Here’s hoping you’re still with me. After this post I have one more set — I know, I know — to you which will answer all of our covering up the arms questions.
As my great friend Susan of UneFemme, pointed out yesterday, tanned arms are great summer “sleeves.” Self-tanners solve the problem, along with the one about bare legs. The women I saw in Paris were bronzé and one gorgeous dark skinned woman was beyond chic in her sleeveless, short LBD.
Let’s talk skirt lengths and shoes for a moment. The general rules:
1.) The shorter the skirt, the lower the heel. Think ballerinas and sandals in the summer and boots and botines added to the mix in the fall and winter.
2.) The longer the skirt, the higher the heel. Now, there is a proviso on this one. . .
- Long, casual dresses — long as in skimming the ankle — usually call for flat shoes.
- Over the knee and mid-calf lengths look best with heels. They can be striking stilettos or, for many of us, just something with a bit of lift to give the leg more definition. These are lengths that can make a woman appear truncated, so for most of us it’s important to have some “lift.”
- Evening gowns that touch the floor are another situation. Heels tend to be de rigour. In my opinion, occasions that call for gowns would be an excellent time to slip a pair of flat shoes under the skirt though I understand the confident feeling that heels can impart.
As we know, rules are made to be broken. The best way to figure out the proportions that flatter our bodies is to make a short study of long, short and in-between in front of our best friend, our full-length mirror.
Another observation, I find when a dress has a defined waist and we want to cover exposed arms a cropped cardigan is a better choice than the classic length, which can break the line.
Lest you think I’ve forgotten about shawls; I have not. The problem with them can be that for some of us they require a lot of fussing to toss them back into place. That never seems to be an obstacle for Frenchwomen, and I’ve looked very closely to see their technique.
As near as I can tell, the end that is to be flipped over the opposite shoulder is considerably longer than the other side if you see what I mean.