We’ve all seen her, maybe when you were walking through the mall minding your OWN business, not coming to stare at folk or judge anybody BUT out pops “Ms.Thang!” and the oncoming section of folk in the mall part like Moses & The Red Sea as she inches her way through the crowd of her suspecting “Haters” (as she refers to them) she struggles to maintain her equilibrium attempting to balance herself on those 5 inch heels that she foolishly CHOSE to wear while shopping in a 3 story mall. You “Gasp!” in utter disbelief wondering to yourself if this woman has a good mind, good mirror or even a good friend for that matter that would allow her to suffer public humiliation as she has. It makes you wanna yell “Oh No She Didn’t!”
There have been times in all of our lives when we ‘ve gone through stages where we could look back and say, “Oh No I Didn’t!” I for sure have had my share of faux pas. There have been times when I would mentally accuse my dry cleaners of SHRINKING MY CLOTHES as the reason they no longer fit. There have been times when I would go to the mall and see an outfit on a manikin and my evil friend in my head (the one who ALWAYS means me no good) would tell me “You KNOW you have to get that!”. And of course, I did. I’d rush home, try it on and realize that I am NOT built or shaped like the manikin in the window! Mistakes we have all made or sometimes, still make. Here’s a little advice to help:
I Believe Clothing Should:
Fit and enhance your body shape
Be made with premium fabrics
Be in colors that complement you
Move with your body
Getting dressed is a whole lot easier when you know what pieces work best for your shape. It’s so fun to try all the super-trendy fashions out there, but it’s easy to end up wearing the totally wrong thing for you. Body shape is all about proportion, and fashion is all about dressing those proportions to look their very best on YOU, not your favorite entertainer or the model in the fashion magazine.
When you think about body types, don’t focus on height and weight… focus on shape. A slim woman can have the same body shape as a curvy woman, just as a short woman can have the same body shape as her taller bff.
Each of us is unique and our bodies are, too!
Nevertheless, our body shapes are generally narrowed down to five general categories: pear, inverted triangle, rectangle, apple, and hourglass. You might fall into one category, or you might be a blend of two or more categories.
Once you’ve determined your body shape, you can begin to consider which fashion trends to embrace and which to avoid. Spend some time in front of the mirror and do a fair and honest assessment of your body. Then put these fashion tips to work for you!
Rectangular: You want to call attention to your top to divert eyes from your straight-up-and-down proportions. A little padding in your shoulders will do wonders, as long as you don’t go overboard. If you have reasonably well-toned arms, go for sleeveless tops with a high neckline. Dresses that wrap or flow (meaning, they don’t cinch) through the waistline are another good choice. When you wear slacks, go with straight or gently-flared hems. If you’re slender, defining your waist with an artful belt can help, too.
Inverted Triangle: If you have broad shoulders or a particularly curvy bosom, you fall into this body shape category. First of all, if curves are your issue, spend some time picking out a bra that fits you, so that it doesn’t further exaggerate your silhouette. Tops and dresses that flow through the waist are also good for evening out your proportions. Flared pants and A-line skirts will create the illusion of bodily balance, too.
Hourglass: Even though you’re wonderfully symmetrical and you can pull off a wide variety of looks, you still need to pick clothes that at least subtly flatter your attributes. For example, stay away from baggy clothes that obscure your shape. Ditto for stiff fabrics and high necklines. You’ll look your best in tailored, fitted clothes with soft fabrics, low to medium necklines, and gently-flared slacks and skirts.
PEAR: The circumference of a bust is smaller than hip and has a small waist and full thighs. How to bring balance to the pear shape: Draw attention upward by wearing a wide neckline like a boat neck. An A-line dress will camouflage full hips and thighs and is great for all pear body types. The ultimate silhouette for a pear shape with a small to medium bust line is an A-line empire waist dress which, depending on the style, can add volume to the bust. The goal with the hem length has a balanced distance from the hip line to the hem; for petite frames, knee length is good and taller frames mid-calf–full length. Keep in mind that if a pear body type wears an A-line that is too short it can draw attention to the hip line.
Apple: To achieve a proportional body shape, apple shapes must concentrate on dressing in such a way that the waist will appear narrower giving the illusion of a defined waist. The problem areas for apple shapes are the torso and abdominal areas. The trick, therefore, is to draw attention to your best areas whiles drawing attention away from your problem areas. So, do not wear clothes with embellishments or details around the waist. And also avoid pleats or ruching on the front of your pants or dresses, this will only draw attention to your problem area, instead, wear normal to high rise pants with a flat front and a streamlined dress. This helps to reduce bulking around your midriff. The wrap-dress is your secret weapon! Concentrate on wearing clothes with interesting shoulder and neckline details and add volume to your hips by wearing full skirts, prints, florals, etc. Avoid clingy fabrics and tight silhouettes unless you are wearing the right undergarment, (waist cincher). Your blouses and tops must end around the hips. Anything shorter and the attention will be on your midsection (issue area).
Personally, I think the number one WARDROBE ESSENTIAL for the apple shape woman must be A WAIST CINCHER. It tucks in everything and instantly takes inches and inches off your waist and tummy giving you a defined waist which makes it easier for you to wear different outfits without being overly conscious of your problem areas.
Wearing High Heels…The WRONG Way!
Wearing high heels can make you stand so that your legs look slimmer, your stomach is flatter, and your femininity is unstoppable. It can also do wonders for attracting admirers from across the room or across the street when you have a confident stride, but walking in high heels is not a natural talent–it’s a learned skill, perfected by practice and discipline. Walking incorrectly in High Heeled shoes can have the opposite effect. it can make you look unrefined, sloppy and ingenuous not to mention the many health factors associated with incorrectly wearing high heels. Those perfect Louboutin pumps can create the perfect storm for permanent health problems. If you frequently wear high heels, you could possibly be setting yourself up for long-term issues. I read in a medical pamphlet that extended wear of high heels and continually bending your toes into an unnatural position can cause a range of ailments, from ingrown toenails to irreversible damage to leg tendons. High heels have also been linked to overworked or injured leg muscles, osteoarthritis of the knee, plantar fasciitis, and low back pain. Despite the potential hazards, stilettos may do wonders for your self-esteem and your love life.
Most women incorrectly shuffle their feet, placing their weight on the ball of the foot and throwing their bodies off-balance. I have seen for myself, from being around models, performers, beauty queens and all the like, the three keys to wearing very high heels successfully are:
— Standing up straight, as if you were pulling a string from the top of your head
— Keeping your abdominal muscles taut by sucking your belly button in toward your spine, which pulls your body weight back onto your heels
— Walking heel to toe with a slightly exaggerated hip sway, rather than mincing around on the ball of the foot.
Basically, it comes down to working your core – as Pilates, yoga and plank exercises do to limber and stretch your ankles, calves, and thighs, as well as strengthen your abdominal muscles to make it easier to maintain balance and posture while walking in high heels.
Whatever your body shape, whatever your style, there is a flattering way to “Flaunt your stuff!” Learn the rules so that you know exactly how you can break them and avoid being another fashion victim of “Oh No She Didn’t!”