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The Anatomy of an Outfit- Which Body Shape Does This Flatter?

It’s no secret that women love to discuss fashion and I love that our would you wear it posts allow us to dissect an outfit without hurting another woman’s feelings. I enjoy reading your styling ideas and know I’m not alone. They help other women visualize options and inspire us to try new things.

Victoria Beard denim and tweed jacket from Nordstrom on A Well Styled Life

Here’s what I see:


The length of the jacket is one third the length of the jeans which follows 1/3 – 2/3 Golden Ratio and makes the outfit visually pleasing. Do you know the rule of thirds? I have a post coming soon which explains how to apply it to make your outfits pop. The cropped jacket makes the legs look longer and the mannequin look taller…although I’m pretty sure that worry never entered her head:)

The nipped-in waist causes the jacket to flare which creates an hourglass shape. This jacket would give the illusion of curves on a straight figure. The flap pockets draw attention to the hip so it may be less than flattering on a pear shape.

Cropped Blazers


The jacket isn’t hanging straight on the mannequin which makes the top buttons appear uneven. Since the jacket is close to $700, I assume they’re sewed on symmetrically;)

The lapels point outwards which makes the shoulders appear wider.

The jacket buttons are at an unfortunate place for a large busted woman. Double-breasted garments are often a challenge for the well-endowed because the double layer of fabric adds bulk and the buttons are at nipple height.

The button fly of the jeans seems like a misfire because there are so many buttons on the jacket. The outfit would be improved with a front zip jean or pant.

The pointed boot elongates the leg.

Flare Jeans

Would I wear this look?

Absolutely! With some modifications.

  • Because I’m short, I’d switch to a darker denim flare without the fabric insert, been there done that and not revisiting this trend;)
  • My shoulders are wide and I don’t like to wear things that make them look even wider so I’d choose this tweed jacket which has softer lapels.
  • I love the pointed toe to make my legs look longer and my feet demand comfort so I would choose a comfort boot like this.

Did you notice these things about this outfit?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.



  1. Elizabeth says:

    Really appreciated your take on this look, which I couldn’t get my head around. Also, many thanks for the “golden ratios” tip. I’m applying it to a blazer, shorter than I normally wear.
    Jennifer, I’m a new comer (signed up) to your blog, but when I open it, the ads drive me crazy because they keep shifting your text up and down. I’m signed up on 3 other blogs, including a European one, but never have ads inserting themselves into the blog text nor on the sidelines of these blogs. Are you able to fix this problem with your blog? Sincere thanks, Elizabeth

  2. Best. Post. Ever. I learned a lot, thanks.

  3. My eyes kept coming back to what looked like the buttons on the jacket being crooked. I didn’t notice that it was the way they put it on the mannequin. Now since that button situation is explained , I can look at it again.

    I ‘m not a fan of double breasted jackets or coats, but I liked the fabric that the jacket was made of. I would wear it with darker, more dressy looking jeans.

  4. I love your analyze. I have narrow shoulders and am small busted with a small waist, and that is why this jacket appealed to me. I agreed with you on the jeans. Too 70s! I like my jeans to be a dark wash with no whispering, tears or any added bling.
    I look forward to your post on thirds. It may explain why some outfits just don’t look right.
    Enjoy your Sunday

  5. I don’t comment very often on the “would you wear it” posts because I know (usually) that I don’t like the outfit but am not sure how to explain it. I just know it would not look good on me. So reading your take on it helps me to formulate my own ideas better.

  6. Christine says:

    Echoing the request for more of your analysis about the outfits – super helpful. What I disliked about the jacket was rather bottom V Was like an arrow to the jean crotch. Not an appealing look!

  7. My tall, thin niece would love these jeans! What brand are they and where can I purchase them?

  8. Such a precise , thorough tip to toe analysis of the outfit. I found this so helpful , Jennifer . I could actually
    reassess my own opinion in a day and apply it to my body shape . Please make this a regular occurrence ?

  9. Stormy Smith says:

    I really loved his post and found it to be very valuable. I look forward to your upcoming post on proportions. I’m curious about the Clark bootie you preferred. They are very cute. Do you own this bootie?

  10. Just for the record, there is a super cute jacket in the Chico’s catalog that is cropped and has a single button closure. It looks to be made of a nubby tweed type material and has black accents. It runs for $159, but if you sign up for the Chico’s text, you might luck into a flash sale. I got one for 50 percent off everything today! I think it would work well for us more generously endowed ladies. The model wears it with cropped skinny jeans, but it would be a very versatile piece.

  11. Wow! I had not noticed any of these details. It was very helpful to read what you see. Once again I learned so much!

    I was also reassured that when I try on clothing and do notice details like this, I’m not being too picky when I reject it. Friends have commented that I let details bother me too much. You just validated why those details are important.

  12. I appreciate your comments on this, also, please continue to do this.

  13. Your comments have made are a template for how to analyze an outfit. Bravo!
    I am in the market for a navy blazer. I wear a 0 or 2 petite (I’m under 5’). I cannot find a nice one that doesn’t have working sleeve buttons. So the sleeves can’t be hemmed and they always need it. I won’t go the roll-up -your -sleeves route and the sleeves are too narrow to take up from the shoulders. Can you help?

    1. @Susan: Just two thoughts re a navy blazer and in event a petite sizing doesn’t meet your needs. You could try the Junior department instead as sizing proportions differ from that of women’s and/or you might wish to seek out a large department store that caters to school dress code/uniform types, which come in a vast range of sizing.

  14. Great things to look for in this post. I am petite so a lot of would you wear it outfits would never work for me. But I think this jacket would with skinny dark wash jeans.

  15. I appreciate your comments on this (please continue to do this!!!) it helped me look it the outfit differently and why it would/would not work for me.

    1. I’m glad you found it helpful! I’ll try to do this each week.

  16. Clarissa C says:

    Very helpful deconstruction! I have been evaluating the tweed jacket + jeans trend for a few years. I like it very much as long as the “mood” of the entire ensemble is not too disjointed. In this example, I find the jeans too casual/funky for the jacket; I get a feeling of disconnect when I look at it. Some might like it precisely because of the contrast. I think it would work better with a pair of dark, slim jeans that aren’t fighting for attention with the rest of the outfit.

    1. MeredithDenovan says:

      Never heard of the ⅓; ⅔ rule. I’m 5’3” and like tunics but I only wear them with skinnybjeans or leggings. What is your advice on petite women wearing tunics?

  17. I also missed the jean buttons, and agree that that button placement makes a more prominent tummy. I got to thinking, many of the elements in this pic work well on a man, broadening the shoulders, narrowing the waist, pocket accent on hip, jean pockets around the hip area. Just thinking out loud here, many women have curves.

  18. I did not notice the buttons on the jeans yesterday! I was focused on the inserts. 🙂

  19. Great post! I enjoy and benefit from tips that teach us how to flatter our diverse body shapes. I appreciate your work, Jennifer!

  20. Great post! I enjoy learning how to tweak outfits to make them more flattering for my body style. I appreciate your work, Jennifer!

  21. So glad that you are sharing your evaluation Jennifer and feel you are spot on but am going to add (to my comment of yesterday) that unless you have a well-toned abdomen you might wish to avoid buttoned front trousers/pants altogether. Reason being; IMHO if you do have a midriff bulge they will only draw the eye towards it, do have the possibility of gaping and prove to be just uncomfortable, particularly if they are of a metal alloy and shank in style (not to mention they are a nuisance to do up).
    P.S.: In respect to the cost of the jacket and presuming it is US funds (and be close to double that in Cdn. currency), I too suspect that the application of the buttons are symmetrical or would hope that they are … ☺.

    1. I find button front jeans difficult to do up also. Zippers are just a lower profile.

  22. Your comments are so helpful. I didn’t know the 1/3 – 2/3 rule. Wow! Now I know why some of my pieces don’t look right together. Thanks, your help is always appreciated.

  23. Nancy Hopkins says:

    I enjoy your instructive comments and look forward to your page each day.

  24. Donna Nance says:

    I like your incarnation of the outfit much better!

  25. Lori Stewart says:

    Thank you for dissecting the jacket and explaining how the construction of the jacket affects different body types. I knew it probably wouldn’t look great on me, save the waistline creating feature, but wouldn’t really know WHY!

    I am hoping remember these tips.

  26. Loved your comments! I am new to this site and have loved seeing how you do things.

  27. Lisa Stewart says:

    Thanks for this info. It really helps in evaluating an item of clothing. I look forward to seeing more like this.

    1. Very helpful! I do read these posts but never quite sure how to articulate why it works/doesn’t.

  28. Well! Your comments are right on I must say! I did say yesterday that I liked the outfit! I think the outfit as it stands as is, would look good on someone over 5 ft 5 inches and someone who is thin. Not being either of those, I would have changed the outfit like you did! I don’t like double breasted. that type of jacket makes one look broader something I do not need! A darker denim would look much better for the pants. And the buttons on the jeans would work for that mythical slimmer and taller person! This is how I would change the outfit: I have Ralph Lauren cotton kit blazer navy blue with white trim. I would wear that with darker slimmer leg pants. The pink tee gives the outfit a bit of color. I cannot wear pointy shoes or boots at all, so I would wear loafers. I would add a long necklace and earrings.

  29. Evelyn Bailey says:

    I have to admit that I almost always skipped the Would you Wear it posts. The outfits were often odd or too memorable so they would not fit in my trimmed down mix and match wardrobe. However, your take on the outfits was enormously helpful! So much helpful info here. I, like most of probably, so not share your attributes. So I really appreciate when you point out how you might not want to emphasize broad shoulders but some of us need that. You may be able to wear something that emphasizes hips but many of us would truly avoid that! Information on things like the rule of thirds is also valuable. With my pear shape I was doing myself a disservice with tunics and tunic length jackets. I now wear much longer or shorter over a column of color.

    As you can tell, I really enjoyed this and will now try to spot what you are going to discuss! Thank you!

  30. This was so helpful and made me want to try a look like this. Thank you for sharing your very sharp eye with us.

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