Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ingénues - clothing

The Ingénue type women give a dainty, delicate impression.

They are usually not curvy but not straight either, their figure is usually very proportionate and gently rounded. (Now, as I said yesterday, the clothing style is more about appearance, look, impression and essence than measurable facts. Some ingenues are very curvy, some very straight.)

Their eyes appear to be big and have an innocent and trusting look. They have soft, rounded shapes in their face. There is something childlike, sweet innocence in their faces, impressions, look.

Best hairstyle is softly curled, with a bounce and certain messiness about it. Feathered pixie cut is good. Gibson girl updo is good. Keep it light and soft. But it should be neat and clean. "Certain messiness" is about some curls that have escaped the updo, not an unbrushed, windswept bedhead. Soft and light, natural, like this girl's hair:

Your makeup should be delicate and luminous, as if you have on no makeup at all. You may want to try a soft, lustrous color or two, but that's it. Keep it peachy, rosy, glowing, light and innocent. Girly. Like the makeup on the photo above. Very natural looking.
Clothes should have simplicity in cut, and old-fashioned, girly details, like Peter Pan collar, lace inserts and edges, pintucks, smocking, rickrack ribbon.

These coasters by Nana Company are perfect for Ingenues.
The print, the colors, the rickrack edge.

Avoid a lot of frills and draping. You should think of a little girl, but not the pageant style meringue frilly type. More like French style clothing for little girls.

If you don't know what the French style clothing is... I'll try to explain.
There's a lot of skirts, that are knee-high or higher. There is not much volume, the skirts are moderately full. Skater skirts and pleated skirts and dresses are popular.
Blouses are usual, and they often have a collar and small, puffed sleeves.
The dresses are A-line or princess-line, like girls' dresses from 50's and 60's.
There's a lot of combinations; t-shirt - often decorated with some simple, cute, girly decor, like a little bow, lace, small ruffle or rickrack edge - cardigan and skirt. Also, combining a simple t-shirt with a very girly skirt, like tutu, is usual.
The pants are simple and straight, or perhaps with tiny feminine decor, like a little puff or bow, worn with a more feminine top, like a pretty, feminine blouse or tunic with a little skirt or lace edge.
The colors are soft and pretty, feminine.
Shoes have rounded toes and can be fun and whimsical, like these in the picture with silver toes. Laced shoes are usual, or maryjanes.
The coats are also princess or A-lined (swagger coat) or duffel coat.

That is actually a very good description for the style for Ingenues. Because ingenues give a balanced impression when it comes to proportions and polarity (yin, yang, if you please, masculine and feminien - the childlike angrogyny), it's a good idea to combine the masculine and feminine elements like that. Wear a feminine top with masculine bottom and vice versa. Now, avoid extremes. Don't wear anything that's VERY feminine or VERY masculine. The only "very" an ingenue should be is "cute". :-D
Keep skirts relatively short. Not much pass knees. Don't let them go short either. "Sexy" is not an quality you wish to be. You want to be cute, sweet, girly and adorable.

Your silhouette should be soft but clean. Nothing should be tight or clingy or with heavy fall... Ingenues are delicate, and shouldn't be wearing something romantic, sexy, feminine; nothing draped that follows the body like a caress and emphasizes the curves; no deep necklines, tight waists and draped hips and bottom.

"The Ingenue likes clean lines, a boxy or A-line shape with an American Classic look under European influences. Since the outline is boxy, the textures are kept feminine with soft materials such as silk, satin, cashmere and velvet, with touches of lace or a small ruffle and small print. Conversely, wedge boots and riding boots are combined with dresses so they aren't overpoweringly feminine. It's all about balancing playful boyishness and coy femininity."

blouses, light, in color and material, girly details like pretty little frills, lace inserts, rickrack, embroideries. See that the lines and shapes are softly rounded, or that your material is very soft and light, if the lines are straight. Peter Pan collar is granted. See that the collar is rounded.

T-shirts should be fitted, feminine, not boxy and big. Light colors here, again, girly prints, small bows, lace, etc. are good.

Boatneck sweaters are surprisingly good for Ingenues. See that the rest of the outfit is a bit extra girly, to balance the square lines of the sweater.

Avoid V-necklines. Keep it round. Avoid portrait neckline, because it's a bit too heavy and adult. Square neckline is - obviously - too square. Draped necklines are not good either. Haltertop is not good, neither is plunging necklines.

Chelsea collar is nice, especially if the tips are rounded. If not, see that other details are extra girly, like puff sleeves.

Twin sets are nice, and cardigans. All kinds of cardigans, really, but it's nice with a slightly fitted and medium weight yarn, with a smooth knit, like stranded, rather than aran knit or bulky. Cropped cardigan is nice too, and lacy cardigans.

Ingenues wear jackets nicely. Keep the collars and labels nicely rounded, and preferably the seams of the jacket as well. Princess line jacket is really nice, or cropped with rounded corners.

Princess line coats are good, too, and duffel coats. Capes are nice, too, especially the short 60's style, very simple cape coat.
Every woman should own a trench coat, for Ingenue it should be shorter, perhaps slightly fitted, with rounded edges and light colored.

Don't use straight lines. If you have a cardigan or jacket with straight lines, see that the material is so soft that the lines will follow the natural curves of your body.

"Soft cut, curved seams, round neck, collars, lapels and hem lines, slim line of clothes"

3/4 sleeves are very nice, or moderately straight and narrow.
Puff sleeves, kept moderately puffed, cap sleeves, slightly flared sleeves, raglan sleeves, kimono sleeves - soft, simple shapes with curved lines and moderate, classic cuts. Leave the renaissance sleeves to Romantics.

Tops should be fitted, but loose, and not tailored, very simply cut. The focus of the Ingenue is her face. Her hair and hats should frame the face, not cover it. Her necklines should bring the focus to her face, not to her chest or shoulders. 

This is also the reason to why Ingenues should be using short skirts and shorts/hotpants. The long leg line makes the eyes wander upward, to the face, and give a colt-like impression, makes the center of gravity appear to be higher than it is, and gives you a light appearance.

A-line, slightly flared, trumpet skirt, ballet skirts, skater skirts, pleated skirts - keep the line simple and moderate.
Keep the skirts at knee level, or slightly above. Miniskirts are OK too, but you should have tights under them.

Pants: better when short. Any length as long as it's shorter, goes: shorts, breeches, bloomers, pantalettes and pettipants; capris, cropped pants, 3/4 pants, clam diggers or pedal pushers. Your pants should be of moderate cut and width and medium to light material. You can use pants under dresses or tunics, and then they can be tight or tights. Don't wear suspender pants, though. Those are more gamine than ingenue. 

So the waist is often ignored or hidden. Dresses are either A-lined, princess-lined, empire-lined or having dropped waist. Tops are worn over the bottoms, or if the blouse is tucked inside the waistband, a cardigan is worn over the waistline to hide it.

It is pity that when Audrey Hepburn is given as an example of an Ingenue, the photos usually posted are from Breakfast at Tiffany's.
A little black dress is NOT an ingenue piece of clothing.
Sheath dress is NOT an ingenue piece of clothing.
Holly Golightly is a very fashionable and rather eccentric dresser. Audrey is still Ingenue, so her essence colors Holly's style and gives it a fun, light edge, a bit as if Holly was playing dress-up. But the style of the clothes IS NOT INGENUE.

A-line dresses, princess line dresses, moderate tent dresses, "baby doll" type of dresses, tunic dresses, dresses with empire waistline or dropped waistline. Avoid enhancing the waist or focusing to the waist.

Ingenue is NOT ladylike and classic and "lady who lunches". Ingenue is a little girl who never grew up. "Bon chic bon genre" is a better description. There is class and style, certain preppiness, well educated, well mannered and well bread, grace and elegance. But still a little girl.

Other styles and impressions you should avoid:
- bohemian, hippie, eclectic, wild, too free spirited
- disorderly, sloppy, unkempt, dirty, too casual, grungy
- frumpy, granny-like, dowdy
- sexy, lewd, suggestive, revealing, slutty
- complicated, tailored, too "adult"
- manly
- strict, hard, square, angular, sharp
- tough, rough, a lot of texture
- bold, cold
- too "modern", like neon colors, too trendy
- too sleek, glossy, shiny, glassy, sheeny

She is neat and proper, mild and moderate, balanced in everything she does and everything she wears. Her colors are soft and co-ordinated, she might be using different patterns, but they always match and combine in harmony. She is a peaceful little creature, sweet and cute, charming, disarming, enchanting, adorable, soft, warm and gentle, kind and subtle.

Ingenue is old-fashioned, romantic in the dreamy fashion; sweet, innocent and childlike, cute and naïve, trusting and awakens father (or big brother) instincts in men and big sister or mother instincts in women. Other people want to protect her, defend her and teach her, help her and support her.
When she gets older, she becomes the harmless, unmarried, sweet auntie, kind and gentle, with unlimited time and sincere interest, and surprising amount of quiet wisdom.

She might be girlish, but she is not timid and quiet, so the lines of clothing shouldn't be quiet either. She can be coy and shy, but always cute, bubbly, light, airy, she's like the wind, sunshine, happy little cloud dancing in the sky, twinkling little star. She is sanguine, optimistic, happy, joyful and pretty, she can be silly and whimsical, but the cute, delightful way. Ingenues are perky and peppy in the original meaning of the words: lively, animated, bright, sparkling, spirited, vivacious, happy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, bubbly, buoyant, cheerful, sunny, effervescent, bubbly, volatile, airy, light, bouncy, jaunty, blithe.

She can be coy and shy, delightfully, charmingly so, but she's not timid and quiet. The lines of her clothes shouldn't be quiet and static either.
Yesterday I spoke about the shape of Ingenue being the trefoil. I also posted other "scalloped" shapes; clover, shamrock, quatrefoil, heart, club of cards, cloud, traditional daisy shape, the scalloped shape called "gingerbread cookie" in Scandinavia, butterfly shape and bow. I found out another shape to add to the list; bell shape. Also drop fits the description, being rounded triangle.

Avoid rich prints like paisley;  plaid,  regular stripes, overly geometric patterns and contrasting prints.

"repeating patterns in rhythmical sequences creating the effect of movement or flight"

The scalloped figure of Ingenue combines curves and pointed lines of the triangle, creating weightlessness, lightness, flight, movement, optimism, joy, a dancing movement. This is what Ingenue's clothes and outfits should express.  This can be achieved by either seeing that seams are all rounded, or if the cut is square, the fabric is softer than usually. A t-shirt can be square, but it's better it's a bit sturdier fabric and softly fitted. The cuts for an Ingenue should be very simple, though, because of the balanced essence. Ingenues are subtle and gentle women who will drown in complicated cuts and patterns. 

"Softly crisp, gently flowing, softly feminine, touches of delicacy"

For more information, pictures, tips and tutorials, go to Ingenue - Soft Gamine board on Pinterest

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