I know it’s probably not the best time of year to be talking about body shapes, but one of the most important tools in my work as a personal stylist is understanding and recognising a client’s body shape. I never really appreciated this until I did my training, but now of course it makes complete sense to me and is one of the first things I will identify for a client. I mean when you think about it, of course there are certain clothes that suit different shapes beautifully, and others that should be avoided. This really does explain an awful lot!! Like when you get out that dress that you brought for a bargain in the sale, but it never feels quite right when you get it on, so it always goes back into the wardrobe and you end up wearing an old favourite. Yep we have all got those…and the chances are that the style of it just does not suit your body shape. Either that or the colour is wrong…but that’s a whole other blogpost. And this is where a lot of people go wrong, because they have not stopped to consider what body shape they actually are. I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that I shopped ‘body shape blind’ for a long time. It did not even cross my mind that there would be guidelines based on my shape. And if you have not considered it either and find yourself getting frequently overwhelmed when you go shopping, not knowing where to start, panicking and then walking straight back out of a shop to go and buy something for the children because that is so much easier, (I can see you all nodding) then working out your body shape might be just what you need.
So how can you work out what shape you are? Well the good news that even though we are all individual, we broadly fall into one of five body shape categories. These are slender, pear, hourglass, apple and strawberry. Below I have described each one for you with a bit of advice on how to bring out the best with each shape.
Slender shapes are fairly straight up and down with non-existent or gentle curves
Bring out your best by wearing structured clothing that cinches in at the waist with a belt to add the illusion of curves. Slender shapes can also get away with detailed high-necked tops.
Hourglass shapes have a defined waistline often with a proportioned bust and bottom.
Bring out your best by avoiding baggy clothes which will hide your wonderful curves.
Pear shapes are curvier around the hips, bottom and thighs than they are on top.
Bring out your best by balancing out a curvy bottom half with bold bright tops with large collars, lapels or sleeps and all the detail above your lovely waistline.
Apple shapes are more or less in proportion but tend to carry weight around the mid-section with the lack of a real defined waistline.
Bring out your best by wearing empire line and fluid tops with movement which finish on the hipline and will flatter your silhouette. Open, scoop or v neck tops lengthen and slim the top half.
Strawberry shapes have a fuller bust and are narrower around the waistline, hips and bottom.
Bring out your best by balancing out a curvy bust by choosing styles that create definition and lift to your bustline. All detail including bright colours and patterns should be below the waistline.
And if this has got you thinking and you would like to know more about your body shape and how to dress it, then do get in touch as each client I work with will get comprehensive body shape guidelines individual to them as part of the service making shopping for yourself so much easier!! Just imagine walking into a shop and being able to ignore half of what is in there and focusing on the items which you know will flatter your shape. Sounds good? Well I promise it really can be.
As for me, you may or may not be interested to hear that I have actually imposed a spending ban on myself relating to all things clothing for the month of January. Notice I’m telling you this very near the the end of the month! That might be because I was not actually sure if I was going to be able to do it. So far it’s been a bit of a challenge as shopping is my thing, and as the new season loveliness starts to come into the shops I am finding myself becoming more and more tempted. I have a pre-shop at Bluewater on Thursday for a client next week…I’m hoping that by focusing on someone else, I won’t get distracted and start looking for me….arrgghhh fingers crossed. I must be good and come home with zilch!
I also have my first wardrobe edit under my belt now which I am delighted about. Super lovely client, and I throughly enjoyed my day with her. Nice big pile of clothes heading for the charity shop as well which is great. Then on Friday I ran a Style and Nutrition workshop with my colleague Jenny Gough. It was a fantastic day, everything went very well, and I am mostly very grateful that my mouth did not dry up when I was talking for an hour! The lovely feedback from our guests definitely made my week! The weekend however, was pretty much spent chilling as I was exhausted. Very grateful that we had nothing too much planned.
This week I have my first Stella and Dot trunk show of 2017 (which means I get to show off the new collection) and another wardrobe edit on Friday. Feeling more relaxed about that one though…now that I have done one. In fact, I could probably say that I’m actually looking forward it to. Have a good week. xxx