I usually write about styles that do work, and things you should wear. But every now and then, I’ll choose something for myself that does not work and fails in an epic way. Rather than not post about it and sweep those pictures under the rug, I’m going to share the fail with you today. I had the highest of hopes for this dress when I rented it – it’s a navy sleeveless trench dress with an extra flap of fabric on the front and an asymmetrical neckline by Opening Ceremony. I thought for sure the extra details would be fashion forward, yet work appropriate AND that they’d hide and flatter my worst parts. WRONG…

When the dress arrived, I excitedly threw it on only to find that the neck was too low-cut and showed my bra. The fabric flap also created extra width around my hips, my already-widest part. Plus, the flap fell to a place on my leg that made me look short, rather than showing my decent legs and adding length to my shortish frame like the rest of the dress did. It was also bulky in the chest. Ugh – just all wrong. The concept is so cool but in practice, it didn’t work at all.

My number one solution to any fashion conundrum is always to put a belt on it. And the second solution is to add a pointy-toed high heel. The heel and pointy-ness adds length to a curvy frame, and the belt cinches your waist. Both great things! But not here – the buttons fell too low to work with either a thin or a wide belt, and unfortunately the flap simply doesn’t flatter me, regardless of the shoe.

So, what’s the moral of the story here? It’s empowering to recognize when a look doesn’t work for you. Sure, I could’ve sat around and felt sorry for myself that my body couldn’t carry this look (too short? too curvy? I asked myself), but instead I decided to take it off, share the photos, and write about it. I can’t be the only woman this has happened to, and I don’t want others to feel bad when the dress simply doesn’t work. Instead, I say own the failure by knowing your body. For a body like mine with wider hips and a smaller top, I need flared skirts to flatter my hips or hemlines that fall above the knee to highlight my legs. I also need tighter tops and fabulous belts to accentuate my narrower parts. When I stray from these style principles, I often regret it. Confidence is your number one asset, and if you’re not feeling it, ditch the outfit. 

Have you had any style fails you care to admit to? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. I wrote this post about dressing for wide hips last year. I think you’ll like it!