Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Q&A - Help For Beanpoles

Q: I visited your site recently and noticed you had a section on how to dress well for your body type. It was nice to see that resource and I was hoping you could give me some advice. I am naturally thin and have been all of my life. I eat and don't excercise much and I feel as if women resent me sometimes. Like I have nothing to worry about because I look good in anything. Maybe so, but I don't feel good in half of the things I wear and really need some help. Any suggestions to downplay a beanpole body type? Thanks...Meghan

A: Yes it is true that I don't get a lot of questions regarding this dilemma, but I can understand it all the same. With the obesity epidemic and everyone trying hard to lose weight, it must be tough being the thin one. It seems it is not your fault and just like women who want to camouflage big hips or chunky thighs, you want to camouflage your skinny. Lucky for you because your frame lends itself to an array of silhouettes many women only dream of wearing (we don't really hate you, we're just really jealous). You want to look for clothing with volume, print and fussy details. Here are some ideas:

1. Fabric

Choose structured fabrics that add form to your figure rather than clingy or light fabrics that show your figure. Shiny fabrics reflect light and can make you appear larger, and matte and darker fabrics will make you appear slimmer.
Tressa snakeskin taffeta skirt Not only do you have the volume of this skirt working for you, the snakeskin pattern and metallic fabric is substantial.
Alexis Cotton Top The trapeze style silhouette and stiff cotton fabric add dimension to a thin upper body.

2. Bold Prints and Color

Large, colorful prints can make big women look bigger. But in your case, they can be your best friend.
Purple Tie Die Dress A great style for women with "boyish" figures - slimmer hips and wider shoulders.
Severine Sweater The bold zig-zag print against the white background really stands out and bulks up the bust and hip area.

3. Volume

No, I'm not saying you have to wear a tent, but experiment with the trapeze style silhouette and full or pleated skirts. High waisted, wide legged trouser pants also work well (unless you have a short torso, then opt for a lower style). Leggings are your worst enemy unless you have thick legs, otherwise layer them under a skirt or tunic, or wear with high boots. Sweater dresses are thicker and naturally add volume.
Biaz Jersey Dress Trapeze styling and full lantern sleeves add volume.
Audrey Dress The wider neckline, empire waist and fuller skirt help to camouflage your lack of curves.
Drifter Triad Sweater
A voluminous, feminine silhouette contrasts this urban print zip-up.

4. Fussy Details

Ruffles and puff sleeves, and ruching oh my! If you want to make an area appear larger, go for the embellishments and have some fun. In my opinion, ruffles and voluminous sleeves look stellar on thin women when they just don't seem right on bigger gals.
Red Puff Sleeve Tee
Adds volume to the bust and shoulder area via the ruffles and puff sleeves.
Gatsby Blouse Large ruffles from the collar to waist and front pleating add dimension.
Thomasina Shirtdress The ruffled collar and waist add volume to the torso. The puff sleeves and wide neck balance the look.

We would love to help with your styling dilemma - just drop us a question at and we will be sure to answer it. We will also feature one question each Friday here on our blog (and any pictures you may want to send as well!). And we promise to someday widen our blog so the pictures and text aren't squished!!


Sandy C. said...

Oh! Those are some great tips! I had this same problem pre-baby. I still have that beanpole problem on my upper body, and I will have to keep my eye out for tops like those. Since I've had our child, my hips widened, and tend to gather weight around my bottom and thighs, making me look rather pear shaped (not exactly the most appealing shape).

tatiana said...

oh look, i'm on the blogroll! i'm still not used to seeing my name/site on a screen if i didn't type it. and yes, rizado is fine!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, this was great. I have got in a real rut with what I wear so it is lovely to have some new suggestions. I am a beanpole - tall and slim and without much in the way of cleavage - so I shall try some of these.

Thank you!