what not to knit

a knitalong blog of garments of which stacy and clinton (or, if you prefer, trinny and susannah) would approve! choose patterns and colors that flatter your body type--this is the antidote to unflattering clothing everywhere, the reason many of us learned to knit our own clothing in the first place!

Friday, August 25, 2006

more about september sexy knits

had some more thoughts about the sexy knitters club knitalong nominees, and i do want to try to remember to respond to estellika's question about foundation garments.
chunky knits add bulk. it's why the cropped cardigan from blue sky alpaca is tricky for anyone who's thick around the parts it'll cover--think big (whether flabby or athletic) upper arms, but also a big bust. making the sleeves on this (and on something red) hit below the elbow will flatter pudgier arms more than ending above the elbows, too. the chunkiness of starsky is what i think makes it cozily appealing to many who love it, but it's also what makes it so unflattering, i think. a great stay-at-home-sick sweater, though :)
among the candidates, the best choices for women with large breasts, i think, are going to be (depending on the other factors about which i've already opined) the cardigan in alpaca with glitter, the simple knitted bodice, or possibly sizzle (if done in a fine enough yarn as to avoid adding bulk), because those deep vs will divide the breasts instead of creating a monoboob. the caution with sizzle: many large-breasted women also have large arms, which i think is not a good look with a tank. also good for large-breasted women might be arisaig, because the wearer can wrap it as tightly as she wishes with the breasts always being kept apart.
i'd be concerned about the deciduous tank on a truly flat-chested woman--that wide expanse of chest is just going to look bony. similarly, any of the deep vs will need a cami underneath to avoid the same effect. but these wearers will look fab in rusted root (or in the deep vs with the right cami underneath).
if the wearer doesn't have much waist definition, she should avoid the boxy not-so-shrunken cardigan. instead, she should opt for one of the deep vs, the combo corset t, or the wrap (arisaig). a deep v breaks up the torso, and corsets and wraps add curves at the waist.
short-legged women shouldn't wear cropped tops alone (like, say, the cropped cardigan or not-so-shrunken cardigan, or any of the others just knitted too short). they don't want a gap at the stomach that makes it look like the legs weren't long enough to come up and meet the top. this is why god invented layers--lots of places are selling long tees for layering under things like this, though i think loose poet's shirts are lovely under some of these as well (less cling to the tummy and a lovely feminine look on the right day). it breaks up a long torso and makes the legs look longer.
women with saddlebags (ahem--not that i know anyone with *those*) can also get help in their knitting choices :) a wide neckline can balance out the hips, for example, like the one on tubey, the combo corset t, or rusted root. any of these choices should fit snugly and end at the top of the hips--this slims the upper body and narrows the waist.
deep vs and wide scoops are both great for women with short necks. nearly all of the nominees fit into this category.
so you can see from how many problem areas they flatter why i love my favorites :)
and now for foundation garments: i think every woman ought to have a few essentials in her wardrobe. first, get thee to a specialty lingerie shop or a really good department store for a first-rate bra fitting. unless you've had this done recently, you are probably wearing the wrong bra size. seriously. i was stunned--after having heard those statistics for many years and dismissing them, thinking, "how stupid do you have to be to wear the wrong bra size? i'm sure *i'm* wearing the right size!" i finally went to a specialty shop in a nearby neighborhood and asked for a proper fitting. i was a completely different size than i'd been wearing. i spent an hour, maybe an hour and a half, trying on a bunch of different bras--every brand and cut is a little different, it seems--and walked out with two. they really do change how my clothes fit and how i carry myself. believe it or don't, but do yourself a favor: try it :)
second, to wear under some items--many party dresses, but some off-the-shoulder or low-cut sweaters as well (tubey is a great example)--i love my seamless bustier. i swear i've recommended this to so many women that i should get a commission from victoria's secret. it was about $80 from vs a year ago, and i suspect it hasn't changed much. there's a post about it here that includes a photo of it. i can't put it on without help--too many hooks up the back--but it truly is comfortable enough to wear all day and well into the evening (i promise--but you have to start with the right size!). it is a supportive bra AND it smooths out everything beneath all the way down to the hipbones, creating a beautifully smooth line. i wore it under a mermaid-style satin wedding dress--truly unforgiving--and it was perfect. and a bonus of having a little support that long along your body: great posture and elongation of the spine. you carry yourself beautifully :)
third, a nice body shaper to stop jiggling in the lower half. i also wore this under my wedding dress--i was really worried about panty lines, so i wanted one continuous seamless line (or lack thereof) from top to knees. the one i chose was the seamless high-waist panty with long leg by body wrap. spanx is probably the most famous maker of such items--i just didn't like the way they fit, felt, or looked, personally. the one i bought was extremely comfortable, very well-made, and reasonably priced. like the bustier, i have worn it many times since last year. i love that it doesn't stop at the waist, so there's no big dent if i'm wearing something clingy there (can you say, "ribbing," (or "fine-gauge knits") boys and girls? i knew you could!). just nice smooth lines.
so there are the ramblings of a woman who does, indeed, wonder what stacy and clinton would say when i'm trying clothes on (and when i get dressed in the morning--and then i wonder why it takes me so long to get out the door) :)


Blogger Heather said...


And I HAVE visited your blog before. I remember seeing that picture of you in your wedding dress before. I thought I commented on how great it was - maybe on the SKC??

How funny! I love what you have to say about the knits for this time around. And I completely agree. "Heather" is very pretty, but since I have the yarn and really love the tank (worn over a white buttoned shirt or a LS Hanes or Old Navy Perfect T, I am still voting for Sizzle this time around. There are many beautiful knits this time out! I only hope I can finish it on time, unlike Tempting II (THANK YOU, by the way!!!) I am very close, but most likely won't finish before the bell!

It did take me a lot of hints, but I'm glad I found you, SP! And, again, YOU ROCK! Thanks for making my first SP experience GREAT!!!!! :O)

12:14 AM  
Blogger gaysknits said...

oh my goodness just when i thought i had picked the perfect pattern for my body i find myself confused once again! i usually solve the boxy waist problem with cropped cardigans by knitting them shorter than the pattern calls for so they hit me just above the waist rather than at the hips. whew now i feel better! and lipstick to match the look (i was reading your other blog) what's that? is that the same thing as chapstick? hmmm i must need a make over! yoo hoo stacey? clinton?

9:14 AM  

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