New Castle News

August 1, 2012

Fashion with Sarah Stright: This week, Sarah answers your questions

Sarah Stright
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Q.  I wear a size 22.  What are some simple styles I can follow for almost any occasion to look slimmer?

A.  Clothing is all about celebrating what you love about your body, and camouflaging what you aren't so crazy about.  We all have those areas of ourselves that we would like to change, but if you focus on highlighting your best features, you'll always look your best.  What follows are a few helpful hints for looking leaner.  (To the right are some examples of outfits for casual, work, and date wear.)

1. Draw attention to your natural waist (if you bend to the side, this is where your torso "creases").  This is the smallest part of your body and if you highlight this area, everything below it will look longer and leaner.  A few ways to do this- jackets, dresses, or shirts with a band at the waist.  This band will visually draw the eye to your natural waist.  

2. You may think clothes that are black and oversize are hiding you- in fact they're doing the opposite.  Clothes that are oversize will not only make you look sloppy, but larger.  Wearing clothes that are tailored to fit you perfectly will always make you look thinner.  Black can be slimming- but only if you are wearing it appropriately (as in, wearing clothing that fits you).  But don't be afraid of color and pattern!  

3. When it comes to pattern, don't shy away.  Patterns are also great for camouflaging.  The general rule is to wear patterns that are in proportion to your size.  If you're on the petite size, wear patterns that are smaller.  If you're larger, wear patterns that are a larger.  

4. A v-neck shirt will help to elongate your neck.  This has the effect of making  your torso look longer and opening you up.  

5. Try a wrap dress or shirt, this also helps to draw the eye to your natural waist.  

6. A dark wash straight leg jean will be your best bet- make sure that it fits well at your widest part and goes straight down from there.  

7. Stay away from a lot of elaborate details- such as ruffles- as this will just add visual volume to your frame.  

8. As for shoes, be wary of those that have ankle straps if you are on the shorter side.  These will cut you off at the ankles and make you look shorter and boxier.  But be sure to have fun with your accessories!  

Q:  What can I do with those clothes that are sitting in my closet that I never wear, but love too much to throw away?

A: I have this problem.  I hang on to way too many clothes because I love them, but yet every day they sit rejected in my closet, passed over for the new, easily accessible, or more comfortable.  Here are my suggestions (and perhaps I'll begin to take my own advice):

1. Go through ALL of your clothes every few months.  Pull out all of the things that you haven't worn in a few months and place them aside.  Once done, try on that pile of clothes and determine if a) they still fit and b) you still like the way they look.

2. If the answer to a and b above is yes, move them to the front of your closet, drawer or wherever you'll have a better chance of seeing them every day.  For the next few months (until you go through your clothes again), see how many times you wear the items.  Once a week, put the item on and try styling it in a new way that you haven't done before.  This will make the item feel new and fresh.  

3. However, if you still don't wear the items, now is the time to part with them.  It is time to find them a better home with someone who will love them just as much as you do.  Organizing a swap with your friends is a fun option because it'll not only let your beloved pieces go to someone that you love but you'll get new clothes out of the deal!  Another great option is to donate them.  There are a lot of options to do this- whether taking them to Goodwill or putting them in a Planet Aid bin.  This way they'll go to someone who needs them.

The bottom line is, if you're making these items more visible and still not wearing them, it is time to let them go.  And just think, by making room in your closet, you get to add all NEW pieces that you'll fall in love with!

Have fashion questions?  I'd LOVE to hear from you!  Please email me at so I can help you.  And be sure to check out my personal style blog, Coming Unstitched: