As someone who can, at best, be described as “fashion challenged,” I feel it is my duty to pass along this link:
This is a series of 10 truly excellent posts by Amy Herzog. You can view them on her blog by clicking on the title of each post or you can buy the series as a PDF. The series starts out with a great analysis of body shapes and clothes that flatter them. Then it talks, in detail, about each design element and how to spot them in knitted sweaters. And finally, it walks through designing your own sweater or modifying one you love to flatter you.
I read through these and found out that I look best in sweaters with a strong horizontal element at the top and three-quarter sleeves. Which is great, because I love three-quarter sleeves. The horizontal element could be a wide neckline, a colorwork yolk, or raglan shaping. It works, too- I bought some shirts that fit my new rules, and they look great on me!
Because of this, I have changed my mind on the February Lady Sweater, which is fine, since I never started it anyway. But I still have all that lovely merino/tencel yarn for it. Right now I’m crushing on the Maple Grove cardigan pretty hard. Wide neckline, raglan shaping, cropped short- it fits all my new rules. Plus it looks pretty fun to knit; I love the sleeves. It was a shock to see it’s not on Ravelry though. I’ve come to rely on Ravelry when I look at a pattern to see what other people have done with it or how it looks on them. Not having that extra info makes me feel blind. Did I really live this way all the time before the internet?! So quickly I get used to technology, sigh.