I have a formal at the end of this year, and since I’m not in the U.S., it’s the only real occasion I’ll have to dress up in a gown. My mom has a lovely black dress that she’ll let me borrow, so I could just be lazy (as I usually am about stuff like this) and do that. But to be honest I would rather wear something kind of Virgin Suicides-esque. Maybe something pastel? Do you know anywhere I could find that kind of thing without tooooo much work?
You can wear a black dress for any event in yer life, so why not follow your heart’s TRUE motivation and do a Virgin Suicides thang?
In the movie, the Lisbon sisters wear long gowns, all made from the same white floral-print fabric, but each cut slightly differently. (Similar to the old matching outfits of Destiny’s Child.) But you probs won’t be able to find that kind of dress at your local mall. Unless you have mad sewing skills or some good fortune at your local vintage store or thrift shop, your best bet for finding a VS-inspired dress would be Etsy or eBay. A search for “’70s dress” on Etsy brings all sorts of options, and pastel colors galore. For a real Lisbon vibe, find something long and kind of flowy, adorned with sweet details like lace and ruffles.
They might not have that cute floral print that the Lisbons wore, but all of these dresses will definitely evoke that dreamy ‘70s vibe you’re aiming for. Also, if you have long hair, loose waves would be a nice touch with this look. Have lots of fun, baby gurl! —Marie
I’ve got straight strawberry blond hair cut in a short bob with bangs. I love this haircut on me—but style-wise, it’s very 1920s, and my body is too curvy too look good in the clothes of that era. Are there any looks inspired by the 1950s or ’60s that involve short hair and hotness? —S.
Even though a short bob with bangs is a classic flapper style, you don’t have to start wearing drop-waist dresses just because you have that haircut. While I encourage everyone, including myself, to always wear what we want to, I also believe it’s pretty awesome when we find clothes that look great on our body type and make us feel ~just right~. Some of us curvy girls don’t really dig the silhouettes of the ’20s, which seem to look best on our straighter-bodied sistas. The clothes of the ’50s, however, were generally cut for curves, as you already know! My advice: dress like a pin-up girl!
One of my favorite bloggers, Vintage Vandalizm, knows how to work that pin-up look just as good as, if not better than, Dita Von Teese. Sometimes V.V. wears a bob wig for fun and still manages to pull off that sexy ’50s style:
You know what else would look hot? A motorcycle jacket worn over a ’50s-y dress. The combo of your blunt bob with a leather (or faux-leather) jacket is sexy-tough; add those to a pretty retro-style dress like this one and you’ve got a whole good-girl-meets-bad-girl thing going on. Check out websites like Pinup Girl Clothing, Stop Staring!, Bettie Page, and Bernie Dexter for outfit inspiration. Try on some red lipstick, which is every pin-up girl’s final touch. Damn girl ya gonna look bangin’! —Marie
I’m a very short, very thin girl with a pale, childike face and no boobs. Because of the way I look, people often patronize me, treating me like I’m inexperienced or stupid, which irritates me to the utmost. Even worse, people seem to see me as weak and expect me to be naïve and yielding—especially some boys. This has damaged my confidence more profoundly than I’d like to admit. It’s difficult for me to see myself as an actual full-grown woman—I don’t see one when I look at the mirror. It’s like I’m stuck in perpetual girlhood. What’s your advice on dealing with this? Also, regarding my boobs, can you give me some tips on where to buy cute bras for AA cups?
As someone with a similar build, I can understand your frustration. And I can also guarantee you that someone is reading both your question and my first sentence and thinking, Oh, please. I wish I didn’t have to deal with boobs/weight/looking like an adult/etc. This is because our culture has a very skewed view of what a “woman” should look like, and sends so many mixed messages on the subject that everyone is left to feel inferior in some way, which is good news for all of those companies who want to prey upon your self-esteem in order to sell you a “quick fix” for all of your so-called “flaws.”
Femininity exists on a very broad spectrum, as does style. Finding your own personal style icons—women with bodies like yours who manage to look like grown-ups—can be helpful in learning how to accentuate the body you have, instead of worrying about what you’re missing. Women like Natalie Portman, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Kristen Stewart, Selena Gomez; they all have the type of build you’re describing, and they’re definitely able to pull off sophisticated styles that don’t read as “childish” at all. (Also, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn are classic examples to look at.) Tailoring can be really helpful for those of us with smaller frames, so–not to get all Stacy & Clinton on you–if you find a dress or shirt or pair of jeans you really love but that’s too long on you, don’t be afraid to take it in for alterations. What helps me, personally, when I want to look mature is a polished hairstyle, simple but glam makeup, and a lack of statement tees and grubby shoes. Looking pulled together, I’ve found, always makes people treat me a little better. Then again, I am 31, and I know plenty of awesome, glamorous adults who have blue hair and silver eyeshadow and still manage to look sophisticated (yes, really!), so it’s all in the way you carry yourself. Confidence goes a long way.
So does honing your bitchface, for times when someone’s trying to talk down to you. If someone starts to treat you like a kid, stand up straight, look them in the eye, and speak to them in a tone that lets them know that you are an adult and expect to be treated as such. Your power comes from within, and you may be surprised at how a simple shift in posture and strong eye contact can change how people respond to you. And as for those boys who are making you feel like garbage—tell them to grow the eff up. Seriously. (Or, don’t tell them anything—they’re not worth your time.)
Finally, to answer your bra question, the New York Times did a great article on this a few years ago that you may be interested in—here you go. —Pixie
So basically, I have huge boobs. Like holy smokes Batman!, 32G-cup jugs. The problem is I’m sort of a really little person, like 5’3”, without much of anything else besides the girls. I have gotten pretty good at accommodating them, but I was wondering if you have any suggestions for me, so I don’t end up looking like I have basketballs stashed under my sweater. Seriously, these breasts of mine are bigger than my head. —G., US of A
WHY HELLO THERE, MY SISTER IN BUSTINESS, PULL UP A CHAIR AND SIT A SPELL. Since I turned 12, I’ve also had human-cranium-size tittays which seem extra-enormous on my body, so I have about a decade’s worth of experience under (or, in this case, above) my belt to share wiz you.
First off, I’m glad that it sounds like you’re not falling prey to the most common mistake that girls with majestic mammaries like ours tend to make, which is wearing an ill-fitting bra. However, it’s my duty to share this very important PSA just in case: since places like Victoria’s Secret don’t go above a DD in their bras, some people assume that’s the end of the line, cup-size-wise. If someone out there is reading this who currently has her chest strapped into a mall bra that leaves red marks on her sideboob from the wires digging into her breast meat: oh my god, no, STOP RIGHT THERE, DROP THE 32C, AND KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE ’EM, LADY. There are tons of other great options for people with especially stacked racks—did you know that American bra sizes go up to K, which is probably because it stands for KNOCKERS?
Since wearing a flattering, supportive bra is the first step in having clothes look amazing on you, it’s important to figure out your proper size. Get a fitting, which are usually free, at a boutique that sells bras or a department store, or do it yourself at home. Once you’ve got that sorted, any and all clothes you put over your new, properly supported pair are instantly going to look 625,709,808,765 times better on you. You can find plenty of cute bras for the same mall prices (or even less!) in sizes upwards of DD online—check out Hourglass Lingerie and the DD-plus section of Bloomingdale’s online store if you need a place to start.
There are also certain cuts of tops and dresses that are especially flattering on girls who are littler everywhere else. See, where loose-fitting T-shirts can be super sexy on other, less-booby girls, they make me look like a linebacker. Putting my tremendous ta-tas in shirts that aren’t fitted makes my entire upper body into a weird rectangle silhouette, which isn’t typically the look I’m going for when I’m getting dressed. The only loose T-shirt that looks good on me is a V-neck, because it breaks up the huge expanse of cloth between my nipples and my neck. I alter crewneck collars with a trusty ol’ pair of scissors. Try this out at home, et voilà! You are now entering Cleavage City, population 2 (your awesome boobs)!
My very favorite clothes on me, though, are things with a little bit more structure to them. The key to not having your chest overwhelm the rest of your cute bod is to DEFINE YOUR WAISTLINE. A well-placed belt can be amazing in this way, as can empire-waisted clothes. Once I discovered this important life truth, I got so much better at figuring out which clothes would flatter me and which would totally linebacker me out (curse you, trapeze dresses!). The clothes that work the absolute best of all for me are ones with adjustable ties on each side, or in the back, like this cute polka-dot dress, this adorable schoolgirl minidress; and this summery floral-print number. The great thing about these kinds of dresses and tops (as well as the glorious wrap dress) is that you get to control exactly how body-conscious they are and make them work for your individual figure. Adjustable clothes are godsends for women with unusual proportions, like you and me. Every single article of clothing I own that makes me feel good about my body has one of those tie backs, seriously.
OK, I hope that was somewhat helpful, baby girl! Now go forth and put your best chest forward. —Amy Rose
As a plus-size girl, I have a hard time finding cute clothes online. A lot of stores don’t offer much above a size large (which, surprisingly, is about a size 10 U.S.). Do you have any suggestions?
Do we ever! In no particular order, here are some of our favorite sources for plus-size clothing:
Those are just to get you started. For more ideas and inspiration, follow fashion blogs by curvy women like Gabi Gregg, Alissa Wilson, Nicolette Mason, Tiffany Tucker, Nadia Aboulhosn, and Amalia Nicholson and Liz Elton—they always know the best places to get cute stuff. Good luck! —Everyone at Rookie