Fashion Mom Friday:
The Seven Deadly Sins of Summer Fashion
It is finally summer time, and the living (and dressing!) is easy. After all, at what other time of the year can you throw on a sundress and flip flops, scrunch your hair, put on some lip gloss and look great? The problem is that as our clothes become tinier, our opportunities for fashion faux pas become greater. However, with a little bit of know-how, you can avoid embarrassing fashion miss-steps and look great until Labor Day. Here are the seven deadly sins of summer fashion:
1. VPL (Visible panty lines)
Depending on the type of material you are wearing, the lines of your underwear can shine through. While material like denim is thick and conceals panty lines, thinner material like cotton, linen, and jersey can make them stand out, drawing attention to your derriere and adding pounds. Despite what you might see on celebrities and sixteen year olds, your undergarments should never be visible from outside your clothing.
Many people get around this problem by wearing a thong, but unless you can bounce a quarter off of your buns, this is simply going to draw attention to any cellulite or jiggly bits you don’t want to display. There is a better way: look for “boy short,” “hip-hugger” or “seamless” underwear. These pieces fit under the curve of your bottom instead of ending in the middle, so the line is invisible from the outside.
2. White undergarments under a white outfit
At first glance it seems like it would work: obviously wearing your pink polka-dot undies and a red bra under a white top, pants, or dress would be tacky (I don’t care what Sarah Jessica Parker does, this is not a good look!) so instead you reach for your trusty white undergarments.
The problem? White undergarments show through white clothes! The better solution is to choose nude or flesh colored bras and underwear. These will blend in with your skin and give a seamless look. Your goal is to match the tone of your skin the best you can so that your undergarments look invisible.
Another trick to try is to slide your hand under a white garment when you are buying it. If you can see the color of your hand clearly, the garment is too see-through and no undergarment in the world will be able to hide. This is especially problematic with t-shirts. If you can see straight through it, either layer it with another shirt or pass on it.
3. The wrong bra under a t-shirt or tank top
If you are wearing a snug top with the wrong bra, you can end up with the unflattering “double boob” effect: Your bra cuts your cleavage in half, and the line is visible outside of your shirt. When you are going to wear a t-shirt, look for a bra that is specifically made for under t-shirts. They create a smooth, seamless line that can’t be seen. To get the most bang for your buck, buy a t-shirt bra in a nude color so that you can wear it under white tops, too!
4. Outfits that are TOO tight
While a fitted pair of capris with a flowy top or a cute halter top paired with your favorite jeans is a cute look, going tight on both the bottom and the top can make you look bigger than you are, and can also appear to be overly sexy. A good rule of thumb: if you have something tight on top, go loose on the bottom, and if you are wearing something tight on the bottom, go loose on top.
5. Outfits that are TOO loose
The other extreme can be just as unflattering. I love breezy pieces like linen pants, draped tops and maxi dresses, but if the item is huge everywhere, once again you will look bigger than you are. The item should fit well somewhere. For example, a drapey top should fit you in the shoulders before it flows out, and a pair of linen pants should fit well in the waist and hips, and then flow out in the legs. Always try a garment on in two or three sizes. I have often found the size I think I am is not the size I really am in that particular item.
6. Dressing too Young
Here at All Things for Mom, we are all about finding trends that you like and finding ways to make it work for you. The thing to remember, though, is that you are an adult. Make sure that you interpret the trends in a way that flatters a woman. Moms can rock the cutoff jeans trend, but if the pockets (or your tush!) are hanging out, you are going to look like a fashion victim.
Where do you draw the line? When you are trying to interpret a trend, check out stores like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft , and New York and Co. I am not saying you have to buy your clothes from these stores (I don’t have that kind of money either!) but these stores will give you ideas about making trends work for you, so when you hit Old Navy or Kohl’s armed with coupons, you will know the look you are trying to achieve.
7. Dressing too Old
Here, again, we find the opposite extreme. Even if you don’t love everything about your body, don’t throw on elastic shorts with a matching sea-shell embroidered top and orthopedic sneakers. Even if you go basic with your clothes, you can use of-the-moment accessories to keep your look current. Trade your worn-out sneaks for a pair of boat shoes, and get rid of your high-waist, stone wash jeans for a dark wash pair with a flattering waist. Most of all, don’t get stuck in a rut: try things on that you think would never look good on you, and I will bet that more than once in a while, you will be shocked at how great you look.
Becky Cella is Mommy to one year-old Gavin and wife to Matt, a school teacher in Philadelphia. She taught high school English for six years prior to earning her Masters at Cabrini College and becoming a student teaching supervisor at Philadelphia Biblical Unviersity. In her free time she enjoys helping out with her MOPS group at church and writing about the experiences of being a new mom.