As I've previously mentioned, I just picked a copy of Tim Gunn:A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style and found it to be quite informative. Therefore, I would like to share with you some excerpts from a section on size and body type that are quite interesting.
I've always been a firm believer in dressing to flatter your figure rather than following fashion trends and this book does a good job breaking down the elements of individual style. I think that being comfortable with oneself and making the best of what is that you were worn with is key when it comes to feeling fabulous :)
So without further ado...
The idea of size
Size is just a constrict. The size label in women's clothes (fortunately, it hasn't struck men...yet) is a retail-driven plot to obfuscate the expanding American girth and to reinforce myths associated with sizes. Vanity sizing is a contrivance of retail world—not the design industry. The thinking goes like this: imagine the potential consequence of the consumer who is confronted with the "truth" about her size; that is, she's not the size 10 she thought she was, but she's actually a size 18. All of this is done because retailers fear women won't buy if confronted with a number they don't like.Why, then, are there no standardized sizes? In fact there are, but it's very misleading to assert that. Why? Two factors are involved:
- The design of the garment determines the placement the waist, the sleeve length, the length of a skirt, etc. There factors are why some clothes are slim-fitted while others are boxy or blouson.
- Price because sizing has changed at the mid-to-lower end of price scale and has remained the same for 40 years at the higher end.
So, how do you know what size to shop for? Try it! While shopping grab the size you think will fit, as well as one size up and down. You may decide that you prefer the slightly longer lenght of the size up or the more tailored fit of the size down. You won't know unless you try. If you look great in something who cares what size it is?
Silhouette and Proportion
If you are:
Long-waisted with short legs:
The desire is to reduce the impact of the waist and create longer-looking legs. Therefore, high-waisted garments will serve you well. From waist down, think monochromatic. Avoid pants with excessive fullness or cuffs.
Short-waisted with long legs:
The challenge is to visually lower the waistline, thereby mitigating the longer leg and improving the overall proportions. The key is to select tops that skim the torso and hit at the hip. This body type is well served by lower-rise pants and skirts. Avoid anything that is high-waisted,wide belts,and any pattern that appears to be horizontal.
The desire is to reduce the impact of your bust. This is best achieved by trying to visually lengthen the adjacent body parts: the torso and neck. Wear basic tops with an open neck or long narrow collar and lapel, and preferably in dark colors. Wear light pants and skirts. Avoid tops that are blouson or voluminous in any way, and large patterns on top. Reducing the impact of the bust does not mean squashing yourself shapeless. Nor does it mean hiding under perpetual mock turtleneck.
If you are small all over, the issue is not much of a concern; it is only when the bust is small in proportion to the rest of the figure that a problem arises. Here, a wide collar and lapel will serve you well. You can also sing the blessings of the empire waist, because it was created with you in mind. Halter tops and dresses are also a blessing.
A bit of a tummy:
The objective is to play down your mid-body by drawing attention to your face and/or your legs. Longer tops are a good option, as are longer jackets. Jackets and tops that also have a slight cinch at the waist will enhance the slimming effect, especially from a full-frontal or back view. Regarding dresses, this is another case of the always-forgiving empire waist to the rescue. Skirts and pants should be flat front and with no pleats. Avoid anything double-breasted or belted or with waistband. And banish anything remotely cropped from your wardrobe.
A big butt:
First, think dark colors. Skirts can be a friend to your figure, but think flat-front, slightly tapered, and to the knee. Pants should be straight-leg and flat front. Tops should emphasize your shoulders and de-emphasize your hips and rear end, so look for length that falls to the hip, but not at the widest part of your hip. Avoid anything "extra" that will call attention to this area: no pleats, no ruffles or gathers, no pockets, nothing horizontal, and no large-scale prints.
The greatest challenge for the tall woman is finding things is appropriate lengths. When it comes to pants, it pays to buy the best you can afford. Often the more expensive a pant, the longer it will be. One lesser-know problem area is the wrist—many sleeves are just too short. Being tall is great as long as you don't look like a giantess who had outgrown her clothes. Furthermore, stay away from things that are too long and voluminous.
Just for curiosity purposes...
I hope that these tips were helpful in one way or another.... as for now, I must return to studying!
Wishing Everyone a Lovely Day!!!
Sources: Tim Gunn:A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style by Tim Gunn, Chapter 2: The Fit Conundrum; fashion gone rogue