Can you,… really? (Edition III)

Max Azria & Tracy Reese do the "Maxi & Bulky Sweater" combo

“Comfort” doesn’t always top the fashion industry’s priority list, very seldom, in fact.  However, this third visit to Glamour.com’s fall 2011 “most wearable” trends (http://glmr.me/qWs5uQ), features a look to make any of us feel like crawling up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa.  Warm.  Cozy.  Relaxed.  All of these describe the maxi-skirt-and-lofty-sweater trend.

The long, billowy skirts allow unrestricted movement and donning of your favorite boot or booty.  The longest, fullest skirts plead for the flat version, to boot (yes, admittedly weak pun).  These skirts, if not overly flowing (tripping on a hem doesn’t make for a positive impression), also make very travel-worthy garment pieces.  Far easier to manage in an airplane lavatory than slim-fitting trousers with zippers, buttons, and hooks, wouldn’t you agree?

Equally cozy are the companion sweaters.  Lofty, ribbed, cabled, or nubby, they’re all featured this fall.  Comfy and cozy aren’t the only factors of this look, though.  On one body, the trend is immensely flattering; on another, it’s an image buster.  The following tips help you discern how, and if, you’ll jump on this trend.

1)    Bulk = more bulk.  If you have a full upper body, keep in mind that a bulky sweater adds visual weight and width to your torso.  A leaner knit is a better choice than one that is thick and heavy.

2)    Think proportion.  Unless you’re long and lean, avoid a visual break at mid body.  Notice the model on the left in the photo:  her dark sweater occupies the upper half of her head-to-toe distance, and the light-colored skirt covers the lower half.  Most women won’t appreciate the width impression created by the mid-point, horizontal divide between upper and lower.  A more flattering choice is a shorter sweater when wearing the long skirt.

3)    The more “flowy” the skirt, the better.  Again, unless you’re long and leggy, you’ll want a skirt fabric that drapes over your curves.  Keep in mind that a garment in a firm fabric falls straight down from its widest point.  If that point is at hip or thigh, it’s only amplified with a continuation of that width as the garment moves toward your feet.

The Power of Color (A happy "Girls Day In" participant)

4)    Color is key.  In my work as an image coach, I find color that’s worn around the face to be the single most powerful tool in helping a client appear her most healthy, youthful, and vibrant self.  Be sure that if your sweater isn’t in one of your own personally-friendly hues, you accessorize with a flattering-hued scarf that surrounds your face.

What are your thoughts?  Will you be donning this trend?

(Fall’s high-slit skirt trend explored next.  Check back soon!)

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