Tuesday 4 December 2012

All Shapes & Sizes.. Part 1

I am woman, hear me roar! Sorry, couldn't help myself. But ladies, we are not all made the same, are we? One pair of jeans can look amazing on my leggy sister, and my hips practically laugh at me when I attempt to put them on, all while being about 3 inches too long. And on the flip side, I love me some high-waisted skirts to flaunt my shape, but they don't do a whole lot for her. But! We are the same "size". Funny how that works hey? And by funny, I mean the most annoying thing ever. I am a true "hourglass", I have a teeny waist I love to highlight, but my hips have not been little since I was 13, and my boobs are the first thing to balloon when I gain weight. But, I know my shape like the back of my hand, and I have no problem dressing for it. I know what works, what doesn't, and what seriously The problem is, I don't know every shape like the back of my hand, so this is something I have literally stressed about, and put lots of hours into "understanding" (it is a work in progress). Just because it works for me, doesn't mean it will work for you. And vice versa. So, this will be a multi-series post, to go over casual, business, dressy, and everything in between to master your shape, and master the art of dressing for it.

Now, before I start, let's set out the basic "shapes"

#1, the Apple Shape. While you don't have a specified waist line, your legs and arms are what you want to show off. Your natural waist occurs at the highest point, below your ribs.

#2, the Pear Shape. You are fuller at the hips and rear, but more petite up top.

#3, the Hourglass Shape. Curvy, with fuller hips and bust, but a smaller, defined waist.

#4, the Straight/Rectangle Shape. Little definition on your waist, and pretty even measurements from hips to bust.

Now that we've gotten that settled, here are some bare basics for every type, big or little, curvy or flat:

  • Fit is essential. The most important rule when dressing for your body type is FIT. If your clothes are too tight, and if they are too loose and baggy, you won't look good, and you won't feel good. Clothes that fit you perfectly will always be the most flattering, period. Do not let the little tag on your clothes determine how you feel about yourself, or how you feel about that piece. The sizes in my closet range from XS to L, all because of the cut and the fit. If the pants are giving you a dreaded muffin top, but the cut is a really flattering one, go a size up. If you love this blouse but it's just a bit too short (my most common issue!), size up. If you can pull the waistband out, and have tons of room to move & wiggle, size down.

  • Black minimizes and White maximizes. If you want to draw attention to a certain part of your body – like your great legs or toned upper body, wear white or another light color on that part. Light colors create a focal point, while dark colors take the attention away. Stick to light colors and pastels for areas that you want to be seen!

  • Patterns Draw Attention. Just like the color white, you can use bold patterns to draw attention to certain parts of your outfit. To draw attention to your upper body, wear a patterned top with a plain pair of pants or a skirt and opaque tights.

  • Fashion is all about proportions. You know when an outfit just looks great on someone, even though you don’t particularly like the clothes? It’s because when an outfit is balanced, it looks symmetrical, something that’s visually pleasing to most people.No matter what shape your body is, a good rule of thumb is to pair clothes that bring a balance to each other. For example, if you wear a voluminous skirt, wear a tighter top to balance it out. And tight skinny jeans look good with a slightly baggy top. If you wear a low-cut shirt, wear pants or a longer skirt, etc. It all comes back to proportions. 


    Most importantly, confidence is what makes your outfit, or breaks it. When you feel good about what you have on, your confidence shines through and radiates your whole look.


    Next up, how to dress up, for your shape. Until then.




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