It’s really quite simple to take on a trend. Just follow this smart advice from InStyle‘s Fashion Director Cindy Weber Cleary.

Let’s address the elephant in the living room. Will quilted clothing make you look fat? Not necessarily. An overstuffed puffer coat is one thing, but luxe items are another. Think textural interest versus volume. So, yes, you can go ahead and have one more cheese puff!

WHY I LOVE THIS LOOK
1. It stitches you in. Traditional quilting involves two layers of fabric with padding in between, held in place by stitching. But now some designers are skipping the padding and using the stitching to create a subtle, sculptural fit.

2. It can be sporty or chic. Quilting can telegraph a range of attitudes, from casual (as in a leather motorcycle jacket) to refined (picture intricate trapunto stitching that resembles embroidery). It’s up to you.

3. It revs up your look. A quilted accessory can upgrade your outfit from so-so to stunning. The iconic 2.55 shoulder bag from Chanel, introduced in February 1955 (hence the name), still reigns supreme, as evidenced by the one Jessica Chastain was recently spotted carrying. Coco Chanel said the quilting was inspired by the jackets boys wore at the racetrack. Who knew?

HOW TO PULL IT OFF
1. Choose your stitching wisely. The finer the scale and flatter the fill, the sleeker you’ll look. Be sure to put the pattern where you can afford to: If you’re curvier below the waist, target the quilting on top—and vice versa—as it will draw attention as surely as a light color.

2. Keep other textures in your outfit subtle or flat. Wear a quilted leather miniskirt with a flat Shaker-knit turtleneck, or try a trapunto-stitched cardigan with a gabardine pencil skirt.

3. Want just a taste? One quilted detail, such as the sleeves of a jacket or the trim on booties, is an effortless way to ease into the trend.

Plus, see more of Cindy’s quilted picks by clicking the button below!

SHOP HER PICKS

–Cindy Weber Cleary

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