I’m baaaack! I’m smart enough not to ask whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing!
It’s seems like forever since I’ve been at the computer. Life became busy, busy, busy and, unfortunately, the blogs had to be set aside. Then, immediately following all this busyness, I had an ongoing massive fibro flare – it’s still not completely gone. But, the keyboard beckoned and here we are!
Amidst all this busyness, I’ve had many conversations, filled with questions, from women about their style and how to dress their best. A couple of the questions I hear most often are “How do I know my body type?” or “How do I dress my body type?” These are GREAT questions! As we’ve discussed before, you must be careful with body typing because not everyone fits into the set molds. Also, some people can get discouraged if they have what they consider the “wrong” body type. But, let me emphasize (see side panel) there are NO wrong or bad body types/shapes. Every shape is beautiful and every shape has challenges. For every perceived “problem”, there is an equal and opposite “positive”.
So what is the profit in knowing your body type? In a nutshell, having that basic knowledge, even if you don’t fit perfectly into one shape, helps you to bring out those positives in your body and use them to your best advantage. By learning how to draw attention to your favorite attributes, and thereby pull attention away from areas you are less confident, you will feel more confident in your look and presentation, which inevitably translates into more confidence overall.
Also, keep in mind that this is about creating a balance and symmetry in your look – NOT about looking skinnier, or taller, or more voluptuous or whatever you think your body issues require. Studies have proven that the human eye is drawn to and finds more attractive things that are balanced and/or have symmetry. This translates not just to bodily attractiveness, but also to how we prefer rooms to be arranged or decorated and pretty much any other aspect of life. One such study asked people to rate the attractiveness of members of the opposite sex. To eliminate bias, heads were unseen and skin colors were all made neutral. Although they made the differences in symmetry barely noticeable, both men and women were overwhelmingly more attracted to the models who were dressed to create symmetry. Never about size; simply about shape.
Now the question is, what are the primary body types? There are 5 basic body types that I use: the hourglass, the triangle, the inverted triangle, the diamond and the rectangle. (IMHO, using the geometric shapes is easier to visual and understand than the frequently seen “fruit” shapes.)
I can hear you all now…so, how do I know what body shape I am? Well, some of you will know your body well enough to be able say, that’s me or that’s me. But, to be more “scientific” about it, I use the method created by celebrity stylist, Bobbie Thomas. Here’s what you need to do:
- Stand in front of a white or solid color wall.
- Wear either nothing, underwear/bathing suit or snug black outfit. (You want something that is going to clearly and accurately show the outline of your body.)
- Set up your camera on a stand or, if you’re comfortable, get a friend to take your picture.
- Print out your picture. (Or do this in your photo editor, as I did, or Photoshop.)
- Once you have your picture, make dots on the farthest, widest edge of each shoulder. Then make dots on the farthest, widest part of your hips. Now make an “X” by connecting the left shoulder to the right hip and the right shoulder to the left hip.
- Finally, make dots on the farthest edge of your waist. Your true waist is underneath your rib-cage and just above your belly-button. (If you’re still not sure where it is, bend as far forward as you can and then stand back up. Where you see a “line” created on your stomach is your true waist.)
If your X crosses at dead center and your waist dots meet inside close to the center of the X, you’re an hourglass. If your X crosses higher on your body (nearer your shoulders) and your waist dots are up close to the center of the X, you’re a triangle. If your X crosses lower on your body (nearer your hips) and your waist dots meet at that X center, you’re an inverted triangle. If your X crosses dead center, and your waist dots are basically in line with the shoulder and hip dots, you’re a rectangle. Finally, if your X crosses dead center, and your waist dots are farther out, wider than the shoulder or hip dots, you’re a diamond.
There you go – the 5 basic body types. Hopefully, that helps you get a picture of what your body shape would be. Over the next 5 weeks, we’ll take a shape a week and go over some tips and tricks for bringing out your best features and creating that sense of symmetry.
If you have any specific body shape questions you’d like to ask, please feel free to comment or message me and I’ll do my best to address them.
Until We Meet Again,