Friday, 9 January 2015

Step 2: Your Body Shape

When I was younger and slimmer, I didn't have to worry too much about how clothes fit me. True I was shorter than average (just under 5'2") but in the days of mini-skirts that wasn't exactly a problem. Nowadays though, apart from the lack of petite clothes where I live in Spain, I have to contend with my waist problem or, more accurately, the absence of any waist. I am a couple of dress sizes bigger than I was in my twenties, unless I find a particularly loose and baggy style that doesn't exactly flatter me.  I'm sure that many over 60s reading this will be nodding in agreement. Finding clothes that fit well isn't easy anymore and it's time to be realistic.  Step 2 - your body shape - proved to be a particularly useful step in Imogen's 7 Steps to Style system.

I already knew that I was a rectangle from the House of Colour style session with Fiona. My shoulders and hips are a similar width and I don't have a defined waist, which in Imogen's terminology means that I'm a straight H shape. The picture below shows styles that suit straight shapes and those that are better for curved shapes.
I  have to confess that over the  years I have tended to look for colours that I loved and not thought about whether the styles suited my body shape. Another picture from Imogen  is shown below, giving an idea of flattering dresses for different body shapes.
I'm quite proud of the fact that I had already worked out for myself that empire line dresses are a good shape for those of us who don't  have a waist to flaunt - maybe I've learnt something since I started writing this blog! If you're not sure what body shape you are, there is a lot of helpful information on the Inside out style blog and of course in step 2 of the 7 steps to style system.

Being vertically challenged, I have instinctively tried to create a column of colour in an effort to look taller and slimmer. You can create a column by wearing a cardigan or jacket that matches your bottom half with a contrasting top, which is what I have tended to do in the past. Alternatively - and this is the most flattering way for those of us who don't want to draw attention to our tummies - we can wear darker tops that match our skirts or trousers, with a lighter cardigan or jacket over it.

There are so many other aspects to consider, such as the shape of your face and whether your features are straight, curved or a combination. My face is oblong, which means that I'm better with short hair and a style that has width rather than height. I have combination features so this should be reflected in the accessories that I use. Is your body well proportioned or are you short-waisted or long-waisted? Are your legs short or are you a lucky long-legged model-like creature? You can guess which category I fall into.

Whoever said getting dressed was easy - and there are more steps to come!


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey Sue. Bodies are complex and ever changing!

  2. You're quite right Imogen, especially as we get older. I think the important thing though is to dress for the body you have and not the body you wish you had. I also think it's important to love the body you have and eat healthily rather than dieting, unless you need to do so for medical reasons.

  3. I love your blog and i have lots to learn starting the extended challenges!

    1. Thanks, Judy. I also have lots to learn, so let's enjoy ourselves learning together.

  4. Feeling good after reading this blog.Such a nice and useful blog you have posted here on human body shape ans size. Thanks for sharing here with us.

  5. I have read some blogs of you and found some interesting things as you described how to dress up with the age, so please keep updating like this always.

  6. Great survey, I'm sure you're getting a great response.
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