How excited am I about the return of Dress You Up? Out of this world excited, I tell you. I can't promise weekly installments--this feature just takes too long to put together--but I will try to do periodic Dress You Up pieces for the next few months, OK? And I am starting with someone who has waited very patiently, who asked to be featured on Dress You Up at this time last year! I'm a big fan of S.'s blog, Sophia the Writer, and I was completely honored when she asked me to feature her on Dress You Up. I am stoked to be finally getting to it!
This is S:
Admit it. She's the cutest thing you've ever seen, right? I know.
This is what she had to say:
I live in L.A. on a writer's budget, so I need some way to keep up with all the cuteness going around without breaking the bank. I used to be a film and TV actor who's considering going back into the industry. I'll definitely need to look polished and fashionable - and eternally youthful without being gaudy! Unfortunately, I'm pretty low-maintenance with my style - I have wash-and-go hair, I rarely wear makeup and usually forget to put on jewelry (or lose it!). I wear jeans and sweatshirts in the winter and maxi dresses in the summer. I also prefer flats to heels - I know, I suck - but I'll definitely wear comfy heels if I have to. Fashion dicatates! ;)
I'm 5'2" and a size 0-2. I wear a size 6 shoe and I have high arches and wide feet in the front, which makes finding comfortable shoes nearly impossible. (I live in Chacos - very San Francisco, but definitely not L.A.) I'm chilly ALL THE TIME so I also need a look that works during this unnaturally cold California spring and our chilly coastal nights. And I've got incredibly short legs. And arms. I'm like a T Rex.
I desperately need your help to turn my PJs-all-day/hippie hobbit look into something more Hollywood ready!
Now that is my kind of challenge! Sophia needs a youthful, fashionable, low-maintenance look that includes comfortable shoes and layers and flatters her petite body. She also needs the look to be inexpensive and not have too many fussy accessories for her to forget or lose. Got it.
Since Sophia needs her style to look more "Hollywood," I decided to dig for some inspiration from the stars. Lucky for me, About.com has a whole gallery of petite celebrity fashion! A few of the looks I saw there that I thought might work for S:
Casual, chic Christina Ricci:
The perfect proportions here take a very plain outfit to a greater height. Celebrities achieve this with money to buy designer clothes and have things tailored, but S. can do it, too--she's just gonna have to try more things on to get there.
Mod, stylish Drew Barrymore:
I love this type of look. It's dramatic, but wearable, and nothing here overpowers a small frame. This looks stylish without trying to be stylish.
Jennifer Love-Hewitt in a dress and jeans:
I don't actually like this outfit. The top half doesn't work for me at all. But I think this general idea--short dress, skinny jeans, wedge sandal--is perfect for S.
With these celebrity ladies in mind, I set about putting together some looks for S.
This is a pretty simple look, and I think it would work for S. for a few reasons. First, I like the idea of high waisted jeans to elongate her legs and make jeans look a bit more formal. Secondly, I'd like to encourage her to think outside the cardigan when it comes to layers, and a pashmina could be a great choice. The accessories here are simple, but intentional--a pair of earrings, a bright bag, and bright sandals--and I think the coral/pink/yellow/muted green color combo would be fantastic on S. I also like the laid-back boho vibe of this outfit--it's put together, but gives no hint of trying too hard.
The second look I chose for S. is another casual, boho-feeling one, but with a bit more structure. I was thinking about things that are difficult for non-petite people to wear, but petite people rock the heck out of, and that led me to the short, sleeveless dress and white skinny jeans combination, which I think would look fantastic on S. She could wear a slightly shorter jean hem and flats with this, too, and still look really polished. This is a tiny bit more to do on the accessories front--shoes, bag, bangles, ring--but they all coordinate and could go together with other outfits as well, which might make them easier to manage. Again, I like the saturated colors here, too, especially the cobalt blue dress and the pops of orange.
In a radical departure from the two casual, boho styles, I'd love to see S. try something mod-influenced. I think this style should appeal to S. in it's simplicity, and it's designed to show off her natural gorgeousness, with a minimum of clutter. While the same look could easily be achieved with a plain black mini-dress, I like the color-blocked pink band on this one to give the outfit just a little bit of fun and make it a touch less severe. The simple, classic shoes, bag, and jewelry are all just supporting pieces.
S. mentioned a love of maxi dresses, and as a fellow maxi-dress lover, I wanted to make sure to do at least one maxi outfit for her. Maxi dresses are a bit more difficult for petite women, I think, since they can just look like an awful lot of fabric. To combat that, I chose plain, rather than printed dress, and a style with a defined, high waist, for S. To further elongate S's legs, I've topped the maxi with a cropped cardigan. Adding a chunky, high-heeled shoe also gives S. a bit of a lift, though I think this outfit would work with flat sandals as well. I also like the very simple color combination here, with the dress color repeated in the shoe and necklace and the cropped cardigan as a contrast. The accessories here are simple and bold, making for fewer pieces to mess with but a pretty big statement. I've been looking at how petite celebrities wear maxi dresses, and it seems a lot of them follow some variation of this maxi+chunky jewelry+cropped jacket/cardigan+chunky and/or high shoes model, and it looks great on them (see below).
Though I realize this Dress You Up doesn't have quite as many options as past installments have, I am going to leave it here, as I'm still getting back into the swing of things. S., I hope some of this helps you! Others, if you'd like to be featured in Dress You Up, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to have you!