Keys to Jackets Part III
*Narrow lapels are the best choice if you’re full busted, short waisted or broad shouldered.
*If you’re small busted, medium to narrow lapels won’t overwhelm your upper torso.
*Super-wide lapels look best on a well-proportioned, larger figure. They engulf a smaller woman and make broad shoulders look broader.
*Make sure a standard lapel or shawl collar aren’t too long – otherwise it will gap or break over your bustline.
*By their nature, shawl collars are usually a good choice for almost any figure. However, they may not be your best choice if you have a very angular figure and facial features.
*Patch and flap pockets add bulk wherever they’re placed.
*Pockets positioned straight across the body rather than at an angle tend to lead the eye across the body – not a good idea for the short, full-busted or thick-torsoed shape.
Keys to Jackets Part II
If you are larger on the bottom in proportion to your shoulder width, shoulder pads can help balance the upper torso with the lower half. Nipped waistline styles with darts or seams are better for curved shapes. Princess seams, from the shoulder to the bottom, have a lengthening effect because they divide the front of your body into three narrower vertical sections. When a jacket is fitted or semi-fitted, the longer it is, the shorter your legs appear. The exception is a long, loosely fitted, flowing, straight-cut jacket. If it’s made of a soft fabric and is full enough to flow over the body, it’s a great choice for visual lengthening while concealing a thick torso or wide hips. It’s best worn over a long dress or pants and is flattering to all figure types. Shoulder pads are a must on all but the super-straight, square and broad shouldered figure.
Short, cropped jackets such as a bolero or a short Chanel create the illusion of longer legs – and can do the same thing for the long-waisted figure when worn with a skirt or pants with a wider waistband. However if you’re full busted, a short style that grazes the high hip is a better choice. Darts combined with a side panel (in the princess style) provide the opportunity for a great fit in a short jacket for a full-busted figure. Eliminate horizontal pockets, adding a pocket to the vertical seam. Many jacket styles feature a rounded lower edge, even when the other lines may be straight and more severe. A curved line at the lower edge can be flattering to any figure type as the eye is drawn upward for a lengthening effect. Note: Wearing any jacket style open rather than buttoned can have the same effect, because the front edges create two vertical lines in the center of your body. A front-banded cardigan focuses four lines at the center front for strong lengthening power. In addition, if your body is angular but your face isn’t, combining curved and straight lines is a great way to create a look that’s flattering to both.
Keys to Jackets Part I
Considered a key piece in a versatile wardrobe, a jacket should fit you to a T. For a head start to a good fit, consider your body shape when choosing a jacket style. Body size and contouring also can guide you to the best choices in jacket details – collar style, lapel shape and width, and pocket types and location. Are you super straight or romantically curved? Thin to the bone, generously endowed or somewhere in between? Remember, it’s your bone structure that determines your silhouette – not the extra padding you may have at hip, tummy, waist and bust. If your body is straight, it will still be generally straight, even when you gain weight. Choosing a jacket with an exterior silhouette that mimics your own makes it easier to fit it to your shape. Choosing a style with interior design lines similar to your own also creates a more harmonious look. If your body is straight and angular, a style with straight lines from bust to hip, a straight lower edge, straight pockets and more angular collar and lapel shaping will be more flattering and easier to fit. For curvy body types, it’s better to have jacket styles that have softer lines and a more defined fit. The same holds true for pockets , collar and lapel shapes – straight lines for the straighter shape, curved lines for the more softly shaped body. A seamstress who can change these design lines on a jacket can make a big difference in the overall effect of the jacket.
A simply shaped, semi-fitted cardigan or blazer that just covers the fullest part of the hip is flattering on any body type. For the most flattering length it should be just long enough to cover the fullest part of your derriere – a length you can wear with both pants and skirts without exposing more curve than is flattering. A quick glance at the back will let you know if the jacket is long enough.