Marilyn Monroe. Fan Bingbing. Diana Ross. Audrey Hepburn. Janelle Monae. Zhang Ziyi. Eartha Kitt. Katharine Hepburn. Ellen DeGeneres. Josephine Baker. Jackie O. Despite different body types, time periods, professions, skin tones and personal preferences in showing some skin - what do all these ladies have in common?
Which does not start on the runway. No, it actually starts a little closer to home...as in the skin you're in. More specifically, the shape your frame gives you. Your silhouette. The silhouette - and how best to flatter it - is where style starts. Trends and fashion figure in only later as a way of keeping your look fresh, be it through your choice of colors, accessories du jour, or hemlines. But fashion doesn't provide the initial framework onto which you build a stylish image. Rather, it's the other way round: you start with your silhouette.
For example, let's say whenever you wear dresses or skirts with a nipped-in 50s style waist, you look great. Then this will always be true, even if you gain or lose a few pounds. "Our measurements change, but your frame remains the one constant in the equation," agrees celebrity stylist Kendall Farr, author of The Pocket Stylist: Behind-the-Scenes Expertise from a Fashion Pro on Creating Your Own Unique Look (Gotham Books). "Your silhouette, the essential frame you are born with, is the beginning of any conversation you have with clothes." Notice she didn't say begin with ripping looks out of fashion magazines or hitting your favorite blogs and websites for get-the-look advice. Rather, the place to start your search for style is with you and your proportions.
To learn exactly how to find your own proportions and learn how best to flatter them, be sure to check out my latest column for Answers.com.
- Lesley Scott
NOTE: For more fashion tips, tricks, secrets and how tos, be sure to check out all of my Answers.com articles.