Body Shape: So you know what shape you are, but NOW WHAT?

Body Shape: So you know what shape you are, but NOW WHAT?

I don’t know about you, but I do know that in the past, when “body shape” became the buzz-words for stylists (indeed for any woman wanting to know how to look/feel good and choose the right clothes), many were left feeling more confused than ever.  Including me!

So I’ve come up with my own method of guiding my clients through the process. I’ve already talked about in a recent post how you can easily work out your body shape, but now what do you do with information?

Well, let me begin by saying this:

I believe that – universally – the most coveted or wished-for body shape is the hour-glass. Women come in a host of different sizes of course, but this isn’t about weight or size. It’s about creating the illusion of balance and proportion similar to that of an hourglass – no matter what that size is.

So, how do we do that?  Here’s a few pointers to get you started…

  1. We need to make the upper body look proportional to the lower body. 
  2. We need to make the space in between (that which we generally call the “waist”!) look smaller than both the upper and lower body. Right? Still with me?
  3. To do that, we need to get the eye looking “outwards” on the upper half (if it’s indeed narrower than the lower body) and “inwards” on the lower half (if it’s indeed “outwards” or wider than the upper body) – and vice versa. 
  4. But my basic rule of thumb is this: Attract the eye upwards NO MATTER WHAT YOUR BODY SHAPE. I call it “Table-top Dressing”.

So why am I literally screaming this last point (#4) to you, in capital letters? Because, seriously, when you meet someone, do you honestly speak to their belly, bum, hips, legs? Do you really notice if “their bum looks big in this”? Of course not! We speak to a person’s face. If you are self-conscious about your body-shape, perhaps you should be paying more attention to your everyday grooming first? It’s what finishes off every outfit and it’s the bit that everyone generally takes in first when they meet you – your face, your hair, and even more importantly, what comes out of your mouth! It’s your eye-contact, what you say, and how you make them feel in your presence (but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post) that usually outweighs whatever body shape you feel blessed (or cursed) to have been given. 

In doing all of the above, we create the illusion of balance and proportion. And if we can get the lower and upper body to look more “in proportion” we also can – by default – create the illusion of having a smaller waist (indeed, of having “a waist”!). (For more on that, read this). But, it really is as simple as that ladies!


Here are some more of my top tips for getting it right

Unless you have HUGE shoulders  (i.e. you’re a swimmer and very, very athletic – lucky you!) most of us can do with a little opening up/widening of the upper body. You can achieve  this easily by:

  • Opening your collars/necklines wide and low. That means, if wearing a collared shirt, unbutton it lower than you normally would. To protect your modesty (i.e. so the girls aren’t jumping out on a plate!) layer a camisole underneath to stylishly cover cleavage. The added bonus here is that your shirt also slides nicely over the cami instead of clinging to bits you don’t want it to cling to. AND, with the cami-shapers now becoming so popular, it’s a win-win!
  • Understand the concept of fit & flare. By that I mean, if wearing bulkier or looser clothing on the bottom, go fitted on top. If wearing fitted on the bottom (i.e. skinny jeans) you can probably afford to go with more volume on top. This creates balance and proportion.
  • Draw the eye to your best asset & away from your least favourite. Choosing which is which is totally up to you, but it’s key when it comes to you feeling confident.

Next time…

How to wear skinny jeans, no matter what you size/shape! See you then!

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