The topic of styling from the bust up is one I’ll come back to from time to time. I’ve updated this post to inspire you think about this very important piece of real estate.
This area—from your bustline to the top of your head—should have your styling attention every day, whether it’s winter or summer. I’m always looking for ways to fill that area with interest so people will focus on your face.
Here in the wine country we’re entering a season where layering is essential. Terrific, I say. Because layering brings great opportunity for creating interest from the bust up. Why am I so big on being sure that part of our anatomy is fascinating to look at?
If you think about it, we often just see this part of a person in our day-to-day life. If we’re having a meeting in someone’s office, they may be sitting behind a desk the whole time. If we run into someone at a coffee shop, we’re chatting with him or her at a counter or café table. If we’re enjoying dinner out with a friend, their focus from across a table will be from the bust up.
Even if we’re entering a room, we want people focusing on the top third of our bodies. We connect with our eyes and communicate with our voices. When I’m dressing a client, I want attention to travel to her face as quickly as possible. Every detail from the bust up will help accomplish that. Those details can include color or pattern in jackets or tops, collars, necklaces, earrings, makeup, glasses, hair style or color, or hats. Did I miss anything? Feel free to add to this list!
Let me introduce you to three people who inspire me with their ‘bust up’ presence.
Ene from Fargo uses color to bring interest from the bust up
I was visiting back home in the Midwest some years back. Before my flight took off in Fargo, I was thrilled to meet my niece Jessie for some conversation and treats at Nichole’s Fine Pastry. Besides visiting with my niece, I knew I had to take a scone to go so I could enjoy it the next morning back in Sonoma.
As Jessie and I were saying our goodbyes and putting on our warmest coats, gloves, scarves and hats, I couldn’t help but notice Ene who was sitting at the table next to us.
I loved her passion for the color green. She wore her green t-shirt under her green cable knit cardigan and added two-toned green beads to the mix. Her purple-framed glasses added a modern edge to her outfit. She looked so bright and attractive. She didn’t mind me taking a picture of her. As I thought about it later, I never did see what she was wearing below her waist. I only saw her from the bust up! She was so inviting. Her pretty lips in a great shade of lipstick and her bobbed hair kept me focused on her face. She’d covered all the necessary bases to keep interest on the bust up.
Nicole mixes print and texture to create interest from the bust up
I met Nicole at a very favorite store in Sonoma called Chateau Sonoma. She was standing behind a counter so I didn’t see what she was wearing on the bottom half of her body. But she expertly created so much interest from her bust up. She had her black and white striped tunic under her black puffy vest. She wrapped a long narrow black and white striped crinkle scarf around her neck and wore silver earrings and a silver pendant. I loved her berry shade of lipstick. Doesn’t she seem interesting and creative? I wanted to know more!
Maggan from Stockholm uses accessories to bring attention to her face
Maggan is a dear friend from Stockholm. We met when she was the editor of Tara magazine, a popular Swedish magazine for women over 40. She brought me to Stockholm twice to do makeovers for readers of the magazine. She and her partner Anders have had Thanksgiving with us for over a dozen years now. They’re family! Our tradition is to spend the day after Thanksgiving shopping and eating in nearby towns in the wine country.
We were headed to another favorite store of mine in Sonoma called Bess Nathan Rice Jewelry Studio Collections when I snapped this picture. I just loved her ‘bust up’ look. She was wearing a graphic print jacket with red trim and black button clip-on earrings. She had a red tote bag over her shoulder. I complimented her on her glasses, which were vintage. I love how they add warmth and contrast to her jacket. Her hair is short and so soft. Her lips are beautifully defined. Maggan is quite tall and striking yet approachable at the same time.
Yours truly mixes black and white patterns to create interest from the bust up
So let’s see how well I follow my own advice. In this jean outfit, I’m wearing a white and black striped T-shrit that’s so cozy, I actually wore it three days in a row. No lie. I added my Harper Jacket to this mix. Remember, that’s the jacket with the crazy-fun peplum from Artful Home. This jacket buttons right under the bustline so that’s a great measuring spot for me. How can I create even more interest from that line up to the top of my head?
I’ve added a chunky beaded necklace. I bet that caught your eye. Then of course, I have my red Woow framed glasses from Uber Optics. Once I put on my topper with a diagonal plaid, I’ve added even more to the pattern mix I have going on. Did I miss anything?
I feel confident that these pieces will help me be visible, seen. I’m a champion for visibility in women our age.
What we all have in common
I bet you’d agree that each of us look like we’re enjoying getting dressed and have given thought to how we’re going to put themselves together each day. I love how we’ve all expressed themselves in unique ways. These women show us that they care and in turn, we care about them. Isn’t that a great reason to get dressed?
When you get dressed tomorrow, think about how you’re dressed from the bust up. Are you creating a plan for bringing attention to your face? I hope so! You’re so fascinating and I encourage you to share your beauty with those around you.
What are your bust up go-to regulars? I’d love to hear!