UNDERSTANDING THE STYLE PUZZLE – 9 KEYS TO UNLOCKING YOUR STYLE, MAY 12, 2014
Inside Outside blog by Imogen Lamport
Defining face features
Look how diversified the body types are! It is NOT true every skinny woman with a narrow waist automatically evolves with age into an Apple! Restrict myself to share with you Imogen’s description of two body shapes: the hourglasses X and 8 and her suggestion for clothing them. Because I seem to be an 8 shape, myself. Not an Apple as I had thought beforehand. If you are any other shape, please visit her website InsideOutside.
Take the Body Shape Calculator Quiz and discover your shape today.
Then sign up for a Body Shape Bible.
According to your answers, your body shape is most likely to be 8 Shape – your shoulders and hips are most likely fairly balanced. You have a defined waist but your hips jut out like a shelf just below your waist. Keep your skirts and dresses straight in shape to streamline your figure.
Remember that body shapes are just part of the dressing puzzle and tell you where to add vertical details, shapes of clothing plus where to add horizontal details to balance your gorgeous figure.
To receive your body shape bible to learn to dress your shape please click ‘Get Body Shape Bible’
Inside your body shape bible you’ll discover more about how to dress your shape, examples of outfits such as the kind of dress shape and details you should look for, which kinds of skirts and tops to put together, and an outfit based on your best jeans shape.
High Hip Hourglass
Notice her high hip – I’ve marked it on this photo. They often feel they carry their weight in the behind.
A. She carries her curve high, not lower down on the hips, like X shapes tend to. Her legs are slim, and she doesn’t have saddlebags.
B. Here is another 8 shape, this one has similar width at the high and low hip. She also has narrower shoulder than her hips, so will dress her upper body like an A shape.
8 Shape by imogenl featuring Vivienne Westwood
- Clothes that suit best have waist definition, and are straight through the lower half (not flared or A-line). Most 8s find that anything boxy or square, without waist shaping tends to be too tight across their high hip area.
- 8s can have either equal width shoulders to hips, or narrower shoulders to hips. If you have a narrower shoulder line, read up on the A shape for dressing your upper body (don’t take the tips for lower body from the A).
- You will find that straight or bootcut jeans work well. Avoid wide leg trousers and jeans.
- Slim, flat-front trousers work well. Avoid pleats at the waist as they will be pulled open and create unnecessary bulk.
- Skirts are best when they are straight, they can flare from the knee, but not from the hip to be flattering.
- Avoid skirts that are gathered or pleated from the waist, unless they are that 1950s flounce style.
- Cropped jackets work for you, as do belted styles such as trench coats. If you want to wear trends like the boyfriend jacket, leave open, then belt over it.
- Peplums were made for 8 shapes.
- Double breasted jackets and coats are not good for 8 shapes, there isn’t usually enough shaping and the extra fabric creates bulk.
- Try belting over a long line cardigan in a fine knit.
- Make sure that you don’t have obvious pocket detail over your high hip area, look for coats and jackets with pockets set into the garment, rather than stitched onto the outside.
- Wide waistbands work well on trousers and skirts.
- Feel free to try a variety of belts at your natural waist, if you have a shorter waist try a thinner belt, if you have a longer waist you may be able to do a wider belt.
- You may or may not have a rounded bottom, though rounded bottoms are more common amongst 8 shapes. If you do, avoid flap pockets on jeans.
- Open necklines look great on 8 shapes, they draw attention up toward your face. Look for detail around the neckline to help do this.
- If you have narrower shoulders, look for puffed sleeves, shoulder detail and ruched sleeves to balance your bottom.
For more about dressing your 8 shape body read here.
Celebrities with an 8 shape body include Catherine Zeta Jones and Beyonce.
X-shapes have in common, they have often Longer bodies! As they gain weight, waist becomes more undefined and they may evolve into H or A shape.
X Shape by imogenl featuring Diane Von Furstenberg dresses
- It’s all about highlighting your lovely waist. Wearing a well supporting bra will help to enhance your waist and make it more defined. Don’t to forget to adjust your bra straps every 3 or 4 washes.
- Don’t be afraid to tuck and belt.
- Try belting over cardigans and jackets as well as tops.
- The wrap dress is ideal for you. Dresses in general can really enhance your feminine figure. From sheath dresses to shirt dresses, try them on for size.
- Bootleg jeans are ideal for your shape. If you want to wear skinny jeans, wear with knee-high boots over the top to balance, or a tunic top to mid-thigh.
- Avoid whiskering and distressing of jeans.
- Patch pockets on pants or coats should be avoided.
- Avoid low-rise jeans – commonly X shapes have a longer rise, and need a higher rise so that when they sit down their underwear is not exposed.
- You will often find that wide-waistbands sit better on your waist than narrow ones.
- A-lines are your friend – whether in dress or skirt shapes. Make sure the fabric has as soft drape so that it doesn’t sit stiffly away from your body.
- Skirts with pleats and gathers that fall from the low hip are flattering.
- You will often find that more open necklines are the most attractive, they draw attention up toward your face.
- Gored and trumpet shapes can work well. Look for fabrics with some weight (but not stiffness) that doesn’t cling.
- Keep tops to just under your high hip bone, avoid pulling your tops down to hide your bottom or thighs, as this will actually draw more attention to them.
- Darker bottoms and lighter tops are more flattering for you than the other way around.
- You will probably find that skirts that end around the knee are the most flattering length.
- Single breasted jackets are more flattering than double breasted. Avoid ones that end just under the bottom, keep them either shorter, or 3/4 length.
- Many X shapes have shorter legs, and will find it hard to buy trousers that don’t pull across the crotch. Skirts can often work better for your shape, especially if you have a longer rise.
- To elongate your legs when wearing trousers, match shoe colour to your trousers, and keep the hem as long as possible, without dragging on the ground. Cropped trousers are not as flattering on your figure.
- Creases down the front of your trousers will also help elongate your legs.
- Look for denims with a vertical weave.
- Boxy shapes are not a good fit for your body.
Celebrities with X shaped body include Fergie, Halle Berry and Scarlett Johansson.
For more on dressing your X shape read up here.
10 Ways Personality is more important than body shape
Creating Harmony with Your Personality
Rules are Made to be Broken
How to be More Creative with Your Wardrobe
How to Develop Your Personal Style
Discover Your Signature Style
The Difference between Signature and Personal Style
S is for Style
Who do You Want to Be?
What Did You Discover About Your Personal Style?
How to Find Necklaces to Suit Your Personality Style
What’s Your Colour Personality
How Your Personality Influences Your Choice of Prints
It’s not in the picture of the puzzle, but to me is an integral part of choosing a flattering garment for you. Colours either harmonize with your natural colouring, or they create a dissonance, which can be unpleasant, or even make you appear sickly.
SIgnature Colours and more Finding Your Signature Colours
Understanding Colour Systems and Personal Colour Analysis
Using Simultaneous Contrast to Change the Way a Colour Looks
What is Monochromatic Dressing
Getting Your Contrast Levels Right
What are Clashing Colours
How to Mix Colours
Understanding Colours – Tints, Tones, Shades
How Your Colouring Changes as You Age
Understanding Colour Properties
How to Work with Your Colour Palette
How to Combine Colours
What’s Your Best Neutral – Red Hair
What’s Your Best Neutral – Grey Hair
What’s Your Best Neutral – Brunette
What’s Your Best Neutral – Blonde
Shades of Grey
What Are Universal Colours
Which Metallics Can I Wear?
C is for Colour
Somatype is the Greek word for Body Type. It relates to how your flesh is arranged over your bones. So have nothing to do with body shape, but if your are bony, cushioned or muscular.
— Mesomorph=hard and muscly
—Endomorph=soft and cushioned
You may also well be a mixture of two of those, or even three.
Your Somatype will tell you which will be the most flattering and comfortable fabrics, both weight and drape to choose.
What Sort of Fabric Drape Should I Choose for My Body
How to Measure Your Body Proportions
Body Proportions Explained
More Ways to Flatter Your Body Proportions
Body Proportions Explained – Long Rise
Body Proportions Explained – Small Bust but Long Decolletage
Body Proportions Explained – Large Bust
Body Proportions Explained – Short Mid Body
Body Proportions Explained – Short Body, Long Legs
Body Proportions Explained – Long Body, Short Legs
How to Use the Golden Mean when Dressing
Scale tells you how large or small your accessories and clothing elements need to be to create a harmony and balance.
S is for Scale
3 Essential Elements when Choosing Flattering Prints
How to Understand the Elements of Prints
What Size Handbag
How to Choose a Necklace
Large Bust – Large Necklace
There are so many different sorts of fabric textures. Thick, chunky, fine, furry, smooth, soft, buttery, just to name a few. The textures you choose will be influenced by your personality and your body shape, but also by your appearance.
T is for Texture
The Yin and Yang of Clothing
Finding the Right Texture and Sheen for You
How Formal is that Fabric
How to Flatter Patterned Skin
Choosing Flattering Texture
Another fabric element that reflects your personality as well as your natural appearance.
Matte Sheen or Shine?
What Sheen Should I Choose
How to Wear Metallic Accessories
How to Add a Touch of Glamour to Your Everyday Style
N is for Nighttime
What to Wear to a Wedding
How to Choose an Evening Dress that Will Last a Decade
Levels of Refinement