Thursday, November 26, 2009

Don't forget the good bits

Understanding your overall body shape is a good start to knowing what style of clothing will best suit your figure, but understanding the individual know, your boobs, neck, arms, bum, saddlebags (need I go on) is even better. Take my friend Megan, we both have hourglass figures but Megan as a size 8 can pull off a boob-tube and skinny jeans with the best of them. Myself on the other hand, at a respectable size 12 bordering on a size 14 (and proud) are better suited to bootlegs jeans and sleeves lest we are mistaken for a sausage about to explode from both ends. Understanding your body bits will further simplify your shopping expedition and help you show off those assets you probably don’t think you have. It will also help you adapt a look you cannot live without. Like skinny jeans! If you’ve got hips and thighs, go with a jean with long legs and bunch the excess fabric around your ankles and lower calves. This will create width around the lower part of your legs and divert attention away from your problem area and even you out. Alternatively go for a gathered boot over the top of the jean to create the same effect, but be careful. If you have short legs this style can cut you off and the ankle and make your legs look shorter than they really are. Not a good look really.

CHECK IT OUT: My favourite skinny jean outfit. DKNY jeans picked up for a bargain for $US40 two years ago (and altered) with Country Road cream silk cami with front ruffle and mid-length CR peach cardigan, both of which were purchased as part of spend $350 get $100 off. Flats are from Wittner, and the $5 cluster bead necklace from a market stall at my local shopping centre.

Fashion slave or stylist: Do you know what to wear?

Not so very long ago, a lovely young sales assistant tried to convince me a pair of pea coloured boots would look fab pulled over a pair of skinny jeans. It was a good suggestion in theory because it was then, the latest in fashion 'must haves.' What she failed to realise however, was my thighs resembled Colonel Sanders next home cooked meal, and the combination of tight denim and sagging leather would probably leave me looking like Pippy Longstocking stranded in a pool of green mud. While I have since learned to love the pleasure of a form fitted pair of duds, the experience left me wondering how many of us have become a slave to fashion simply because we don’t know what to wear. Or, better yet, how to wear it! Ask any self-proclaimed stylista and they will all tell you that understanding your body shape and shopping accordingly is very liberating experience. It will enable to you shop more confidently and avoid those expensive fashion faux pas that inevitably occur from season to season. Unless you are Trinny and Susannah who have identified 12 specific silhouettes and caused a whole load of confusion in the process, there are generally four accepted shapes that will accommodate your body.

Hourglass: Ultra curvy, a la Marilyn Monroe. This is me. Our upper and lower bodies are in proportion and we have a defined waist, which incidentally can be high, short or smack bang in the middle.

Pear: These gorgeous girls are smaller up top than down below, and look absolutely fabulous in smock tops and ruffles.

Triangle: Opposite to the pear. Lovely ladies with a triangle shape usually have an amazing bum and legs and look sensational in anything cut on the bias, unlike those of us with saddlebags who should know better but simply can’t help ourselves, and

Square: Also referred to as rectangle, oval or apple depending upon your preference, but usually characterised by beauties without a defined waist (until we add a cinch belt and then look out mamma!).

Identifying your body shape is not hard. Just think boobs, waist, hips and bum and their relationship or proportion to each other. If you are still in doubt, however there are literally hundreds of print and electronic resources available to help you. Just logon to google and off you go. But, if all else fails then spend a bit of time in front of the mirror and get to know yourself. It’s a hard thing to do for even the most buff of us, but with a good glass of wine, block of chocolate and understanding BFF on the bed behind you, its worth it in the end.
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