June 6, 2011

La Petite Sirah

For my wine lovers out there...a quick lesson: Syrah and Petite Sirah are both Rhone grapes, they are not related, which was a surprise to me! Examination of the grape in Cali in the 1970s told the growers that what they had was definitely not Syrah, but rather a grape called Durif, an unpopular variety grown in tiny quantities in southeastern France, but currently booming in California and Australia due to it's mildew resistance. Petite Sirah produces wines that are relatively acidic, with firm texture, a black pepper bouquet, and flavors of blue fruit, black fruit, plums, and especially blueberries. Compared to Syrah, the wine is noticeably purplish in color almost as dark as ink, typically rounder and fuller in the mouth, and offers a brightness that Syrah lacks. 
I think that this offers an excellent metaphor between dressing our "average" body ladies and those of more "petite" body type. Besides the lack of size, there is no less of a punch or reason to not flaunt the ferocity that is presents. As I see it, all the more reason to capitalize by buying what's right to make yourself just as spicy, bright, and full as this delish wine! For the purpose of this blog, I will define "petite" as those under 5'3" as well as those of average height (up to 5'6") that lack curves or might be straight up and down.

Two of my favorite people to imitate style from are Rachel Bilson and Nicole Richie. Both hit the ruler at 5'2"-ish, can best be described as having minimal curves and skinny overall, dress fashionably with a hint of sex appeal and always thoughtfully show off their figure. Sienna Miller fits the straight up and down category at just under 5'6" and accomplishes the same goal. Since these ladies from Hollywood can dress incredibly well and adorn a smaller frame...why can't you? The pieces that they most often turn to are as follows: big scarves, v-neck or sweetheart necklines, tucked in blouses, long necklaces, boyfriend cardigans, and structured leather jackets and blazers to highlight the shoulders, decolletage, and face. Also, skinny or straight leg cropped pants, flared jeans (make sure they're long enough), belts at the waist, shift and maxi dresses, knee high boots, harem pants, ballet flats, nude heels, and mini skirts elongate the leg. Finish it off with structured handbags to further frame your frame. Some prints that will work for you are stripes, liberty print, and ikat. 
 Even with all these do's, there are some notable don'ts: A-line skirts that are longer than mid thigh; mid calf boots, cropped cardigans, and longer tees/sweaters that hit at the hips (they'll all cut you off at the widest places); non-belted slouchy dresses or jackets (they'll swallow you!), and turtlenecks, wide leg pants, or large floral prints.

Now there is no need to age these fashion do's and don'ts like you would a fine wine - go out and be petite, my petite sirahs...bold, fruitful, and full of body!

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