I hope you all had an amazing Easter weekend! Here in Virginia, we were blessed with temps in the 70s and sunny, fair weather most of the weekend. Manuel and I celebrated with a dynamic Easter Egg-stravaganza (complete with a massive egg hunt, moon bounces, and story time!) with our church on Saturday and relaxed with friends all afternoon after Easter service on Sunday.
The beautiful, warm spring weather means that wedding and portrait season is upon us, and I thought it would be fun to make a spring photoshoot outfit guide inspired by picks from my own closet (a What Would Jocelyn Wear guide, if you will!). So without further ado, let’s get started!
First things first: dress to flatter your body type.
This may sound obvious, but I can’t stress this enough! I am a super petite gal, with narrow shoulders and a pear body shape (hips are wider than bust). I would look fairly ridiculous in any style that is meant for a 5’11” fashion model with a straight figure and long limbs. Not only do I have a short body, I am also very short-waisted, which means that my natural waist (narrowest point of my waist) hits very high on my torso, just several inches under my bust line, so I have learned to be particular about where the waistline falls on a dress. Personally, over time, I have found that as a result of my unique proportions and shape, the following styles flatter me the best:
- fit and flare dresses (they equalize the imbalance between my hips and bust)
- defined, high waistlines (to emphasize the narrowest part of my waist)
- fun bodice/sleeve details (since I’m smaller on top, visual details like buttons, pleats, flutter sleeves, and collars bring the eye upward and add visual weight to my upper half)
- V-necks/sweetheart necklines (since I have a short torso and a short neck, V-necks visually elongate the neck/upper torso)
- hemlines that fall slightly above the knee (to visually elongate my short legs and calves)
You can see from the picture above that the white dress I’m wearing incorporates a few of these features: a sweetheart neckline, a high fitted waist, and a flared skirt that hits just above my knees.
Of course, these are features selected to flatter my own body type. If you’re also a pear-shaped shortie, you’ve got your cheat sheet right here! 😉 Otherwise, I would encourage you to analyze your own body type and consider factors such as: height, overall shape (e.g., straight, hourglass, pear, apple), proportion of legs to torso, shoulder width, waist level, limb length, etc. Simple garment features like the ones I mentioned above can make a world of difference in either highlighting or masking your best features.
Now, onto my spring dress picks! 🙂
Outfit#1: Chambray Shirtdress + Taupe Laced Block-Heel Sandals
Dress: LOFT (currently 50% off!)
Shoes: Target (old style, shop similar styles here, here, and here)
Why this dress works:
- Fitted bodice and tie waist emphasize curves and cinch in the waist
- Flutter sleeves add fun movement and also visually widen narrow shoulders
- Chambray fabric adds beautiful texture and color
I am a huge fan of chambray (i.e., denim’s soft, lightweight cousin) in almost any season, due to its comfortable, breezy feel and subtle texture. It can be easily dressed up or down, and here I am pairing it with taupe (my favorite neutral color when it comes to shoes!) block heel sandals that give a few inches of height while maintaining stability and comfort.
Shop more chambray dresses: Boden & J. Crew
Outfit#2: Pastel Floral Shirtdress + Matching Block Heel Pumps
Dress: Monteau Petite from Macy’s (old style, shop similar styles here, here, and here)
Shoes: Target (sadly the blue color sold out last year, but the same style can be found here, and Target also offers a lower, 2.5″ heel version here)
Why this dress works:
- Watercolor floral print is perfect for spring
- Lightweight, floaty fabric and flared skirt move beautifully in photos
- Shorter hemline (combined with higher heels) elongates legs
While I love jewel tones, I tend to gravitate more towards pastels and light-colored neutrals for spring. I love the more abstract, watercolor-style florals on this dress, and it has been a staple in my closet since I bought it last spring.
Shop more watercolor-style floral dresses: Eliza J/Nordstrom, Chicwish, Lulus
Outfit#3: Yellow Lace Shift Dress + Taupe Pointed Toe Low Pumps
Dress: Abercrombie (currently on clearance for 50% off, also comes in white and navy, as well as petite/tall extended sizes!)
Why this dress works:
- Shift silhouette skims the body to highlight curves without revealing lumps and bumps
- Slight puff sleeve details add a romantic, whimsical touch while increasing range of arm movement
- Lace texture photographs beautifully
I know, I know, I just touted the virtues of pastel colors two seconds ago, but my exception to pastels and neutrals is yellow. I confess, I have been obsessed with yellow and mustard tones for a couple of years now (I once stalked a mustard sweater from LOFT for a solid two months). Not only is golden yellow the signature Hufflepuff color, it just adds happiness and perks up any outfit. By the way, these heels are a great option if you like a slight boost (2.25″) but still want comfort and walkability. And the closed toe means you don’t have to worry about unmanicured toes! 😉
Shop more lace shift dresses: BB Dakota/Nordstrom, Monteau/Macys, Lauren Ralph Lauren/Macys
Well, that wraps up the first edition of What Would Jocelyn Wear! 😉 I hope you enjoyed it, and remember – if you ever want to discuss outfit options for photos, I’m all ears!
Everything looks so great on you and I absolutely love the yellow one!
Thank you Martha!!! 😘