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style and a maturing body.

style + fashion

the art of getting dressed.

style and a maturing body.

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

getting older is like death and taxes; unavoidable i suppose. in a few weeks, i'll be hitting 29, the last year of my very fun 20's.  it seems ages ago that i was finishing undergrad and moving into that amazing little apartment in SoHo.  i feel like i am a world away from the 23 year old girl who started this blog, and a world away from even the 25 year old i was when i left New York.

a lot has changed, of course.  location, marital status, an extra degree under my belt and another coming.  but the two things that have changed probably the most have been my body and subsequently, my sense of style to adjust for these changes.

the body of my 24 year old self was not what it stands to be today.  i was thin (still am), i had no ass (i definitely have one now) and i was just overall less womanly.  i've always been more "voluptuous" up top then some of my friends (big boobs since like 8th grade), but my overall shape is different now.  my hips are wider, my ass is FINALLY HERE (after years and years of tracy anderson, mind you. my ass did not develop from potato chips!), and thanks to a diet of much more whole foods (thanks Asia!) and more serious gym activity, i'm more toned and fit.  

all of this is a good thing!  i am more confident in my body than ever!  my ass is my favorite thing ever.  but i have noticed that dresses, skirts, shorts and tops i used to wear and used to love..just aren't...really fitting with what my body is now.  suddenly the kind of girly dresses with ruffles or volume...doesn't seem right anymore.  the j.crew shorts...aren't made for girls with booty, you guys!  even the opulence of a fancy gown with a big ballroom skirt isn't pulling my heartstrings anymore.  now i just want something streamlined.  maybe it's my love of hip-hop and that all i can listen to lately is this song, Farout.....

pretty little mama got a smile on her face, big around the booty and small around the waist - oh good lord what a fine display - if you’re looking for a dimepiece i heard that they out there now....
— Prof

i just want to show my body off and own it.

case and point: this BANGING one-shouldered stunner from Bangkok-based dress-makers, The Sun Chic.  i was looking for a beautiful dress to wear to our friends' gorgeous wedding, and where even 14 months ago i was in a big poofy skirted dress for a wedding..this time something sleek and streamlined with a defined waist felt more flattering and adult.

dress, The Sun Chic. belt, Vera Wang bridal. shoes, Aldo.  sunnies, Oliver Peoples.  Jao's suit, custom.

dress, The Sun Chic. belt, Vera Wang bridal. shoes, Aldo.  sunnies, Oliver Peoples.  Jao's suit, custom.

so now when i open my closet and look at some of my older dresses, i feel confused.  i don't feel confident and i don't look good in the dresses of the past. i feel like a grown up wearing her teenage niece's dresses from high school.  and that's not cute.

so how do you update your wardrobe?  first of all...play up your assets.  by assets i mean... that ass!  pencil skirts are the best way to show off a perky, rounded back-side, and paired with the right kind of top, they're super slimming.  i like pairing my pencil skirts with a less formal top, like a breezy, boxy tank or a casual striped blouse.  

skirts, both Express.  stripped top, Zara. palm talk, Target.

next, i really stick to the basics lately.  simple, easy shapes that are always classic, like a fitted sorta-swing minidress.  it always looks good, and you can add whatever style and "flair" you want.  like...a military jacket, gold sneakers and a red lip.  voila.  simple, chic, but not too young (nor am i in a pantsuit, right?).  

dress, Cotton On. sneakers, Superga. jacket, The Gap.

what else works?  for me, a great pair of jeans is key, and i'm currently obsessed with ReDone.  they're old pairs of Levis reworked and repurposed into women's jeans.  they're the chicest. and i mean...they're already old so they're mean to be a little torn, a little worn...you can't beat them!  i really love the high-waisted ones and the relaxed fit....as they both definitely highlight the many hours i've spent doing countless tracy anderson leg lifts...

high-waisted denim, ReDone

and there is just something about the cut of their jeans that just...gives your booty a little lift!  they are the best, hands down.  and hey - every pair is one of a kind.  can't beat that.

and then the daydresses.  i'm definitely a dress girl, but those frilly dresses are just kind of...not working for me anymore.  so what does work?  simple, belted shapes are perfect.  like a chic safari shirt-dress, or a body con (but covered up) dress for evening.  and i have this black skirt that i love - it's kind of feminine but at the same time kind of boxy, it's made of thick canvas cotton with little inverted pleats at the waistband...but i figured out that if i tuck literally any sleeveless top into it....it's perfect.  defines my waist, shows off my legs, and the complete line up to the tank is very slimming.  it's all about creating the waist.

skirt, J.Crew. black/white tank, H&M. navy blue tank, Mango. safari dress, Express. black jersey dress, Kamali Kulture. heels, Christian Louboutin.

so yeah.  it's kind of weird think about our changing bodies as we age and how to adapt our wardrobes.  from tiered skirts and dresses and flowy hippie-chic looks....to more Claire Underwood shapes of defined waists, boss-lady dressing, and fitted, simple, minimalistic tops, dresses and skirts.  but what i've noticed is that as i've made this transition....even in my everyday looks (like that blue cotton dress), i feel so much better about my looks.  

growing up is kind of the best.  i love my new strong, sexy body.  and i love dressing to show it off.  as women...our bodies change and go through so much in our lives...we should show it off.