Dress to Impress…Spring 09

Posted in Dresses with tags on June 5, 2009 by closetsmarts

It’s about time to start baring your legs, and from my perspective, make dressing easier, by beefing up your spring and summer dress wardrobe. What could be easier than one step dressing? No need to match, belt, layer or tuck when it’s just a quick slip over the head or step into number, right? Here are a few dresses I’ve been eyeing for the season…

Believe it or not, I found this dress in bright pink and black at TJ Maxx’s recently for $49.00 – I got it in both colors because it has such a versatile construction – I’ve worn it to the office, and to a wedding with a simple swap out of shoes and other accessories – totally versatile and the cut– with its stiff aline cotton and empire waist band, hides it all!
CK Sun Dress_1

True, this next dress from At Loft is form fitting, but the busy crochet print combined with crochet’s natural elastine quality can help sculpt those of you on the edge of a shapely hour glass silhouette – dresses meant to emphasize curves always look better when you have a little girth as well…otherwise, what’s the point? The colors are great, and again, pair it with stacked heels for a dressy look, with flip flips for an easy summer look, or something in between for work:
ATLoft Croche_2
I always find some great dresses at Target, and this season is no exception – they’ve got the mod shift of the season in this great retro print. There’s just enough shaping through the torso to keep you from looking like a rectangle, but its cut wide enough to hide all kinds of figure challenges:
Target Mod shift_3
Or check out this easy breezy black belted dress – so versatile for work, upscale casual or dressy:
Target belted dress_4
One of my favorite Eco designers Aimee G has a fabulously artistic line of clothing and dresses if you are looking for something a bit more unique. Their cut is usually very good at masking midsection foibles as is their nice aline cut and stiffer (read: sculpting) cottons. But still to at least Medium, the small can be small…Check these out:
AimeeG_pink_5Aimee G mutli_6
This dress by Velvet has some great figure masking qualities with its ruched mid section (you can arrange it higher or lower on your waist depending on where your ‘pouch’ falls). The Aline drape is also good for heavier thighs and rear but won’t mask too many lumps and bumps – the teal color is totally gorgeous:
Velvet Teal_7
There’s nothing like Max Studio for figure enhancing (or rather, obscuring) dresses– this shift has a nice fit at the top to distract from the nice room it offers below for any troubling mid-sections, droopier rears or the heavy hipped – perfect for this summer with sandals or even over dark wash or black jeans as a tunic!
MAxStudi Shift_8
Though we certainly can’t all look like Victoria’s Secret models, they do come out with some stuff for the rest of us once in a while. This halter bra top dress in indigo has all the right moves for the average shaped amongst us especially if you’re smaller chested or moving towards the pear scale…the empire defining waistband never hurts when it comes to defining a narrow waist and nice fall away cut on the skirt:VS halter dress_9
And though J Crew tends to do dresses a bit too dressy for translation into the every day, this silk shift in petunia pink caught my eye – not for the overly hippy with its fitted bodice and high piped waistline, it will emphasize a shapely hourglass, and can easily be dressed up or down with the right shoes:
Jcrew Silk Dress_10
So go out and pretty it up! It’s the easiest outfitting you’ll ever encounter on any given summer morning!


Mind the Gap, Banana

Posted in Color, Dresses, Seasonal, Skirts, Tops with tags on May 29, 2009 by closetsmarts

Mind the Gap, Banana

More evidence that no one seems to be doing the same thing, let’s take a whirl wind tour of what the Gap’s got on tap for Spring Color that not Banana’s…

Could this skirt be any cuter? Great color, perfect A-line cotton twill fabric: read will hide all figure flaws– and looks great with the strappy sandal of the season, oh, and it has pockets…get it fast!

Gap Blue Skirt_1
This little fuchia pintuck dress may look skimpy for now, but why not pair it with some dark wash jeans and a little shrug, and wear it as an ode to Spring? Its empire waist and slight a-line shape will accommodate some pants beneath, and some hip, but definitely not too much in that department so beware, nor is this for the busty. Straps are removable:

Gap Pink Pintuck_2
I also see using this as a colorful tunic with some pants for Spring – it’s got great design detail at the bib which will accommodate the bustier among you, a nice aline, and with its self tie belt, you decide how much you want to hide through the midriff:

Love this fitted vneck sweater (got one myself in navy), and it comes in some great hues! The thin gauge will work well as an under layer with a jacket, or later as a top all on its own:

Gap Vneck Sweater_4
The rest is making me want to yawn, not to mention the overwhelming shapelessness of a lot of their offerings this season..beware the shapeless garment, regardless of color..…..let’s see how Banana stacks up..

If you can do it, this canary yellow dress is a winner (picture it with a jean jacket and tall boots, and then later with sandals..Design details will cover most figure worries below the bust:

BR Yellow dress_5

Though shown here on a very thin gal, this fab green dress will work on most size hour glass figures (XSthrough XL)when belted at the empire. The skirt is straight and there are pockets right on the hips so you have to be well proportioned to avoid getting attention in the wrong spot– the color is great and it can be worn at work or more casually depending on shoes and accessories:

BR Green Dress_6

I’m putting this ‘shark grey’ vneck dress on the list despite its obvious lack of ‘spring’ color because grey is a great neutral to carry some bright accessories. The dress’ shape will hide a multitude of sins on your bottom half while drawing attention to the narrowest part of your silhouette:

BR Gray Dress_7
Picture it with some of these great accessories:
BR red bag_8Piperlime Magenta bag_9Piperlime Orange bag_10Piperlime teel wedge_11AK Floral pump_12
Piperlime Multi color wedge_13

Not surprisingly since Banana and the Gap hardly have different parents, I find the tops selection at Banana certainly leave something to be desired in the ‘shape’ department. My last pick is this great layering tank –it comes in some vibrant colors (especially wasabi green and drizzle blue) that will work now under a jacket, and transition nicely into your favorite summer tank:

BR ribbed tank_14
I’ll leave the rest to the sale racks….

Spring Color Review- AT versus ATL

Posted in Color, Dresses, Seasonal, Shopping, Skirts with tags on May 22, 2009 by closetsmarts

Spring Color Review : AT versus ATL
It’s always exciting to finally start wearing things that aren’t just an amalgam of brown, black and grey, and herein is the first installment of my Spring Color Review. For starters, looks like there is little agreement amongst the corporate fashion heads about what color is in – that means, we win! More variety is always the spice of style. This week our topic: AT versus ATL

Apparently as far as AT is concerned, it’s all about prints this spring, and they’ve got some douzies.. but actually, prints can be a great way to ease your way into spring with a nice layered look without bowling anyone over with your screaming colors…i.e. use these bright prints in the peek-a-boo sense under one of your suit jackets or sweaters:
This halter has a great palette of muted colors that will go with a lot:

AT Brushstoke Halter_1

This silk shell in Rosette is a great little dash of spring in the midst of a sea of brown:

AT Rosette Shell_2AT Rosette Shell Outfit_3
Here’s a floral I could live with in deep indigo and green–with its empire cut and shape sculpting viscose and spandex, this could be a great layering piece now and also work well in this summer with capris or a skirt:

AT Deep Indigo_4
Beyond that I’m going to have to say selection seems a bit hum drum on AT’s store front, and what’s with the big black and white push? Boring…..on to AT Loft!

Ah, ATL definitely wins in the Spring department in this duel. Check out this floral smock blouse. This will hide a bit of tummy and accommodate a chest, can be worn tucked and toned down for the office, or this summer with capris or a skirt for a much looser feel, in two great colors:

ATL Floral Smock_5ATL FLoral Smock Outfit_6ATL Floral Smock Red_7
Here is a lovely way to add some soft hues to your palette, and this shell (preferably in slate) has some great design details as well:

ATL Slate Shell_8
What’s not to love in this refined printed tee– great color, nice print, will blend well with layering pieces and can be worn more formally for work, or as an upscale tee in summer:
ATL printed Tee_9

Okay, maybe not for work, but I couldn’t let this one go by–so cute, and who doesn’t need a cute hoodie? Color is fab:
ATL Hooded Moss_10

Have to sing the versatility praises of this metallic layering jacket (yes, I own it) – perfect to carry some of the colors of spring you import beneath its well shaped exterior… and with the metallic sheen, this can be dressed up and down easily, a great buy all around:
ATL metallic jacket_11
Besides the button flap detail at the bust (i.e. if you’re busty, this won’t do), this trench is a fabulous way to greet the season – perfect weight, great style, and spot on color:
ATL Green trench_12

So go forth, start retiring your winter duldrums and take some risks – taunt the Spring into its arrival! Next week we’ll take a look at Banana versus Gap….stay tuned!

A Few of My favorite Things

Posted in Accessories, Bags, Dresses, Jackets, Shoes, Skirts, Tops with tags on May 15, 2009 by closetsmarts

A Few Of My Favorite (Spring) Things

 As I shop about putting together themed entries for this blog and thinking about how all the different bodies are going to work for them, yes, I get distracted, distracted by beautiful, adorable, covetable things that may or may not make sense to have in your wardrobe.  But isn’t fashion all about the little indulgences once in a while?  The best indulgencesare pieces that have a lot of personality, but don’t get so specific that they look odd (read: unwearable) the next season.  Here is my Ode to Spring Things:

The beautiful pear green of this simple spring sandal from Boden makes me get all a flutter inside..great with a dark denim now, or with a lovely summer print dress later, or even capris for a work look…they’re not THAT high, c’mon…

Boden Pear Sandals_1

And while you’re shopping at Boden, here’s a terrific, classic, never go out of style silver wedge sling back that will carry you through the ages in futuristic style – nothing sasses up an ordinary outfit easier than some metallic on your feet – these are the bomb:

Boden Silver Wedge_2


For Boden shoes: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Shoes-and-Boots.html

If you’re a collector and love little jackets for those in-between seasons, check out this cool turquoise number from Urban Outfitters…it’s making me want to develop a coat fetish (okay, maybe I already have one..)


UO Turquoise Jacket_3


 And while you’re at Urban, and it’s still tights season, check out these peacock feather embossed tights – such an awesome little dash of style for an otherwise straightforward look.  Let ‘em know you’re thinking about it (and you’ve got it covered):


UO Coll Tights_4

I love sparkly things, even if they aren’t so practical.  This sparkly tunic, however, is as close as you’re going to get to totally versatile sequins..weddings, a night out for drinks, or with a jacket layered over top to tone it down for a more average night out and about…I DID say this was an ode to no-so-necessary- fashion items, didn’t I? From Free People, and it comes in a gorgeous purple as well…


FP Sequin Tunic_5 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this red white and blue – perfect dress for the 4th, but also just a great summer dress in a basic (flattering) cut, that really can’t go wrong.  Yes, there’s a bow in the back – you can see it with a miscroscope here- which is totally adorable, but don’t you want to be adorable too?  From Anthropologie:

Anthro Red White Blue_6Anthro Red White Blue Bow.6a

For something a little more bohemian, check out this halter dress from Anthropologie – I love the color combination here, exotic and yet tameable, and it’s a high-sided halter so no worries about underarm fat bulging or a larger bust, it should work for everyone.  Wear it with flip flips around your spring/summer haunts, or pair it with nicer sandals and a clutch for an event:

Anthro Halter Dress_7

These shoes make me wanna cry, mostly because they’re sold out in my size…I think they are the perfect combination of classic and funky and also, brown and teal make my world feel right..all sighs here….if you have the 6.5 contact me..I’ll make an offer..(also from Anthropologie)

Anthro Teal Wedge_8
Now go indulge yourselves on a few unnecessary Spring Things!

Does this blog make me look fat?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2009 by closetsmarts



This blog, authored by yours truly, ClosetSmarts, is the continuation of a blog project that started at AOL’s Stylelist….it is devoted to helping real sized and reality based women find clothes that will look good on THEIR bodies and work for their lives.  You’ll find advice here on the shape and style of clothes and who they will work for (and against), as well as links (active in the more recent posts) to accessible and affordable stores at which little ‘ole you might even buy (and be able o afford!) some of these items – how novel!  You are welcome to check back on my AOL past here http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2008/09/15/introducing-emily-neill/ , or,  just start with me again right here…oh, and please do check out my website.  I am happy to come on over and jump start your wardrobe as well:


More coming soon!


Em Masters