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What does it take to look dowdy?

Diane Kroe What does it take to look dowdy

 Do you ever wonder what it takes to make women look frumpy? Are you worried it could happen to you?  After working with women for over 20 years and designing clothing to camouflage a variety of body issues,  I like to think that I'm an expert on how to keep dowdy from creeping into your closet.  Here are a few tips I love to share with my clientele. 

If you consider yourself a fashionista this article is not for you.  But if you are hesitating right now - read on.


The Wrong Fit.

 Megan Hess Illustration Kaftan

 All women have body issues, yes even women who you may think look perfect secretly have as many issues as the next girl.  There are always days when we want to hide in an over-sized moo moo or a comfy old sweater, the problem is that you always wind up looking less attractive and more frumpy which leaves you feeling worse. (Unless of course you have a Megan Hess Kaftan this is an example of Moo Moo glam!)  No one ever said you have to love every single part of your body,  the secret is to minimize the parts you don't like by highlighting the parts you love without hiding who you are.

You’ve got great legs but hate your tummy? Easy fix, simply reach for a top that blouses gently over the tummy area (a band at the hem helps with a blouson effect) and pair it with a shorter skirt, leggings or skinny jeans to accentuate your shapely legs. If you're trying to mask your less-favourite parts, look for higher quality fabrics that drape and flow away from the problem area.  Some women feel this makes them look bigger but in fact it camouflages the problem area and draws the eye to other parts of the body you want to highlight.  


 The Wrong  Colours

Colourful Food Fashion Illustrations

We all know the old rule that black is slimming….not necessarily true. If and outfit doesn't fit, it doesn't matter what colour it is it still won't look good. As most of us age we don’t necessarily look as good in black as we used to.   As our skin ages and hair tones change we could end up looking washed out and sickly instead of sexy and sophisticated.  Of course you can still wear black, but then make sure you add a bit of colour near your face.  Or try your favourite styles in a dark espresso brown or navy blue to soften your look. 


The Wrong Bra

garancedore readers-mailbox-stop-frowning

Bra fittings are a must.  I noticed many women still wear the same size bra they did in their youth. Ageing, child bearing, weight gain and weight loss play havoc on our breasts and a proper fitting will make a world of difference on how you look. Fittings are necessary and should be repeated every time you gain or lose some weight.  Women need to know that it is not attractive when you can see all the lumps and bumps under your clothing, or when your chest is in the wrong place.  Always remember sports bras worn under clothing tend to create the unflattering "uni-boob" silhouette.  My advice is to get rid of all those old ill fitting bras and invest in a few good quality ones that are properly fitted to your shape.  You will be surprised at the difference on how you look and feel.  The wrong size bra will ruin your outfit.


The Wrong Shoes

Practical unflattering shoes are the number one cause of frumpiness. It’s not necessary to sacrifice style for comfort.  There are tons of shoes on the market that can do both.  Invest in quality before quantity.  We all know cheap shoes are never as comfortable as good quality shoes.  It’s the materials and workmanship that make shoes last, as we all know the longer we have a good pair of shoes the more comfortable they become over time.  Flats or heels, it doesn't really matter as long as the shoe looks good on your foot and remember to pay attention to your proportions. For example kitten heels look best on petite woman, while a chunkier heel looks fantastic on taller girls.  


The Wrong Accessories

luluguinness - Red Lipstick

It's okay to wear statement pieces but don't go over-the-top.  Give your look some visual interest without looking like your trying too hard. If you find a beautiful statement necklace keep other jewelry small and minimal. If you have glamorous earrings, pull your hair back to show them off and skip a necklace. When accessorizing, one main focal point keeps your look elegant. If jewelry isn't for you, try a beautiful scarf or a simple swipe of red lipstick. It will do wonders and help eliminate the feeling of frump!


The Wrong Style

Diane Kroe What does it take to look dowdy?

Don't worry about every trend but do pay attention to current lines, textures and styles. You can take your classic pieces and update them with the right accessories or alterations so that your look becomes current and chic instead of dowdy and dated.  


The Wrong Lifestyle

The easiest and fastest way to keep dowdy from your doorstep is to take care of yourself. A healthy diet and daily exercise is the secret. You will be amazed at how the way you look and feel can change over time.  Tummies can minimize and energy can maximize if you take the time to care for your body.  


Dressing yourself to highlight all of your best assets will keep you young looking and current without breaking the bank.  When choosing classic pieces or trendy ones, make sure that you love them and don’t take yourself too seriously. Most of all know that style and comfort can work hand in hand, it’s all about taking the time to make the right choices.  

See some dowdy resistant style ideas that are popular amongst our bloggers, models, staff and customers.

Big tummy great legs try an Origami Top or One 4 All Top with a pair of Travel Tights

Big bum small waist try a Layer Jacket elastic detailing shows your waistline but fullness hides hips. 

Love your upper half? Try a Cross Top to accentuate your waist and draw attention to your pretty face.  

Big chest and bum with a small waist try a Wrap Top or Destination Dress perfect for hourglass figures.

Need some one-on-one advice?  Come visit me at one of my upcoming showswhere my staff and I will be happy to help you choose some pieces perfect for your body type.  


What do you have in your wardrobe that just makes you feel amazing?

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