golden mean, meet my wardrobe

It’s happened too many times: I’ve gone out in an outfit I think looks great…and then I look back at the photos.  Sometimes things just don’t work as well as I imagine they will.  And sometimes my eyes betray me.  But the camera never lies.  I’ve decided that my fashion sense needs a dose of Aristotle’s ancient idea of the Golden Mean: everything in proportion.  I’m just learning about proportion’s power myself, so let’s turn to a few experts–by which I mean fashion bloggers who’ve agreed to give you a glimpse of their well-proportioned ensembles.

Who’d have thought a granny skirt could ever look so cute?

{This is Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons.}

Tilly’s skirt looks precious instead of dowdy because she paired it with a dark, form-fitting tank.  Her trendy yellow shoes and colorful jewelry infuse the look with playfulness, so by the time she completed her look, nothing about it said “granny.”  She altered that skirt herself, by the way!

Going right along with Tilly’s feminine warm-weather look, this next one makes it even more modern.  Who’d have thought a gal in a mini skirt could ever look so relaxed?

{This is Kelsey from Snappy Casual.}

Even though Kelsey’s skirt is pretty mini, she offset its brevity with an extra-long top and a long-chain necklace.  Going back to that top for a second: do you see how the hem is tailored?  That subtle curve not only makes the shirt appear even longer in the front and back; it prevents her outfit from having two horizontal lines.  The only true horizontal is the bottom of the skirt, while the shirt gracefully transitions with no stark line.  I feel like I’m learning things!

And there’s more!  Who’d have thought a warm and cozy look could come across so pretty?

{This is Tania from What Would a Nerd Wear.}

Like Kelsey, Tania eliminated unflattering lines, but with different techniques.  She belted her cardigan for shape definition, choosing to accentuate her natural waist.  She accomplishes two things with this choice: the horizontal “break” comes at her narrowest point, and it comes well within her upper half so the belt doesn’t divide her into visually unrelated pieces.  Just imagine if she’d placed the belt six inches lower.  Wouldn’t be the same, huh?

She also uses the vertical folds of her cardigan, the height of her boots, and even those peeking leg warmers to create the up-and-down effect in this outfit.

I am placing myself under the tutelage of ladies like these three as I seek to master the concepts of proportion in dressing.  If you have any go-to resources for fashion savvy, I’d love to hear about them!

*All photos are used with permission from their owners: Tilly at; Kelsey at; and Tania at  Thanks, ladies!