Sunday, November 14, 2010

A tisket, a tasket, a green-lined tea-dress I photo with.

On a whim from Sandhya's post, and to mentally stave off Ohio's newly chilly weather (it is officially fall-like outside!), I'm going to post about my favorite dress.

I refused to wear pants until I was in 6th grade; the answer was always dresses or skirts, usually with leggings or tights (which I could pull off then, I just don't look great with them now). As soon as I discovered jeans, I sort of fell in love and distanced myself from dresses for quite a while. I can still rock a dress every so often, and lust after twirly skirts that I see at swing and contra dances garbing my friends, but on a whole, the answer is pants.

Purchased for a cool, under twenty dollars during my senior year in high school, I wore this tea-length dress with a bit of a crinoline bottom to prom. And unlike most prom dresses, it fit me gloriously, and was simple enough that it has been happily recycled for many dressy occasions, and is companion to several similar dresses in my closet (maybe I'll post some additional photos soon).

One of my favorite things about being small is that many of my favorite outfits from yesteryear still fit me quite nicely. I most recently wore this dress to my senior cinema showcase last May.

Photo by the delightful Ben Plaut. The number of photos that contain me modeling with my camera should make me be a Nikon camera model :D

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Make It Work, or Not

As a short lady, I've memorized most of the basics ins and outs for dressing yourself to look taller: horizontal striped pants, nude heels, monochromatic outfits, etc. One thing, however, that has me puzzled is why some of the worst options for shorter women are sold in practically every department store petite.

Today's perpetrator is the ankle length skirt. On most wearers, the long skirt makes one look like a member of a religious convent or a 17th century Pilgrim (See Exhibit A). There's also the floor length floral skirt* which, again, should be reserved for 1970s style Halloween costumes.

I have simply found that longer skirts do not flatter most people, regardless of height. The styles for longer lengths are limited since it's clearly not practical to buy an ankle length pencil skirt- if you plan on at all walking. For every girl who can rock a floor length skirt a la Blake Lively, there are twenty others who are sectioning their bodies into terrible proportions. Blake succeeds in this outfit because the skirt gives the illusion of being part of a one piece dress which is much easier to wear even if you aren't 5'10" like she is. I've seen a variety of dresses that give the illusion of wearing a skirt by combining a cropped top with a more flowy bottom.

Longer dresses present a similar problem for petite girls. Shorter dresses that expose your legs trick the eye into making you look taller. They are also much easier to shop for than, say, pants. Anna, Ma'ayan, and I went to college in Ohio and understand that cold weather doesn't always permit us to wear shorter skirts and dresses in November (or even March for that matter), but if you learn to layer clothes properly, you can use some of your dresses in the winter.

If you do want to wear a longer dress, try to shop for one that is less bulky. A long sleeve floor length dress is going to look bulky. Consider pairing a turtleneck under a knee-length jumper or looking for a dress that, at the very longest, hits you mid calf. I've also seen a variety of woolen leggings this season, which look fairly cozy.

Remember, if it's that cold, you can even layer leggings or throw on some pants.

*Admittedly, I have purchased this type of skirt, but haven't worn one since I was 17 and a vegan.