Guest Blog: Body Shape Basics

Today's guest blog comes from my good friend and partner-in-style, Courtney.  We met and became great friends in L.A. with dozens of indentical (and unintentional) outfits, and many shopping trips.  She hails from the great state of California, and rocks the dual roles of mommy to one and media consulting part time.  

Courtney has a knack for looking age appropriate, stylish, well-put together, and keeping it all functional for her full-time gig as a mom.   She loves finding an amazing deal and keeping her wardrobe refreshed.  I am excited to have her share her wisdom with us!!

I’m 28-years-old and I feel like I’m just beginning to hit my style stride. What’s been going on all these years until now, you may ask? Well, let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of hits and misses as I’ve been trying to discover, define and develop my personal style.

Through these many style mistakes and triumphs, the absolute most important piece of information I’ve learned is that you must, must, must dress for your body type. Knowing your body type and understanding how to dress your body type can make a world of difference in how a trend or style will look on you – a hit or a miss.

Back in high school I played sports and had more of a boyish/rectangular figure. Then in college, post athlete days, I gained some weight and became more of an apple shape. Then, morphing – yet again – after having a child, I’ve been able to get back to pre-college weight, but not the same body shape. Now I’m more of a pear shape. Throughout these years of changes, I’ve had to dress for different body shapes… unfortunately, I didn’t always realize that. After gaining some weight in college, I didn’t fully recognize that my new body needed to be dressed differently that my high school body. I often tried on similar styles and cuts of clothing that I would have worn with my boyish figure. When the clothes didn’t fit like they had before, I wanted to cry, grab a pint of ice cream, and swear off shopping forever. Of course, something had to be wrong with me, right?

No. My body wasn’t the problem. It was the clothes I was picking and how I was trying to dress my body that was the problem. Once I learned how to appropriately dress my new shape, I saw that clothes still looked good on me… that I still looked good, no matter what shape or size I was (am).

Point is, know your body, love your body and learn how to dress your body… then you can really begin to develop your own personal style.

Most of you probably already know the different body shapes, so here’s just a quick review:

·         Straight – bust and hips are around the same size, and the waist is slightly smaller than bust and hips. (think Gwenyth Paltrow)
·         Apple – waist is larger than the bust and hips, and not very well-defined. Often top heavy. (think Tyra Banks)
·         Pear – the hips are larger than the bust, and the waist gradually slopes out to the hips (think Hayden Paneterrie
·         Hourglass – bust and hips are about the same size, and your waist is well-defined (think Kim Kardashian)
·         Inverted triangle – bust is large and/or shoulders are broad, hips are narrow and the waist is not very well-defined. (think Nicole Kidman)

Now that we have the basics of these shapes down, we can begin the styling process. To kick things off, I've picked one of Fall's hottest trends - Midi Lengths (termed for hitting midcalf in length) - to show how each body type can wear this style.

Straight - create a defined waist and curves with a high-waisted, gathered midi skirt like this one from TopShop. The pockets help to add some volume to the lower half as well. This pleated skirt from ASOS also creates a similar silhouette.

Apple - look for an A-Line cut, where the fabric falls away from the hips. You don't want too much bulk on your bottom half, but just enough to balance out your top half. Try this skirt from Macy's.

Pear - us Pear-shaped gals need to keep the focus up top, so look for a skirt that has an A-Line cut and doesn't create too much attention around the hips. I like this ASOS skirt for the Pear shaped body - falls down and slightly away from the hips with a high-waist that brings attention to your trim mid-section.

Hourglass - for the Hourglass figure, I would actually suggest this midi dress. The deep-V neckline and the ruched waist bring all the attention to your smallest area.

Inverted Triangle - because your bottom half is smaller than your top half, you can really play with prints and colors to bring the focus away from your bust or shoulders. Try this leopard print skirt from Forever21.

1 comment:

  1. This was super helpful and a great note to remember as I'm shopping and updating my wardrobe this season. I'm glad you are doing this Paige - you are extremely talented and have a great knack for fashion.