Another stye epiphany!

My, that post title sounds dramatic. Too dramatic for what actually happened. Here’s what happened.

I thought I was a rectangle, but now I think I’m secretly an hourglass.

This was the first clue:

Michael Kors trench coat, old image from


I’d been trying various “classic” trench coats. They were all cut straight and double-breasted. And they all looked awful on me.

Then I tried on the coat above, which has a shaped belted waist and an a-line bottom. And I loved it. And I wore it, and got compliments.

Then I started noticing that the clothes I own which are easiest to wear (i.e., most flattering and effortless to style) are those which highlight my natural waistline. Which is barely there, but it’s there.

The reason I’d previously shied away from belted or shaped waists, is that they always seemed to highlight the widest part of my belly. I now see what the problem really was: I was trying to belt things too low on my my torso, and I was wearing tops and pants that didn’t match the natural contours of my body.

But with dresses, coats, or tops belted higher, on the true waist (or shaped to follow my true waistline), my straight, rectangular (i.e., boxy) figure becomes visually curvy.

So …

This means I’ll have to reconsider some of my style choices. I tend to be drawn to tailored separates, but I think I’ll be taking a closer look at dresses and softer silhouettes.

And though I still have some inches to lose before I can call myself a true hourglass, I’ve decided to “fake it till I make it” with my wardrobe. Because, frankly, I’d rather go ahead and highlight the curves I do have.

P.S. This change in direction exemplifies why it is a good practice to build a wardrobe SLOWLY. I hate to imagine how poor I’d be if I’d gone out and bought a new wardrobe every time I took a new direction with my personal style!


2 responses to “Another stye epiphany!

  1. Ms. M, I saw that Michael Kors coat on the Nordstrom site awhile ago and loved the look of it. I have a similar issue of not having much of a waist and a short one at that. So far I’ve not found anything with waist definition that looks flattering on me but now I’m intrigued with the idea of giving it a try.

    I know what you mean about building a wardrobe slowly!

  2. Susan, I’ve had the best success with dresses (which either have higher waistlines, or which I can belt a little higher than usual.) Also, I have some cardigans which are shorter than average, and tapered at the bottom, so they give the illusion of a waistline that tapers inward. I’m thinking a fitted jacket might work, too (as opposed to a boxy jacket).

    Pants and skirts are a little tougher because the waistband is usually too low and they are generally closer fitting than dresses. So it’s harder to disguise the “fluff” in the belly area. The same is true of t-shirts (although I wear them all the time). They hug the wide part of my belly and create a straight line rather than an inward curve between the bustline and the hipline.

    I’m still experimenting with all this. Who knows, in a year I might decide I need something completely different!