Ask Angie: help me to troubleshoot the cropped pants outfit!

...and of course everybody else! :-)
I tried to wear my mini-houndtooth cropped trousers again this week with a different blouse. I am not sure I like the result though so I pulled out the previous outfitwhich I liked and decided to compare it.
Am I right that the outfit with tucked in turquoise blouse is less flattering than the one with a ink blue shirt? If so what is the critical factor here:
- full tuck vs.semi-tuck;
- both shoe options are nude but there is 1" difference between sandals and the pumps (1 1/2" vs. 2 1/2");
- higher contrast belt? I also see that the belt slid a bit down in the loops which makes the look less crisp I think.

So which is the culprit: shoes, tuck, belt, combination of the above or something completely different? Or I am just being off the mark here and outfit 2 is fine?

Thanks in advance for clearing this for me!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • DeclawedJaguar replied 5 years ago

    I see what you see, Sveta. To my eye, it's a combination of the full tuck with the high-contrast belt. Have you tried a semi-tuck with the turquoise blouse?

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    I do like the first outfit better and think it might be that the belt and shoes are the same general color, and also the half tuck. Maybe try outfit #2 with darker shoes? And then add the half tuck!

  • Susie replied 5 years ago

    Hi Sveta, I like the first outfit better too - I think the ink blue looks better on you, and your shoes, bag and belt tie in nicely as they're all roughly the same colour. The turquoise looks a bit more harsh - maybe you need to play with the accessories a bit? Tuck-wise, I think both options look fine!

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    I actually think the half-tuck makes all the difference, and that is by squinting at both thumbnails. The test would be to half-tuck the turquoise blouse and leave everything else the same!

  • Tina replied 5 years ago

    I think the biggest issue is the lighting of the picture, the second pic looks a lot lighter. The second difference is the belt, IMO. I don't think the shoes would be that different if the lighting were the same. How about if you pull the second blouse out just a bit to give it some slouch? Just suggesting because you asked:) love the first outfit, BTW. The color combo in the second is fab! That blue with the red bag is very nice.

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    Sveta have you considered a different belt with the turquoise belt? My initial thinking is that a low contrast belt will prevent you from being 'cut in half' and create a longer look.

  • Lyn D. replied 5 years ago

    I don't think the shoes are the culprit but rather what is going on in the belt area.
    Just needs a little tweaking with the belt colour and fit and it will be another lovely outfit with or without the semi-tuck.

  • Zapotee replied 5 years ago

    I think is the belt also.

  • Henley replied 5 years ago

    I think I like outfit #1 better because of the contrast between the darkness of the shirt and all the lightness on the bottom (pants, belt and shoes). I agree that you should try outfit 2 with the lighter belt and a semi-tuck on the shirt.

  • cjh replied 5 years ago

    The proportions are different for a few reasons. First in my opinion is that the sleeves rolled up on the navy blouse look somehow sharper, maybe because they don't line up with the waistline/belt area. The navy blouse also has a crisper look, and though very small, the light buttons draw your eye and create a vertical line. The belt is low contrast with the pants, eliminating the horizontal line. The bag also hangs lower, extending the vertical line. In the photos, I cannot tell anything about heel height, so maybe you just feel taller/longer/thinner in the navy blouse combo.

    So after all this, maybe the big difference is no. 1 looks (and feels) vertical and tall, and 2 looks like two horizontal parts divided by the belt and the sleeves ending at the waistline. Upper block of turquoise and lower block of gray and creams.

  • Laura replied 5 years ago

    Agree with Deborah and Zap. It's the belt. I love, love, love, the first outfit!

  • replied 5 years ago

    I like outfit #1 better because:

    The navy blue top looks better with the pants than the turqoise one does.

    The color combination in outfit #1 looks better on you--that is, better with your personal coloring.

    The belt you used with outfit #1 tones well with your shoes, which gives you a more pulled together look.

    To my eye, the contrast between top and bottom of outfit #1 is more attractive.

  • Sveta replied 5 years ago

    Thank you all for your input. I wil play with different belts and tuck / semu-tuck and maybe post the pictures.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    First outfit is BRILLIANT!!

    And I love you for posting this. I can't wait to see more pics. This is the kind of exercise that is super helpful to us all. These things can be so picky (and seemingly mysterious!)

    I agree that it is mostly the belt/tuck-semi-tuck issue, but I do think the heel height plays some role here. Perhaps that is just me with my short calves being overly sensitive on that issue, but I find that an inch makes a bit difference.

  • texstyle replied 5 years ago

    So many great comments - love this kind of post! And outfit #1 is so GREAT. I think if the same belt or maybe even a red belt were used for the turquoise top an the same tuck treatment it would be better. Also I agree with the length of the sleeves needing to be scrunched or rolled up more in #2 as someone mentioned to offset that horizontal line where the belt/pants/top all meet right now.

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    For me it's only the belt, bag and schoes which colours harmonize and match better all three together to my eyes in nr. 1.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    Remove the black belt and wear a low contrast one for that outfit too. It will feel more cohesive that way.

  • Gaylene replied 5 years ago

    Agree with the vertical vs. horizontal line theory. In the first pic, you've created a number of vertical lines with your drop earrings, semi-tuck shirt, white buttons on the shirt, high contrast V-neckline, bare arms, longer bag, and higher heel. In the second pic, my eye is grabbed by the horizontal lines-- the major one created by the dark belt which others have mentioned, and another partial one created by the bright bag which draws attention away from your long leg line. I'll wager that, if you used some of the visual tricks you employed in the first pic in the second outfit, you'd create another winner.

  • Lisa replied 5 years ago

    This is a great question, I am learning too. I think the low contrast belt and less severe tuck is why #1 works better to my eye.

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