ASK AMANDA ... The balance

by Amanda Bedgood

Each Tuesday we answer your burning questions of style. Today we talk balance and pulling off pieces of different volumes.

What's the rule/advice about if you wear flowy/baggie on bottom should your top be more formfitting and vice versa? I have always heard not to wear baggie on top and bottom but didn't really know. — Molly Strom

Dearest Molly,

Much of fashion is about balance. A few inches on the bottom of a top or a snug fit in just the right spot on your pants can mean the difference in appearing pounds lighter and more confident. Here's the super short answer to your question: you can wear a flowy top and bottom if the proportions are right and there is something fitted in the ensemble.

For years I subscribed to the idea that there must be something fitted on top or bottom. I still do this method to an extent — think fitted tank with palazzo pants or draped top with leggings. But, last year I noticed how very cute a big piko top is with some flowy pants and started rethinking the balance.

My advice: find the super star part of your physique and let it show or pick pieces that accentuate it. These three photos show local ensembles that do just that. At Maven Womenswear a wide-leg pant and top with some volume work to flatter because the top is tucked in at just the right spot. Shorts with some room are fine with a top that's not too tight at Brother's on the Blvd. and over at Vanessa V. a top with a little elastic cinches the middle without requiring you suck in all day long.

If you have great legs but struggle in the tummy try a new trapeze dress that hits above the knee. For arms that are great look for a flowy maxi dress that's strapless. And for the little middle gals that have some volume in the thighs or bottom, skater skirts are perfect.

In short, you can wear something flowy head to toe, so long as there is a point of fit somewhere in the ensemble.

Flow on, Molly.