Hi, Nikki! My name is Kyle, and I like my name. I currently lean on the boyish side. My wardrobe consists of jeans, baggy clothes (some girly ones), and grey, black and black again. Most of the time, I end up borrowing my sister’s clothes (who’s a complete opposite of me) just to change my image quite a bit sometimes, but size-wise we are very different so I don’t get to do that very often. I have manly shoulders, tan skin, and measure 34-28-32 at five feet flat. I really want to liven up my wardrobe but not have such a drastic and obvious change. I want to see if I would fit into pastels and skirts, dresses and the like but I always feel conscious of myself, and because of this I end up covering myself all the time. Please help! Thank you.
Kyle, 21/California, USA
Love the name, Kyle, and thanks for dropping by! I’m not going to beat around the bush so keep reading.
Think Beyond Pastels: Use More Colors
It’s 2017 and thankfully, people no longer think that blue is exclusively for boys and pink is for girls. Just like your name, you don’t always have to stick to the status quo when it comes to colors. You can be feminine (and not just girly) and still wear black and gray all the time. In the same vein, guys can totally rock pink shirts and embroidery, too.
Instead of jumping headfirst into the Lisa Frank spectrum, do it one color at a time. Try other bright colors like red, blue and green first. These all look good with your blacks and grays. Experiment with one of these a few days at a time until you get comfortable with how you look. Slowly introduce lighter shades from these color families, e.g., pink for red, lilac instead of purple, mint green for hunter green, sky blue instead of navy blue.
Fit and Fabric Are Essential
A great fit is the cornerstone of real style. See how different you look if you wore a sweater that actually fits your body in all the right places instead of simply draping you in excess fabric. “Fitted” doesn’t always mean “tight” in the same way that being sexy doesn’t always mean you have to show plenty of skin. Don’t worry about your “man shoulders,” Kyle. As long as you don’t wear any shoulder-baring tops or blouses, or jackets with humongous shoulder pads, I doubt that people will notice.
Now that it’s spring and nearly summer, lighter fabrics are definitely a must. One look you can try is the mesh trend, which involves some layering underneath tops or sometimes jeans. Some print V-neck tees have fishnet insets at the neckline, while some distressed jeans have them underneath the frayed cutouts. It’s all quite rock star-edgy and unexpectedly sexy, actually, and something you might end up liking!
Sometimes, You Just Need Details
What gives skirts and dresses that feminine flair is the way they’re cut. That’s why I almost always recommend the A-line silhouette because it instantly creates a small waist and balances wide hips. However, a change in fabric and some details do make a world of difference. Try sheer sleeves or insets, just like how the mesh trend works. You can also choose tees, blouses or shirts with a hint of tonal lace (so it’s noticeable but not that outlandish) at the collar, sleeves or placket. Some minimalist embroidery on a shirt pocket definitely changes the way it looks. Patterns or prints on the sleeves, or just the yoke of a tee can transform the piece from casual to cute and cool.
Details can also mean accessories. If brights and pastels seem like too much sometimes, show your feminine side with fashion jewelry and other kinds of accessories. Rhinestone ear cuffs, tiny flower studs, charming woven bracelets, and even animal-print, lace-trimmed or fishnet socks can serve as your statement pieces.
In a nutshell, get comfortable with making small changes first. Pace yourself so you don’t get shocked whenever you look in the mirror. Soon, you can move on to the skirts and dresses that you want to wear, and finally be able to seamlessly combine or switch looks anytime you feel like it. Good luck!
P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!
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