Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A New You....Tips for dressing the Petite Plus Apple Shape #1...The Skirt and Shirt Ensemble

Did you ascertain your Body Shape using the link I provided? It's in this post here if you still need it.
It's important to do this before you take any further steps to revise your wardrobe, because knowing your Body Shape and Proportions is the key to dressing well every day. I promise.
I've learned that from Marie-Anne Lecouer, whose e-course The French Chic Academy, has transformed my ideas on not only French Chic, but my own wardrobe choices.
Just two months ago, I would have drooled over Caroline Herreras classic shirt-and-skirt-with-heels combo pictured top left, but I would have assumed that my Petite Plus sized Apple shape, could not possible carry off this look. Surely I'm too short, too fat, and too frumpy for that!
During my recent $57 thrift store shopping spree, pictured middle above, I sourced some really lovely classic pieces, that will form the basis of my new Petite Plus Apple shaped French Chic wardrobe. These included nude patent heels, black patent low wedges, a short and cute black blazer, a white pin striped shirt, tan leather bag and faux pearls (the real ones are coming for my birthday this month I'm told!).
 But another item I sourced there, having consulted Marie-Anne Lecouer personally (yes personal consultations are part of the course!), was the A-line skirt, pictured above right. Marie-Anne's advice was that I truly could wear this beautiful look modelled by Ms Hererra herself and that this skirt could help me do that. I need to emphasise that the skirt needs dramatic shortening to work for me first and foremost, but read on and I'll tell you why..... 
Rules for Petite Plus Sized Apple Shapes and Skirt Ensembles
1. The skirt should be A-Line so as not to add bulk to the waist and hips. Styles that feature a flat yoke, with the skirt fanning out from the hips gently, are another good style. Avoid gathered waists or anything with voluminous amounts of fabric between waist and hips, such as shirring, at all costs.
2. It should have some vertical features such as stripes, seams, buttons or piping as mine does, to trick the eye into thinking you are long and lean. In fact 'long and lean' should be your mantra when assessing any outfit.
3. The shirt should NOT be tucked in, but should either be a wrap around style that skims over the tummy but adds definition at the sides of the waist, or a style like my black one, that is simple, and likewise, does not cling, but rather skims the curves, maintaining a clean and lean silhouette.
4. The skirt should be no longer than knee length or just below. Showing a length of leg between knee and ankle, tricks the eye into imagining you taller and slimmer, and don't we all want that! I will have my skirt, pictured above right, shortened to the ideal length by a professional. I'm not really game to attempt that one as it's a lovely skirt and I do not want to ruin it!
5. Accessories should be simple and should also be of the slim-long-lean style. A long pendant, an opera length strand of pearls (faux or real), long pendant earrings (but not as well as a pendant...either one or the other), slim structured handbags. Say no to poufy tote bags or slouchy boho ones that add bulk to your silhouette.
6. Petite Plus Apples should never wear belts. This only accentuates the round tummy and should be avoided. This was music to my ears, as many 'experts' on the Apple shape, suggest a belt. No, no, no.
7. And finally, heels to lend a small frame height and length. Black patent high heeled pumps (court shoes) with some 'toe cleavage' will add additional length to the leg and foot, reimagining you tall and slim!
I am having my lovely skirt altered, and sourcing some black patent pumps with 'toe cleavage' and I hope to share an updated photo of my Caroline Hererra inspired outfit very soon.
I hope this is helpful!
Update on my Skirt & Shirt Ensemble.
I shortened my skirt, and have paired it with a few different accessories.
Note the new length, and that this adds a longer, leaner look to the silhouette. Nude shoes help with this illusion as well.
Here is the power of a simple thing like a necklace. Above, the silk scarf, worn long as advised by Marie-Anne, and a look I have worn often, actually adds bulk to the silhouette. As does wearing the cardigan over the shoulders.
The simple change of swapping the silk scarf for a long strand of beads (long and lean, remember), and putting the cardigan ON, makes the silhouette much more slender.

 It's a great lesson.
Love, Mimi xxx


  1. Hi Mimi
    I'm a cool summer pear. That is cool summer for colour (I'm pretty sure) and a pear shape. Loving the information you're providing. I'd Colour consideration came after fit and style. So long as the colour wasn't obviously wrong for me then it would do. I'll check out the french chic site that you recommend and will be cheering you on with your fashion revelations.

    1. Hi Janie, wow long time to respond, I am sorry! I think my revelations are coming thick and fast now. I'm really proud of what I've achieved and even looking at the top photo now, before my skirt was shortened, and comparing it to the ones below, I am truly astounded at the change. No I haven't lost weight either. It's all the illusion of dressing for your shape. Mimi xxx

  2. A happy day to you, sweet Mimi! Oh, it's been too long since I have stopped in for a visit. My blogging has been rather pathetic and I apologize, dear friend.

    How are you, lovely lady? I have missed you and your wonderful posts. This post was quite helpful and while I am tall and rather "straight" I enjoyed your words of wisdom and advice :) Thank you!

    Much love to you!

    1. Dearest Stephanie, how lovely to hear from you. I just want to provide much needed information for we little short, cuddly people. You, my sweet, are not! It's so lovely to hear from you. Mimi xxx

  3. I am an Autumn Pear. A much larger pear than I used to be, hee hee, but always a pear. This took me back to the 80's book "Color Me Beautiful" about dressing in colors to fit your *season*. That book really changed the way I bought clothes and I was bowled over by the compliments following that conversion. Even now, as a large pear, I will get an occasional, "My goodness, that olive blouse looks beautiful on you!" I love it when that happens. :)

    My issue now is that the bottom of the pear has outgrown her jeans and refuses to buy I'm been schlumping it in sweatpants.
    I'm working on it.... The only days I look truly put together is Sundays for church. I only wear dresses/skirts and those still fit.

    1. Debby, the Pear is as troublesome to dress as the Apple I think. Fashion does not cater for us, that is the problem! Toss the sweatpants my sweet, and find something lovely to wear. You won't regret it! Mimi xxx

  4. This Clear pear with short waist and long legs, has it recommended to wear A line skirts with some detail around the hemline. The skirts are to be below the knee. If the skirt has pattern then the shirt needs to be plain. Colour is to be in clear hues not neutrals as this will wash me out.
    I do love that skirt Mimi. I would have thought that you could have done a professional job of taking up the hem yourself. You're no slouch when it comes to using the machine. Look at all the costumes you have made.
    I can also wear the wrap around shirt. I have a lovely Vogue pattern that I haven't made up for a year or two that would be perfect. Must dig it out.
    Life is good

    1. Dear Jane, that sounds good to me. I did end up shortening the skirt myself. It was fiddly, but I Googled and found a method that gave a really good result. I'm just getting back into sewing for myself after so many years of costuming. It's a good feeling! You go make that skirt my lovely. Mimi xxx

  5. I need to do a little more research about my proportions, as when I read your first post about this and measured myself I had some "unhelpful" help from my 4 grandchildren.

  6. The other tip is pointed toe shoes - not necessarily ultra pointed - just not round toes - it really does make a difference.

    1. Fairy, I am with you on that one! Such a simple thing that makes such a difference! Mimi xxx


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx