Look AMAZING in your clothes: Part 1 – Which Gorgeous Shape are You?

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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

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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!

FUN LITTLE BODY SHAPE QUIZ

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!

For those Mommas who just, well, MISS the Lord

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At a friend’s encouragement I decided to write this down hoping it would serve to breathe life into some of your precious momma-hearts like it did mine when the Lord shared it with me…

I don’t know how many of you have, like myself, found yourself in the midst of raising young children, chasing toddlers, cleaning house, tending to cooking and caring for a husband, found yourself just plain MISSING your time with the Lord like you used to know it. I miss the days of 2 hour quiet times if I just felt like it. I could close my eyes, get lost in worship, in the Word, hearing his voice, and get heaven and his heart downloaded to me any given day I chose it. Then I became a momma… and my quiet times are far from daily (as I would have defined it before), far from “uninterrupted”, far from 2 hours long, and just plain not like it was before. After I first had children (specifically, more than one child. Judah was easy and I still got lots of time with the Lord then… it was the second child that sped my life up so drastically!) I really wrestled with condemnation, guilt, sadness, a sense of loss and frustration over my struggle to find time with the Lord. I would constantly hear zealous phrases I’ve heard in the past whispering “If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to get alone with Him.” or the comparative guilt trips of “I bet so-and-so still has awesome times with the Lord.” Even still, those old voices of comparison and guilt would sneak up to rob me of what meager times I MIGHT get with the Lord. So, in attempt to remedy the feelings of guilt, I would “do what it takes” to try and meet with him. And wouldn’t you know, those early mornings, late nights, or isolated naptimes for the boys would be the times they conveniently woke up early, stayed up late, or struggled to take a nap. I ended up more frustrated and sometimes, honestly, resentful at my children, for “stealing” my relationship with the Lord from me.

THE EPIPHANY…

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege, thanks to my generous husband, of being able to take a trip with some of our college students to a Hillsong concert in Houston. While there, the room was dark, the worship sweet, no one was asking me for juice or anything else, so I just sat down and enjoyed being still and quiet with the Lord. And I found myself, as I have sooo many other times, approaching him immediately with my “I’m sorry’s”… I’m sorry I haven’t had time with you like I want. I’m sorry I haven’t made time for you. I’m sorry I haven’t woken up early, stayed up to pray, read your word, etc… and the list goes on. Except these weren’t apologies led by holy Spirit’s gentle conviction, these were apologies, though sincere, that came more out of guilt and insufficiency. Then the Lord interrupted me. He said, “Jenilee, stop, darling. Stop apologizing. I see your life. Just take the moments of love when they are available. Seize the moments of love when you can, and enjoy it. Enjoy Me.” I began to explain myself, still feeling like somehow that was unfair to him, given my apparent lack of devotion indicated by my lack of disciplined quiet times that I used to enjoy. And he went on in His Wisdom: “Jenilee, I want you to think of my servant, David. He is the only man acclaimed to have a heart after mine. The only man I said that about, in scripture. And often the picture is of him having ethereal, blissful, spiritual moments in the quiet fields with no one to interrupt him, but look closer. He was a shepherd, as you are. He shepherded sheep, you shepherd your children. He may have wanted to close his eyes and get lost in hours of blissful worship, as you do, but he couldn’t afford that. He had many little sheep that needed constant attention. He had to bring them to water, bring them to food, keep them corralled, chase them down when they wandered, keep a constant eye out for wolves, bears, lions, and then kill the beasts when they challenged the safety of his lambs…. much like you do. You have to feed and nurture your children, keep them in safe places, watch constantly that the enemy is not attempting to prey on them, and then you must stand up against the enemy when he dares to touch your child. You must constantly be alert, as a shepherd. There are moments of quiet, but even in those moments of quiet, you are watching, listening, caring. Just like my servant David. yet, he took the moments of love. He sang while he watched. He listened to my voice, while he scanned the herd for wandering sheep. He drew on my strength and wisdom when he fought beasts. He grew to know me, though his times with me did not look much like what you used to experience, yet he knew me and sought my heart, even amidst the distractions, the constant watching and tending. And, though shepherding was a very simple job to the outside eye, I saw what it created inside him, and I saw him worthy to be established as a king. You will shepherd children for many years, and it may feel somewhat aimless at times, and even like you’re giving up much of your greatest potential in order to just wipe noses or scrub behind ears, and it may feel that there is greatness within you just lying there, waiting, untapped. Yet, at the right moment, those years of faithfulness and commitment and care are laying a foundation for you to step into the “kingship” seasons that you sense reside quietly inside. When you feel your parenthood is an obstacle, the menial tasks of raising children “pointless”, remember my servant David, and continue on in your faithfulness, encouraged that it is not a waste, it is not fruitless, it is not wasting an ounce of what I’ve placed in you. The greatest king of Israel spent the majority of his life raising sheep… and yet he made a great king of Israel because he seized the moments of love when they were available and allowed me to build him into a King. Don’t apologize. Just seize the love when you can, and enjoy me when you can, and realize this season of your life is bearing more fruit in you than most would see or appreciate. But I see. I know. And I love it. Thank you for shepherding my children to love me.”That’s all it took. That’s all I needed to hear. I hope it encourages you as it did me. Truly, the Lord knows the word that sustains the weary, and I’m so grateful for it. 🙂

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Homemade special day plate!

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I remember growing up and getting to eat on the special BIRTHDAY PLATE on our special day.  It was a neat way to make our birthday even more exciting!  Well, a few days ago I sadly realized that I didn’t have such a plate for my boys, so I decided to make one.  All you need is a plane white ceramic plate from the dollar store, some sharpie markers and a working oven!  (Oh, and a magic eraser helps for messups).

–Clean your plate.
–Draw your design onto the plate w sharpies.  If you make a mistake, use your magic eraser to scrub it off and wipe it dry w a paper towel.
–When you’ve finished your design, bake the plate for 30 minutes on 350 in your oven and voila!  New plate!

I also did this with a couple coffee mugs for some friends.

Don’t put it in the dishwasher as this can undo your artwork. 

Happy designing!!

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