I have been stymied for years by the standard 4 (sometimes 5) female body shapes as stated by most fashion resources. I've studied them and studied myself, but I could never settle on one because some aspect was always off. I'm not an inverted triangle because I don't have broad shoulders. I'm not an hourglass because my hips are fairly narrow. When I gain weight it goes to my tummy - does that make me an apple? That doesn't seem right either.
|Most common female body shapes as listed on Wikipedia. There are more options on an In & Out menu!|
I was thrilled to see they've defined twelve much more descriptive body shapes (based on proportions, not size). They are as follows: Skittle, Goblet, Hourglass, Cornet, Cello, Apple, Column, Bell, Vase, Brick, Lollipop or Pear. They break down each body type in their book "The Body Shape Bible", but several online blogs also provide a wealth of information.
|The Trinny & Susannah Female Body Shapes as interpreted by Nina Squirrely|
|Great Quiz from Body Shape Style. She also includes lots of info for determining and dressing your shape. FYI - before you skittles get confused, that's apparently Brit-speak for a curvaceous bowling pin.|
I am constantly refining my understanding of what works on my shape. The information I've found recently is a great validation of that. Having a shortcut to this information would have been awesome in my teens and twenties. Frankly, I would love to get back the embarrassing amount of time and money I've wasted on unflattering styles that I bought because they looked great on my friends (or Kate Moss), or were 85% off with a designer label. It took me a surprisingly long time to learn that clothing isn't a deal at any price unless you actually wear it.
What's the point of all this awkward self-examination (aside from getting a cute new nickname - Helloooo Cello!)? To save you time, money, and heartache in the dressing room. Wouldn't it be fabulous to know what style of dress will flatter you BEFORE you try on two dozen that are completely wrong? How about discovering clothing that makes you look 10 lbs lighter, but that you had never previously considered?
I believe when a woman hates shopping, it's often because they either get overwhelmed with options, or can't figure out why the things they gravitate towards never look right. Why not take what others have figured out for you and incorporate it to make shopping less headache-inducing? For example, if I didn't understand my body shape, I would have tried countless high-waisted skirts this season, because I think this trend is classy and adorable! But I know better so I can save myself the frustration.*
|Funny...I swear I tried on a similar outfit...somehow it looks different on the VS model|
*Fine, I still tried. But at least I didn't beat myself up when I predictably looked like a disproportionate freak who had no waist and her knockers resting on her hips. I just marched myself back to the lower waisted tulip skirt section where I know I belong.**
**Ok, ok. I bought one. Just ONE. And using my creativity I found a way to make it flattering.***
***I haven't found a way to make it flattering. It looks awful. I put it on once and had to take it off before leaving the house. The tags are no longer on it so I can't return it. Don't tell my husband.