Dressing Room Diaries:Lighting and Proportion

Dressing Room Diaries:Lighting and Proportion

This week was not my best for dressing diaries. Both stores I visited had low lighting which causes grainy pictures. I wasn’t going to try a third store because I figured the law of averages were against me so I decided we could talk about proportion and what flatters our shape. I’ll go first;)

My first stop was J.Jill. They have their new fall collection which is filled with herringbone, plaid, tweed and lots of pretty scarves. A reader commented last week that she thought much of J.Jill’s new silhouette is beginning to resemble Eileen Fisher, and I tend to agree.

Much of this collection is boxy and long on top which would have been more flattering on me in petite. They showed a lot of pattern mixing in similar tones.

Crew necklines predoninated in pullovers and sweaters. Not my best look but flattering on women with narrower shoulders.

These pull-on pants are super comfortable and available in several colors and prints. This is them in petite.

Here are the cuffed pants in regular length which I prefer because it gives a longer leg line. This poncho is also in petite. The regular length was overwhelming on me plus I sized down for less bulk.

I am wearing the cropped pants in regular length which again, gives a longer leg line on a petite woman. The scarves in this collection are nothing short of gorgeous.

This Ruana is very lightweight and would be a great piece to span the seasons.

After I saw how grainy these photos were I decided to give it another try and went to Loft. They had fewer plaids, more pattern, and slimmer fitted clothes.

With my broad shoulders and straight silhouette, loose clothes often make me appear larger than I am. The upside is they’re handy to hide lumps and bumps on my thickening midsection. My thin legs frequently save me from looking larger in bulky tops but not always so it’s a delicate balancing act.

These button cuff skinny jeans are curvy fit so have extra fabric in the seat on me and not my best fit. I paired them with this sleeveless pink top which is a woven fabric in front and a knit in back. I like how this pink coordinates with the Merlot color of this buttonless cardigan. I am wearing a regular length sweater but think it would be more flattering on me in the petite version.

Same jeans as above with this polka dot blouse which is a bit too sweet for my taste.
Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life modeling Loft clothesThe low crew neckline would be more flattering on a woman with narrower shoulders plus the vertical line at the yoke emphasizes the width of my shoulders. I did a half tuck in front to give me some needed waist definition.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life modeling Loft clothes

Same jeans and blouse as above, topped with this Striped knit Moto Jacket. I like the close fit and asymmetrical front zip that looks good open or closed. It would be cute over a tee shirt dress, dressier pants or the pencil skirt below.

This Navy Faux Suede Skirt is the regular length and I need the petite which is 2″ shorter. I dressed it down with this classic Chambray Shirt. I love the contrast of suede to chambray!

Style Tip- Skirts look most flattering when they end at a place where your leg narrows.

I couldn’t resist this Leafed Striped Sweater which screams Autumn! I put it over this Pocket Shift Skirt in regular length. Although it is meant to be above the knee length, I no longer wear my skirts that short so the regular is better for me. I would not wear it bare legged but over opaque tights with booties or riding boots. I topped these with this classic Denim Jacket which is a size too large for me but has a fitted silhouette which keeps it from looking too boxy.

For now, J.Jill designs are less flattering on me than ones from Loft. It’s important to remember that brands can and do change direction so it’s wise to keep an eye on their proportion and judge each collection against your body.

What brands are fitting you this season?

Thanks for reading ladies and have a great day!

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  1. Cindy
    September 7, 2018 / 4:23 am

    So many great looks today! I really like the beautiful scarves. I enjoy wearing scarves in the Fall for practical purposes of having a little more warmth but also for the variety they provide.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:06 pm

      That’s one of the best things about scarves!

  2. September 7, 2018 / 5:52 am

    Love those Jill scarves on you and the shades of the two pink tops. Totally agree on wishing Jill’s sweaters were more fitted… I wear their XS and believe me, I’m far from a tiny thing.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:07 pm

      I need to size down even further next time. Maybe even try a belt!

  3. Laurel
    September 7, 2018 / 6:08 am

    Thanks for the great reviews again! I also find JJill styles to be boxy on me and have to be careful which ones I choose. But their scarves have been just gorgeous in the past few seasons, and I love the ones you’ve shown.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      Their scarves are particularly pretty this season. I loved several, as you can see.

  4. Margot
    September 7, 2018 / 6:29 am

    Love the scarf at J Jill and the burgundy cardigan and suede skirt (looks great with the chambray shirt!) at Loft. I seldom notice your broad shoulders – maybe because you dress them so well!

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:10 pm

      Thanks Margot. I’m not sorry I have broad shoulders but I like to dress in a way that helps balance them with my slimmer bottom.

  5. Melissa R
    September 7, 2018 / 6:32 am

    I love the pink top, burgandy sweater and jeans on you!

  6. September 7, 2018 / 6:37 am

    A great selection of outfits. How do you select? The scarves are beautiful. They really make an outfit. Have noticed that plaid are making a comeback like the glencheck pair you tried on. Shirt dresses are also coming back. My favourite.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:22 pm

      I try to show you their newest pieces! I choose what catches my eye and often show you things the stores are high lighting.

  7. Linda Lennon
    September 7, 2018 / 6:52 am

    Beautiful! Love the J Jill collection. Very classic. Thank you for all your inspiration!

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      It’s my pleasure to share these collections with you Linda

  8. Karen H.
    September 7, 2018 / 7:08 am

    Sorry Jennifer, I didn’t think any of these outfits were appealing. I was shopping at the mall this week and found nothing but drab and dreary clothes. Of all those outfits you tried on, there should have been one that you just loved and had to bring home…it just confirms my experience so far this season.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      You illustrate why we are lucky to have so many options! Some seasons resonate with me more than others and it sounds like the same is true for you!

  9. Heidi Baggett
    September 7, 2018 / 8:41 am

    Hello, Jennifer – Thanks for another wonderful post! I liked several of the outfits you presented. This past spring I was at a Loft store to find some comfortable pieces for a trip and saw the cutest pair of pants that fit the bill, but it only came in regular crop size. I wanted them so badly that I bought regular and the length was great on my short legs! I smiled when I read this post and realized it’s not so uncommon! Have a great weekend! 🙂

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 7:29 pm

      Score!! Smart lady. Have a great weekend Heidi!

  10. September 7, 2018 / 8:57 am

    This post was so timely. I’m thinking of ordering that Jill poncho to wear with leggings so it’s good to see you try it on. I will definitely order a petite extra small or I’ll be swimming in it!

  11. Pamela Sayler
    September 7, 2018 / 9:00 am

    I really loved everything today! While I normally enjoy the changing seasons I am finding myself dreading the idea of freezing again this winter. Oh well, I do enjoy the necessary wardrobe changes. So come on fall! I like your tip about trying crop pants in a regular length (I am 5’4 and I think that would provide a much more flattering affect). Thank you, Have a wonderful weekend!

  12. Jennifer
    September 7, 2018 / 9:09 am

    My favorite on you is the last look from Loft. I also think the moto jacket is very attractive on you! I have thin legs as well which does make me look thinner than I am in some outfits; the “thickening midsection” is always a concern!!

  13. Olga
    September 7, 2018 / 9:15 am

    Hi Jennifer, I love the scarfs and skirts on you. I prefer the Loft style on you. I like the J.Jill designs and I get their catalogs and online promotions but like you I find their style less flattering on me too. I prefer the Talbots style. I started ordering Talbots mostly from their catalogs shortly after I moved to the States in the 70s and shopped at their stores when visiting the bigger malls. I loved their business suits when I worked. Now that I am retired I still shop at Talbots but for a more relaxed and classical look. I also look for their sales, which are always great. Enjoy your weekend!

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 11:37 am

      It’s very smart to shop the sales! That’s why I post them for us every weekend!

  14. Susan
    September 7, 2018 / 10:16 am

    Boy are you right about JJill-the looks are getting extremely boxy. I still love their pants and jeans but can no longer buy the tops, as that silhouette doesn’t look good on me. And I’ve done the opposite of what you do-being tall, I have bought petite size pants in order to get the perfect crop length! We do what we must!
    The Loft clothes look great on you, and now I must have that leaf sweater too. I don’t wear skirts much but I do like the skirt you styled with the sweater. And I like the skinny jeans with buttons too.
    Ok, on to Loft!

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 11:36 am

      If you’re tall that skirt would be micro mini on you!! That’s a brilliant way to get crops for you. Way to go Susan!

  15. L H Carter
    September 7, 2018 / 11:17 am

    My pick for you and for me is the ruana and the gray stripe moto jacket.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 11:34 am

      I liked them too!

  16. Joanna
    September 7, 2018 / 11:45 am

    I love the combo of blush pink and merlot! I don’t wear boxy, as I’m small busted and narrow shouldered. Anything boxy overwhelms my frame. I like a more tailored garment. I do like the button detail on the jeans and the scarves. I’m also happy to see checks and plaids in style. They add a lot of interest without too much detail if that makes sense.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 3:27 pm

      It does make sense!

  17. Lisa G.
    September 7, 2018 / 11:53 am

    I bought the striped moto jacket, but went up a size as it was a pinch short on me and I knew I would wear a long sleeve tee under it. Was at Loft today and found a great pair of trousers! But not on sale, so I’ll wait. Love your DRD.

    • Jennifer
      September 7, 2018 / 3:26 pm

      Awesome Lisa!!

  18. Anne
    September 8, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    Nice critique on the outfits. I own quite a few JJill items. I like the look of scarves on other people, but when I put them on, I end up removing them – maybe it is something one needs to get used to.
    Being 5’6″ I usually buy regular length pants or skirts, but JJill seems stuck on “ankle length” which I just can’t handle – mainly because my feet get cold, so when I am wearing closed shoes, I also have on socks which don’t look so great with ankle pants. Thinking about getting moto boots or ankle boots to hide the bottoms of the pants. Or not buying pants until that style has run its course. Oh, and when I bought “tall”, the rise was also longer!

  19. Gina
    September 13, 2018 / 7:30 am

    Brilliant post – not least because of the excellent comments you make about choosing the right length, cut and size for your height. At 5’4” I need to be particular about what I buy so that I don’t look shorter or heavier than I really am. Being choosy really can make a huge difference.

    • Jennifer
      September 13, 2018 / 3:04 pm

      It sure does Gina!

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