Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to take a day trip with my blogging buddies. Unfortunately, it was my only day to rest and as much as I wanted to hang out and bond, I knew if I decided to go it would derail me for the entire week.
If you’re subscribed to my monthly newsletter, you might have participated in my reader’s survey where one of the questions asked was about what you like to play up or minimize on your body. The response was almost unanimous! Most readers said stomach, and while I covered this topic briefly before, I wanted to expand upon the topic in a blog post.
I have always been self-conscious of my midsection. Even at my thinnest, I had a belly, so I’ve mastered the talent of minimizing it with clothing.
- Clingy or thin materials. Just don’t do it. If you prefer to wear something fitted, choose a thicker, more structured fabric.
- Pleated skirts. The largest part of my body other than my chest is my midsection. For this reason, I tend to avoid wearing skirts altogether. I can’t stand to have the pressure around my waist. If you like skirts, pick up one that is smooth in material, since pleats can add volume around your middle.
- Low rise pants or jeans. You don’t want them sitting under your tummy or cut across it. It’s really uncomfortable and not very flattering.
- Good posture. My photographer always tells me to stand up straight and to think tall! It sounds funny, but it’s true. Take a picture of yourself slouching and then one with great posture and you’ll look like you dropped 10 pounds. I’m serious, try it!
- Watch your proportions. Wearing oversized anything can make or break you. This is why I like to opt for a petite tunic versus a regular one. Another trick is to size down if you can or wear a belt around your waist to create a feminine silhouette.
- I absolutely love these tummy control workout pants that I found at Nordstrom Rack. Seriously life changing! Working out is tough enough, why put yourself through more stress when you don’t have to? These pants make you feel slim and pulled in, plus when you’re twisting and moving you don’t have to worry about exposing your belly.
- Ruched tops and dresses do wonders for your midsection. I love the Zella workout tees for this very reason. I have them in a handful of colors and even wear them as a nightshirt. Another great workout tee is this one from the Gap.
- Vest, jackets and long cardigans are your friend. Think of these as your security blanket. Not only do they provide a lean side profile, but they also add a touch of chicness to your look. Add these pieces to tops, blouses, dresses, and even skirts.
- Have a variety of chiffon, silk, and even polyester in your closet. Be sure that the fabric is not too billowy otherwise it will just make you appear larger. Tops and dresses that have some form of draping at the front will also look great.
- Dresses also help minimize the midsection. Of course, not all dresses are created equal, so try on different styles to see what works best on your frame. Take note of the silhouette and then look for variations of it. If you’re not sure, take a selfie and then assess your options.
- High-waisted denim, pants, or skirts can really help flatter the tummy and elongate your frame. Plus they’re more comfortable than low rise styles.
What tips do you have for minimizing the midsection? Please share in the comments.
Jacket: Nordstrom (similar) | Top: Who What Wear (similar) | Necklace: Ann Taylor (also cute) | Earrings: J.Crew (cute and affordable) |Denim: Banana Republic (similar) | Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs (old) | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (another cute option) | Lipstick: Maybelline c/o
📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits
When you’re petite, it can be hard to find the right clothes for your frame. Even if you’re not short, that doesn’t mean that you’re not petite. You can be tall, curvy, or even plus-sized and still be considered petite in certain areas. I am just shy of 5’4 and have a larger upper body (broad shoulders, large chest, and belly). My torso is short and I have trouble finding tops that aren’t overly long. I have the same problem with dresses and skirts because I have a short waist. My lower half is narrow, and I often go for pants that are ankle length, cropped, or skinny (worn cuffed) to avoid hemming.
This adorable top by Pleione is a Petite large. I tried a regular size large and it was too billowy and long. As mentioned before, you don’t have to be small all over to be considered petite. Being petite can be chalked up to a few things: length of limbs, shoulder width, bust size, and length of waist.
I styled this cute top with my favorite skinny jeans, sandals, and adorable cat purse (available in several colors). The bracelets and earrings are perfect for everyday since they are so easy to wear.
Tip for Shopping Petite
Shopping petite can be tricky depending on the retailer. When shopping at Loft I usually wear a size 4 or 6 in their pants. If I go for the petite option, I go up a size. For example, if the regular size 6 fits, I would be a size 8 p. More often than not, the petite option is small all over not just in length so that’s why it helps to size up. A lot of petite clothing is like this. I am narrow through the hips but that doesn’t mean that my calves and thighs are petite.
If you’re small all over, check out the the kids section. Depending on where you shop, you can sometimes get the same brands sold in the women’s department, but for a fraction of the price. Usually, sizes 12-16 will fit quite well; I used to do this all the time when I was a smaller size. The kid’s section is also a great alternative if your feet are small.
Petite Brands I love
Petite clothing has come a long way, and there is more available. If not in-store, then definitely online.
Retailers that sell Petite
- Banana Republic
- J.Crew Factory
- Ann Taylor
- Petite Studio New York
- Top Shop
No matter your size, you’re fabulous! For more body positivity, check out my feature on the Stitch Fix blog for their My Body My Style campaign.
Shop the post:
Top: Pleione (sold out/another cute option) | Jeans: AG | Earrings, and Bracelets: Sugarfix by Bauble Bar c/o| Purse: Ted Baker | Sandals: Josef Seibel (no longer available) | Lipstick: Lancôme Matte Shaker Lipstick (Pink Power) c/o
📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits
I’m not much of a t-shirt wearer, but I do tend to dress on the casual side. Stripes don’t necessarily have to be dressed down. They can and should be one of your best closet staples.
Adding Stripes to Your Wardrobe is a Must
Easy to find at all price points. No matter the price point, you can always find a striped tee. Look at your local thrift shops, high-end retailers, and even your big box stores for this item.
You can wear them every season. Striped tees come in a variety of options from luxury smooth cotton to vintage-like materials. Play with the different textures and fabrics to change up your look.
They play well with others. Think of your stripe as a neutral. You can pair it with a different print for a fun fashion-forward look, or style with a pop of color. Be creative and pick up some stripe options that are vertical, horizontal, and abstract. Stripes are anything but basic.
They work for almost all occasions. See this business casual look that I wore recently. Striped tee + blazer + heels = forever fail proof. You can wear a striped dress, skirt, or my favorite combo: a striped tee with colored denim. Top off your look with a pair of killer heels or sweet ballet flats.
Sweater: Nordstrom (similar) | T-shirt: Loft (similar)| Denim: Loft (similar) | Necklace: Loft (old) | Purse: Micahel Michael Kors (similar) | Booties: Nordstrom | Lipstick: Wet n Wild (Stoplight Red)
📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits
This post is an update to one of my first posts. I have wanted to expand upon it since wardrobe organizing is a lifelong passion of mine. So much so that I feel like I could have written The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. I have always curated my wardrobe by only including the things I love and keeping my wardrobe tidy.
Back in the 90s my mom coined the term “the heap” to reference unwanted items that I got rid of. Whenever we would go shopping she would say things like “I can see that piece ending up in the heap in a few months”. Lol. Over the years, I grew tired of wasting my money and now make it a point to ask myself if I will still love it in 6 months. If the answer is no, then it has to stay at the store. I had to really crack down to avoid my hard earned cash from becoming disposal income.
Getting back to the purpose of today’s post, I have always preferred less clothing in my closet; quality over quantity. Unfortunately, in 2013 I went a little crazy with the spending. Shopping became my outlet for stress and I ended up buying a lot of stuff that I didn’t need.
I’m definitely not an impulse buyer, but sometimes I still buy things that I don’t love or use. What I enjoy most about fashion is using what you already have and incorporating some new items while finding creative ways to re-wear what you already own. You’d be surprised by the outfit combinations you can come up with when you have a limited selection. Having only the best items will save you time and eliminate the age old “I have nothing to wear”.
Now that I’ve wised up, I have even toyed with the idea of going minimal. But after much thought, I decided that full blown minimalism is not for me. I still love the idea of a capsule wardrobe or small wardrobe. With that said, here are eight tips for organizing your closet.
Wardrobe Tidying Tips
- Clear out your closet and begin with a blank canvas. Try on everything and throw out the items that you don’t love.
- Make piles for donations, stuff to sell, and another for repairs and dry cleaning.
- Move all off-season clothing to another closet or store it under the bed. I use containers similar to these to store my clothing and keep it dust free.
Selling Unwanted Items
- List your clothes on online consignment shops. I sell my stuff to ThredUp (see my post on this brand here & here) and TheRealReal (designer items only).
- Curate your own shop of gently used items on PoshMark. I recently became a user of this platform after hearing so much about it. If you aren’t familiar with PoshMark, it is a platform that allows the seller to list their goods (via their phone) and sell their stuff directly to the buyer. For the most part, the platform seems to work well. PoshMark does however, collect a small fee for the sale and shipping. The prepaid labels make selling easy. I would describe PoshMark as the modern day equivalent of Ebay for fashion lovers, but don’t expect to make a lot of money. I found that most buyers are looking for a deal and pay little to nothing for high-quality items. Buyers are able to bargain too. PoshMark is definitely in the buyer’s favor. Once basic fees are deducted it can be hard to make much money. I would recommend listing a few items and if your experience is good, list some more.
- Sell your stuff on Ebay. If you don’t mind the legwork of photography, creating listings, shipping costs, payment fees, and driving to the post office, Ebay is another good option. However, I much prefer leaving that work to the online resellers.
- Donate your items.
- Sell or trade to your friends/coworkers. It’s much easier to part with something when you know it’s going to a good home.
Now make room for the new! What tips do you have for wardrobe tidying?
Blazer: Target Who What Wear Collection | Tee: J.Crew (similar) | Necklace: Loft | Ring: Madewell (sold out)| Denim: Madewell | Shoes: Paul Green| Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar) | Lipstick: Bite Beauty
📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits