Original outfit post here
HI GUYS! Happy Tuesday!
Random off-shoot–but I hadn’t checked this little tidbit in my analytics in awhile. So apparently Tuesdays are my most popular day when it comes to website traffic. Isn’t that random? I would’ve thought Mondays (because who wants to start WORKING?) or Fridays (because we all want to STOP working!) but nope. Tuesday.
So, thanks everyone, for showing up on this beautiful Tuesday we’re enjoying here in Chicago. In fact, I did not even leave the house yesterday. So I have very high hopes for Tuesday and this “heat wave” we’re currently experiencing. (High of 39 today! Summerrrrr!)
As I mentioned in my 2018 Goals post right over here, I really want to focus on bringing you more helpful content in 2017–after hearing your feedback about how much the Capsule Wardrobe Remix series is helping you be more creative with getting dressed, and how much you love seeing one piece styled multiple ways, I had an idea for a new series: Style 101.
In this series, I’ll tackle a specific style concept and break it down with my tips. I’m envisioning this being part reader driven (answering your questions) and part just my personal experience in general–how I put together an outfit, which staples I use to build my wardrobe, and so on.
If you have a specific style 101 question or request, I would LOVE to hear it– you can submit it via my Ask Jess question form!
Now, let’s jump into our first topic. Which I wanted to focus on first because it’s one that applies to every body type. Not to mention, something almost every woman I know wants to know–how to make your legs look longer! (Also, I’ve pulled examples from lot’s of outfit posts over the years, many of which do not involve dressing for the arctic tundra, so I thought this would be a nice breath of fresh air for all of us. 😂 (LOOK–open toed shoes!!!)
How to make your legs look longer:
Tip #1: The Front Tuck
I know, I know. YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME.
Whenever I give people this tip they resist it. Always. After all, this completely goes against your natural instinct to wear a longer top to HIDE the widest parts of your body, right?
But the opposite is actually true. For example, I’m wearing the same pants above–look how much longer my legs look on the right, and in the photo at the bottom, where my shirt is tucked in. Why is this so? Because by tucking in your shirt, it not only defines your waist and enhances your body’s hourglass shape, but you add a good SEVERAL INCHES to your legs at the top, whereas a longer tunic would’ve covered them.
So, even though I’m wearing a longer cardigan in two of the examples above (which you can totally do if you’d rather your behind be covered by something) it still gives the illusion that my legs are much longer than the photo on the left.
Tip #2: Dark, high-waisted skinny jeans
Every woman needs a quality pair of dark, slim-fitting skinny jeans in her closet. They definitely don’t have to be skin tight (that’s not a good look either!). Something that hits high on the waist and is fitted/tapered down goes a long way to add length to your legs. Plus highlight your best curves in a super flattering way!
On the flip side, I often hear women protesting this saying, “I don’t have the body to pull of skinny jeans!”–but truthfully, you do. I promise. They are one of the most flattering things you can own. They define the waist, they emphasize curves (whether that is creating curves you don’t have, or highlighting the beautiful curves you do!)
Remember, using looser-fitting clothing that hides the curves of your body doesn’t make you look better, it just gives the effect of “walking garbage bag” – not a good look!
If you don’t believe me, to prove this, I challenge you to seek out any honest friend/coworker/partner/husband who knows nothing about fashion or what’s in style, and tell them to pick between looser fitting jeans and high-waisted, form-fitting skinny jeans. I bet you all my money I know which one they’ll pick 😉
My favorite pairs of high-waisted skinny jeans: Abercrombie skinnies (my new favorite and SO affordable), J.Brand Maria jeans (top photo–when in doubt, size up) a splurge but worth every penny–the ones I own are the “bluebird” wash but also come in black, Rag & Bone skinny jeans (second photo from the top–size down–also a splurge, but worth it! They are SO comfortable), Levi’s 721 skinny jeans (true to size, also a great budget-friendly option).
Tip #3: Nude-colored heels=barbie feet
I have several pairs of nude-colored shoes for all season, for a very good reason. (Ha, I even rhymed!) They make your legs look amazzzinnggg.
The key is to find a pair that is similar enough to the color of your skin, so there is a seamless line between where your leg ends and the shoe begins–making it seem like they go on forever. This even works for ankle boots, which traditionally cut you off at the leg–not so if they’re nude!
Essentially what this is accomplishing is making you look like you’re running around with Barbie feet–you know, on your tip-toes. Why do you think Barbie’s legs are so long? 😂 (You know, if we were pretending, for a second, that Barbie’s legs were actually proportionate to her body in length and width 🙄) But in all seriousness. Stand in front of a mirror with bare feet. Now stand on your tip-toes. See? You’ve just added several inches to your legs. Go figure!
Some great nude heels worth investing in:
Nude pumps: a year-round staple that you can wear to work, to weddings, to date nights, baby showers, brunch with grandma and anything in between. Go for a classic silhouette with a slightly pointed toe and you’ll get years of wear out of them! My favorites are by Sam Edelman, but Steve Madden makes a great pair too! (Also this pair from Calvin Klein has a “hidden gel pod” for comfort. Ooooo. Whatever that is…I’m intrigued 🤔)
Nude heeled sandals: Have you heard of “naked” sandals? I’m pretty sure Stuart Weitzman coined this term but I could be wrong. Luckily for you and me, everyone else and their mom came out with cheaper versions.
Like I referenced above, wearing a pair of these heels=barbie feet. They have a very thin strap over the toes and one around the ankle for a “barely there” look. My favorites are The Carson sandals from Steve Madden, but Vince Camuto and Sam Edelman make a nearly identical pair as well. I’m linking some of my favorites below:
Nude heeled booties:
To get the same effect but in fall and winter, look for–I’m a broken record at this point 😂–nude booties with a slightly pointed toe. My favorites the Dolce Vita Cassius booties (you can see them styled in this post) and sadly my booties you see featured in the photo above are sold out, but this pair is really similar from the same brand, as well as this pair! (All great praces, too!)
Tip #4: Over The Knee Boots
Over the knee boots have the effect of skinny jeans, but reversed, haha! Make sure to find a pair that hugs your calf and thigh (so it doesn’t end up adding bulk) and pair them with a short hemline OR with form-fitting pants (with a front tuck, of course 😉) and they’ll make legs look long and lean!
I am not exaggerating when I say I wear my Stuart Weitzman boots probably 3-4 times per week (that is, when there isn’t snow and ice on the ground). Yes, they’re expensive, obviously, but worth EVERY. PENNY and when you break it down to cost per wear over the years, it really evens out. (That is, if you have the budget to splurge, I do not advocate choosing shoes over paying bills, or eating!)
For a budget friendly alternative, I also have the Blondo OTK boots which don’t come up quite as high on the thigh but they are budget-friendly and also waterproof! These are the only other OTK boots I’ve found that work for me because I have small calves. These boots are elastic in the back (which means they will also work if you do not have child calves, don’t worry, haha!) but just thought I’d throw out that additional info for my fellow small-calved ladies out there 😉
Tip #5: Pair dark pants with dark shoes
Remember when I talked about how nude shoes create that “seamless line” between where your leg ends and your foot begins? The same thing can be accomplished when you go with a monochromatic look with your pants and booties. The same is true if you wear a dress with black tights with black shoes!
My favorite black booties are this pair from SARTO (pictured above)–they’re really comfy and I love that the toes are a bit pointed–enough to be flattering but still very comfy for walking around everywhere!
My favorite black pumps are these from Sam Edelman (I have a very old version that I’ve owned for years). Similar here as well!
What style 101 topic would you like me to tackle next? I’d love to hear your thoughts below, or submit your question right over here!