Before we delve into our Fashion Study for this week, be sure you've read the first post in our series! You're Beautiful.
This week we are going to have an anatomy lesson.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
Every woman has a different body shape and that shape changes over time. As we grow into womanhood, as babies arrive, and as we go about our lives, we change. There isn't one perfect body type. And there are lots of different ways body types are described: apple, pear, triangle, rectangle, hour glass, and inverted triangle, to name a few. And even within those you can find variations of sizes; like slim, average, and full (among other descriptions).
A basic guide for the shapes follows:
- apple-legs are very slender and your waist measures more than other areas
- pear-hips measure wider than shoulders and your waist is well defined
- triangle-shoulders measure less than hips and waist measures in between
- rectangle-similar size in bust, waist and hip measurements
- hour glass-similar bust/shoulder and hip measurements with a 9" or greater difference in waist; the waist being smaller
- inverted triangle-shoulder measures wider than hips and waist is a size in between
One of the most fun ways to figure out your body type is to take a straight picture of yourself (our samples below are not exactly straight on, but they give you an idea of what I'm describing). Draw an X across your body and then trace the shape of your sides. Which does it resemble most closely? Remember this changes over time and as your body changes, you'll need to take a look at this again, especially if you are learning about your body shape as a young lady.
If you still remain unsure, you can use a body type calculator like this one (Parents, be sure to preview this site for appropriateness for your family. You may wish to do the calculations for your daughter. At the time of posting this, there was no questionable material on this page.).
Another consideration is you can think about your clothing sizes. For example, if you wear a larger size pants then you do shirts, then you are probably a pear or triangle shape.
Once you know your body shape, you can learn the most flattering things to wear for your body type. Sometimes it takes trial and error. You can try on different things and take a picture. Then you can decide if a tip actually works for you.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- apple-tops cinch at the waist or have side ruching, full skirts, dresses with tie belts, cropped pants with roomy leg and stretch waistbands
- pear-scoop necks, square necks, or v necklines with flowy tops or dolmen sleeves, and ruffles around the neckline, dark shades on the bottom, belts
- triangle-patterns at the top, large necklaces, light colored tops with detailed sleeves or puffs, large collars, turtle necks, dresses with empire waist, a-line skirts, dark bottoms with flare or boot cut
- rectangle-button-up shirts, high necklines, ruffles or pleating at top, v-neck, baggie and slouchy jeans with pleats and wide legs, ankle pants and cropped pants, a-line skirts with high waist, shirt dresses with or without a belt, embellishments that repeat at the neckline and at the waist
- hour glass-slightly rounded neckline, v-necks, sweethearts, and scoop neck, ruffles and fitted shirts, wrap tops, form fitting jackets and coats, wrap dresses, pencil and a-line skirts, mid or high rise jeans with flare or boot-cut
- inverted triangle-wide belts, wide collars, boat necklines, wrap tops, layering on hips, shift and a-line dresses, full tiered skirts with pleats or patterns, pant and skirt embellishments, flares and wide legs pants with an extra interest, shoes with flare
Over the years, I have learned quite a bit about my body type which is a slim hour glass. When I was younger I was s a slim, rectangle and had no clue that I was a rectangle or what to wear! And at one time, right after babies, I could have been a pear! Some of the things I have found look good on me may go against what a typical hour glass might wear, but we all need to make adjustments based on our own unique characteristics!
When dressing my top area, I like to add an embellishment. Sometimes it is a scarf or ruffles, but it generally needs to be something delicate. My neckline can't take anything very clunky (I can't wear the big, beautiful bobble necklaces that you see now.). A long string of pearls or a long thin gold necklace works for me, too. My torso is very long, so my shirts have to be at least 21 inches or I'm not comfortable. Boat necks, cowl necks, and scoops are my most flattering necklines. But the round tee style doesn't look good, nor do button ups without layers. Suit jackets with a fitter waist suit me. My arms are long and I like my shirt sleeves to have a 31 1/2 inch length.
I am shortish and my legs are the culprit, sometimes I have to special order jeans and pants to 30 inches, so the fit is appropriate. I like for my jeans to have a dark wash, boot cut, and straight leg. Dress pants need similar qualifications with boot cut and medium rise. I want all of my skirts to be at least 22 inches long to hit my knees and 34 inches to be at my ankles. I don't like large patterns, but do like solid colored cloth.
I like dresses to have the same kind of embellishments at the top as I mentioned above. A belted or empire waist looks good on me and to fit me comfortably it has to be at least 38" from the shoulder.
Try This Out: One of the things I've found is that when I take pictures of a piece of clothing and love the fit, I look for things that are similar. I measure the lengths and widths. I consider the cut and color. And then I write everything down!
A fun, inexpensive day trip you could take with your daughter or mother would be to go to the mall and try on a bunch of different outfits (pair them with different kinds of jewelry and bags), taking pictures of all of them. Go home and print the pictures. Lay them out and pick the ones that suit you best, ask for advice from each other. That way you can really get a sense of what you like, what is flattering on you, and what you are comfortable in without the impulse to purchase anything or buying the clothes first.
The most important thing is for you to realize that everyone is different. Have fun finding the types of clothes that flatter you and the clothes you are comfortable wearing! The differences in how God made each of us is truly amazing and to honor that, you can be thankful for how he made you.
And now on to the fashion show...
The weather is finally getting colder around here, so this is an outfit I wear when it is cold. This works for church and visiting with friends. This is one that is pretty versatile. With just a change of the scarf, it can work for fall, winter, and early spring.
The sweater is one I was given for Christmas one year and so were the boots (the black ones work, but I might try a cognac pair the next time I wear this). I put them with a plain pair of black leggings. The scarf is one of my favorites. The material feels great and the color is one of my favorites. It seems to take a boring outfit and really give it umph. The best part of the scarf is that a few years ago when I needed to purchase some clothes for Li, I hadn't spent enough to get free shipping, but I was just off by a few dollars. I really like free shipping, so I went searching and found this scarf. And it was really free. Since I added it to my cart, I got free shipping and the order total was cheaper.
I threw my coat on and I was ready to head to church this particular morning. I've also worn this outfit with a pair of jeans instead of the leggings.
Jo-Jo's outfit is another one that was all given to us. The jeans were hand-me-downs, the sweatshirt and the scarf were gifts. While the pullover is rather plain, the scarf really gives it pop and looks cute with the design on the jeans.
This outfit is great for practically everywhere we go in the winter. We take several birthday trips and a Christmas trip and this will keep her warm wherever we go.
Ceesa's dress is one we actually purchased. We were looking for something that at least went to her knees. We had been having trouble until we came upon these (we purchased several long sleeved dresses and short sleeved ones as well). They really provide a staple around here.
This is a great example of a dress that works well for early spring into summer. The lavender is a pale shade and the cardigan extends the life of the dress.
Fashion Portfolio Assignment: Make a page in your portfolio that shows your shape and write down tips that flatter that body style. If you take a trip to some stores and have pictures of things you love the look off include those too! If you already have some things that you really love, snap a picture of it and write down the measurements and what you like about it. That way when it wears out or you grow out of something you know what to look for that is flattering.
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