The Retortion: Layering them Curves

by Leandra Medine
October 13, 2011
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This blog is but 15 months old and in those 15 months I think I’ve delivered tutorials in the dozens of the layering variety. Prints, fabrics, colors, reptile emulation, you name it, I’ve likely done it. And then yesterday it dawned on me (read: someone inquired about the nature of the following): earth to Man Repeller, not everyone has your alien flat chest and zygote small feet. Eureka! Deliver a layering post for bustier, curvier repellers. I’d thought about this previously but concluded I didn’t have the proper fit model or clothes to properly execute so brushed the notion off. Earth to Man Repeller one more time, there’s such thing as Polyvore for a reason! Hello! Duh! Create outfits for shits and ha-has! And so below, please find an outfit I’d reckon ideal for a hot chick with hot curves…looking to, you know, look less hot more bad-ass-rad. 

Isabel Marant blouse, ASOS pants, Uniqlo sweater, Rachel Comey vest, DANNIJO necklace, Alexander McQueen bracelets, Maje coat, Antik Batik clutch, Giuseppe Zanotti heels. And let’s make sense of this. 
Step 1. Start with a cool blouse. Instead of taking the traditional route and starting with a simple staple, we look to this statement Isabel Marant multi-denim button up. Buttons snapped to neck unnecessary. Your collarbones rock, the world should know it
Step 2. Pair the blouse with palazzo pants. People are afraid of palazzo pants, I’m not sure why. If they’re of the high-waist variety, they do a mean job slimming the waist and are typically so long they create illusion-mile long stems. The polka-dot pajama chic pair shown is via Asos.
Step 3. Now, add a cardigan. Leave it open. If you’re uncomfortable shaking what your mama gave you, I’d suggest going for a long one like the version pictured above. It will swiftly cover your behind. 
Step 4. Add a vest. The cardigan is left unbuttoned so you can still appreciate and admire the blouse underneath. Add a vest to get the layering ball rolling. The outfit won’t read clunky. This one is great, by Rachel Comey. I for one, have a similar version by Gryphon.
Step 5: Accessories! The picture may not portray it properly but the skull-adorned metal pieces are bracelets. Pile them onto one wrist, roll your Marant sleeves up over your sweater and let your arm party wow the room. All bracelets by Alexander McQueen. But don’t let your arms have all the fun, your neck deserves to party too and since you’re leaving your blouse unbuttoned up top, I speculate your neck wants nothing more than a little DANNIJO smooch. Put a bib on it.
Step 6a. The higher the better. Try for your most comfortable high-ass heel. No one is going to see it under the pant, and you don’t want to look like you’re on stilts. Actually…you kind of do. This pair is by Giuseppe Zanotti.
And finally, the last step is optional. If it’s cold out, take a turn for the Penny Lane and finish off the look with a thick coat. If you’re feeling frisky, do a little outerwear swap and try the Rachel Comey vest over the Maje coat.
Happy repelling! (…And Sukkot festival of tents.)
REPLIES
  • http://beckymonster.blogspot.com/ beckymOnster

    I may not have bodacious curves but I'm gonna pile on that blouse and those skull bracelets and shake what my mama did not give me!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00896638834590707229 Miss Molly
  • Anonymous

    How is any of that for curvy girls? All of those things would just sit like a tent on me :( On the other hand, if I'm trying to repel, I guess tent is the way to go?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12918661464750203232 Doni Brown
  • http://ifshakespeareworestilettos.blogspot.com EVIE

    Palazzo pants are a magnificent creation! And thank god you mentioned not buttoning shirts all the way up – it's not a look a lot of people can pull off (I speak from devastating experience!). And a good stilt is a wardrobe essential, damn right! x

  • http://www.chellbellz.com Michelle @ Chellbellz

    Thank you so much! I'm a fan and I rock a 44DDD …Dammit. I hate, it but I really love to dress up, but i'm so limited when it comes to tops, buttons are my enemy, and v-necks cause too much attention, but normal shirts that stop at my neck bring too much attention to my chest, and i love the idea of layering so we will see.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10147568168250249943 thestyleflux

    This definitely hide those! :)

    Kaye
    Fashion Blogger
    http://thestyleflux.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01808657001098624867 modern antoinette

    Love this tutorial! I'm nowhere near a size zero yet I still enjoy layering. I do believe it can be done right and look amazingly man repelling with making your look like an amazone or a line-backer.

    love this post…as always
    xoxo
    Stéphanie
    Modern.Antoinette.

  • http://adahliavolk.wordpress.com/ adahliavolk

    Great Post! That clutch is sick! xx
    adahliavolk.wordpress.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04587792443054009371 Sara

    I'm totally in love with that purse! It's my style!!!

    http://lifeincurl.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00420180145209451214 Victoria Kennedy

    I love, want, need, that Rachel Comey vest!!

    Victoria
    jadorevictoria.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15613070594175730411 BelleBelle

    Can we discuss that Maje coat!? I can't find it anymore online but it is AMAZING.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11188731495401014352 kaye

    Sometimes I have difficulty dressing for my bust so this was a great little how-to :)

    http://ficklesense.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15804060850422665037 MyStyleVita

    Love the Rachel Comey vest. Les Nouvelles is one of my favorite online shops for inspiration (can't afford but love to look!).

    xoxo Jessica @ http://www.mystylevita.com

  • http://www.mylifeinthecurvylane.com The Curvy Girl

    As a curvy girl, I thank you for this post!
    Kara

    http://www.mylifeinthecurvylane.com

  • http://www.ramou.tumblr.com Ramou

    Oh, girl. Your alien flat chest has hindered your ability to be sensitive to the fact that button downs on busty ladies can be a NIGHTMARE. Everything else though – *claps* – especially that vest.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00291593475048755441 Akosua

    Love this post. At 13 and already a C-cup it's hard to find clothes that don't make me look like a boy-propeller(except my loved uniform of tees and jeans) thanks

    indigosunday.blogspot.com

  • Jocelyn

    you are the best.

    also, HAPPY SUKKOT! i will be celebrating by draping various fabrics about my dorm and pretending the weird bearded dude next door is a rabbi.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07041808012245015649 Alyssa

    FINALLY woman, get with the program.. geez lou-eez. ;)

    Le Petit Monde

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01514627554329642237 Vasilieva

    that creamy fur coat is super fine, autumn is definitely a great time for layering

    http://www.vasilievablog.com/
    x

  • http://thrillofthechaise.com/ thrillofthechaise.com

    Ohhhh those bracelets needs to get into my life now!

    Kate

    http://www.thrillofthechaise.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06521810093109835760 Vivi

    Really liking the long vest and the adorable clutch.

    Meanwhile, thanks for remembering us curvy/thick/thicker ladies. Much appreciated. :o)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15191989499526879770 Holly

    GREAT post- I'm not a heavy girl, but I have a lot of curve. Love that you posted a look that's flat-chest optional. I can finally give my ace bandages a break ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08802460803153602951 karina

    cool)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11428627312194647915 Pepper

    Great post but I have to agree that button downs can be tricky for the busty gal…my trick is double sided fabric tape for the areas where the blouse might gap.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05359487128946293599 SAMANTHA

    Yesssss LOVE your layering posts!

    http://www.dragonnfruit.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10731480551178991637 Copper Etiquette

    Nice!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01857198373293387490 things – collection

    palazzo all life! good job girl..
    camilla

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14334530676781818857 Maeva Christa Hiag

    Oui !!! Bel assemblage
    La Bise

    M.C.H from pAris
    http://www.maevachristahiag.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01676293912277616239 Isabel, Wake up & smell the azahar

    Nice post, it's great to see you write for all kinds of bodies. Some layering advice for curvier women would be interesting.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm…
    While I applaud yout intentions here, I am going to say that I think you've missed the mark. Is it really true that you cannot find an actual "curvy" woman to model these outfits for you? In New York City??? With your connections?Please.

    That's kind of like J Crew and the Gap telling plus sized people that they can only shop online. For a blogger who has much to say about female empowerment, it's disappointing to see that you've marginalized an entire group of women here. How about making another attempt, this time with a real, live woman to model the goods? (And if you do, you will see why some of these items are a no-go.)

    That said, I'm going to buy that bag right now. It's gorgeous.

  • http://www.howtolookfabulous.com Sam at HTLF

    Liking this post Man Repeller! I'm all about "bodacious curves" at http://www.howtolookfabulous.com

  • Claire

    I am going to go ahead and say I'm another one of those girls who loves style and happens to wear a 34D. Problem is, the rest of me is kinda small…

    It's great that this is an attempt to style clothes for curvy women but if it was actually put on a curvy model it would fail completely.

    Button down shirts are about as propellor as it gets with curves, they practically open boobs to the world. The jacket and vest will make any curvy girl look pregnant at best. And the pants are awesome if you're ten feet tall but if you're under 5'8" they make you actually look shorter and your boobs look bigger…weird but true.

    I have studied and practiced and finally learned how to dress for big boobs and hips. It is all about proportion. Unlike someone who looks like a clothes hanger, we cannot drape layer after layer of fabric. The look is lovely and I'm jealous of twiggy people but it DOES NOT WORK.

    Curvy women have to mix fitted with loose. loose bottoms and more fitted tops or vice versa. Skirts/dresses work better than pants. And any top that doesn't cinch in around the waist is horrendous. So please, next time, find a curvy model and try on what you actually picked or ask one of us curvy girls for assistance. You can't style a curvy girl in high fashion unless you are one.

  • http://mstwirlyskirts.com Molliee

    although I don't have much of a chest either – I think this combo is still fab! I need that coat!!!

    xoxo
    molliee
    http://mstwirlyskirts.com

  • Anonymous

    great post
    you are amazing and inclusive… I love that you are so considerate to all body types
    love the vest

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11332377668906465530 diane d

    I love the idea, I really do but as a woman with a 36DD rack, it just ain't gonna work. Who among us is going to layer a cardigan and a vest other than a very thin and tall babe? Not I though I am a babe.

    My other issue is while I love labels I sure as hell won't be dropping the mula on all those high priced goodies. I gey the point but you pointed in the wrong direction.

    Nice shoes.

  • http://anorexicescapades.com/ anorexicescapades.com

    I adore the way you layer. But I think you should do a post on how to layer between different body type. Like busty/boyish frame to Fat girls and skinny girls.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18031047278176756776 Nahar & Nazia

    love this! i am by no means curvy, but all of this together would be so cute 8D

  • Catalina

    I agree with all the girls who think this is not really gonna work….
    I am quite petite but I have the big hips + small waist combo, latin style. Let me tell you, it took me MANY years and failed attempts to realize that curvy means ACCENTUATE THE WAIST. " A line" skirts of any length, dresses cinched at the waist, and likewise for shirts are the best thing you can do. Layer all you want, but THE WAIST!!!! Trust me on this one. You can repel men with feathers and spikes and turbans and arm parties, but in the above outfit (which is gorgeous obviously, just not for the curvy!) you will repel men for all the wrong reasons. And women. And dogs, cats… and maybe even your grandmother who loves you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05443041096385656321 h&m

    Mannus Repellius,

    I love da blog. You help me repel every day, and you'd be proud of my black high-top Converse spackled with white stars – straight repellerz worn with vintage sunnies and a sundress (I live in Miami). But, I have a limited budget, and I feel that my arm parties need serious attention. The thing is, I am a college student. Oh, did I say college student? I meant broke. Oh, did I say broke? I meant I need a Free Bracelet Clinic. I'm (sasha) fierce, and so I cope by making sick wrap bracelets out of a shoelaces etc., but I need some legit options. Please help.

  • Anonymous

    its been raining in nyc and i wonder what (shoes) u wear!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15037990856185460889 Yuka

    Love the blouse & the vest!! <3

    http://dontthinkjustfeel-yuka.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07157523527119610397 Jacquie M

    Dear Leandra,

    I've enjoyed your blog for a long time. As a not-skinny girl, I think most clothes look instantly man repeller on me. I'm a New Yorker who enjoys harem pants and ridiculous shoes, but I find that I can only pull off some trends. Baggy shirts make me look like a bag lady; ill-fitting jeans make my hips look like the Venus of Willendorf; and chunky wedges give me instant cankles. Isn't there a way to be man repeller while still flattering your body? You wear airy layers and short skirts – they are flattering to your body type but they still represent your sartorial taste. On the other hand, what you posted seems to be covering up the body and what it has to offer. Women with big boobs, pear shaped hips, or hour-glass shapes should feel just as confident as the skinny girls that are usually featured in this blog. I would like to challenge you to celebrate women's curves without the intent of covering up their tuches with a Vince vest. Can you make someone like me, a size 4 but a 32F (oy vey!) a sartorially savvy and confident man repeller?!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16363711816326453467 Katie

    This is a really awesome post! Like you, I also share the problem (or, in my humble opinion, gift) of booblessness, but I've definitely got hips and junk in da trunk. I think it's over-the-rainbow cool of you to use your superpower of repelling to help all types of women repel what their mama gave them.

  • Anonymous

    I give you credit for making the effort, but I think you need to dress some actual curvy women because this outfit you thought up is not gonna work. It's not man-repelling, just… repelling.

  • Silvia

    Hi!! I guess you would be afraid of palazzo pants too if you knew how they look on me :)! besides that i love you… xxxx

  • http://thenauticalwheeler.wordpress.com/ thenauticalwheeler

    Love this post! Also love that handbag ~jen

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03429968469338580701 Cristiana Nunes

    Love all the selected pieces, especially the little bag!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02122754734548742560 Rizzi

    I want those McQueen bracelets and that vest.
    xx
    CLASSY AND SASSY

  • Anonymous

    Hilarious! As if a sweater with a long vest over it wasn't enough–let's add a furry coat! Apparently 'curvy' repellers must stifle their curves under grandmotherly layers, with only their hands, face, and the tips of their toes permitted to receive daylight. I love this site. But my Amish mom would love to put me in this outfit.

  • Anonymous

    The Maje Fur coat is available in stores now at Bloomingdales 59th street, SoHo and Short Hills!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03705476141906955403 Grace

    Those skull bracelets are fierce!

    xx Grace
    Dream-Boating

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01937732106698866929 WriterInTheRun.

    I love this, and it might just work to hide those bombshell curves hehe

    Follow my blog

    http://shopaholic-in-oxfords.blogspot.com/

    :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05151322132780069360 Yildiz

    perfect combinations you got in there; do visit us for Turkish Trends JAPON STYLE

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06841237588940938787 Lydia

    Well, I agree with the comments about needing to see this on an actual girl. Thanks for the effort though. I don't think this outfit would work on most thicker or curvier girls, especially if they were going for flattering. I have a 34D chest, although I think I may have recently crossed into DD territory, and am about a 12 most other places, and I don't always care about flattering. I wear things that look cool, but don't always make me look small. Sometimes it just isn't about looking your skinniest, but curvier girls have a hard time swallowing that. Girls your size can completely cover up any shape you have and still appear skinny, because, well, you ARE.When bigger girls hide their shape, they don't look skinny, because they aren't to begin with, and I think they (we) have a hard time with that. So maybe layering just isn't their thing, and if they want to look their thinnest, they should stop trying to make this look work. When I pile clothes on, I'm accepting the fact I'm not going to look little. And I don't care, as long as I look cool.

    Hope this made sense, I feel like I started rambling?

  • http://www.twohandsfiveminutes.com/wp D

    those AM bracelets are f'ing bananas.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06819419187371022824 Michal

    Girl ! Great Job I'm your fan ! PS.I love your style – chic , chic , chic

  • http://chionadime.com Megan

    Add a sock bun and this is the ultimate in man repelling: http://chionadime.com

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