As a stylist, I get asked a lot by people, “Can you help me look good in my clothes?” or “How do you always look so cute? You must have the perfect figure.” (After which I proceed to choke on whatever I’m eating, because, well, I’ve had four kids for one, and for two, there’s no such thing! But continue reading…) Or, “I tried caring about how I dress, and then I just couldn’t figure out how to look good, so I gave up. It’s tee-shirt and jeans for me!” Or some semblance of these comments. And behind all of those statements is the common theme of every woman’s heart: “I want to look my most beautiful, but I just don’t know how to, and I’m a little afraid to try and fail. What if I’m not as beautiful as I hope to be?” Ahhh… The heartbeat of EVERY woman. We desire to be LOVELY. Truly lovely, a true source of beauty for mankind. God made us that way. It’s at the core of our nature. And in that struggle FOR beauty, many women are frustrated at their inability to portray the inward beauty they feel, onto their external dress. And because of that, I have decided to do a series of blogposts meant to help the average woman figure out how to look and feel amazing in her clothes! Yes, there is so much MORE than your clothing to being or feeling beautiful. Beauty is more about your essence than your wardrobe ensemble, but at the same time, the way you dress is both an influence to your essence, and a reflection of your inward self at the same time. But for the sake of limited time and space, we will forsake all the other aspects of true beauty to focus on one narrow, very practical topic: Dressing yourself well! So go grab yourself a cup of tea, and join me in this fun little journey!
Getting dressed can be quite a challenge if one is hoping to not just cover all the things, but LOOK GOOD too! There are a few things to consider in this process, but they are fun and simple, and equally important!
This is Part 1 of our Series: Look Amazing in Your Clothes!
Step 1: Determine your Shape!
Every woman, including you, has a shape, and that shape determines 100% how clothes will fit, lay, and look on her! I mean, your body shape is your canvas when we are talking about dress! Now, realize every woman’s shape is uniquely different to her, but there are five BASIC shapes that most women’s bodies can be categorized into in order to help understand how to relate to her body in regards to clothing. These shapes are:
Apple Hourglass Rectangle Pear Inverted Triangle
Look at this photo and see if you can determine which one might be the closest to your silhouette. If you can take your body measurements, this makes it the easiest to see your basic outline. If you don’t have a tape nearby, here are some key principles about basic body proportions that can help identify your physique:
APPLE SHAPE: Most common shape among women
- Typically carries weight around the middle.
- Has lean arms and legs.
- Tends to be busty
- Does not have a distinctive waist.
HOURGLASS SHAPE: Most coveted shape among women
- Bust and Hip measurement are close to the same
- Very defined small waist (Typically around 9+” less)
- Weight distributes pretty evenly throughout the body.
RECTANGLE SHAPE: Also called “boyish”, was epitomized in the Roaring 20’s
- Bust, Waist and Hip measurements tend to be similar.
- Not very curvy.
- Weight distributes evenly throughout the body.
PEAR SHAPE: Every Disney princess, particularly the Fairies 🙂
- Weight is carried in hips, butt, thigh region.
- Bust measurement is narrower than hips.
- Has a defined waist.
- Tends to have lean arms and legs.
INVERTED TRIANGLE: Often referred to as an “athletic” build
- Tends to be lean built, but if heavy, may tend toward busty.
- Broad shoulders, Narrow hips.
- No defined waist.
- Not curvy.
Are you getting closer to deciding which is yours? If you’re still unsure, that’s ok! Try this fun little quiz that may help! Determining your body shape can be a little daunting, but as you get more familiar with yourself you’ll figure it out!
If you have figured out your shape, give yourself a big hug! Self-discovery is a beautiful thing! Now, give yourself permission to love YOU, and celebrate that this is how God Himself chose to make you in all of his Wisdom! The first step toward loving the way you look in clothes, is embracing the shape you have, and not wasting another SECOND wishing you had a different one! If you are a Pear, then rock those hips! If you are an Apple, then appreciate the great legs & bust you have! If you’re an Hourglass, then appreciate all your curves! Rectangle? Rock all those cinched waistbands you’ll look amazing in! Triangle? Show off your fabulous shoulders! You are PERFECT just the way you are, and LOVING the shape that you have discovered is the FIRST step to looking great in your clothes! A confident woman who values herself is a beautiful woman. Now, stand tall, appreciate YOU, and check in next week for Part Two in this series: Dressing for Your Shape!
EXTRA: If you want a little fun extra reading, this book is a great one that talks about the nature of a woman to want to be seen as truly, truly Lovely. It’s called “Captivating“. I have friends who’ve read it who have said it set them free to embrace the struggle in their own soul for TRUE beauty. It’s an amazing book!