Cheat Sheet

Fashion For Dummies

From Fashion For Dummies by Jill Martin, Pierre A. Lehu

So many women don’t know where to turn for reliable information about developing a personal style or dressing fashionably. Your budget, body type, and personality all play a part in the clothing choices you make every morning when you get dressed. These checklists provide easy-to-follow advice on how to select clothing that looks good on your body, instructions for measuring yourself to ensure a perfect clothing fit, and a list of must-have fashion basics that belong in every woman’s closet.

Tips for Dressing Fashionably Whatever Your Body Type

Being in style doesn’t require a perfect body. Whatever your shape, you can use your fashion know-how to select clothing that makes the most of what you’ve got.

If You’re… Do This…
Apple-shaped Wear V-necks; they draw attention away from your waist
Show off your great legs by wearing skirts and dresses
Wear jackets that hit below the waist
Pear-shaped Make sure your bottom is darker than your top
Don’t wear pants and skirts with pleats and side pockets
Show off your fabulous shoulders by wearing off the shoulder tops
Short-waisted Avoid dresses with a waistband
Wear a longer tunic type top
Wear low-waisted jeans
Long-waisted Wear different colors on the top and bottom
Avoid stomach-baring tops and hip huggers
Opt for short jackets
Plus-sized Wear small prints or solid colors rather than large prints
Wear fab earrings or a great necklace as attention grabbers
Wear flared pants or jeans to provide better overall proportion
Petite Wear clothes with vertical lines to look taller
Avoid cutting yourself in half with wide belts or sashes
Go for a monochromatic look to appear taller

Key Body Measurements to Ensure the Right Clothing Fit for Women

Every item of clothing a woman puts on — from the outerwear to underwear — should be a fabulous fit. That’s why it’s so important to know what your true sizes are. With this info in hand, you can shop efficiently and effectively and build a wardrobe that not only looks great but feels great, too.

  • Chest: Start at the fullest part of your bust with the tape and circle under your armpits, around your shoulder blades, and back to the front.

  • Waist: Without sucking in your stomach, circle your waist with the tape at your natural waist line. (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waist line.)

  • Hips: Measure around the largest part of your buttocks (use a mirror to make sure you have the tape measure in the right place).

  • Inseam: Have a friend stretch a tape measure from your crotch (while you’re wearing pants) to the bottom of your ankle. Or, if you have a pair of pants that fit you perfectly, you can measure the inseam yourself: Just stretch the tape from crotch to hem. Remember that the proper inseam depends on the height of the heel you wear with the pants.

  • Thigh: Take your thigh measurement around the fullest part of your thigh.

  • Upper arm: Measure around at the widest part of your arm.

  • Sleeve length: Place your hand at your waist, bending your elbow 90 degrees. Have a friend measure from the middle of the back of your neck to your shoulder, down your arm to the elbow, and then on to the wrist.

To get the most accurate measurements, use a cloth tape measure, not a metal one, and measure yourself on your bare skin, not over clothes (except for your inseam). Also, make sure that when you circle your chest, waist. or hips the tape is level and not too tight or too loose.

Fashion Staples Every Woman Should Invest In

Before you buy anything else, make sure that your closet has all the fashion basics. You can spend a little more on these fashion items because they’re essentials for every woman’s closet, and you’ll wear them over and over again:

Little black dress (LBD) Dark denim jeans
Black blazer Black pumps
White button-down shirt Two cardigan sweaters, one black and one white
Black trousers Black leather bag
Knee-length black skirt Set of pearls
Classic beige trench coat Diamond (or small cubic) studs
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