Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A New You...Dressing the Petite Plus Sized Apple #7...The Four C's...

I started this year determined to find a more Chic presentation for myself.
Mid life weight gain, and lack of knowledge had seen me decline into Mummy mode as far as dress sense goes, and whilst that was still not awful, it wasn't the way I saw myself in the long term.
Knowledge is Power
I bit the bullet, and signed up for The French Chic Academy, and an investment of about $180 a month for a few months (payments now completed), saw a fundamental change in the way I thought, spent and dressed.
As with anything Knowledge is Power, and as I have been saying all year, if you do nothing else, research your body shape, and go from there. I've gone from thinking I was an Hourglass, to realising I am an Apple, and thus being in a position to make small but significant changes to my wardrobe, that meant a whole new, flattering look.
I need to add that I am not a Stylist, just an ordinary person trying to decipher the secrets of looking well presented each and every day. I don't pretend I know all the answers, and in fact I only know a few for my shape...The Apple. And even then, what suits me, may not necessarily suit you. I suggest hitting Pinterest for ideas, having first determined your body shape. Knowing your body shape and proportions, believe me, is the crucial starting point. From there, you can only go up!
Have you ever admired an outfit on someone, tried to emulate it, and wondered why it didn't look good on you? Body shape is the likely answer. You may be a Pear shape, trying to emulate an outfit worn by an Apple or a Column. It sounds airy fairy, but this truly is the key. I promise!
Find Your Best Self
Searching for the Best Me, also meant embracing my inner Curliness, and refraining from straightening my hair. As I discovered years ago, too, there is an ideal, flattering length for my hair, and I think that's this look below. Just brushing the shoulders when dry, a little longer when wet or straightened for a special occasion.
Note too, that when the above photo was taken, I was still wearing my faux pearls.
Here below, are the beautiful, lustrous, glowing baroque pearls I treated myself to, with the money I'd saved by not spending up on unsuitable clothing. True story.
Same me. Still curly, still wearing black, still wearing pearls, but below is a kind of upgraded me, I think. What do you think?

Over the last eight months since signing up with Marie-Anne Lecouer, I've changed my daytime look from this... this...
...and armed with Marie-Annes advice and a new found confidence, I leapt to this...
...and this...

...and people started asking me whether I'd lost 10 kilos...., I haven't...but I look like I have.
Look 10 kilos lighter
You really can look ten kilos (22lbs) lighter, armed with the right information on how to dress for your shape, too. It's all about your shape and your proportions. I cannot emphasise this enough.
See my post early this year, The First Step, on how to determine your body shape, and click on the links provided.

 It's the middle of Winter here, and even in the Sub-Tropics we get the wind whistling around the eaves and a couple of months of genuinely chilly weather.
So my most recent thoughts, included making a decision on which of these trench coats to keep and wear, and which to discard.
Marie-Anne Lecouers' advice was to shorten the pink one, above. This one is actually my favourite. It is vintage, has a lovely gentle and flattering bell shape, had clean lines with no epaulettes or belt, and has elegant pintucking detail on the cuffs, collar, pockets, and on the half faux belt at the back. This lovely pink trench was a gift from an online friend. Thankyou S. I love it and wear it often.
She also thought that the standard stone coloured trench above, and the shorter black one below, were well worth keeping as classics. I had purchased this one from J.Crew a couple of years ago, but had never had the confidence to wear it. My suburb is not really one where you see folk swanning around in lovely trench coats. No more! I've worn it a dozen times or more, and felt very elegant. Why dress down to suit others, I ask you?
This black one is actually the one I've worn most often. I purchased it at Selfridges in London in 2015, and it's shorter length and neutral colour, means it has a more casual feel to it, and as I wear a lot of black, it's had it's fair share of airings. Marie-Anne advised keeping it, as again, it will never go out of style.

 Having gained no additional closet space with that decided instead, to discard other items which I had held on to due to sentimental value. One an oversized denim jacket, not flattering, but kind of jacket du jour here in the Sub Tropics, and secondly, a fairly ordinary black blazer. I need to add that I have 2 other denim jackets and two more black blazers, so along with three trench coats, it was a bit of overkill for someone who only endures 10 weeks of Winter a year!
The Four C's
Remember that one of the secrets of the French woman, is to Cultivate a Carefully Curated Collection of clothing. The Four C's. Just like with diamonds.
Cultivate - try to improve or develop
Carefully - in a way that deliberately avoids error, cautiously
Curated - select, organise and look after the items in a collection
Collection - a group of accumulated items of a particular kind
Our Mantra
Improve, develop, organise, and look after, a select group of accumulated items in our wardrobe that flatter our shape, whilst deliberately avoiding error.
Print that out and carry it with you.  Or take a screen shot if you prefer. If you are shopping for a new item for your wardrobe, look at this to remind you of what you're trying to achieve. If the item you're considering does not fit these parameters, put it back. Seriously. And yes. I just made that up. I didn't steal it from anywhere. So if you use it, please acknowledge me :)
What are your thoughts? Which trench coat would you keep? Which do you think is most flattering? Do you have a favourite jacket or coat? Have you taken a critical eye to how it looks on you lately? Could you be due for a coat upgrade?
How are you going with getting to know the best way to dress your shape? Have you had any revelations about yourself and your presentation this year?
I'd love to hear!


  1. It's a no brainer - keep them all! The apricot one is the one that really takes the eye. It looks good on you even at that length and is perfect for a winter's day in the tropics. The stone coloured one is a great contrast to the black and it's 'classic' trench. The black one is too versatile in every way to discard. Was that any help?

    1. Lol Janie, no help whatsoever, except to confirm Marie-Annes advice. Yes I will keep them all. I've worn the pink one today. The wind is a-whistlin' here, and it's cold! Mimi xxx

  2. Thanks Mimi....I am 5'6" in old measurement and a size 26 boobs and tops with a size 20-22 bottom...Used to be hourglass but my belly has grown and my boobs decided to say hello to my belly haha...age...

    I need to work out my body shape too...but think it is now almost apple but top heavy haha

    I love the idea of a classic wardrobe of simple timeless items... Loving the longer pearls on you....they look amazing and elongate and slim your body...
    I have tended to wear longer fitted colorful tops and black pencil skirts over black leggings a lot...
    Now...after listening to what you said about keeping the same color all the
    way through and not getting 'cut off'
    In the middle...I have much to think of and plan...
    I have not spent money on wrong purchases and also wear a lot of black.... now meditating and researching ...
    Thanks your transparent sharing here.... perfect for so many of us... ...Linda (Kay)Coole

    1. Dear Kay, I am so pleased that my ramblings have been helpful. I think you're well on the way to a self makeover. I loved your recent DIY haircut and colour. I can see the attraction of the leggings, pencil skirt and longer tops, and imagine that would be quite a flattering look. From your description, it could be that you're an Inverted Triangle, another really common shape. One tip that Marie-Anne advises for Inverted Triangles, is to wear Trapeze style tops. They are the ones that flare from under the arm, creating a triangle right way up on your silhouette, thus reversing the inverted triangle effect. I tell you, it's all smoke and mirrors with this body shape stuff! Marie-Anne markets her Body Shape courses as a stand alone course on her website, for a very reasonable price, so perhaps that's worth thinking of as a treat for yourself somewhere down the track. Alternatively, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest. I must say though, it sounds like you're instinctively on the right track. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. Oh Mimi, what a lovely and elegant lady you are! You look truly amazing and that sweet pink jacket....stunning!

    My latest trend or fashion choice is adding gold to my attire. I used to dislike gold anything and now I can't get enough of it {{smiles}} I feel the color brings out my dark colored hair and green eyes.

    Thank you for this delightful post, my friend. Much love to you!

    1. Stephanie dearest, you are so sweet. I'm glad you like the pink coat. It is divine! Gold would suit you well, I know. Your colouring is perfect to showcase it's glow. Love, Mimi xxx

  4. You definitely have created a very elongating effect with these looks! And you look just amazing with a new found confidence that shows right through in the photos! Just gorgeous, my friend. Thanks for linking up with me!


    1. Shelbee, I think you are my new bestie. You leave the loveliest

  5. Thanks for sharing the tips you have learned from your course. I enjoyed seeing all of these beautiful looks on you. You look so chic and elegant! Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday!

    Jennie - A Pocketful of Polka Dots

    1. Jennie, that's high praise from you. You always look so chic! Mimi xxx


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