More Katerina Photos

Carissa only used a few of the looks I came up with for my guest post on her blog on Tuesday, so, craving feedback from you, I’ve posted six looks after the jump (in addition to the two looks I posted in my review last week).  I’m especially curious whether you think the belted jacket works in the final photo.

I’d wear this to work in an office or to
networking events.  With black pumps.

I’d wear this to an evening barbecue
with sandals.

This is an easy, conservative work look
that I really like for some reason. With black
pumps again.  Any other suggestions?

This is a run-around-the-city-to-
meet-with-vendors look. The boots
make me happy.

Yes? No?  I loved this outfit when
I took the picture, but now I’m not
sure.  With two-inch brown loafers.

I was super proud of myself for coming up
with this one.  Can I get away with it, or do
the buttons look strange?  (Again with 2-inch
brown loafers.)

Image Options for Women with Big Breasts: What’s Your Line?

This is a short follow-up to Another Pair of Eyes on Tuesday because Aamba’s and Satsumaart’s comments, together with other things I’ve been reading and seeing, have made me reflect upon it some more.

First, I’m thinking about the contrast between these two quotes:

  1. From Chapter 2 of Tim Gunn book, A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style:  “And we make an assumption about a shared goal of most readers; that is, to find proportions and silhouettes that together make your body look as long and lean as possible under the circumstances.”

  2. From the March 16 post on the Fashionable Academics blog
    I chose to photograph this outfit because I know that a women’s fashion magazine stylist would never do this: this skirt, leggings, and shoes on my body type make my legs look stubby and do not lengthen me. And while I know that rejecting all the ways I could “lengthen” my 5’0″ curvy frame is a fucking cardinal sin in their book, it is part of a pathology that I find ridiculous.

I admit, looking as long and lean as possible is usually my goal, and I tend to write this blog from that perspective.  But discovering the second quote was refreshing.  Sometimes we have other goals that trump long and lean.  Sometimes we may want to dress up as a character with other details to emphasize–like our breasts, for instance, or a long, flowy, gypsy skirt.

I’m going to oversimplify in order to keep this from becoming a book, but I think the key is in knowing what you want.  Do you want to just blend in?  Make a statement?  Hide?  Identify your goal and then pursue it unapologetically.

I watched this in action in the documentary Bill Cunningham New York last Saturday.  Many of the women that Bill photographs are long and lean (he said that one society woman looked like a Sargent painting, but that she was wearing a “modesty bib” that hid her cleavage and ruined the line and wasn’t “that a crime?”), but many of the women that he admires are also short and a little chubby.  The documentary included footage of Editta Sherman dancing the dying swan dance from Carnival of the Animals. There were a few titters from the back of the theater–I assume because, despite her seriousness and grace, Editta Sherman’s middle-aged body was as un-ballerina-like as you can imagine.  Yet Bill Cunningham said that he and his friends would watch transfixed as she danced in her studio beneath a full moon.  Her goal was to be a swan, and she pursued it unapologetically.

He also loves to photograph Anna Piaggi, from Italian Vogue, pretty much the furthest from “long and lean” that I’ve ever seen in a high fashion context.

I loved the story about why Bill Cunningham parted ways with Women’s Wear Daily.  He had photographed articles of clothing on the runway and placed them next to photographs of women wearing the identical pieces in real life.  WWD used the story to poke fun at the women on the street.  Bill was furious and ended their relationship.  This says so much about his respect for women and their bodies.

Let’s continue to respect our own bodies as well, whatever line we decide to pursue.

PSA: Inexpensive Jacket-like Cardigan from Nordstrom

Corporette is featuring a BCBGMaxazria open-front cardigan today on sale for 50% off at Lord & Taylor.  This has the potential to work well for us:  a jacket-like cardigan that emphasizes the waist and back without  bulging buttons in front.  The picture on Corporette looks much more structured than the Lord & Taylor image, however, and the latter makes me fear losing my waist. (I have avoided all such loose-y cardigans so far, but wait till you see what Silfath did with the one that Gina owns.)

In the comments section, reader MM pointed me to the cardigan in the title of this post:

I’m large-chested and bordering on plus-size. I have a couple cardigans in this style from Nordstroms, and I find them extremely flattering. I like that they curve out over my chest, thus “breaking up the bulk” so to speak (I hate it when cardigans won’t stay over the breasts and instead fall to the side of them, a common problem for me). Yet, because of the waist shape, they don’t just hang down the front making me look more bulky. Mine have some nice gathering in the back to create more of a waist and hold that shape. I looooove them.

Mine been featured here [on Corporette] before, but the sizing is juniors and may not work for you (I wear an XL). If not, definitely give this one [from BCBGMaxazria] a try! Here’s the link to mine:

MM owns this cardigan in 4 different colors, which is possible at the $39 price. In the Nordstrom comments section, some women complain that the weight of the fabric is too light, which could affect how it drapes (and could make the BCBGMaxazria more appealing).  However, since MM says it doesn’t fall to the side of her breasts–my biggest peeve about cardigans–then it sounds great to me.  If you try it, let us know!

Another Pair of Eyes

So I’ve been playing with this idea ever since I visited the Brownstone in January.  While there, the salesman squeezed me into an adorable jacket that gave me even more up top than I already have.  I stammered that I didn’t think it was made for me, but he disagreed.  “You’ve got to work it!” he exclaimed.  Maybe he just wanted the sale, but maybe he really meant it.  Either way, it made me realize that different people have an entirely different idea of what looks good on us.

Given this realization, wouldn’t the following formula be fun?

              1 full-busted woman who needs a look (going out, work, interview, holiday party, etc.)
            +1 store
            +3 stylists assigned to create their version of the look from what is available in the store
           = 1 blog series with great ideas of what we can wear and find in the stores right now

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on a variation of this idea with Silfath Pinto.  Instead of three stylists and one look, she’s been one stylist coming up with three looks for each of two key pieces in Gina’s closet.  Be ready to be inspired in the next few days!