Capsule Wardrobe Series Part 3: Find Your Fit
Ever wonder why some women look good all the time no matter what they are wearing? They have learned the secret of dressing for their body. You don’t need expensive clothes or even a lot of clothes to look good. When you know what works for your figure, you shave off hours of shopping – which equals more money in your pocket. The popular TV show, What Not To Wear, capitalized on women who had no clue what worked for them. We all got a good laugh, but also admired Stacy and Clinton’s magical transformations!
The secret to dressing well is knowing your body shape. Most of us have a general idea of what shape we are and what looks good on us. We hear words like pear, apple, column, and hourglass , but the key to a successful wardrobe is knowing what basics go with each figure. Beyond that, there are several other variables. For example, I am a short-waisted, petite, pear with long arms, big hands and big feet. I admit, it’s quite a list! Once I learned how to dress this odd-shaped pear, I stopped envying all the tall, long, and lean column shapes who seemed to be able to wear anything and everything!
As distasteful as it may be, if you are not sure of your shape, pull out the measuring tape, find your stats and crunch the numbers using the Body Shape Calculator. Our body goes through changes, so you might have to do this a couple of times throughout your lifetime. Remember, numbers don’t matter. All the different shapes are beautiful! Each figure lends itself to different styles. Don’t focus on the numbers or lack of numbers; focus on your assets.
Here is a short summary of the main body types:
Pear: You have a petite top and curvy bottom.
Inverted Triangle: Your robust top is paired with a coltish lower half.
Column: Your bust and hips are similar with a slightly smaller waist.
Apple: Your waist is larger than your bust or hips.
Hourglass: You have an equally curvy top and bottom.
Don’t quite fit any of these descriptions? Visit Shop Your Shape for more detailed descriptions and additional variations of body shapes.
Once you know your body shape, you can begin creating your capsule wardrobe and screen out what not to wear. The right basics for your figure, i.e. crew neck verses a v-neck, are the building blocks of good style. (Stylish does not equate to trendy. Style is how you wear your clothes.) Basics in neutral colors are the most versatile. Too bland for your taste? Use “The Rule of Three” and opt for one basic, one mid-style, and one statement piece.
Your personal style and lifestyle will dictate what colors and fabrics you select. My personal style is a combination of “classic” and “gamine”, so my basics are neutral. For example, my t-shirts are grey, ivory and white/black striped – 2 neutrals and a statement. I diversified with navy and red button downs – 1 navy gingham, 1 red plaid, 1 mid-colored denim. (Mid-range colors tend to hide fingerprints and stains.) My lifestyle is “mom with young kids” so I prefer comfy, natural fabrics that are stretchy, and above all machine washable. No dry cleaning allowed (except for winter coats). See my Fall Capsule Wardrobe for further examples.
For detailed information on how to dress your shape see:
Cardigan Empire: Fun videos from Reachel Bagley, fashion consultant. “Dressing for your Body Shape” at You Beauty.com. Tips from Celebrity Stylist Sam Saboura.
Coming up on FF: Mini Capsule Wardrobes for Body Shapes