From The Cover To The Closet: Making A Magazine Look Work For Your Body

This segment aired in Great Day Houston (KHOU, Channel 11, Houston) on May 4, 2011.

Every month thousands of women buy fashion magazines looking for fashion trends and outfits to inspire them. Most people try to recreate those magazine looks by wearing the exact same pieces they see on the models and get frustrated when the looks don’t flatter their bodies. The worst part? Women think the problem is them and their bodies. The problem isn’t their bodies, it’s the CLOTHES.

Today, we chose a look and adjusted it for six different body types. We chose an outfit that would work for a date, crawfish boil or traveling and sightseeing. The main pieces are a boyfriend jacket, shorts and fitted top. Every one of our models loved the look in the magazine.

Recreating this look for real bodies was REALLY hard!! The boyfriend jacket caused a major problem because it didn’t look good on any one of the six models – was too straight, hid everyone’s waist and made them all feel fatter. So if you’re aggravated by fashion, you are not alone!

We had to make adjustments to the outfit for each women to correct for body proportions and maintain a lean silhouette. The “perfect” woman’s figure is an hourglass where shoulders, bust and hips have the same width and the waist about ¾ of that width. And the top of her body (head to crotch) is the same height as the bottom of her body (crotch to toes). The strategy in the styling is to make all the real proportions look like the ideal proportions. The jackets required major adjustments to make this look work.

Model 1 (Estella, size 10) – Straight Body/Banana (bust, hips and waist are about the same width)
· Estella had the easiest time with this look.
· Instead of a totally straight jacket, hers is slim fitting and comes in at her waist.
· Shorts would have worked, but the short skirt was even more flattering, so we opted for a short skirt to show off her legs.
· We chose an open neckline because it makes her look taller and leaner than the jewel neckline in the magazine look.

Model 2 (Valerie, size 10 petite) – Apple Body (fuller in the waist and tummy)
· The top in the magazine look was very fitted and would have been too tight for Valerie. We chose a top that was cut with more room in the waist and tummy area. It also has a pattern of ruching that provides some stretch and camouflages the tummy.
· We chose a jacket with an open neckline to make her look taller direct attention away from her tummy. It also is very curved in the waist and flared at the hip, to make her waist look smaller.
· Valerie’s shoes are the same color as her skin to make her legs look longer.

Model 3 (Lori, size 0) – Petite (less than 5’4”)
· She is a petite size zero and with a perfectly proportioned hourglass figure.
· The jacket is shorter and very fitted in the waist and hips to show off her figure.
· The color is similar to her skintone to elongates her legs.
· The pink cami under the lace top brings color into the outfit and shows the detail of the lace.

Model 4 (Tia, size 8) – Tall (over 5’7”)
· Tia is 6 feet tall. If we used the usual styling strategies, we would have made her look even taller.
· The loose jacket works on a taller figure because it makes her look shorter.
· We chose a short dress with horizontal stripes. These stripes break up her body and make her look shorter.
· The shoes have the same effect – they also have horizontal lines and the color contrasted against her skin to make her look shorter.

Model 5 (Dalita, size 16) – Upside Down Pear (full bust)
· Her jacket is fitted just below the bustline, to show off her small waist. A straight jacket would have made her look 20 to 50 pounds heavier.
· To minimize her the top half of her body, we chose a jacket in a darker color (darker colors make you look smaller).
· Dalita’s hips are more narrow than her bust, so we chose a lighter skirt to balance out her top.
· The color of her shoes is similar to her skintone to make her legs look longer and her whole body look leaner.

Model 6 (Julia, size 4) – Pear (full hips)
· We chose a jacket with shoulder pads to make her shoulders wider and balance her fuller hips.
· Her shorts are a darker color to minimize that area hips and make them appear to be the same width at her bust/shoulders.
· We added color in the shoes and jewelry

The key to making a magazine look work for you is to remember that the look was designed for that model. Use the look for inspiration rather than a blue print. Adjust it to flatter your body.

Thank you Dillard’s for providing all the clothes and accessories for the segment.

Leave a reply