I write a blog about body shape where one of the things that I do is help women define their body shape. The longer I read and write about this subject the more unsure I become that what I’m doing is really helpful.
The biggest concern I have comes from the fact that a lot of women want to define their body shape but not because they’re having trouble with clothes. Because they just want another category to put themselves into: fat, thin, slender, pear shaped, hourglass shape and so on and so forth. I worry that what I’m writing is contributing to those judgements.
The other thing that bothers me is that the reaction in some spheres is that dressing for your body shape is an exercise in hiding who they really are, making those who’re a certain shape and size more acceptable to mainstream society.
Neither of those things is what I want to achieve with my blog. What I’m trying to do is offer women support and help with their clothing issues. It’s most certainly not about judgements. In fact it’s about acceptance and being who you are and getting a handle on what can be a really stressful subject.
Below are the Golden Rules of dressing for your body shape as I define at www.bodyshapestyle.com:
RULE #1. Defining your body shape is about finding clothes that suit you. That is all. It’s not a judgement, it’s not about classifying us into more or less important groups, it’s about choosing clothes. If you have no issue with style you have no reason to ‘define’ your body shape since your shape is … well, you.
RULE #2. You will predominantly be proportionate or not proportionate. If you are proportionate then you’ll either have a small waist or you won’t. If you are not proportionate you’ll either be bigger on top or bigger on the bottom. And possibly you may not fit into any of those categories. Seriously there’s no scientific value here, body shape is just arbitrary and confusing, and not really very helpful, unless, well, refer to rule #1.
RULE #3. Do NOT cover it up. Covering up is the worst thing you can do as it will simply draw attention to whatever it is that you’re trying to cover up and make you feel bad in the process. Clothes that fit you are just plain more comfortable and if you do nothing else switching from baggy or tight clothes to clothes that fit will make you look and feel better.
RULE #4. You can create a list of things you don’t like about your body in five seconds flat, but, it’s more important to create a list of things that you do like. The goal here is to draw attention away from the don’t likes, because they make you uncomfortable, by highlighting the do likes, because that makes you feel good. Find some part that you love and work with that.
RULE #5. The goal is not to look thinner; the goal is to feel good. If you look thinner but don’t feel confident, comfortable or like yourself, then it’s not working for you. Find something that does.
RULE #6. Be aware that style is a big issue. Not fashion; style. Get to know your own personal style because their will be lots of clothes you fall in love with that you will never wear, whether you buy them or not. This is because when you put them on you feel like you’re playing dress-ups. We all have our own style whether we’re consciously developed it or not, and moving out of that style makes us very uncomfortable.
So there you have my golden rules. I’d love to hear whether you agree with me, or have your own rules.