How To Develop Your Style- Step 3: Body Typing

cropped-PhotoGrid_1466888972274.jpgShopping for many people is a fun occasion, but for others it’s something they dread, or even loathe.  Why?

“I can’t find anything.”

“Nothing ever fits.”

“Everything is too expensive.”

 “They don’t have things like that in stores near my home.”

Have you found yourself saying these things?  I did too, until I figured out my body type.  You will find that many stores and designers cater to certain body types in addition to styles. Knowing your body type is vital when it comes to defining your style.  After all, it’s body type that determines if a garment will look good on you or not.  So what does your physique look like?

body shapes | body types

**This lovely chart was provided by www.ShopYourShape.com**

Before shopping, knowing your body-type will help you narrow down which stores to venture into. To help you further understand, I will use my own body as an example- because I know it best. Before the birth of my daughter I was extremely thin, almost a straight shape, like the one pictured above on the far left.  I was 32B bra, xx-small tops, and wore a size 3 (juniors).  With this body type, some of my favorite stores were: Windsor, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Agaci, 5-7-9, Petite Sophisticate, and occasionally Express.

However, after the birth of my daughter, although I went back to my pre-baby weight, the clothing didn’t fit the same.  It hugged and pulled in all the wrong places.  I looked at the tiger stripped stretch marks on my hips, the jeans that made my legs feel like sausages, and the layer of fat that slipped out the sides of my bra- and I felt icky.  Yes, my stomach went down after childbirth, but the bowl of my belly was well pronounced. I didn’t like how I looked in a swimsuit.

I could no longer shop at my old stores. The clothing was not cut for my new post baby body.  Nor could I easily find things at Old Navy, New York & Company, or Talbots. I find that the cut of clothing at these stores are too boxy for my shape.  Then so many times I am too tall to wear that cute dress in the window. GRRRR!!!!  It made me mad at first, because I couldn’t find anything. I was out of my comfort zone.

“It’s your shape, not your weight that matters.”-www.ShopYourShape

 

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Child birth changed the shape of my body. At first, I didn’t like it, because I didn’t know what to do. Once, I figured it out, I couldn’t be happier.

I was at a loss for a few months until I realized that my body type had changed. Those “tiger stripes” on my hips and the bra that wouldn’t fit meant something.  Childbirth had given me wider hips, a rounder bottom, and fuller breast.  I realized that although slim, I now had more of an hourglass shape. I decided to stop being an idiot, be thankful for my new shape, and re-learn how to dress myself.

I realized that stores such as Gap, The Limited, Ann Talyor, Loft, and my absolute favorite store Express had items that were cut for my body-type. I further realized that at one store I wore an x-small size 2, but at another store I wore a small/size 4.   At first this alarmed me.  Did it mean that my weight was fluctuating? No, it was just the cut of the garment.  The same thing has happened with shoes.  I wear 8 1/2, but some brands I must purchase size 9 due to the shape of the toe area of the shoe.  (Men have to worry about this too. My husband always has to purchase the slim or athletic fit dress shirts, otherwise the shirts will not fit him correctly.) So take a good look in the mirror and decided what your body-type is.  Don’t let sizes discourage you when you begin shopping. It’s just a number, or guide. What really matters is your body-type.  

Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for the next article.

 

 

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5 Comments

    • Jennifer
      June 29, 2016 / 10:26 pm

      Thank you so much Sara. I’m glad you were able to find it helpful.

    • June 29, 2016 / 10:35 pm

      Thank you Sara! I’m so glad you found the guide helpful. Stay tuned for Step 4 in How to Find Your Style.

  1. Lauren
    June 29, 2016 / 9:59 am

    Great tips! I definitely feel like some places are just not made for me-Loft is one of them sadly. Although I love their looks, the cut of their clothes very looks flattering on my body! I like you attitude of learning to accept and work with the places that do cut clothes that fit me perfectly, and accept that when some days I’m a 2 and others I’m a 6 it’s not me-it’s the garment!

    -Lauren
    http://www.ivorytowerchic.com

    • June 29, 2016 / 11:03 pm

      Thank you Lauren! Learning what stores and cuts of clothing work for our body types is a must. When we try to make something work for us that just isn’t right we often find ourselves discouraged! With so many shops and boutiques available to us we shouldn’t settle for something that doesn’t it.

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