38 In Styling Tips

Wearing doubles, drinking singles cuz I’m a lady

Double layers on BrendaKinsel.com

At the bar wearing doubles instead of drinking them

 

I heard the complaint today that I hear nearly everyday: Why do designers and manufacturers make things so sheer? It’s true of T-shirts and sweaters, even dresses and skirts. When I’m working with my clients I often send them outside to see if the garment is too sheer. If it is, we’ll need to make special underpinning accommodations. Couldn’t they just make things more opaque for ladies like us?

Let’s voice our discontent, okay? Out loud and all together now: Stop it with the sheer already, gosh darn it!

Do you think the fashion industry heard our cry? Probably not.

 

Dealing with the too-sheer issue

Let me use Monday’s work outfit to show you one solution I have for averting a too sheer situation.

This is an neon orange lightweight sweater by Ann Taylor. In the beginning I bought one of them. The first time I went to style it, I slipped it over my head and it slid over my smooth nude-colored T-shirt bra. I looked in the mirror and saw in shadows the folds of my skin plumped out by the fat beneath it. I wanted to be looking at a bright orange sweater, not my personal anatomy. I wanted this sweater to illicit the comment, “Oh what a great color on you,” and not, “Oh what an interesting landscape you have beneath your sweater.”

Oh pickle! Now the only way I’d be able to wear this sweater would be with a jacket I buttoned up or I’d have to layer a tank underneath it.

 

How to create an opaque look instead of a sheer one

The holding-it-up-to-the-light test for opaqueness; this one fails

 

When I layered a tank underneath it, because the sweater is so lightweight and sheer, you saw the full outline of the tank. You could make out a description of it. Aargh! P-L-E-A-S-E, I just want to see the sweater!

 

Too sheer sweater

Seeing details of my hand beneath a sheer sweater

 

What to do? What to do? I went into Ann Taylor a week or so later and guess what? The sweater was on sale! As I recall, they let me return the first one and buy both of them at the sale price. One was a size large and one was an extra large. I wear the smallest one under the larger one and it becomes an opaque sweater.

I’ve never worn just one sweater. I’ve always worn them doubled. It hangs doubled in my closet as one sweater to make it an easy grab-and-go piece.

 

Wearing two sweaters layered over each other

Two sweaters exactly the same worn together as one

 

Wearing it like this gives me utter confidence. I’m not worrying about a lightweight sweater grabbing me in places I don’t want to be grabbed. With both of them as one, they don’t grab anything at all. They fall free from my shoulders. This works because the sweaters were so thin and lightweight.

 

 

A double the styling tips blog post, my friends

See those pictures of Monday’s outfit? Can you spot somewhere else where I’m wearing two of the same thing? If you guessed the scarves, you’re right!

I fell in love with this scarf tie when I first spotted it at the Napa Chico’s a year or so ago. I wanted to wear it as a bow over sweaters or T-shirts (opaque ones). They only had one of them and I knew one would not be enough.

It was on sale. They couldn’t find another one in the computer. I bought it and held out hope that I’d find one in another store someday. It took a few weeks but I did find another. Woo hoo!

 

A single scarf tie

My single scarf tie in a (whimpy) bow

 

Now why did I need to double up on this scarf bow/tie? I’m not a dainty person. I have a wide face. I’m busty. Little or wimpy things generally don’t work well on me. I need more oomph.

 

Doubling a scarf tie

Doubling the scarf tie makes it just right!

 

By doubling the scarves I got that oomph, that bulk that I needed. It also made it more floppy. It made it more fun and whimsical. I liked that.

 

 

Cheers everybody! So dear friends, are you ready to have a double with me? Can you see a need for doubling up on things to get them just right? Grab that wine or water glass and let’s chat! (Coffee and tea cups are allowed as well.)

XO

 

 

Outfit details

  • Sweaters by Ann Taylor, years back
  • Chico’s denim sleeveless shirt dress with self-tie worn open as a tunic vest with the tie in the back
  • Peace of Cloth knit pants bought in a boutique that no longer exists
  • Tie scarves from two different Chico’s
  • Lanvin anitque bakelite bracelet from SAX Consignment
  • Alexis Bittar earrings from TJ Maxx
  • Aquatalia suede booties from Nordstrom
  • Black and white socks from Banana Republic
  • Red eyeglass frames by Woow from Uber Optics

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38 Comments

  • Reply
    Rita
    April 24, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Brenda—I would have never thought about doubling up on the sweaters. That’s ingenious, although even though they’re light weight, is it hot? You look great in the color orange. That’s a color that doesn’t do anything for me. Brenda how tall are you? Can you give a link to the pants you have on if they’re still available thru the designer’s website? I didn’t know if they were ankle length and had a zipper or pull on. Hard to see because you’re sitting.

    Would love to see a blog post regarding wearing your best colors and ideas of what to wear on a daily basis once retired and hanging out at home. Also, finding that third piece to complete an outfit and pull it all together.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      Rita, those sweaters together are not hot. They aren’t close to the warmth of a cashmere sweater, not even close. So that’s one reason this worked out so well. I am 5’5″. At least I have been for many years. Maybe I’m slipping! I haven’t seen that pant brand anywhere. You could Google Peace of Cloth and see if they still exist. Totally love your request for a blog post about retirement. I’m actually been swirling that around in my head for a few weeks. Those pants by the way have a zipper in the front. And they aren’t ankle length, just a bit longer.

  • Reply
    Catt
    April 25, 2018 at 12:23 am

    The doubled look is definitely you and you are always dressed to perfection! Love the double tie too! I am not sure I would be comfortable with all those layers of clothing….something to try and see. I am a size 4/6 and 5’8″…smaller on top, small waist….would the doubled look overwhelm me?

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      It just depends on the material. This was so thin and so fine so doubling it barely is noticeable. It’ll be fun to know about this idea as maybe it will be just the right thing in a situation you come across! Thanks, Catt.

  • Reply
    Nelson Bartley
    April 25, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Having lived in Houston TX most of my 62 years, this first struck me as crazy. But then i thought of all those inexpensive tees that fall beautifully but are wayyyyy too sheer. An addition of a tank puts you in heat stroke territory. I have found sheer looser fitting camis to put underneath but never thought of two of the same thing. Now that I live in Colorado-no humidity, plenty of cooler weather- this idea seems like genius. Thanks for turning my ideas on their head!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      It’s nice to go from crazy to genius so quickly. You’re giving me a big grin! Enjoy your Colorado living!

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    April 25, 2018 at 5:45 am

    Now that’s a way to wear a sheer sweater that I would never have though of, Brenda!!
    But I will tell you that we are taking photos today with my moms to showcase sheer items. I actually like them because they do have coverage but aren’t so hot for the summer. Funny, how it all depends on your perspective!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Reply
      Brenda
      April 25, 2018 at 9:02 am

      Totally agree. I LOVE sheer things for summer and look forward to reading your tips about that. That kind of layering is something I do with my clients. This sweater was just awkward. Perfect for transition weather here in the Bay Area, actually perfect for SF summer weather because it’s always cold! But I won’t be wearing my double sweaters in the 80s. That’s when I’ll pull out your ideas about layering! Can’t wait to see the pics, Jodie!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      It’s about perspective as you say but also seasonal! I love wearing sheer in the summer with adequate underpinnings. Love what you do with the three of you!!!
      XO

  • Reply
    Ramona Puckett
    April 25, 2018 at 5:53 am

    I love this! It’s such a great idea, thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      You’re so welcome!

  • Reply
    Dorothy
    April 25, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Doubling the scarves! Brilliant. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      You bet, Dorothy!

  • Reply
    Diane
    April 25, 2018 at 6:53 am

    Great idea Brenda. You have the solutions for us every time. I am so frustrated with this sheer thing. Why, who likes to show their shape that way. After the tank turned backwards, now this is great. I tend to get warm but this will work for spring for sure. Love the glasses with the new cut.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks, Diane. And a word of caution: it works with the right weight of items. This orange sweater was definitely sheer, too thin, and not warm enough. So doubling made it just perfect. I’m sure it won’t work with everything but it’s well worth a try!

  • Reply
    Erin
    April 25, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Brilliant! I usually do a tank underneath but I may just try this method instead! So glad that I started following you Brenda!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Erin, it’s so nice to have you here! Thanks!!!

  • Reply
    Beth B.
    April 25, 2018 at 8:36 am

    OK wow – would never have occurred to me in a million years to buy two of something to wear simultaneously but its such a great idea!! Works perfectly in both of these scenarios you’ve described. Now i am adding this to my “arsenal of style tips”…. look forward to an opportunity to try it myself!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Can’t wait for you to try it yourself. You’ll feel so darn smart when you do! (Or am I projecting?????)

  • Reply
    Cindy Scurry
    April 25, 2018 at 9:03 am

    What fantastic tips! I will definitely be using the double up concept in the future! Thank you for your continued inspiration!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Always love hearing from you, Cindy. Glad the double trick inspired you!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Doerzbacher
    April 25, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    I am rather short from neck to waist so many of the tanks I get to wear under an open shirt or open sweater are just wayyy too low cut! I turn the tanks back to front and end up usually with a higher bateau neck line! I carefully snip out the tags if they are sewn in. Perfect!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Great idea! Great solution! Thanks Mary Ann!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Tucker
    April 25, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    This is such a fabulous idea! I will definitely be trying it out! Love all your tips and ideas!
    Peace
    Cheryl

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks, Cheryl. Today I tried one of your ideas! I’m going to write a blog about it and post a pic of you if that’s okay. You’re a dear!

  • Reply
    Erika Alvarez
    April 25, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Fantastic solutions to very common problems, Brenda! Thanks so much for sharing. Am going to try the sleeveless dress as a tunic tip, too. Great post!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks, Erika! Always fun to see your name, my dear!

  • Reply
    Diane L
    April 25, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    I tried on some tops from Ann Taylor about a week ago and veto them because of how sheer they were. I did buy a beautiful light pink cardigan that is sheer from the store & I love the look over a thicker top. I have been successful finding tops at Chico’s that are very comfortable and wash well. I love your flair for fashion. Since retiring I feel more inspired to be creative with my outfits. Thanks for inspiring us!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      You know, I just LOVE what you said, that upon retiring you’ve become inspired to be more creative. Isn’t that just a grand thing to happen! Enjoy that creativity, Diane!

  • Reply
    Kim In Minnesota
    April 25, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    So smart! I love your tips. Just found your blog a few months ago and also like the references to Minnesota and the Dakotas 🙂 — not to mention fun phrases like “oh, pickle!” Thanks for brightening the day.

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      So fun to meet another Minnesotan! So happy to be “found” by you, Kim!

  • Reply
    Aless
    April 25, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I totally agree about having to get the proportions right when you have a broad face etc. I’m just the same and cannot wear delicate jewellery etc. One thing that is driving me nuts is that I cannot get bangles/bracelets that will fit over my big hands. I had big hands when I was a size 8!!! Gloves….forget it unless they are stretchy and knitted!! (I finally did find a pair in a glove shop (YES!!) in Florence and I shelled out X euros for scarlet suede!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They were the biggest size they had.Precious to me!)

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      Oh I bet they’re precious! Good find! You need stretchy bracelets. Easier to manage!

  • Reply
    Angie
    April 25, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Hi, Brenda! You’re always full of great tips! Thanks for another one. 🙂 — Angie, http://www.yourtrueselfblog.com

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      You bet, Angie!

  • Reply
    Katherine Cramer
    April 26, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Mad Skills Dear One! I had not even considered doubling up. Your innovative ideas are so practical, comfort conscious and ingenious. Retailers must love it too. I imagine that doubling a sweater also creates a very cozy warmth that a thicker sweater can’t fully duplicate. Kudos and Thank You!

    • Reply
      Brenda
      May 1, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      You know that sure is the case with this orange sweater. It felt drafty by itself but the double layer is just right! Not too hot and not too cold. You’re so generous!

  • Reply
    Barbara Kraus
    May 15, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I love the doubling idea. Thanks!

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