Style Stories: Elevated Casual & Supersize Me!

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LA Story: Elevated Casual


An elevated casual look can be achieved in many ways. For me, it’s about going the distance by doing a little bit more than throwing on some clothes. If you look at your wardrobe and see it as “all things are created equal” there’s no designer or couture or fast-fashion just clothes, then you’re halfway there. The second step is a clear understand of the importance of proportion and how to use it. This is the key to making an “outfit”, (I hate that word), a “look”. With that said, I’m wearing a pair of high-waist long wide leg trousers, Marc Jacobs. Because I’m 5’3” or short, one would understandably assume that wearing this style of pants with a flat sandal would make me look not only short but wide. This is where proportion comes in – I’ve paired my bottoms with a shorter somewhat fitted vintage sleeveless blouse, McInerny, that exposes my arms and some of my midsection, (Hold that thought! we’ll circle back).

As you can see, I’m wearing a pair of black very flat thong style sandals, Sam Edelman. I got hooked on this style when I was a kid but didn’t really know why I liked them so much. What I came to understand was aside from their classic simplicity they exposed a lot of foot like barefoot. To the kid who was always barefoot and still is as an adult, no matter the weather, these are my forever shoes. More important, (circling back), the similarity between the bareness of both my sandals and blouse create the perfect proportion for my wide leg trousers to actually make my body appear longer. What also makes this look work is my use of simple sleek items in only a few solid colours. There’s nothing dimensional or, extra, to distract the eye even with the line break at my midsection. I want to keep that sleekness going from head to toe so rather than blow-dry my hair straight or pull it up I’ve gone with a long headscarf, Chanel, tied Gypsy-style. The longer tied scarf flattens out my hair, somewhat mimics the long pants, and the simple pattern pulls in my jewelry. This gold plastic chunky rapper chain, Amazon, is playful casual and short like my top and works really well with my gold vintage watch, Omega, and tri-colour bangle bracelet, Cartier. I’m using a large black leather bag, Carla Mancini, to balance with the length and width of my trousers. 


style-tip: elevated casual is meant to look effortless. it’s that “je ne sais qua” of why something works but it does. if you understand the importance of equality of garments along with detail proportion & balance – you’re there


LA Story: Supersize Me!


Not unlike the supersize fries at McDonalds the oversized trend is powering through Summer and into the Fall season. Just like The 3 Bears and in life, it’s got to be just right. With this trend there’s a number of just rights and finding the right “right” is key. I hate to reiterate but we go back to balance and proportion. My Supersize look is a moderate version because I’m an adult and small in stature and I don’t want to look like I’m wearing my Dad’s clothes. So, here’s how I did it…my 501’s, Levis, are an ex-boyfriend’s, who kinda acted like Dad, but that’s for another day. The jeans are big enough to sit on my hips and long enough to be slouchy especially with a flat open sandal, Sam Edelman. I’m wearing a simple oversized shirttail blouse, H&M, under an oversized structured blazer, Zara, that’s just a bit longer than my top.

The verticality from the placket on my blouse and notch collar on my jacket give the illusion of length. It would be easy for this kind of look to consume me, but the trick is to expose enough skin and to create that straight line with all of your garments. I’m wearing my blouse unbuttoned to expose a bikini top, Vitamin A Swim, and the top of my jeans. If this doesn’t work for you just wear your oversized blouse unbuttoned at the top and bottom to where you’re comfortable. The straight line is achieved by the similar lengths of the jacket the blouse and using a boyfriend straight leg jean. My Supersize look is all about the clothes proportion and that straight line so no need for jewelry other than tiny hoops and a few rings. This is a casual look that aside from comfortable looks well styled and pulled together. There are many ways to wear the Supersize trend. I find this moderate version looks the best on most. 


style-tip: use fewer pieces in similar lengths shapes and widths and stick to solids. expose as much skin as your comfortable showing with no distractions from shiny objects.


*please treat your wardrobe well. many people worked very hard to get it to you.


  • Felicia Arlin

    Felicia Arlin’s work as a stylist and costume designer has been featured in print, tv, film and on the red carpet. As a 20+ year veteran designer/merchandiser in the LA/NY garment industry her work has graced the racks of every major department store and specialty chain in the country. She is passionate about helping women look and feel confident no matter their age, shape or socioeconomic status. Her hope is to empower other women by sharing some of the things she’s learned along the way to better cultivate and express their own individual and ageless style.

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