Friday, August 24, 2012

Body Shapes: Supermodel Rhubarbs ...

I was trying to think of a nice and fruity way of describing those of us, though not me, who are long, lean, athletic and slim.  Stylists call you ladies Rulers or lean Columns but a fellow stylist, Denise, suggested Rhubarb as being a much more fruity and lovely term of reference for your straight figures.  Yes ladies you are the long, straight and not at all curvy among us.  You have lean limbs and a straight rib cage with no waist definition, slender bottoms and are relatively flat chested.  You are the supermodels amongst us! And yes ladies you have the figures that most fashion designers, catwalks and movie stars covet.

Your Good Mirror Day: I am slim with lean limbs and am flat all over and can embrace almost any style of clothing.  

This is the winner!
Gwynnie showing how to do
& how not to do block colour
sheath dresses!
Your Bad Mirror Day:  All my clothes make me look straight up and down, like a ruler.  I'd love some curve to my bust and bottom
Shopping Challenges: Fitting clothes around my middle and embracing feminine styles.  
Famous Rhubarbs  (lean columns):  Keira Knightley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson & Kate Moss

Top Tips: Faking Hourglass Curves in 3 simple steps: 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Body Shapes: All The Queens ...

Queen Latifah looking fab and curvy
through soft tailoring and great contrast.

.....are Rectangular .

If you have been reading my blog over the last few days you will know that we have been having a whistle stop tour of the key body shapes and having a think about how best to embrace our shape.  This last week the theme really has been curves but today we move onto the ladies among us for whom 'curves' don't really exist.  

These are our straight up and down ladies, often actually the envy of us fruity ladies.  These are the girls we describe as Athletic, Rectangular, Straight up and Down, Columns, Fashion Model Figured or Bricks. 

I'm still searching for a flattering alternative to the name Rectangle or Brick - all suggestions welcome.    

If you are one,  then you will be one of two types:  The Rectangle or The Lean Column.  Basically the former is a wider, slightly heavier or fuller  version of the latter,  with the latter being the Supermodel figure.  The good news is that both of these are among the easier to dress as there is little that is disproportionate about your figure.  The problem comes when you want a more feminine look.  

Today we'll explore the wardrobe world of the rectangle.

Your Good Mirror Day: I have a bottom and hips to die for and nice straight lines to work with.  I'm lucky as most things suit me.

Both rectangles cleverly adding waist definition
through detail that lies off centre and with the focus
at the top and straight skirts - perfect.
Your Bad Mirror Day:   I have no curves.  I'm straight up and down and wide with it. A heavier bust gives me a softer edge but when I put on weight it goes on all over including onto my thighs.  In the main though I don't even have boobs to speak of.
Shopping Challenges: Fitting clothes around my middle and embracing feminine styles.  
Famous Rectangles:  Cameron Diaz, Kim Cattral (Samantha), Nicole Kidman, The Queen & Queen Latifah (Queen Latifah is a full rectangle and can also appear more apple shaped.  I say she is a rectangle because she is wider rather than deep and has heavy hips/thighs in proportion to her  shoulder line but is relatively flat).

Top Tips:  Faking Hourglass Curves in 3 simple steps:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Body Shapes: What Makes Up 60% Of Our Fruit Bowl?

Staying with curvy silhouettes today we are going down from the shoulders, past the middles and there it is the bottom; the hips; the thighs.  Love them or loathe them, if your fruit bowl has them in abundance, as mine does, then you are like me a PEAR or a Triangle.

  • Did you know that 60% of British Women Are Officially Pear Shaped.
Me - a pear with boobs
What we all have in common is that we carry all our biggest inch measurements on our backsides and everything associated to it - so that means we have heavy thighs, wide hips and a big bottom (though not necessarily a sticky out bottom). 

While this may give us ladies much to malign it also gives us much to celebrate as we have neat top halves, with a narrow back matched with slightly sloping shoulders and probably a fabulously small waist.  Often we're quite flat on the front but we can be fuller on the bust.  

Often full pears who have a bigger bust think they are an hourglass which can make for some fashion disasters so the key giveaway is that the hip line will be wider than the shoulder line.  
  • To give you an example:  I am a 38, 29, 43 - so a big difference between my back and my hip.  By big bosoms mean I am a 'full pear' with my bust accounting for a full 6 inches of my 38 inch measurement.

In my experience - that being with my own body and those of others -  most pears will also have a high waist combined with a short middle torso.

Your Good Mirror Day: I have a fantastically small waist and neat back/bust.  

Your Bad Mirror Day:   My waist is lost between the expanse that is my bottom and my thighs are so heavy they spoil every outfit.  Wearing a belt makes me look like boobs on a bottom but without a belt I look like a triangle.
Shopping Challenges: Having to buy bigger sizes to accommodate my bottom, sometimes 2 to 3 dress sizes large than my waist.  Clothes grip my hips but I gape around my waist.  Shift dresses, pencil skirts and trousers are my absolute nightmare.
Famous Triangles /Pears: Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian, Charlotte Church, Holly Willoughby, Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Pears Looking Good And Less Good On Casual Pear Day 
WRONG J-Lo on the left - gorgeous clothes but not well put together for a pear.
Sweater finishes at the widest part of her hip, flat shoes with capri pants/leggings shorten her leg
which highlights the width of her hips and bottom. Trousers too figure hugging round the thigh.
Exacerbated by huge bag that also stops at the hip and ankle length trousers with flat shoes which make her
looker shorter than she is.  This look shortens and widens J-Lo.

 RIGHT Meanwhile Jennifer Love Hewitt gets the pear shaped casual look just right - teamed with boot cut jeans
that fall to her lower heel teamed with the sweater, finishing before the widest part of her hip  Matching with heart shaped sunglasses definitely pulls the eye up her body.  She looks long, curvy and in proportion. 

Top Tips:  Faking Hourglass Curves in 4 simple steps: 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Body Shapes: Pink Ladies ...

Back into the fruit bowl ladies and today its time to pick out the juiciest fruit in the bowl - a luscious Pink Lady .... Apple.  

Are you an apple body shape?  If so you will think of  yourself as round but you have great legs and neat bust area.  While many of you may be plus size - more round -  many of you are also petite - more diamond shaped - and many of you appear more rectangular - neat apples.  

What you will have in common is that you carry all your biggest inch measurements on your waist line and most weight between your hips and your shoulders - right around your middle.  You match it with a fantastically neat bottom proportionately smaller bust and great limbs.

Your Good Mirror Day: I have great legs and a small bottom.  

Your Bad Mirror Day:   I have no waist and have a big circle of weight around my middle.  I hate my tummy which I can't hide and carry weight round my back too.
Shopping Challenges: Having to buy bigger sizes to accommodate your middle but that don't fit your shoulders or bottom.  Having to buy width to accommodate depth which can make tailored clothes a nightmare.
Famous Rounds /Apples: Jennifer Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Ferne Britton, Adele and Lorraine Kelly BUT remember you can be a petite round or a very full round.  Some rounds are a little more diamond shaped than others while others are broad apples with fuller shoulders and busts.

Top Tips:  Faking Hourglass Curves in 4 simple steps
  1. Balance Your Middle by Details To Neck and Hemline Areas
  2. Draw Attention Up & Down (neck & legs) Not Across
  3. Show Off Your Legs
  4. Create A Waist Through Illusion 
Apple body - pants
pic at  Great Casual Looks For Apples Embracing Top Tips For Creating An Hourglass.
Stylist Tips: 
  • Apples look great in dresses that flow from the empire line or where, like Adele they have sheer panelling around the soft shoulder line and show off some leg.
  • You tend to rock the tunic and leggings look but make sure top has scooped or some type of open neck with lots of detail at the neck - necklace etc.
  • Always have tops or jackets finish at your hip line.
  • Wrapping, side ruching and low slung belts suggest a waist
  • Accessories are your friend.
  • Elasticated waists and peplums - sorry round ladies, this season's top trend is not for you.
  • Tunics worn as dresses - only if they are A Line and do not add a belt
  • Overly structured jackets in stiff fabrics as these add bulk and will move with your back and middle rather than your shoulders. If you really like this look go for softer fabrics such as linen or light cotton or very drapey crepe and waterfall styles.
  • Tucked in tops 
  • Round neck t-shirts 
  • Bulky Jumpers
  • Anything with a High Waist
So ladies you can be golden and delicious.  What's not to like?
Lady Mirror Ball xxx

Monday, August 6, 2012

Body Shapes. Kiss Me, I'm A Kate ...

So it's all about body shapes this week and we are starting with all you gorgeous ladies out there with the same body shape as the lovely Kate.

Ok, ok so few of us are as slim and narrow as Kate herself but lots of us have this body shape.  While Kate is an inverted triangle the rest of us are a little more curvy, more of a strawberry than a flat triangle.  Whichever best describes you the same rules apply.  So if you are long legged luscious strawberry then jump into the fashion fruit bowl with some quick advice. 

Your Good Mirror Day: I have great legs and a small bottom.

Your Bad Mirror Day:   My top half is so much wider than my bottom half and where is my waist?   
Shopping Challenges: Shopping for dresses is a nightmare as my top half is a least a whole size bigger than my bottom half and sometimes that's because of my back not my bust.  With trousers and pencil skirts I have to buy a bigger size to fit my waist not my bum!
Famous Inverted Triangles: Kate Middleton, Demi Moore, Catherine Zeta Jones and Sarah Jessica Parker.  BUT remember you don't have to be incredibly slim or flat to be an inverted triangle.  In-fact us non celeb strawberries tend to be fuller on the back and round our top halves and though we narrow at the waist compared to she shoulder it is still larger than our hip.

This dress is a great choice for an Inverted Triangle.  Why?
Well it pulls attention to the sweetheart area while the lace paneling at the waist suggests a curve, the narrow detailing also enhances the illusion of a waist and the flare & pleating create a fuller hip & bottom.
My only criticism is that there is not enough flare at the waist & hip.  This could have been fixed with less detail at the shoulder - perhaps only a sheer shoulder rather than the pleating of the lace.  But hey, that's me being fussy.

Top Tips:  Faking Hourglass Curves in 4 simple steps
    River Island Animal Print Peplum Skirt - great for strawberry ladies as it narrows the top half, creates curves in the centre, pull the focus down the body, provides curve round the shapely bottom and shows off the amazing legs
  1. Soften Your Shoulder & Back Line - with soft scoops, sweetheart necklines, v-necks 
  2. Define Your Waist - with a low slung belt or top that sits just above your hip line or a wrap top.  Choose nipped in jackets but leave them open or go for long line cardigans left open to draw the eye down.
  3. Create Soft Curves Round Your Bottom - boot cut jeans balance you out and give the illusion of an hourglass but as you have great pins you look good in any style.  Skirts of any style look good but full skirts create the illusion of hourglass.  Tulip shaped and slim skirts with a kick pleat or flare are made for you but pencil skirts might accentuate a flat bottom and wide waist so take care.  
  4. Show Off Your Legs
Stylist Tips: 
  • I often find clients who are strawberries look great and more balanced if they wear the same base colour through their whole outfit.
  • This season's Peplums are your friend.
  • Finish your tops / hang a bag from the shoulder such that it fall at your hip line, as this is the narrowest part of your body.
  • Casual Layering - soft flowing layers that bring attention down your body line and create the illusion of balanced width at your hip - see pic above.

Take Care - maybe best avoid:
  • Lots of shoulder focus - epaulettes, puffs and shoulder pads 
  • Elasticated waists 
  • Loud patterns on your top half
  • Tunics worn as dresses - only if they are A Line and worn with a low slung belt
  • Halter necks - hmm.  Well these can look fantastic as some narrow your line while some will make it look even more pronounced.  If it creates a sweetheart neckline then go for it but if it shouts for your shoulders don't do it.
  • Tucked in tops 
So ladies - where's the cream?
Lady Mirror Ball xxx