Did y’all know I can’t dress myself? I mean, I can; I know how pants work. But I don’t understand how to put a look together: what colors are complementary, what pieces are meant to be worn together, or the most flattering way to dress my body. Luckily, Lori Troutwine came to the rescue with a personal shopping session. At her fabulous boho boutique, Luxe Lizzies (located in Richmond’s hip Depot District), Lori helped me pick outfits that looked good and felt great. She explained the reasoning about each of her choices, which was especially eye-opening.
Surely I’m not alone in my confusion. I’ve compiled Lori’s style guidelines to help us all.
Luxe Lizzies Rules of Style
Lori is a lifelong lover of fashion, to whom comfort reigns supreme. Her style guidelines mirror her boutique wares: simple, easily implemented, and aesthetically pleasing.
Know And Dress Your Body Shape
Lori insists that there are no universal style rules. What colors, styles, and fits work depends on so many individual factors: body type, coloring, etc. While these are meant to be soft guidelines rather than hard rules, understanding your body type can help narrow down a sea of confusing outfit choices into more flattering options.
There are many body types: pear, apple, rectangle, inverted triangle, and hourglass. Troutwine informs me I am pear shaped, “not broad-shouldered, not bigger busted, the majority of your curves are at the bottom.” The object, she explains, is to balance the body. If one is bigger on the bottom like me (and wishes to minimize it), then wearing black on bottom with a light colored top can help with overall body proportionality.
Lori enjoys and stocks lots of loose, flowy styles, but she doesn’t want anyone to “look like they’re wearing a paper bag.” Part of proportioning the body is balancing the fit of outfit pieces. Meaning if you wear a oversized T-shirt then you should wear tighter pants, leggings, etc on bottom. Lori showed me ways to tie layering pieces that can balance fit and show off shape as well.
Stay Out of the Juniors Section
Lori does have one hard and fast rule: stay out of the juniors section.
I was surprised to learn that the clothes featured in the juniors section is made for the pre- and early teen set (12-16). These clothes are simply not made for women who have had children, women in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond.
Lori finds that women come to her shop discouraged if they’ve spent too long in the juniors section. They think they are the problem, when, truly, it’s just that the hip-to-waist ratio of the jeans they’ve recently tried on was designed for high schoolers. Fortunately, Luxe Lizzies carries what’s known as boutique sizing: looser fitting cuts and flowier styles, catered to fit…adults.
Find Your Waist
Did you know your waist is right under your ribs? It’s practically your lower ribs.
I thought this was a dumb thing not to know, but Lori assures me that most everybody thinks their waists are way lower than they actually are. Those are our hips. Our hips and our waists are not the same. Who knew?!
Knowing where the waist truly is can help with properly dressing your body shape. Lori is fanatic about defining the waist. “Most women should try to wear styles that define a waistline,” she insists, “you always want to create shape.” She loves that high waisted fits both create body definition and “hold everything in.”
Start With A Neutral Base
Lori says that you can’t go wrong by starting with a neutral base. Especially if you hate complication.
Colors like white, grey, black, beige, and navy are easily matched. Lori advises owning key pieces in these colors. Accessories and layering pieces can be used to add pops or color or cater to trends. “Accessories are the completion to the outfit,” Lori says, “They pop out or add color [to neutral bases]. They should be fun!”
Be A Slave To Comfort And Utility, Not Trends
Lori insists that there are no universal trends or styles. She explains, “I never encourage people to shop the trend. Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who feels beautiful.” It’s hard to feel beautiful and uncomfortable. With this in mind Lori shuns ill-fitting pieces, opting to stock Luxe Lizzies with fabrics that drape beautifully and feel soft.
Lori suggests filling your wardrobe with classic, rather than trendy (a great jumpsuit that transitions from work to evening versus a slogan dress) vestments. This practice can stop you from running the fast fashion gamut. Save your pocket change for relatively cheaper accessories to play with colors and prints. Lori also likes to get the most bang for her buck by using one piece, different ways. She picked a beautiful cardigan out for me and pointed out that it would also make a great beach cover-up.
I loved the outfit Lori picked out and never would have considered it myself. I didn’t think high waisted pants or a long layering piece would be flattering. Once it was on, I loved it. Lori was right when she said, “dress the body, not the eye. You never know until you try it on.”
Full disclosure: I wore that kimono for a week. I adore the way it drapes, how it flows through space when I move. More kimonos, dusters, and cardigans must be obtained, as I understand and am excited by the prospect of layering now.
A personal shopping session at Luxe Lizzies is an enjoyable treat. You’ll get personalized, informative service interspersed with Lori’s infectious laughter.
What’s your favorite summer outfit and how do you remove sweat stains from it? Asking for a friend and you should answer in the comments below. Share this article to show Luxe Lizzies some love. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow on Instagram!
Click here for a drugstore makeup look to offset your new fashion saavy.
Happy personalized shopping!