Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Category: Uncategorized

8 Body Shape

8 Body Shape

Previously, I have talked about the different women’s body shapes, and how body shape has to do with your skeleton, and with the way 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.  The first very common body shape we talked about is the A. Then we tackled the X, one of two body shapes often referred to as “hourglass” figures. The other hourglass figure is the 8.

Put Away the Measuring Tape!

(This first part is the same for all body shapes!) To determine your body shape, take a full length photo of yourself in leggings and a form-fitting cami. Print out the picture if you can, and 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 at the hip bones. For some, the widest part may be across the leg crease. If the line you draw is perpendicular to the ground and your waist is defined, you are an X or an 8 shape. The difference between the two can be subtle, but the difference in how to dress their shapes is enormous!  Both are often referred to as an hourglass figure, so how do you tell if you are an X or an 8? An 8 has a high hip shelf, and an X has a smooth transition from the waist to the widest part of the hip. X’s are oftenlong-waisted, and 8’s are frequently shorter-waisted. 8’s are more prone to love handles, and X’s are less love handle prone. (Marilyn Monroe was an 8; Sophia Vergara is an X.)

8’s What to Wear

If the goal is to create a balanced figure, then 8’s want to highlight the waist, without creating a “poof” that will widen the hips. Where the X looks great in an A-line, the 8 looks better in a pencil skirt. Likewise, a sheath dress (especially belted) is usually a better choice than a flared one for the 8. If you are an X that becomes an A when you put on a few pounds (like yours truly), you may find a slight A-line skirt more forgiving than the pencil. Long-waisted 8’s can wear a belt, but many 8’s find belting causes clothing to poof out making tummy and hips look larger than they are. Fitted pieces may belt better than blousy ones, depending on the fabric. Finding trousers that are high enough in the back to cover the “handles” can be a challenge, especially in the current low-rise environment; many trousers hit mid-love-handle or ride below them making an 8 look heavy or sloppy. Peplum tops and jackets generally flatter an 8; they give room for that high hip! Tops should end just below that high hipbone. Finding fabrics that drape, but do not cling is key to looking smooth, and not lumpy. Belted coats are fabulous on an 8!

8’s What to Avoid

Tunics, which have been everywhere these past few seasons, are not 8 friendly, unless you find one with waist definition. 8’s should avoid boxy tops, and straight tops and jackets. Wide trousers and flares should be left in the shop, as they widen the figure of an 8 rather than creating balance. Steer clear of tops that hide your waist, or are too tight across your hips. Pleated skirts are also to be avoided as they can bubble out over the hip, but sewn down pleats that release around the leg crease can be flattering. Staying away from clingy fabrics, and bias cuts that Saran Wrap themselves to your curves will create a smoother, more flattering line.

When You Love It Anyway

If you can’t live without that tunic, belt it! Want to wear that wide legged jean? Then tuck in the front of your top to draw the eye to highlight your waist. Even a 1/2 tuck will do! This particular 8 finds the 1/2-tuck a blessing! It gives definition to my waist, while creating a drape in back that covers my “handles.” If belting a top or jacket creates too much “poof”, try sliding the belt up a little higher, and loosen it a notch to highlight your waist and ease the fabric. And always make sure to shift most of the gathers created to the front and back, away from your hipbones! Tee too blousy, or too long? Create a waist by gathering fabric on the reverse side and securing it with a rubber band  (known as a Kimtuck), or pull the excess together at the hem, slip the tail through a belt loop, and into your waistband.


Saturday Share

Saturday Share

Since we finally made it to the weekend, you may have a few extra minutes to surf, or maybe do some reading… Here are some of my recent favorites!

Janice Riggs at The Vivienne Files is a woman after my own analytical heart! Check out her post-trip packing analysis from her recent trip to Dublin. (Why did everyone I know go overseas this summer, and I was left here in town?!)

Color is a fascinating topic, and how we use it can affect how we feel, and how others relate to us. Take a peek at (another of) Imogen Lamport and Jill Chivers’s brillant video/blog articles about how color and contrast communicate.

For the Thrift-Minded, a primer from Sally of Already Pretty on the ways to not get lost in the black hole that can be the thrift store. These are some of the same ways to look/categorize that I use when Personal Shopping with clients.

From Catherine at Not Dressed As Lamb, a discussion of fashion bloggers and size (and what it means) along with links to some great mid-size fashion bloggers out there.

Last, but certainly not least, a “real” book. I love The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz, and learn new things about humans in general, and myself in particular, each time I reread it. It’s a beautiful examination of the science and psychology of choice, that still manages to be entertaining and funny. If you feel overwhelmed by decisions, he shares great daily-use strategies that free up brain space and energy for the things on which you want to focus.

Happy reading!

What have you enjoyed reading this week? Please share in the comments below!

Drumroll, please!

Drumroll, please!

The contest to win a free Personal Style Consultation or Wardrobe Audit has been open for just on two weeks. My readers, and FB followers have shared interesting responses to the contest, ranging from “Why would I want to let someone see the mess that is my closet?” (My answer: “For help with it?”) to ‘ME, ME, please!” I am a person who loves to learn and grow, so when people reply that they are not interested, it makes me wonder if they are afraid of change. I get it. Change can be scary, and uncomfortable, but spending a lifetime avoiding change is a sure way to miss out on so much fun! And a PSC or WA only changes your life if you take on board what you learn, and implement it.

As promised, the winner was drawn (by random number generator) today, Friday, September 1. (I marked the first three numbers in case the winner chooses to decline her prize.) The winner of a Personal Style Consultation or a Wardrobe Audit is…

BG! (Yes, these are initials, she may prefer to maintain her privacy…)

Congratulations!  I am excited to learn more about you, and help you bring your personality to life in your wardrobe! If you entered and did not win, I would love to help you do the same; please feel free to email me or contact me through Facebook!

Wardrobe Tips from Military Life

Wardrobe Tips from Military Life

When I appeared on the radio last week with John Patrick from Buzz on Biz, we talked about why I love what I do, and how it combines the creative with the analytical. He drew the connection between my time in the Navy, and my personal wardrobe philosophy. That has been jiggetting about in my brain since last Thursday. So, for your amusement, I share three things that my Naval service retaught me about dressing and image.

Uniforms Are Easy

Sure a military uniform is easy. You don’t have a lot of choices, and the work of the day generally determines what uniform you will be wearing. Civvie Parallel: Think about what your day holds, and dress accordingly. Have a “you-niform” (thanks Bridgette Raes) to fall back on when time is tight, all goes haywire, or plans are changed on you. My fallback is a simple dress, usually topped with a cardie (A/C can be brutal) and a scarf or splashy necklace. If I am in trousers, they are probably blue, with a white shirt, fun shoes, and some color by my face. No thought needed. Throw and go. Yours might be jeans and a colored tee with a cool stack of bracelets. Unless you are a yoga instructor, your “you-niform” should probably not be yoga pants…

Polish Your Shoes

One of the quickest hits during inspection was shoes. Scuffed, raw laces, not edge-dressed, or heels run down. We would put on freshly polished shoes at the very last second, and walk carefully down to line up for inspection. Civvie Parallel: Take care of your shoes. Find a good cobbler, not just one of the quickie shoe repair places (although they can be a godsend for heel taps in a pinch). Cobblers do still exist, but are becoming more rare than hen’s teeth. Find one, respect the craft, and treat him or her like the amazing gift he/she is. Buy shoes that can be improved. Care for them. Clean them. Polish them. Store them properly at the end of the season. (This sounds like it needs to be its own post, hunh?)

The Details Matter

Are your ribbons on straight!? Did you check with a ruler? Are they in the right order? Are your creases crisp? Is the edge of your belt buckle lined up exactly with the keeper? Yes, these details may seem trivial, but when everyone is wearing the same clothing, those little details stand out and shout. Civvie Parallel: Press clothing that should be crisp. Wear your trousers at the right length. Adjust your necklace(s) so that they hang at a flattering point. (Those are your balance points… That will be another post, too!) Change your shirt if it gapes at the buttons, or pulls across the bust. Look at yourself from head to toe (or even better, snap that full length selfie!) before you head out the door.

Bonus: White Chalk Hides a Multitude of Sins

We wore white uniforms from about March through September or so (depending on location). White trousers or a white skirt with a white shirt. Let me tell you, for me this was an enormous problem; I was (and still am) a walking food disaster. I learned the blessings of washing with bleach, and to carry a stick of white chalk in my bag to scribble on stains to hide them and absorb grease until I could get home and pop the poor garment back in the washer. Civvie Parallel: If you love white, try chalk, or just  carry a Tide To Go with you. At home, a damp washcloth to rub off stains (or baby wipe in a pinch) might just save the day.

Do any of these speak to you? Which one(s)? Please let me know in the comments below… I love to hear from you!

Playing Saturday Share Link-Up with the lovely Catherine at Not Dressed Like Lamb!