Woman, Know Thyself!
I am a Nigerian native and grew up in a household and, for the most part, was immersed in a culture that revered the curves of a woman’s silhouette. Curves were regarded as (and still are) marks of beauty, femininity, and dare I say, an indication of how well kept a woman she was. I, on the other hand, did not (and still do not) posses these curves which also made going to the tailor interesting because they always managed to sew “hips” in my pencil skirts knowing fully well that I had none (that’s another story for another day) So what was this column shaped girl to do? Study and learn!
It is true – knowledge is power. Through my studies I learnt that I am indeed fearfully and wonderfully made; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that variety is the spice of life. I had an epiphany. It was in that moment, as an awkward teenager, that it hit me – it was not at all about the curves per se (or lack thereof) but rather playing to the strengths of and embracing my specific body shape rather than working against it. It was (is) all about the fit. It was a liberating moment.
There are a ton of resources that address this topic but I think it bears repeating because way too many of us still try to fit into the trends without giving much regard to whether or not they actually fit us. Style is personal and unique; it is like a fingerprint. You will find that there are up to 48 different body types but for simplicity’s sake, we will take a high level look at five main categories: hourglass/figure 8, inverted triangle, column/rectangle, pear/triangle; and apple.
Hourglass/ Figure 8 – Your bust and hips are well balanced and you have a very defined waist. You have rounded shoulders that align nicely with your hips.
What flatters your shape and why: Almost everything! Wrap tops & dresses, darted blazers, sheath dresses. They accentuate your waist and enhance your hourglass figure.
Inverted triangle – You have a proportionally larger upper body. Your hips are slim and your waist is subtle.
What flatters your shape and why: Peplum tops and fitted jackets with a tapered waist and a flared bottom because the defined waist and flare over your hips create the illusion of lower-body curves and will help balance out your broad shoulders.
Column/Rectangle – Your bust, hips, and waist are balanced and as such, your waist is not very defined.
What flatters your shape and why: Skirts with volume and details like ruffles, bows, or that trumpet/flare because they fill out your narrow hips and balance your upper body.
Pear/Triangle – Pear -Your hips are larger than your bust, and your waist gradually slopes out to your hips.
What flatters your shape and why: Fit-and-flare dresses because they will accentuate how little you are above your waist and are roomier from the waist down for your curvier bottom half.
Apple – Your hips are narrow compared to your shoulders. Your waist is wide and not defined.
What flatters your shape and why: V-neck tops, cowl-neck or ruched tops, scoop neck dresses, shift dresses and tunics because they divert attention from your full waist and the lines in these types of clothing create an illusion of definition.
So there you have it – one of the keys to comfortably and confidently working with your silhouette rather than against it! Obviously, there are way more styles and outfits out there at our disposal but I am sure you get the idea. If you take nothing else away from this post, take this – know thyself and dress accordingly!
Keeping it simply stylish,
I would love to hear from you! Do you dress for your body shape? Leave me a comment below.
Tools to explore: