The pasture at the other side of the fence always appears greener, but truth be told, very few women, or men for that matter -- be they managers, stay-at-home moms, software developers or even, oh shock, models ? are blessed with a "perfect figure," which is generally thought of as being a trim, well-proportioned, hour-glass shape. Some women have larger hips than bust. Others have larger bust than hips. Still others have no discernible waist, i.
e. a boy shape. In fact, genetics appears to have such a big role to play in body shape, that men in their fifties often develop "apple-shape," i.e., gather more adipose tissues around their chest and upper torso than women, who are more often "pear-shaped' with girth around their hips and lower torso. The moral of the story? Stop fretting.
And, begin shopping by fit, not size. Let fit be your ultimate, most reliable style guideline. And if you can't get past the size issue, just tell yourself that it's time to just be and think like a man. When a man tries on clothing and it doesn't fit, do you think he starts pointing out his flaws? Would a man say: "Oh, I've gained a few pounds! This is why it doesn't fit.
" No, a man knows that there's something wrong with the clothes and not him. Instead he would say: "They're calling this a 40? They have to be out of their minds!", or "This is a bad cut. No way that this waist size is a 40." Silly? You bet. However, it's the truth! But think about how men's clothes are sized: pants go by waist and inseam measurements, shirts by collar and sleeve length. The fashion industry learned that men like exact measurements while women prefer the vanity sizing that leads them to believe that they are a smaller size.
So, if you're going to play the game, go in knowing the rules: not all sizes are created equal, for the reasons stated above. Whatever your natural body shape might be, there are time-tested proven techniques used by professional stylists to create the almost flawless look for your specific body type and give you that much envied silhouette. Some use geometric shapes, while others use fruit terminology (pear and apple), while a few others prefer to classify our bodies alphabetically. The terminology is not important. What is important is knowing how to make the most of your natural body shape and then dressing accordingly for maximum impact. Again, embrace your uniqueness.
The thumb rule to remember is: Aim for balance. When your outfit is balanced, you become a key anchor for your clothes. Rather than letting clothes define you; you define those clothes. And, there can be many subtle ways of creating the illusion of balance depending on your body-type. A common misconception is that body's shape changes over time, during pregnancy, puberty or as a result of some drastic weight lost, following a diet program or some sickness.
However, this happens only in exceptional circumstances. The body's frame is something that people are born with. Weight may be gained or lost in different body areas throughout life, but the body's basic shape (or frame) will never change. That more or less, remains the same, throughout life.
The easiest way to figure out your body shape or silhouette is to tape together newspaper and have a friend draw your body outline wearing only a swimsuit or your under garments. You can also enlist the help of a professional -- analyze and identify your body shape, while also helping you create a balanced wardrobe containing outfits which flatter your figure and your lifestyle. After you know your body's shape and learn how to shop for clothes that best fit you, shopping will be an exciting event! Copyright (c) 2007 MMC Lifestyles, LLC, dba MMC Style.
Marion Chamberlain is founder of MMC Style (http://www.mmcstyle.com ), an Internet store for European fashion accessories sourced from unique and highly-talented small design shops in Europe. The online store offers high-quality European fashion jewelry and leather handbags to those women who want to be unique. MMC Style (http://www.mmcstyle.com ) European fashion accessories are truly unique and can't be found in department or chain stores.