August 4, 2016

Be the architect of your own figure!

Would you believe me if I told you that you’re looking at a 6 months pregnant woman? Don’t hurry into betting no, since that would make me become instantly rich!

I am pregnant and, like any pregnant woman, I have an ever growing bump, while my hips and bust have also grown considerably over the last few months.

I know! It seems unbelievable (from this photo), even for me! Still, that doesn’t make it any less true!

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How have I been able to fool the eye and turn into someone with an apparently perfectly trim silhouette?

Well, I’ve recently decided to launch right here, on Fashion Avec Passion, a revolutionary styling project designed to put forward ingenious, easy to put to practice solutions for the women who wish to become architects of their own figure.

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We know very well that through the pregnancy a woman’s body doesn’t follow a steady pace of transformation. It is a wonderful time altogether, but one that sees changes that can be somewhat of a challenge especially for first time moms who don’t know what to expect. Some of them even get to the point of having trouble identifying with the reflection they see in the mirror. Every pregnant woman is very beautiful, yet not all pregnant women feel like they are beautiful. And because I am navigating through this experience myself, I’ve decided to show on Fashion Avec Passion the stylistic directions that allow for optical illusions enabling us to sculpt our appearance and solve some of the esthetic issues soon-to-be moms can come up against.

They are all wardrobe tricks and practical solutions achieved through the right combination of clothing and accessories to achieve astounding results.
For instance, they can elegantly touch up the look of an ample bump or hips or help us deal with edema-induced swollen, heavy legs among so many others types of issues.

Still, the exceptional of the story is yet to come – I am talking about the fact that every woman (pregnant or not) can take full advantage of these stylistic tricks. They can upgrade their look to stylish. And be it that they have an apple, pear or any other body type, they can take their figure into their own hands and bring it nearer to today’s ideal concept of beauty – that of the hourglass figure.

I know! You’ve probably kept on hearing about minor adjustments to the silhouette, but truly shocking results, striking, amazing changes of look I, for one, haven’t been able to find.
That’s why I’ve decided to keep a diary and this way be able to provide varied examples such as I’ve designed for myself and my body shape, in order to showcase/demonstrate the opportunities these carefully chosen and engineered styling principles provide! There is, of course, a need to bear in mind that these are not one-size-fits-all solutions. For someone with different proportions there are other figure-shaping magical formulas. I am going to show them all, here, on Fashion Avec Passion, and I’m sure you’ll be more than thrilled to learn about them all.

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I’ve already been told I am living proof of their efficiency. I’m nearly 6 months pregnant and still you could hardly guess it if I didn’t volunteer the information myself.
I don’t want to lengthen this introduction any longer, I will reveal the strategies that have allowed me to reach the optical effect you see in the pictures, but do bear with me and carefully read these following specifications, since they are the starting point of your every choosing of an outfit!

I’m going to start this series of special articles with a very important observation, one that I’ll keep on repeating, since it is the foundation on which we are going to build spectacular transformations. You have to know that in any pregnancy, even if the transformations undergone by the silhouette can be dramatic, any, absolutely any woman also stands to gain. Thanks to hormonal changes, some will have a flawless complexion or resplendent hair, like never before and probably never after (except for during another pregnancy). Some will gain gorgeous legs or a luscious bust line or a Brazilian supermodel’s bum and so on and on…
The point I want to make is that every woman has to take full notice of her newly enhanced features and highlight them as best as possible. (And her ability to do so is going to become fully developed here! With every new article, new insight will be gained, so follow them all!)
Their advantages are, first of all, that of providing distraction away from more sensitive areas, like ample hips, puffy arms or a highly prominent bump. And, secondly, they stem from their amazing yet fleeting character that needs to be fully seized! 😉

So, if you feel less comfortable with the evolution of a specific part of your body, you should emphasize the others!

I, for example, avoid wearing low cleavage tops, as my bust has increased considerably. On the other hand, I used to almost never wear miniskirts, while now I can’t quite make myself wear something else, as I fell like me legs look better than they ever have.
At the same time, I have a pregnant friend who is experiencing edema, with fluid retention heavy legs, so she chooses to cover up her legs. On the other hand, she frequently wears shoulder-revealing tops that elongate the line of her neck and underscore her naturally augmented cleavage.

The bottom line is that you must find your new stylistic uniform. More exactly, the outfit formula that can retouch the areas you feel esthetically insecure about while flaunting your new physical best features.

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The central idea is that of reaching a balance of proportions.

Our eye is genetically wired to identify symmetry, and our purpose is to closen our silhouette to the ideal by providing it with symmetry.

Plainly put, these symmetry principles follow the logic of maximizing volume deficient areas through the use of wardrobe tricks while minimizing the high volume areas through moving attention away from them.

For instance, coming up with this outfit here, I’ve used five stylistic principles:

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1) Contrary to prejudice, tight fitting dresses can be extremely flattering as long as through their wearing we manage to accentuate our strongest physical feature. I’ve chosen to highlight my legs (if the legs are not your best feature, the length of the dress can come down to the knee). Also, I’ve strategically chosen a white dress! Why? A white dress on a hanger, without being tried on, could easily get a NO! Especially during pregnancy! Especially being so tight! Especially since the concept of the maximizing effect of white is so popular…

2) Well, in this case, the subtle added fringes take away from that optical effect. How so? Because, paradoxically, fringes add volume to an outfit. Nonetheless, fringes are equally capable of camouflaging an area, thanks to that very volume tolerance they come to add. Under the fringes is where the bump lies!
Notice that from the waist down, exactly where the abdomen begins to gain in volume, the fringes progressively and subtly begin to darken. This effect draws the eye up and away, towards the lighter area, that of the bust. What I’ve done has been nothing other than move the attention away from the heavier, ’’problem’’ area.

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3) Non-color outfits, of black and white, make for the most striking contrast and, thus, are the most effective in outlining the optical illusions we are looking for. Of course, color can help us reach a similar effect if we know how to handle shades and tones, but, to begin with, the technique can be best mastered through the safer black vs white option.

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4) A momentous stylistic effect can be reached by adding to the ensemble a cape or jacket that can frame the sides of the silhouette and optically cut away from its width. As a rule, no piece must end at the widest point of the body. What I’m particularly having in mind are blouses, tops, vests that should all shy away from the abdomen and hips as they could create a horizontal line drawing the eye to the very areas we wish to avoid. The same goes for jackets, tunics and outerwear. Also, gloves and jewelry shouldn’t end at the widest of the arm and trousers’ waistlines shouldn’t be across the most ample point of the abdomen.

So, through the adding of a vest, I’ve very easily managed to create a ’’column look’’, with the laterals of the body (primarily the hips) being cut out, and the eye of the beholder being undoubtedly drawn towards the long and slim middle strategically framed by the new piece. The same effect can be attained by casually wearing on your shoulders an unbuttoned jacket!

You have to constantly remind yourself that you are the architect of your own figure and that choosing an outfit can be seen as an art performance with yourself as a white canvas to practice your talent on.

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5) The most effective strategies that can be used to tackle roundness (in this case, a grown abdomen) are linear, graphical elements that will come to cut the curves we wish to diminish. To this end, I’ve chosen a corset (more of a harness top that doesn’t at all constrain the abdomen) that adds graphic interest and provides the contours of a carefully structured figure.
On one side, the vertical lines that are perfectly drawn across the body take away from the volume of the abdomen, while, on the other, the curved, lateral ones redraw the silhouette bringing it closer to an ideal hourglass shape.

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And, just like that, we can play the illusionists of fashion, camouflaging various areas of the body. I’ll soon be back with further such examples of stylish sophistication and, why not, sexiness during pregnancy. So, stay tuned! 🙂

See you soon!

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