Thank you, Mary, Melissa, and Uta!!! I appreciate your comments VERY much. As I checked my blog this morning and my husband saw my outfit from my last post, he said, "Get rid of that pic FAST! It makes you look fat." He's not being mean, he's being honest. He has dubbed the last pic, "Chunky Chick Designs". The outfit is NOT working. I'm miffed, but not at him. It's putting work into a project that doesn't work for me.. I've actually lost at least 4 lbs. from doing a lot of extra mileage and workouts the past three months but you'd never know it from that outfit.
Mary and Melissa, I will follow your advice. Wear the top with sleek pants or skirt and pair the skirt with a tailored blouse in a nice gold or brown. I wore the top with jeans yesterday, but I still don't think it is very flattering. Maybe it's something to do with side gathers. Or like you said, Mary--the variation in the nap and the gathering. Or what Melissa said, gathers going one way on the top and the other on the skirt. Too visually distracting. Add the "frosty" nap of the top and the print of the skirt, well yeah, it's just not working. From the moment I put it on, I was taken aback and thought, "This makes me look wide." Very different from when I tried on my swimsuits and thought they looked good and flattering.
Chalk this one up to a Q&E mediocre project. And again, thank you, for the comments. I want brutal honesty--so refreshing. If it's not working for me, I want to know from other fashion oriented women. Good fashion sense and what works for me has always been hit or miss so your help is most appreciated :) !
Maybe I'll just save this top to wear under fitted blazers. That would work.