Changing your purse is a drag. Especially when you forget to transfer your keys. Or your lipstick. Or your badge to get into work. I’m not talking about changing your bag everyday. An everyday bag is just that. The one you carry most days. (What other bags do I think might be good to own?)

The fashion fail commonly seen is dragging that everyday bag to a non-everday event like a wedding. Really. When you are making the effort for a special event, even date night, why not take the extra 3.5 minutes to grab the necessities and put them into a bag that fits (AND elevates!) the outfit and occasion? There’s a reason a clutch is part of my Special Occasion Capsule.

Cheap Clothes

I do not mean inexpensive. I mean cheap. You can find quality clothing at great prices if you are willing to do the work.

As the fast fashion trend bandwagon has become a never ending churn of new clothing, we’ve lost (or never been taught) what quality is. I’m sure I’ll get some pushback here about clothes being expensive. I’m sorry to argue, but the data don’t support that. Compared to decades past, the average man and woman has more clothes in the wardrobe than ever before AND still spends less of the household budget on that bounty. The same bounty we wear a few times and then pass along to charity or throw away.

Never before has that bandwagon moved so quickly! We used to count on two fashion seasons, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, with a touch of Cruise thrown in for those lucky enough to take a warm weather vaycay during the frigid months. That pattern has shifted to new releases every week. No one can keep up. If you need permission to get off the treadmill, I give it to you. I’m ALL about considered and mindful shopping and style!

In a nutshell? Buy less. Buy better. Make it last.

Style Freeze

This one is interesting! Since trends are in everything-but-the-kitchen-sink mode, we see style from the 70’s 80’s 90’s 00’s (You name it!) on the runways and in stores. I am not talking about vintage here. Vintage is amazing and when worn well, does not qualify as a Style Mistake. Getting stuck in time is.

Stuck-in-Time woman is holding onto a time in her life that she felt great. I’ve seen some serious 80’s looks on women around my age… Head to toe of any decade doesn’t work unless you are a dedicated vintage vixen and it works best in a decade that isn’t yours. (I struggle with the 1950’s loving young women out there rocking their head to toe looks… With tats. Where’s your committment?)

When we see throwback looks that work, they’re always with a modern twist. There’s a wink-and-a-nod feeling to it! The 80’s hairstyle is worn with current clothing and makeup. The 60’s dress works with modern hair and shoes. The 70’s pastel pantsuit goes current with a snappy bag and white tank top.

How About You?

Often our ideas about Style Mistakes and Style Musts come from our childhood. That random comment you overheard as a child… (Can you say 1960’s cocktail parties? Patio parties? Did anyone else sit on the steps and listen to the conversations?) Other things we consider mistakes derive from our values. What do you consider to be Style Mistakes? Where does that idea come from? Digging down into what we believe AND investigating where those beliefs originate helps us see others through a different lens. Hopefully one with kindness!

Stylishly yours,

4 Comments

    • Liz K

      That is a hard one to get over, Jodie, especially for those with long legs or those who lived in hand-me-downs. I love a crop and ankle pant! Althooooough… They don’t make certain personality archetypes happy! And they shorten the leg line which is unflattering for many. Which means that prejudice may be justified for them!

  • Gail Korolewski McKelvey

    If shoe heels should mimic our rear, what would you suggest for a flat butt? I’m curvy, but have a flat butt, just like my dad! Great post! Thank you!

    • Liz K

      I’m flat, too, Gail! Glad you enjoyed the post. It’s not the side view I’m considering. It’s the back view from the waist down. Is your shape curvy or more straight?

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