Style and Styling

A Body Shape

In a previous post, I talked a bit about the different women’s body shapes, and how body shape has to do with your skeleton, and with how your “meat” is attached to those bones.  To determine body shape, we look at the shoulders and hips, and their relationship to each other. We also look at whether the waist is defined or not. There are 8 basic women’s body shapes, but one very common female body shape is the A. If you imagine the head at the point of the A, you can get a feeling for the relationship of the shoulders to the hips. For an A shaped woman, the shoulders are narrower than the hips, or if you prefer, the hips are wider than the shoulders. This is a feminine, curvy, (and desirable) shape!

Put Away the Measuring Tape!

We have all heard the 36-24-36 ideal of curvaceous womanhood, but the numbers aren’t the important part! You could be a 36-24-36 A, X, or 8, and all these shapes have different ways to best maximize their assets. Take a photo of yourself in leggings and a form-fitting cami. (Delete it as soon as you are done if you don’t want it showing up on a family member’s phone if you share a cloud!) Printing out the picture is even better, because you can lay a ruler on it. Draw a straight line from your shoulder bone (not the outside of your arm) to the widest part of your hip. For some women this will be the hip bones. For some, the widest part may be across the leg crease; for others it will be the widest part of their thighs. If the line flares outward like the side of an A, and your waist is defined, you are an A body shape.  Body scale and proportions play into your choices as well, but in general…

A’s What to Wear

If the goal is to create a balanced figure, then A’s want to highlight the waist, broaden the shoulders, and minimize the hips. Often A’s are long-waisted, so there may be room for  belt. To visually broaden the shoulders, think boatneck tops, epaulets, or gathers on the sleeve. Wrap tops are fabulous for an A. To highlight the waist, belt tops, or tuck in to see the waistband. Even a half-tuck works here if a full tuck feels too “done”! To minimize the hips, an A-line skirt flaring out over the hips works wonders. If skirts or dresses are not your style, a plain simple straight legged jean or trouser in a darker color than the top works beautifully. Straight legged means many different things to different people; here, I mean a trouser that is the same width from the thigh all the way down the leg. If you are a long-legged A, boot-cuts can work well too, as long as the thighs aren’t too tight!

A’s What to Avoid

In general, A’s often want to avoid drawing attention to their hips and thighs, although there are exceptions. Look at Kim Kardashian; she’s perfectly happy to draw attention to her hips and thighs. If you love your more ample lower half, that’s fabulous, but not everyone has that body confidence. If you prefer to downplay your hips and thighs, avoid snug or tapered pants (Yes, skinnies, I’m talking about you.) and added detail around your widest parts. Pocket bling, cargo pockets, and whiskering are common attention grabbers. Recently, the stores are stocking jeans with worn/bleached areas on the thighs. These spotlight your thighs saying, “Hey, lookie here!”

When You Love It Anyway

Here’s the shape and style caveat: Maybe you LOVE those pants, and they are perfect for your personality, and you don’t give a rip (see what I did there?). Wear the pants if they make you happy! Just know that there are more flattering options out there for the times when you want to look your very best (class reunion, meeting your ex and his new wife, etc.), and keep some of those more flattering choices on hand. If your answer to why you choose pieces that don’t suit you well is “It’s just everyday wear,” my question to you is “Why don’t you want to look your best everyday?” You are precious. Please remember that, and treat yourself like you are.

What do you have in your closet that you love and wear even if it doesn’t make the best of your assets? Please share in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

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