How to Wear Chiffon in the Daytime

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Chiffon for daytime

Hi Imogen,
I would really love you to cover how to wear chiffon as day wear. Being a large busted H shape means that empire line tends to be best on me, but how do I avoid looking like I am wearing evening wear? Most pieces I see for daytime are waisted skirts and blouses with large floppy bows, both of which make me look large and lumpy. My colouring is warm, clear and light and being a redhead with blue eyes I tend to like the brighter colours. Again, is it possible to wear these in chiffon without it looking like a party dress?
Thanks,
Terri

chiffon

The trick with wearing a fabric that’s associated more with evening over daytime, is to ensure that the structure the garment isn’t overly formal (such as in the dress I’m wearing in the picture above), or there just isn’t too much extra fabric.

Chiffon is a fabulous fabric for blouses.  As it’s see-though, you must wear a solid coloured cami underneath it so that your underwear is not on show in the workplace.  It may be a nude coloured cami, or take the colour of the blouse, and repeat it in the cami (or slip as I have under this dress).

Chiffon is an easy fabric to wear if you have a large bust as it floats over, you can have a bit of extra volume but it doesn’t add bulk in the way that a stiffer cotton can.

There are so many great chiffon blouses and tops around, ones that are like tunics that skim your curves.  I have a silk chiffon jacket that is great to put over a dress.  Even though I’m lacking a waist as an H shape, I find that you can tuck in a chiffon top into a straight skirt and blouse it over the top to obscure your waistline.  Alternatively find one with an elastic waist or one that is shaped so you can wear it over the top of your bottom half.

Here are some chiffon blouse and top options you might want to consider – scroll through using the arrow keys on the sides

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10 Comments

  • Does this applies to Satin as well? Can this fabric look Corporate or Daytime appropriate?

    Ive a pleated just-above-the-knee skirt that is shiny like satin: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3802/12939063645_9ee6a3eb0f.jpg and satin blouse: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3776/9447842219_06fccd0616.jpg and have been trying to figure if it possible to make more appropriate for daytime. I prefer dress between smart- and business casual (e.g.: slim fit slacks with blazer or pencil skirt with fine knit sweater) even if the workplace Im going to work at is more relaxed (retail) and often find it hard to dress down this sort of garments because I dont like wearing denim. The strange thing is that ive no problem wearing leather leggings with a blouse tunic for leisure daytime wear (which is as shiny as satin) but dont seems to want to reach these two satin garments so often other than evening wear and eating outs.

    Imogen, do you have any ideas (like guidelines how to look more smart when dressing down a dressier garment without wearing denim ?

    • Satin is shiny and this level of shine and the kind of fabric is associated with evening wear – so difficult to dress down. Maybe just keep them for your evenings and eatings!

  • Just wanted to say that you look absolutely lovely in that first chiffon dress! It all just works – the hair, the makeup, the dress. Have a great day!

  • Following on your texture video from a few days ago and applying to this post……. the chiffon does look good on you! as KimM says above – for all the color and fit reasons but also because you have the right texture and weight of features and hair. Chiffon can be hard to wear, day or night – it’s so lightweight and smooth and floaty – that only those with a quality of visual lightweight-ness can carry it off (soft/feathery hair, delicacy of jawline/mouth/nose/brows, some ingenue eyes). It’s like wearing wispy clouds, or air – it suits those with an ethereal quality best. It doesn’t harmonize as well with those with earthier quality – chunky or thick hair, or textured skin, or stronger more athletic features (heavier brow, intense eyes, etc.). i.e. better on Amanda Seyfried than Sandra Bullock. Also, speaking as part of the busty H-shape club like Terri who wrote in, it’s nice to have something that drapes softly but there has to be some narrowing under the bust, or we risk looking matronly. The blouses #2,4,5,9 shown above are fine; 3,6,7,8 not so much [and put a properly fitted (usually French-made) brassiere underneath to keep things from looking droopy (a heavy quality), particularly when wearing a soft fabric like chiffon]. All the above observations come from my own failed experiments trying to wear chiffon… it’s not for everyone 🙁

    • Yes – if you’re too earthy it doesn’t work as well. But there are different weights of it, some are thicker or darker which give the appearance of more weight.

      I often add extra darts under the bust of my chiffon pieces (I did with the dress) to ensure that the fabric comes back into my body.

  • As best as I understand it, for chiffon to work as day wear it needs to be more tailored. Is this correct? I have also picked up a lovely ivory pleated knee length skirt in an op shop but I am unsure what I would wear with it, to dress it up and down.

    • Yes a more tailored rather than really floaty number for daywear. You could put your skirt with a t-shirt and denim jacket to dress it down, or with a top with some sheen to dress it up.

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