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Oversized Everything: How to Style Oversized Pieces

When it comes to clothing, I'm on the small-er side at 5ft5 and a size 6. And even though I'm a whole inch too tall to be considered "petite" in most stores, I usually buy trousers from the petite section anyway, simply because the normal ones are usually too long. Plus, y'know, I like to show a bit of ankle cleavage.

While some trends work just as well on us petite-ish girls as they do on those who are a little more blessed in the leg department, many just don't. One of the ones I've struggled with most - and for what feel likes a length of time as long as those ladies' legs - is anything oversized.

Much to my disappointment, oversized clothing nearly always drowns me. Instead of looking intentionally oversized, it looks stumpy at worst and sloppy at best.

Most over the knee boots make my legs look stumpy, oversized jumpers make me look top heavy (and super sloppy because I can't wear heels), and don't even get me started on oversized coats... I must have tried on no fewer than 25 coats before I settled on this one. I'd tried them on in stores, ordered plenty online - each time becoming less and less sure that, this time, it would be the one. And each time I'd trudge even more dishearteningly to the post office, return label in hand.

Finding an oversized coat - or just one that sits below the knee - has been a bit of a battle for me. A two year battle, in fact. Never have I found it so hard to find a basic piece of clothing.

Oversized coat and over the knee boots

When I ordered this grey one along with another navy one, my expectations had pretty much gone. I was pretty much playing ASOS Roulette by this point, flippantly ordering a coat here and there, just in case this would be the time something changed.

Well, something did change. Not only did I find a coat that suited me - I found two. After several days of trying each one on with my #OOTD, being sure it was the keeper, then trying the other and thinking the same thing, I decided to keep both.

So with that emotional journey in mind, let me present to you an outfit that features:
  • Oversized coat? Check.
  • Over the knee boots? Check again.
  • Oversized sunnies? You betcha.
  • Oversized top? Check check check.
Oversized coat and over the knee boots
So now I seem to have finally figured out how to make oversized pieces not swamp me, here are my top 4 tips for keeping your oversized pieces looking streamlined:

1. Focus on silhouette

When playing with oversized pieces, try not to think of them in isolation. They are part of a complete look, after all, so focus on the overall silhouette you want to create with them. When in doubt, think about lines and where each piece will be sitting: my top, boots and coat all create a horizontal line in different, evenly spaced places, so they don't look too heavy together.

2. Keep one part sleek

In this look, I kept my arms bare. With the low hem and roll neck of this beautiful top (which I bought in Denmark - they have the BEST brands!), anything else would have been a bit too much and the boots would have had to go. I also wore everything with skin-tight leggings to avoid looking too bulky and slim down the leg area, helping to streamline the entire look.

Oversized coat and over the knee bootsOversized coat and over the knee boots

3. Avoid over-accessorising

It kind of goes without saying, but when you're going super-sized with your clothing, keep the accessories simple. You can't go wrong with a couple of classic pieces, such as a rose gold watch and matching sunnies. Easy.

4. Keep the colour palette simple

So this is pretty much my rule for life, but it's also an easy way to play with oversized clothes. When putting together an outfit, an easy rule of thumb that I like to stick by is to play with 1-2 of the following - but never all 3: shape, texture (i.e. fabrics), and colour. This outfit has plenty of shape and a few different textures thanks to the faux suede boots, wet-look leggings and wool top and coat, so colour is pretty much a no-go. I just added a sneaky pop of olive by rolling up the sleeves!

How do you style oversized pieces?

Jodie xo

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