Tag Archives: fashion

Illusions: Dressing the Neck

            Clothing lines create illusions. The choices we make with our attire will either bring balance to our image or draw attention to our disproportions. What you wear around your neck, whether it is your blouse line, hair style or your accessories, creates a frame around your face. Like fine art, the frame should compliment it’s goods it should not overpower it’s attraction.

If you have a long neck, short hair and v-neck shirts or long necklaces will only draw attention to it’s length, and become the focus of those looking at you. If you have a short neck, however, the same choices will open up your face and draw the attention upward to your face.

To determine if you neck is proportionate or not look into a mirror and with your pinky finger resting in the dip of your collarbone, point your fingers straight toward your neck. Your pointer finger should be just under your chin. If your fingers need to spread uncomfortably wide, then you have a long neck, if your fingers have no room to spread at all you have a short neck.

If your fingers do not spread wide, nor squish together to fit between your collarbone and your chin, then your neck is proportionate. You do not need to focus on these illusions, your Img.ID guidelines should determine what kind of hairstyles, collars, and accessories you should wear.

Here are some suggestions for the not-so-average neck: 

Long Necks:

Best choices:                                               

High collars, turtlenecks, cowl necks           

Stand up collars                                   

Accessorize with chokers, necklaces, ribbons, scarves

Medium to long hair with layers.

 Side or zigzag part.

Poor choices:

Low necklines, especially v-necks

Short hair

Straight, center part

High up do’s with no fringes around the neck.


Short Necks:

Best choices:                                               

Open collars, Shawl collars,

Square or V-necklines

Short hairstyles, especially when full at top

Poor choices:

Clutter around the neck

 Any high-neck styles

Medium length hair that fringes the face


Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.

If you are interested in getting these books or having Catrina come speak at your event, you can contact her at www.CatrinaWelch.com or on facebook.

Illusions: More Tummy Talk

When you stood sideways in a mirror, was your silhouette widest at the waist? Then you have a rounded waist. Some of last week’s advice above may be very helpful to you, but let’s consider some more illusions that you may find liberating.

Some other factors to consider are undergarments. If the foundation is distorted, even a beautiful outfit will appear unsightly. If your bra or panties are too tight, it can cause your flesh to bulge, which only causes others to notice the extra weight. Subconsciously this says to them that you are trying to be a size that you are not.

I know this is a sensitive subject, in fact, I find it very hard to tell clients to their face, but you are quietly reading in the privacy of your own home, or perhaps on your phone at the spa, so let’s be open about it.

Keep in mind that you simply have an oval frame. It is likely that the first place you ever gain weight is your midriff and that you may never have had a thin waist. That is who you are, and that is okay, Barbie is not the only kind of beauty in this world! You can work with what you have; don’t give up on your whole image because you cannot get rid of your belly.

First of all, don’t let the size discourage you. The numbers on your outfits are only there to help you shop. Thank God you don’t have to sort through all those tiny sizes… think of how hard it would be to find modest clothes then! Women tend to be their own worst critic. Do not be. Others don’t really care about what size you are; why should you?

Secondly, buy the size that fits. If your clothes don’t fit properly, you may be more apt to be thinking about yourself because they are either uncomfortable, or you may feel self-conscious. In either case, you discomfort, will not only tend to keep your mind on yourself, but it may make others uncomfortable around you.

Once you purchase clothing that fits correctly, you may not think of what size it is again, but you will be more apt to wear it because it’s comfortable- physically and emotionally. Physically because the garment won’t be cutting off circulation; emotionally because when your outfit isn’t bulging anywhere, others look into your eyes!


Best choices                                                                                   

Thick belts same color as garment

Garments with pleats and pressed creases

Garments with high waistline

Garments with dropped waistline

Loose, long blouses and jackets, vests

Straight, one-piece dresses with high accessory as focal point

One piece, one color bathing suits

Poor choices:

Thin belts

Contrasting colors at the waistline

Blouses ending at the waist

Full gathered skirts

Illusions: Tummy Talk


Did you know that if you take the measurements of the Barbie doll and scaled them to life-size, she would be over 6 feet tall, weigh around 100 pounds, and have figure measurements of 38-18-38?


As little girls we are taught that the hourglass figure is most feminine. This subliminal (and often explicit!) message was first ushered in by the Victorian era and remained the ideally desired female form for more than 120 years, until it was supplanted by the “Twiggy” look of the 1960s…

Well those days are gone! “Hourglass” and “twiggy” figures are no longer average! In fact, the average American waistline has been, and certainly still is, expanding. Federal health surveys show that over the past four decades, the mean waist for women has grown from 28 inches to 33.5 inches. And yet our little girls still play with Barbie dolls and dream of having her figure when they grow up. While the innate desire to be beautiful is certainly acceptable, the standards set before us can lead us into unhealthy self-contempt.

Nearly all women feel they have a figure problem; however the greatest problem is our unrealistic expectations. Funny how we long to have a figure like Barbie and feel what we have is so disproportionate, yet in reality she is the one disfigured, considering if you or I were her height with an 18-inch waist and 38-inch bust & hip we would be considered a freak.

As women of various types of beauty, we need not be so hard on ourselves. God created each of us to be unique, who are we to consider any of our characteristics a flaw?

Most of the things we do not like about our figure can be disguised with a few wardrobe illusions. In my next several blogs I will be sharing some of the “tricks of the trade” with you. My desire is that you will learn something that you can do that will ease your mind about your imperfection so that you can be confident with who you are.

First Let’s Talk Tummy

 A real tummy challenge is only when your belly protrudes beyond your bust line. Stand sideways in a mirror. Is your silhouette widest at the waist? If not, you may simply have a thick waist. If you have a thick waist, most likely you have a wide rib cage and your body frame is a sturdy one. Do not be so hard on yourself, if you do not focus on it, others will not either.

Often people with this challenge consider it easiest to hide their tummy under baggy shirts or they try and create a waist with belts and layers. These tricks, like many fashion choices, seem like they would help but instead they actually draw attention to the issue. Hiding the waist can be confusing and frustrating; it is not that the thicker waist cannot wear a belt, or layers, it is simply that she needs to wear them differently.

The idea is to disguise the thicker waist so that it does not become the focal point of your image. Here are some tricks that will work:

Best choices:                                                                       

Thick belts same color as garment

Garments with pleats and pressed creases

Garments with high waistline

Garments with dropped waistline

Blousing above or below a belt.

Loose, long blouses and jackets, vests

Straight shirts or jackets, open over darker shirt.

Straight, one piece dresses with high accessory as focal point

One piece, one color bathing suits

Poor choices:

Thin belts

Contrasting colors at the waistline (horizontally)

Blouses ending at the waist

Another important factor to remember: your clothing size is not important; very few friends will ever see your shirt tag, but every stranger who meets you will know if what you are wearing fits you correctly or not.