February 4, 2013

Inspiration Gone Awry

I have long admired the look of a blousey top tucked into trouser jeans.  If that description leaves you raising an eyebrow in disbelief, allow me to illustrate:

See?  Such a nice change from the skinny jeans that seem to be all we see, right?  Seems like it would be an easy look to emulate and make work for oneself, doesn't it?  So please, help me tease out the differences between those above, and this one here:

Trouser jeans: thrifted | Blouse: thrifted | Sweater: Kimchi Blue, thrifted (seen here) | Shoes: b.o.c., thrifted (seen here) | Earrings: Target | Belt: Target | Watch: plundered from the mister

I only caught a glimpse in the mirror before snapping that shot and setting off on my day.  Everything wore comfortably, but compared to my inspiration photos, it just feels frumpy.  I have a few suspicions about how to get closer to what I was aiming for: a sweater that hangs more openly and reaches the top of the inseam, thereby skimming the hips; and pants that are flared rather than true wide-legged trousers, as these are.  I absolutely love the way my professional-wear, dress-pant trousers fit -- such a nice, fluid drape -- but these denim ones are much more stiff.

How do you translate fashion inspiration into sartorial success?  What kinds of tweaking do you find yourself doing to make something look or feel just the way you'd hoped?


  1. Definitely agree with the flair, to balance out the blousy top, and slim in the middle. I love this look, too, though usually implement it with a nicely tailored dress shirt, instead, trying to avoid the possibility of frumpy. Also, a classic, slim cardigan, instead of a more textured sweater, might help (though you might be right about length, too). I often have trouble getting inspiration to translate well... but I wonder if that's more of a confidence thing with me. If the inspiration isn't quite in line with my "normal" look, I get nervous that I won't pull it off, whether or not it succeeds in matching the style. I find this most often, I think, with the short dress/ legging look. I have tried it on so often, and almost always bagged it before leaving the house, fearing I look either 12 or like a sphere.

    1. I've found the trick for making leggings & dress work for me is in the shoes -- unless I'm treating them like tights and wearing boots over, I need to be showing a bit of ankle (scandalous!) and top of the foot when my leggings end at mid-calf.

  2. hmm, you're right, it's hard to pin down. I think the pants should be a little longer, and the sweater as well. I think, with the pants being high-waisted, they come off looking a little short, which makes the lower half of your body look squat. But way to get out of your fashion comfort zone! Keep trying!

    1. No joke, if my torso were proportionate to my leg length, I'd be five inches taller. I've got legs forever, but no lower thorax -- my ribs touch my hip bones (which is not the way it's supposed to happen!). =)

      I suspect, because I have thighs about twice the size of the inspiration and thus fill out pants more, that I need ridiculously wide-legged pants to even give the impression of what I'm going for. Which will probably disqualify the blousey-top idea, since then everything will be loose and that's tricky to make work for me. More experimenting...