I talk a lot about the importance of good bras, but an area I've never covered is the other side of the foundation equation. Yep, underwear. Panties. Skivvies. Underpants. Call them what you will, it might be time to upgrade, update, or simply set fire to, your underwear drawer..
I have to be honest, writing this is a little awkward. I don't want to make my clients feel like I've been checking out their undies (which is creepy, and also untrue), but I've lost count of the times I've been with a client who's been trying on pants and has said to me "I'll wear better underwear, and these will look ok". I'm not talking about just VPL's (visible panty lines), but lumpy, saggy rears caused by underwear that's lost it's shape, thigh bulges caused by the wrong style, and more. Ladies, when I tell you I've seen everything...I mean I've seen everything. And a lot of it could have been avoided by better underwear.
Finding the right underwear for your body shape can be as challenging as finding the right jeans. Okay, maybe not that challenging, but it can be tough to find panties that fit, flatter, and feel good. Lots of women think they need to wear shapewear on a daily basis to get a smoother silhouette, but before you stuff yourself into those Spanx, spend a little extra time, money and effort on your everyday unmentionables--you might be surprised at how much difference they make!
Before we get to the Body Type specific advice, here are a few general guidelines for everyone to follow-
Fit- Most women should go up one size from their pant size when buying underwear. Your underwear should not be causing any indentation on your legs, hips or rear. If they are, size up, or try a different style. Also, buy with fit, not size, in mind. Just like with clothing, lingerie sizes can vary wildly from brand to brand, and from style to style. Don't shop with preconceived ideas.
Fabric- I get the appeal of cotton, I truly do. It's comfortable, and good for your lady parts. BUT, it stretches out and sags horribly, which makes your butt look sad. It can also look really lumpy under fitted clothing. Consider microfiber or a blend that gives a little more support/smoothing, and holds its shape better. At the very least, commit to replacing your cotton panties often, and making sure you've got the right fit.
Cost- Good underwear probably costs a lot more than you think it should. Remember, bras and underwear are the foundations of your wardrobe, and when you skimp on them, the rest of your clothes don't look as nice as they could. While I can't tell you how much you should be spending on your undies, I can tell you that good underwear doesn't come in a pack of 10 across the aisle from the cleaning supplies!
Lastly, I acknowledge in advance that most of the underwear I've linked to is a little more "full coverage" than what a lot of women go for. While it might feel a little unsexy to cover up a bit more, underwear that is ill-fitting and unflattering isn't sexy either. If you're still wearing the same underwear style you did 20 years ago, it might be time to change...after all, your body has probably changed a bit!
Oh, and if your'e thinking "this blog needs more pictures", I agree--but lots of you will be reading this at work, and in the interest of keeping you out of the HR office, I'm just linking instead. If you click on the links, you will find pictures of underwear. Consider yourself warned!
The Apple body type is characterized by an upper half that is bigger than the lower half, and often, a round tummy, small hips and a flat rear. Underwear challenges for Apples include waistbands that roll down, and extra fabric in the back, causing saggy butt syndrome.
To fix the challenges:
1) Choose higher-waisted styles that have a wide, flat waistband in a fabric with all-over stretch that will hug your body. High-leg briefs are usually a good choice. If you can, look for medium coverage in the rear to avoid extra fabric under pants. Soma's Vanishing Edge Hi-Leg Brief is a great choice for tummy coverage, and solves the VPL problem
2) If all of your underwear has too much fabric in the rear, consider a thong, but avoid low rise versions that will slip down. This Victoria's Secret high waist thong solves both issues!.
As an Apple, these are my personal favorite for a little everyday shapewear.
The Pear body is the opposite of the Apple--it's characterized by a lower half that is bigger than the upper half, with fuller hips and thighs. Underwear challenges for Pears include panties that "creep up" and noticeable lines around the leg openings if you're thicker in that area.
To solve your challenges:
1) Panties that ride up are most often caused by not enough fabric in the rear, allowing things to shift, and eventually work their way up into uncomfortable places! This can be caused by too-small sizing, or a style that doesn't provide enough back coverage. Boyshorts and hipsters are great full coverage options, and consider sizing up at least one size from your pant/dress size.
2) Look for styles with generous leg openings. While boyshorts and hipsters give you good back coverage, their low leg openings can sometimes cut into a fleshy part of the leg, which is not cute. Look for styles that don't have binding around the leg openings, or for high cut styles that give you more room, like these Natori French cut briefs.
The Hourglass Body is the sister of the Pear--both feature smaller waists and curvy hips and thighs. The difference between the Pear and the Hourglass is that Hourglass bodies have a more balanced upper half, with shoulders that are proportionate to the hips. But, given that we're talking about underwear, not bras, Hourglasses will do well following the suggestions for Pears.
As an alternative, Hourglasses (with their pin-up girl curves), can try a retro-inspired high-waist brief or thong.
The Rectangle Body is the sister of the Apple--both feature relatively undefined mid-sections, but Rectangles have hips/rears that are proportionate to their waists, making underwear a lot easier to fit. Unlike the Apple, they don't tend to get too much extra fabric in the back, and they don't need a rise that's quite as high to avoid the roll-down.
For most rectanges, the traditional bikini style is an easy choice. However, if you find yourself facing the challenges of the other body types (rolling down or creeping up) try the styles recommended in the Apple or Pear sections.
As with just about everything clothing related, Rectangles have to focus less on shape challenges, and more on finding the right fit/fabrics. In general, I find the Rectangle body easiest to dress, but it also has the most variation, which makes general advice tougher.
I hope these tips give you a little guidance to solve some of the annoying undie challenges lots of women face. Wondering where to shop? GapBody, Soma, Nordstrom, and Bare Necessities are a few of my favorites.
BTW, did you know I have a FREE 7 Day Style Challenge coming up? One week of mini challenges designed to help bust your style rut and banish the wardrobe blahs. Sign up here!
Hey Style Sister!
Forget Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and all those other days..I've created my OWN day. It's today, and it's called "For real? Christmas is in less than a week? I'd better get started! Tuesday". Granted, it doesn't roll of the tongue, but this is for my fellow holiday shopping procrastinators who are feeling the panic rise.
Last minute sister, I'm here to help you out with my Give Style, Get Style BOGO deal!
Today, December 19, for 24 hours only, when you give a Capsule Wardrobe Guide as a gift, you can get one FREE for yourself!
Here's how to take advantage of this amazing, never-seen-before, might-never-see-again deal
**Click this link to see which capsule guide would be right for the women in your life.**
Then, click the Buy Now button on the page.
When you get to the payment screen, click the present icon, and enter the recipient's Name, email address, and the date you'd like the Capsule Guide to appear in their inbox. You can even add a message!
Once you get payment confirmation, forward your receipt to jennifer@appleandpearwardrobe .com and tell me if you'd like to receive the Casual or Workwear capsule for yourself.
I'll send it out by Thursday evening. I'll also send you a certificate for the gift that you can wrap up, put in a stocking, or in a card.
This deal isn't valid on prior purchases, but if you already have the capsule guide, you can buy one as a gift, and send the other as an additional gift. In that case, when you forward your receipt, tell me the recipient's name, email, delivery date and whether you want to gift the casual or workwear Capsule Wardrobe Guide.
Some questions I think might be frequently asked:
Can I buy more than one as a gift? Absolutely! You just have to do each one as a separate transaction. My system isn't able to send to multiple email addresses, so unless you want to send your friend Linda 3 copies of the casual capsule, do them all separately. You still get a free Capsule Guide for each one you purchase, though!
Oh shoot--I didn't see this in time, can I still get the deal? Nope, sorry. This was a one day, blink-and-you-missed-it deal. Also, my mom arrives tonight--so I'm clocking out for the holidays.
But I just bought your capsule 2 weeks ago, are you sure I can't get the deal? You absolutely can get the deal--it means you just get to give 2 as gifts, or get the other capsule you don't already have.
Can I give one as a gift and wait to get the Spring Capsule for myself? No.
What's the deal with the big bell sleeves? I don't know--unless you have very long arms, they're a little silly.
Receipts must be time stamped by 11:59pm on 11/19 and EMAILED to jennifer@appleandpearwardrobe .com by Wednesday, 12/20 at 11:59pm EST. No Facebook messages, text message, or carrier pigeon messages, please.
I will be unavailable starting 12/21, so receipts received after 12/20 will be sent out when I am able, after the holidays.
Jennifer's Note: From time to time, I like to bring in a guest expert--someone who knows a topic better than I do and can bring a fresh perspective.. During closet edits, I run across a lot of red blouses and sweaters, about which, the owner says "No, we don't need to try that on. I just wear it for Christmas". The top and I exchange glances, and it gives me a resigned shrug of it's misshapen shoulders. We both know the deal--once a year, it gets trotted out to look "festive", and the other 364 days of the year it waits patiently for it's big moment. It knows you don't really love it. Frankly, it's not crazy about you, either. So here today to share some truth and knowledge is your red sweater. Take it away, Red Sweater!
Hi Everyone--and a special thanks to Jennifer for getting me out of that closet. This is more daylight than I've seen since you brought me home in 2007! So, listen. This is awkward, but I have some things I'd like to say.
First, thank you for making me a part of your family traditions for the last 10 years. It's nice to know you rely on me to let everyone know that you're in the holiday spirit. I appreciate that. I truly do. We've been a real team, you and I...but don't you think it's time we see other people? Just last year, I heard your cousin Linda say "there's that sweater again" under her breath as she was passing the butter. I know she didn't mean to make me feel bad, but maybe I've become expected...almost a holiday style rut? I mean, look at your holiday party pics from the last 10 years. There I am! In every.single.one. The rest of the family has different clothes, so obviously you found time to go shopping...just not for yourself, huh?
Next, I need to tell you that I don't feel appreciated. During your closet edit, Jennifer asked what you liked about me, and the only thing you could come up with is "It's red". Really? That's it? Don't I make you feel beautiful and stylish? I know I did 10 years ago...what's changed? Wow, that much, huh? I hope you don't mind me saying this, but after all the body and life changes you've experienced over the past decade, perhaps it's time to find a holiday look that better reflects who you are today.
Finally, I'm tired. Holidays are exhausting, and that's all I ever do! Can't you let one of the newer, younger pieces in your closet handle this one? Look at me--I'm not aging well. These little rhinestones are adding years to my look (and yours). Back in my prime, I was a real looker, but now I just feel kind of sad and out of place. Like a Vegas showgirl past her prime. Which would be ok...but unfortunately dated clothes make YOU look dated too, and I want better for you.
I know the holidays are fast approaching, and you might be a little stressed about what to wear if you and I part ways, so I'd like to give you a few options for easy looks that are a little more current...and don't involve a red sweater.
Well, Friends....it's that time of year again. That time when we start making a list of all the people we need to buy gifts for, and start noticing things in stores that would be perfect for our sisters, friends, or Aunt Maryanne. Those who know me know I'm a complete Christmas addict, and one of my very favorite things about the season is giving gifts. I put a lot of effort into finding gifts that are perfect and personal--things that make the recipient feel special and cared about. I feel like gifts are an opportunity to tell people that you see, and appreciate them for who they really are.. So you might think this post is all about how my services can make the women in your life feel that way, and you should totally buy her a gift certificate.
I can assure you, this post isn't that. Not even close. In fact, if you were thinking of giving my services as a gift this holiday season, this post is asking you to reconsider
Introducing the 2017 Spring Capsule Wardrobe Guide
Every woman I work with wants a wardrobe that is flattering, stylish....and effortless. That last one makes me laugh, because having a great wardrobe is actually a TON of effort. Figuring out what you have and what you need is only half the battle. Then you've got to figure out where to get it all, and how to put it together. Building a great wardrobe takes hours of planning, hours of shopping, and time each day to put it together in a new, fresh way. It can all be pretty overwhelming. There simply is no such thing as effortless style...or is there? What if you had someone to do all the hard work for you? Wouldn't it be great to know exactly what to buy, where to get it, and how to put it all together? Now you do!
You want a stylish wardrobe, and I want to help you get there, so I did the hard work for you! The Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe Guide is a 27 page e-book that shows you a complete 35 piece wardrobe, and provides pictures of over 100 outfits you can make. That's a different outfit each day of the season, friends!
In addition to all the photos, you'll get:
So, how much will the answer to all of your wardrobe challenges cost you? Just $27!
Yep, you read that right...for less than the cost of a blouse you buy and never wear, you could have outfit inspiration and a detailed wardrobe shopping list, saving you countless hours and dollars this spring.
Click here to buy if you're ready for effortless spring style. If you've still got questions, read on--I'll show you a few sample outfits, as well!
What is a Capsule Wardrobe, anyway?
A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of pieces you love to wear that mix and match to create countless options. The capsule is based on a few colors--in my guide, the colors are black, white, olive, denim, blush and poppy--and focuses on versatile basics with a few fun pieces peppered in for added style.
Is there a plus/petite/curvy/apple version?
The capsule isn't based on body shape or size, so the principles apply to everyone. It's easy to customize the pieces based on what you like best. For example, if you don't like skinny jeans, swap them out for a bootcuts or boyfriends.
Are there links to plus/petite/curvy/straight options?
Every day, more links are added. It's my goal that every piece have links available for different budgets and bodies.
Isn't it expensive to buy 35 pieces each season?
If you had to buy all 35, it probably would be. However, most people will have some of the basics already...and chances are, there will be a piece or two that you don't love. Even leaving those out, you'll still have plenty of options. Even with just 25 pieces of the capsule, you could create almost 100 outfits (the guide shows you which pieces are essential, BTW)
Is the Capsule Wardrobe super trendy?
Like everything at Apple & Pear, my goal is to create current looks that don't look like you raided a Forever 21 sample sale. Yes, some of the pieces are going to be on-trend (like the blouse above), and some are pretty timeless (like the black ankle pants). Most of the pieces can easily be found at the stores you're familiar with, like Nordstrom, Loft, Target, Anthropologie, and Gap.
Who is the Capsule for?
This capsule is casual, and is best for women who work from home, stay at home, or want a better weekend style. While there are a few looks that could go to a casual office, this capsule is geared toward running errands, date nights, brunch with friends, weekend activities, etc...
Capsule wardrobes are really great for women in transition. Whether you've just had a baby, or are in the process of losing weight, the thought of buying a short-term wardrobe is overwhelming and expensive. Capsules help you make smart wardrobe choices, and keep you from buying things you don't need.
So, how does this work?
Simple, Once you purchase, you'll receive your ebook and Facebook invitation by email within 24 hours. Your Capsule Guide will be sent to the email you used to purchase, so check there first.
What are the benefits of having a wardrobe like this?
I've been teaching women how to build capsule wardrobes for close to 3 years, and I can honestly tell you that capsules save you time and money when building your wardrobe, and make you look put together everyday! The other huge benefit of having a capsule wardrobe is that you have fewer clothes to manage. Laundry is a breeze, and you never spend 20 minutes searching your closet for a lost black t-shirt.
Clients have said "I've never had fewer clothes, but more to wear" and "Getting dressed is so much easier now" about their capsule wardrobes....but my favorite comment from a Capsule client was "I never feel frumpy anymore. Everything I have is so cute". Really, what more could you ask for?
So, what are you waiting for? It's just $27. A blouse you'll wear once, or a whole season of style inspiration. The choice is yours. Buy now and join the community of women on their way to effortless style!
If you've got questions about the capsule, leave me a comment. If you'd like to connect with Apple & Pear, join my free Facebook community Everyday Style to get advice, ideas, product recommendations an more!
One question I get all.the.time is "Do you help husbands, too?". While I choose to focus on helping women build wardrobes that are flattering, functional, and fabulous, I know there's a real need out there to get the guys in our lives looking a little more stylish/current/socially acceptable/whatever. Last December, I was lucky to meet Lori Bowlin, men's stylist and owner of The Nines. This month, she has graciously answered my plea to help our guys up their wardrobe game, too. She's got 5 ways to help your man have better style. If you'll excuse me, I have a pile full of baggy khakis and faded polos to burn, I mean wash. Take it away, Lori....