Not sure I'll ever 'get' proportions

Okay, trying to learn proportions, so be patient with me! :)

Here's the diamonds skirt, with the gray cashmere sweater I wore Sunday. Trying out various proportions with the skirt full length.

#1 fully tucked
#2 untucked with the skirt short (as I wore it)
#3 partially tucked
#4 untucked with the skirt long

Pardon the non-scrunched sleeves in #1, 2 and 4...

To me, none of these really work. What do you think?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • anne replied 9 years ago

    This is a hard tpe of skirt to work out what to wear with it. I think 3 might be the best, but I agree, none of them are quite right

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Proportions are really hard. They tend to be the toughest thing to figure out, in my experience. I am still learning, 2 years in....oy. Exhibit A: check out this thread.

    If you can bear it.

    Onto your outfit. I actually like the skirt at the just below the knee length and with the semi tuck or untucked sweater. The semi-tuck sort of echoes the V neckline in a nice way.

    Have you seen Imogen's stuff on proportion? She might be helpful, too. http://www.insideoutstyleblog......dress.html

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    Thanks Anne and Suz - yes, it was Imogen's stuff that convinced me that I might be able to figure it out with a tape measure. And it's probably correct - since only #2 conforms to the golden mean by tape measure, and then it's upside down, and the flare of the skirt ruins the proportion :)

    So impressed with your proportions thread - that's a lot of work!

  • jayne replied 9 years ago

    The sweater needs to be either longer or shorter which I guess you figured out from the proportions blog. It helped me alot.

    The other thing to consider might be the boots. The shorter pair seemed best in proportion t wehere the skirt stops

  • Hil replied 9 years ago

    Out of all of the outfits, #2 looks best to my eye, but I am not scientific enough about this sort of thing to figure out why.

  • lyn* replied 9 years ago

    The skirt part of #2 looks the best; but the top looks the best in #4 ... I dont' know if that helps or just muddies the water :|

  • Caro in Oz replied 9 years ago

    Okay it's me again:) Just my thoughts: I think it isn't just the proportion but the two pieces together. I don't think they are playing nicely. If you really want them to work I think you need a third piece to "join them together" as it were. Like a belt or a shirt or jacket or even a scarf. Love the boots - did I miss these?

  • ManidipaM replied 9 years ago

    I actually prefer the proportions of #3-4. Top looks too short in #1 to me, and skirt too short for the longer top length in #2. It's not just about 2/3 vs 1/2 proportions, I suspect, in this instance. It is also about where on your body the horizontal lines and points (hems, the point of the V neckline) are hitting.

  • Astrid replied 9 years ago

    I agree with everything Manidipa said. I think #3/4 could be a very nice outfit if you add the right third piece or accessories, like Caro suggested.

  • Krista replied 9 years ago

    I'm going to echo Caro's suggestion - I actually think what's missing is waist definition. What about a belt at the waist? It would work in #1 with the sweater tucked or untucked; if you untuck the sweater, try belting it at the waist over the sweater. Even if you have any kind of a black belt right now to try out what it looks like, I think that would give you an idea if that's what's missing.

    Amiable, have you considered the idea of more fitted tops? I notice you wear a lot of tops that are looser in style but I'm not sure they are showing your true shape and that might be the other missing piece for you. It might be a combination of length and also fit around the torso. Just a suggestion!

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    I agree with what Caro said...and I still think the proportions in 3/4 are better. They may seem to contradict what Imogen said about outfits. But have you tried her body proportion exercise? Now that is a way to get your head really tied in knots! I found it pretty interesting, though. I learned stuff about myself that I'd never known. For example, I've always thought that I have short legs. Well, it turns out that techically, I don't, but I do have short calves. Also, I am short waisted (who'd have thought?) AND I have a huge head. These things do sort of help me when I am shopping and they affect the proportions of clothing.

    I also agree with Krista, that fit is of paramount importance.

  • replied 9 years ago

    I like 3-4 the best of all of these, but I would really like to see you in some more fitted tops -- not tight, but just more fitted at the waist.

  • Jules replied 9 years ago

    I agree with a lot of the comments and in the end I don't think this is the best top for this skirt. I also agree about trying more fitted shirts. I believe I have seen you in things that are more fitted just under the bustline (higher than the technical waistline), and that was very flattering on you. All that said I do like #4 the best. Frankly I think this shirt is not amazing on you in colour or shape (but not terrible either), but would perhaps look better with some of your skinnier pants, and a scarf or necklace. If you want to style this skirt and figure out its best proportions maybe we can see it with some different tops?

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    Thanks everyone! Taking my five kids to our favorite thrift store this afternoon (not sure how my sanity will take the hit), and will add "fitted shirts" to the list. I need to learn how to alter shirts for fit. Often shaped shirts don't work for me due to my thick waist.

    Suz - Yes, I did Imogen's body proportions exercise 3-4 years ago, when I first started floundering in style/fashion. I remember that I was exactly proportional - a bit long in every "spot". But I think I should repeat it - not that I've changed, I'm just not sure if I measured correctly.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 9 years ago

    I think #4 has the potential to look really good - try scrunching the sleeves of the sweater. It always amazes me what a difference that can make.

  • replied 9 years ago

    Happy thrifting! It's actually really easy to put darts in -- I found an excellent tutorial once when I first tried to do it, I'll see if I can find it.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 9 years ago

    I think #3 is the best. You have really nice legs and think it looks best with a bit more of them showing.

  • Sara L. replied 9 years ago

    I agree with others that a belt might help to define your waist and tie the two pieces together. I like #3/4 the best, although I think a belt with #1 might work too. I hope you have success at the thrift store. I'm going thrifting today too! I hope to find some fun tops and maybe a pair of jeans.

  • Thistle replied 9 years ago

    I like #2 and #4 the best!

  • Diana replied 9 years ago

    Hmm, I agree with some of the others that the problem might just be that this is a hard length/cut of skirt to style, particularly with winter footwear. Personally, I think #2 is the best because you can see some leg, which helps with the proportions. So I think it's actually the skirt to boots proportion that is off. Unless it's a very slim skirt, I like my skirts shorter for winter since the lower leg portion then looks longer.

    How did you shorten the skirt in #2? Is it possible to wear that length with a tuck or semi-tuck? I think that would be ideal. Otherwise maybe you could belt over the top to raise the waist a little?

    Or how about trying some lower boots or booties with the longer skirt? Or even something like oxfords? Even if you don't like the look, take a photo and see if it improves the overall proportions.

  • Sarah A replied 9 years ago

    Take my "amatuer in proportions" opinion for what is it worth, I think adding to a belt to #1 would be spectacular. Exactly as pictured, i prefer # 3, something about how the side of the sweater draping down from the center mirrors the diagonal line of the check in the skirt. FWIW -- a line skirts are harder to style so you have picked a doozy to learn on. Hope the thrifting was fun :)

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