Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Importance of Fit: A Before & Happily Every After Story

I'm no fan of camoflauge dressing.  I don't think clothes should be worn to hide, but rather to HIGHLIGHT!   Let's face it.  We all have our more attractive physical qualities and the art to fabulous personal style is finding and highlighting those qualities.   But sometimes FINDING them tends to be a bit tricky because we really don't see ourselves the way we are.  We tend to view ourselves in a very critical light, picking apart our perceived imperfections and then trying to completely cover them.

I'm going to show you, very simply, what a difference a good fit makes.  You may feel like your hips are too big so you cover them with flowy pants.  Not a fan of your stomach?  So you hide it with a big or shapeless top.  These are NOT good ideas and they do NOTHING for you!  

Take my good friend, Carrie.  Carrie has CHANGED HER LIFE in the past 8 months.  Carrie works with me our local health club.  She's a tall woman and had put on weight since having 2 kids.  Last Sept when we did our first Weight Loss Challenge, Carrie enrolled and has never looked back!  Although she no longer weighs herself, I would guess she's lost at least 30 pounds and literally a number of sizes!  She works out like a fiend now, usually at least 3 times a week, 2 of those times in a small group training.   She's got muscles where she never imagined she'd have them and her natural hour glass figure now shines through!  But the problem Carrie is having is that she still sees herself as WAY bigger than she is.  She's not fully appreciating all she's accomplished OR embracing her figure.  In trying to illustrate this to her, I took her picture just the way she was dressed to come to work.  This is Carrie:

Can you tell that there is a FABULOUS shape under there?  The colors are gorgeous, but where's Carrie?!?!  She literally was pinning her skirt in at the waist about 2 inches and it still hung on her!  To show her what a difference a proper fit makes AND how much she has REALLY toned up, I had here pull her blouse and skirt in.  Now take a look at the difference:

Va Va VOOM!   Homegirl's got a FIGURE!!!  Look at that waist!  Look at that hourglass figure!  That's a MAE WEST figure right there!  Now THESE pictures got Carrie's attention!  She told me today that she thought of the difference in these two pictures all day yesterday after I took them.  She said, "Alright Serene, I get it.  That really is a big change!"  My girl had NO idea how much her body had changed because she was still dressing in clothes to HIDE her shape rather than HIGHLIGHT her shape!

Are you convinced yet?  If so, get ready to take a hard look in your closet and incorporate some of these tips:

1.  Look at yourself objectively in the mirror and name your 3 best features.  At least one on your face and two on your body.  Now if you come up with 5 of your best features....hey!  That's all the better!  Hey!.    Hey! Heeeeeyyyyy!  Are you looking at what you don't like?!?!?  STOP IT!  Forget those!  Find those best features.  They. ARE. There!

2.  Now you're going to highlight those.  NOT camoflauge, but HIGHLIGHT!  Do you have great legs?  Well girly, let's see some!  Are your shoulders WONDERFUL?  Then mutilate those sleeves and gimme some shoulder!  A full set of hips?  Well come ON!  What woman wouldn't love to have some curvy hips ala Beyonce?  Show us your best side!

3.  A belt doesn't create a waist, it shows yours off!  So if you've got tops that are a bit big, either get rid of them, have them taken in, or BELT it baby!

4.  A pegged skirt (where it tapers in toward the bottom) shows off your hips.  Actually, Carrie could wear a pencil skirt and look AMAZING.  

5.  I know maxi skirts are all the rage, but ladies show some leg.  Most of us have good calves....I mean c'mon, they're CALVES!  So show them off!   Personally, I'm not a fan of short short skirts, but right above the knee or in the middle of the knee?  Now that looks good!

6.  Get rid of all your clothes that don't serve you well.  It's better for you to have 10 items in your closet that look FABULOUS on you than 30 that just look so so.

7.  If it's too big or two small, alter it or get rid of it.  It's not your friend and not worth it!

Let's face it!  We're GORGEOUS so let's show it off!


  1. Girlfriend, you are a wonder. You could start a regular feature like this, stalking the malls and shops, and re-making women's outfits on-the-spot!

    Carrie is beautiful, and so much more shapely in the "after" photo. Come on over to my house!!

  2. Carrie is so lucky to have you Serene...what a great coach and encourager. Everything you have written here is true...I know becuase I also experienced it. I was amazed at how much smaller I looked just when I threw out the oversized clothes. Carrie is on the way to having a lot of smiles when she looks in the mirror!!

  3. Fabulous, fabulous advice! And the change in your gorgeous friend, Carrier, demonstrates the wisdom of your words. This was just great.

  4. We have a celebrity stylist in the UK called Gok Wan who does a show called Gok's Fashion Fix doing exactly this - getting women to show off their shape more - you'd love it!

  5. Pass on to your friend Carrie that she is a stunner! What a lovely woman! And amen to everything in this post! I need to be better at this, not that I'm awful but ok, fine, I'll just ask, would you come over for an afternoon and be my personal stylist?!:)

    You are wonderful Serene!

  6. Wow - I completely agree with you only you wrote it waaay better than I ever could. I HATE the dressing "thinner" mentality. I agree with you it should be about making someone look and feel their best - not hiding some perceived flaws.

    Carrie looks amazing!

    Secondhand Stylist Thrifted - Three Ways

  7. What a great thing to do for Carrie! So many women just want to hide, and like you, I don't agree! Great job and she looks great.
    Great minds think alike--see my post of Thursday...
    Miss ya girlfriend! Let's dish soon...

  8. Great tips, Serene!
    I need you to come and help me weed my closet!
    I honestly cannot find 3 things!!!!
    (Does hair count?)
    I am a victim of "hiding my flaws" as in trying to hide my large upper arms, belly and boobs ;)
    My legs are good, but the veins (the snake and little bumpy purples) keep me usually out of shorts.
    Confession: I edit out "the snake" when I wear shorts. Shhh.......
    Out secret ;)
    Know a cheap surgeon? LOL!
    Maybe when I have on a "winner", you can tell me?

  9. I believe you are on a mission!
    Good job!

  10. Great advice and Carrie definitely needs to come out of hiding! Keep up the good work, Serene.

  11. I understand where Carrie is coming from. I dieted and exercised to lose the baby weight after baby #4 but when it came to buying clothes I got scared. I bought jeans that were a size too big because I wasn't ready to feel smaller. After a couple of weeks I went back and bought the jeans that fit because I had to find the courage to look slimmer. Losing weight is a psychological process as well as a physical one. I love this post and I just know Carrie is going to enjoy having such a wonderful friend to support the changes in her life.

  12. Now this is what I call a style intervention!

  13. haha..thank you for the encouragement and advice. I've got small shoulders so I usually don't wear spaghetti straps or small round neck collars. It's true we should try to focus on our showing off our best features than trying too hard to camouflage our worst features.



Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! ~Serene