I love blousy tops. Billowy layers of ruffles, loose sheer fabric and baby doll style tops are beautiful, but can be tricky to pull off, especially if you own any curves. You might think a shapeless top will conceal flaws, but often times it only exaggerates them. If you are big on top, you will look larger; if you are tiny, it may overwhelm you and make you look smaller. The fabric should drape over your body, flattering your chest and hips without extending your silhouette. Avoid looking like a balloon, circus tent or pregnant woman by following some basic guidelines to tame the blousy top.
Choose a top that is loose. This may seem redundant, but look for a blouse that fits well. Blouses that are tight on top and large on bottom may seem like a good way to highlight your body, but the result is often a tent-like shape that really does not flatter anyone. Instead, find a blouse with swing appeal from the shoulders through the hem. It shouldn’t cling to your middle or have arm holes that pinch.
Opt for a open neckline. Choose a V-neck or wide boat neck that allows some skin to show around your neck and collar bone area. Tight crew necklines or turtleneck tops can cut off your silhouette in a bad way and overwhelm your frame.
Layer your flowing top. Wear the top over a figure-forming tank top to start. The tank top does two things; it keeps skin from showing and it can show that you have a shape under the blouse. Add more layers on top, a long pendant necklace will keep the fabric under control. A vest or blazer will contain the look even more.
Opposites attract. Pair the large top with skinny jeans, or boot cut pants. Slim cut walking shorts are a good choice for late Spring and Summer. Balance the grounding look by going for height with wedges, or high heeled sandals.
Pay attention to details. Surprisingly, something as simple as the cuffs of a voluminous blouse can decide if the top is a slimming choice. Look for a small, tight cuff, rather than open sleeves.
Cinch it. If the top is not doing you any flattering favors, consider pulling it together with a belt. Experiment with a thin belt wrapped tightly around the waist line, or a wide belt set slightly higher than the natural waist. A hip belt is another option to help tame the blousy top.
Change the look. And now for something entirely different. Tuck a blousy top into a high-waist pencil skirt for a real change. The fabric will be contained and give you a completely different look.
Also by Sylvie Branch
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