Ask The Bean: Belting Up The Cardigan

July 10, 2010 • Magazine

Ask The Bean: Belting Up The Cardigan

Ask The Bean: Belting Up The Cardigan

Mon, 2000-07-10 05:00

Dear Bean:

I’ve been noticing a lot of women wearing a dress with an open cardigan belted at the waist. I think it’s such a cute look, but I just don’t know how to work it! I’m curvy and I feel that you need to be pretty skinny for the look. Is that true? Is there a way I can pull this off?


Dear Unbuckled:

I absolutely LOVE this look! You have a very good eye!

I think the actual issue you are dealing with is the fear of stepping outside of your ‘fashion box’. It’s very scary for us ladies to experiment with concepts and looks that don’t fit into our regular fashion look.

For example, I’m very well known for wearing all black or gray with colorful shoes and statement accessories. A friend of mine talked me into buying a pattern dress and mixing it with a pattern cardigan – I was terrified! However, once I forced myself into playing with the concept and trying the outfit on, I was shocked and delighted to find that it actually worked! I’m not saying that I wear that look every day, but every once in a while I’ll work it in for something new. I admit, the feeling is quite empowering for something as simple as shifting clothing styles!

So first thing’s first, you have to try on this look. Merely looking at it from across the street or a magazine ad doesn’t cut it. And it doesn’t matter one hoot if you’re curvy – in fact this look would emphasize your waistline, which will be uber-flattering and slimming!

A few pointers – try this look with a long cardigan and a skinny belt. First button the middle two buttons of the cardigan and then add the belt. Then unbutton the buttons – buttoning the cardigan first ensures that the cardigan doesn’t shift when you add the belt. And voila! Congratulations, you are now donning your current favorite trend!

If you are worried about appearing larger, try a darker-hued cardigan or one with a flattering pattern and a solid top underneath (or vice versa). Also tucking in your top will help create a more cinched look for your waistline. You can also untuck your shirt (make sure it’s form-fitting), which creates the look of height. With this look though, make sure the top is always shorter than your cardigan. And of course, make sure you don’t cinch the belt – our goal is to avoid the muffin top – not create it!

Bottom line is that as this is a new look for you. Play around with it until you find how it’s the most flattering for your figure and comfort level.

Looking forward to admiring you on the sidewalk!

1. Splendid Draped Jersey Cardigan $63 and HTC Studded Leather Belt $340
2. Stella McCartney Sequined Fine-Mesh Cardigan $1,395
3. See by Chloé Gold-Button Wool-Blend Cardigan $395
4. RM by Roland Mouret Rouclere Leather Wrap-Around Belt $180
5. Crumpet Longline Cashmere Cardigan $435 and HTC 10,000 Female Double belt $250
6. Miu Miu Bell-Sleeve Wool-Blend Cardigan $850

Image Layout: Laura Funk

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