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Oct 13, 2014

[Service Review] Part 2 of What I Learnt From Bridgette Raes' Virtual Closet Editing Session

Hi ladies! :D

I know it's been a while, there's been a lot of things going on in the past month, including some national holidays, and job transition preparations... But you didn't think I'd leave things unfinished right? ^__^~!!

OK. So it's all been a while since I worked with Ms Raes, so I'm going to share in 3 parts, what I couldn't share in my previous post.

Today's Contents
1. What I Learnt about My Body Type
2. What I Learnt about Accessorizing
3. How I've Dressed Since Our Consultation

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1. What I Learnt about My Body Type

caption: What I sent to Bridgette before our session, entire body from the front

I actually sent her all 3 sides of me, front, back, and side, but I'm not ready to disclose that much of me yet... :P I have something of a muffin top nearing a beer belly from the side view... So, that's something I'll be working on soon...

For many of you ladies, you probably have done all kinds of tests and quizzes to figure out your body shape. I certainly have tried. I've done free ones from various blogs, from fashion books, as well as a paid service, such as My Private Stylist.

Sadly, none of them really helped me figure out what to make of my body type or shape. The body is a 3 dimensional form, which in reality 'moves' and what we typically see is a body in motion, making it actually a 4D experience. This is the visual trickery that may need to be considered in the future, ie. 'How' a person moves may be entirely different from how they appear in photos or in a still 3D form...

Anywho, I digress...

My biggest frustration over the many years I'd been on this 'Style Quest Journey' is that, while my 'Vertical Line' isn't so bad for an Asian body, learning how to dress for the shape I am was tougher over the years, as I gained weight in the middle.

In many of the quizzes I took, women's body shapes usually fall into 3~4 camps, if you don't get TOO detailed into it. Most give you the Hour Glass, Rectangle, Top Heavy Triangle, and the Bottom Heavy Triangle. And yes, they've named our gorgeous bodies all kinds of fruits, stationery items, geometric shapes, and alphabet letters, but seriously, all that naming doesn't really get you that far...

To give you the final verdict from Bridgette's shrew eye, and based on the various photos I've sent to her, my biggest problem was 3 fold.

1. My shoulders are big. They need to be addressed. Wearing boxy clothes make them look bigger, and until I took photos, I had no idea exactly HOW BIG they looked from the back...

2. Short waisted. I'm short waisted. Despite how nice and longish my legs are for an Asian body, this causes lots of visual problems. And honest to god, I did not know how to make my short but existent waist work its magic... :P

3. Balance. In one of the photos I sent to her, I belted a sheer blouse, and wore skinny jeggings. I really had not considered it as a problem, but Bridgette pointed out how my body looked like a block of cheese, a wedge shaped one, with my tiny feet making a point at the bottom, with my BIG SHOULDERS making me look like a triangle... o.O;;; I took a moment to take in what she was saying, and it reminded me of how my Mom always said things about me, 'You look so sharp, too sharp...' etc. in the past. Maybe it's the personal preference thing, I honestly did not think I looked weird in that photo, but I could see her point of view. It basically made me look very a) unbalanced, ready to topple over, and b) it truly made my shoulders look Egyptian big...
Caption: The picture in question...

Well, Bridgette pointed out that the length of my layering tank tee was also not helping me... You see, these are the things one needs to work out, while creating outfits... I need to buy longer blouses to wear with my skinny jeggings! :)

I also asked Bridgette whether she thought I was an hourglass shape or not, because depending upon the quiz, some said I was, and others said I wasn't! She basically affirmed what was true; I am and I'm not.

If you do body shape quizzes that focus more on voluptuousness, and your 3D figure form, your bust size, will determine whether you are or you're not an hourglass. Going with that, I'll never be an hourglass. My bust is too small to be an hourglass shape.

But if you're taking quizzes that use your shoulder-waist-hip ratio, as some quizzes DO, I AM an hourglass. But one that has a short ribcage and short waist.

See, these are the reasons why you just can't use those quizzes to figure out how to make the best of your bodyshape!!! You are too unique! Your body isn't some 'Theory'! It is an actuality... and I am so glad, that this *F* mystery is finally solved!

I really learnt to see how my body looked... Not how it used to be 10, 20 years ago, (I had always been thin), and not what a garment looks like in my head (see previous post!), and also nothing like what a Quiz is going to say I am...

I think if I 'HAD TO' label my body a shape, I might be a 'neat hourglass' or maybe 'an accentuated pencil' :P When I wear clothes that are balanced from shoulder to ankles, so that I don't look like my shoulders are so much much much bigger than my ankles, and if I belt my waist, or wear things to show some 'shape through my waist to hip' as Bridgette pointed out to me, I look like a *woman* not a rugby player..!

Can you see in the Before and After pic, Black =/= Skinnier !!!!!!

Please also note, my hair styling makes a big difference too...
The extra bit of length you see in my light blue jeans makes a difference too. Not to mention how the gradation effect of my bootcut jeans makes my legs look a LOT skinner too...

So, yeah, I was really happy with everything I learned about my bodyshape. Bridgette also mentioned how having broad shoulders IS helpful, in the sense that it draws the eyes immediately towards your face and your eyes, which is a GOOD thing... :) But with my short-waist, and overall bodyframe, I need to make sure that my outfit makes me look balanced.

* * *

2. What I Learnt about Accessorizing

I was really curious what I could learn about accessorizing, because my prime concern was how I could stop dressing in my 'chicken outfits' :)

Here are the pictures I sent in to Bridgette prior to our consultation time...

Caption: All my lovely shoes, worn from Spring to Autumn...

Caption: All my bags, big and small~

Caption: All my belts, which haven't been worn until I had my consultation~

Caption: All my scarves, again, which weren't being worn at all...

Caption: Most of my pre-sorted jewelry...

At the time of my consultation with Bridgette, I was still confused and unsure about my Personal Style... And I think that is one of the biggest reasons why I felt so lost about accessorizing. Consequently, this is what gets you INTO that Chicken Outfit Land...

(Back from break; was complete *squirrels* in the ENTP group... :P )

Where were we...
Yes, I had amassed quite a bit of accessories and jewelries, ever since I had done Dressing Your Truth. Working on my Project 333 helped me narrow down which ones I wanted to wear, but somehow, I had ended up dressing in my bland Chicken Outfits...

Because I had always relied on patterns or motifs of my tops when I was younger to 'jazz things up' and mostly because I never really sat down to work out WHAT I wanted to before shopping, what I had ended up in my closet was a complete hogwash...

I had tried many quizzes on these 'Style Personality' too, but again, the results always differed. From the magazine quizzes, I'd be getting Classic or Downtown Girl, then, on blog sites, I'd be getting Street Chic and Urban... Even on that quiz, which WAS quite good, I ended up with 2 different ones, Sporty Natural and Casual Attraction. The Kibbe ones were even more confusing. :P

I didn't have a problem with bags and shoes, because I wore them everyday, and they were a 'necessity' any way.

But as mentioned previously, I avoided belts because I was afraid they'd make my waist look big or draw too much attention there, my midriff had grown over the years, I just wanted to hide in my clothes.

The most fascinating part for me, was my scarves. Bridgette reviewed all my stuff, and told me that the reason why my scarves weren't working with my wardrobe is that they were not compatible with my lifestyle and how I dress. In other words, they were too 'traditional' in both pattern and color, and shape. What I needed were more trendy and casual scarves... The ones I had were also the wrong shape; I needed slim long ones, not large squares! :)

Regarding the jewelry selection, after hearing what worked and didn't, and based on the photos I took, she told me she'd send me some suggestions that'd work with what I already have, that were work appropriate. I had collected a lot of nice jewelry, but some were too bold and flashy to be worn for my EFL classroom setting.

Caption: Beautiful and multi-purpose jewelry selection picked out for me by Bridgette Raes! :D

Having seen many of her blogposts, I could see how these necklaces could be worn in many ways with most of my current clothes! Simple and pretty, that can work for so many colors and different outfits!

I tried shopping for these one time, but I decided that since these items would be worn for a long time, I might get these in a slightly higher price range than what I was used to. :)

I did buy one mint/gold necklace though which I am wearing frequently this month! (I'll be doing my October Project 333 post soon!)

So, after talking with Bridgette, I felt good about getting rid of all my scarves, and one skirt which didn't look good on me in ALL of the pictures I took. But it felt great too, that I didn't have to buy a whole lot! I'd just need to find the right necklace or two, and scarves. Most of my other jewelry, bags and shoes were totally fine! Yay~!!!

As covered above re my body shape, and importance of showing my waist rather than hiding it, I think my biggest fear and uncertainty around 'Stylizing' was finally figured out. The little jewelry stuff was NOT the problem really... It was in my overall 'silhouette' I was NOT creating that had made me look so 'student like' and 'bland.' :D

* * *

3. How I've Dressed Since Our Consultation

Finally~ We get to some of my post-session outfits pictures! I have a total of 7 different outfits, from end of August to middle of September.

Outfit #1
Caption: Going all classic clean, white blouse with new black skirt, blouse tucked in, WITH A BELT ~!!!

Outfit #2
Caption: I really like this orange belt... but I've realized it's not as cool as it looks. Still, I'm looking a lot slimmer with blouse tucked in and with a belt!

Outfit #3
Caption: One of my FAVES! I never wore it in this combination before, but I felt so comfortable, yet put together... :D

Outfit #4
Caption: As you can see here, I've been wearing black pretty much in ALL of these photos! But with jewelry and different accent colors, it hasn't felt as repetitive...

Outfit #5
Caption: This is actually one of the least successful ones, and I only realized it after I took the photo. Or... I noticed it, but I didn't have time to change... The grey Tshirt works so much better with skinny cargo pants... :)

Outfit #6
Caption: Mixing black cardigan with navy tank... Not sure if that was good, but it was worth a try...

Outfit #7
Caption: Trying out different belts~ Here's the thicker one...

OK~ Well, that's a wrap!!!
I hope you've gotten something useful and inspiring out of this!

It was a long post, so thank you so much for reading it to the end :D




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