Why body shape does not matter

A while ago, I posted an article about body shape including instructions on how to measure your body to find out what your body shape is and some very brief tips on how to use that information in your style. It is one of the first questions that stylists ask too but in my honest opinion, your body shape doesn’t matter like it used to and the way that we use this information as stylists is different than it was in the past.

Ok, so let me explain. A lot of material is written about body shapes and what to wear depending on your shape. A lot of this in my opinion is a bit outdated and that’s because our concept of beauty has changed so much. In the past (think days of corsets or even the 1950s apron wearing stay at home housewife silhouette). Back then, dress designs for women were really about creating an hour glass silhouette because this is what people at the time believed was beautiful (it’s still beautiful now, don’t get me wrong but we have definitely come a long way in fashion since then!). So for a long time, stylists would use the information about your body shape to determine the best style advice to basically create an hour glass shape. This was all about creating balance and symmetry, ensuring that the bottom half of the body had the same amount of volume as the top. For example, if you were a pear shape, with more volume on the bottom half of your body, you can create more volume on the top half with clothes, brighter colours or patterns, perhaps a larger necklace or a scarf which essentially balances out your body.

BUT, times have changed since the 1950s and we are now embracing all kinds of shapes and sizes and what is considered beautiful (or attractive) varies from person to person! BECAUSE our concept of beauty has changed! There are a lot of reasons for this. Part of it is because there are a lot of body positive culture, there are more famous people embracing their curves like Kim Kardashian. She is famous for her shape. Kim is a pear shape and by the laws of body shape, she should not be bringing so much attention to the bottom half of her body but she does and we love it!!!

Picture: BackgridSource:BackGrid Found on news.com.au

Picture: BackgridSource:BackGrid Found on news.com.au

Yes girl!!!

Beyond the Hourglass

There is no need for you to create an hourglass anymore (unless that’s what YOU consider to look beautiful on your body!). Another fun silhouette to try is the exaggerated and oversized shapes, adding volume. Billie Eilish does this so well. Do you think that she is following the rules of what she should wear for her body shape? Nope. Do we care? Absolutely not! We adore her rebellious attitude and celebrate that her oversized and somewhat androgynous style is an authentic expression, a statement about who she is and something a bit different. She does this quite intentionally and you can read all about this in Vogue if interested. I love her style so much! And mostly, I love what she stands for. Her conviction and her confidence.

Photo photographed by Jesse Lizotte, styled by Jillian Davison, Vogue Australia, July 2019

How to rock your shape

So let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water! Knowing your body shape can still help you with your style but it’s less about creating an hourglass (unless that’s what you choose) and more about finding clothes THAT FIT YOU!! Let me demonstrate this further by talking about my own shape. I am a pear shape which means my top half of my body is smaller than the bottom half. I generally do not wear a lot of dresses that are fitted from top to bottom because often if the top fits, it is too tight for my (slightly larger) bottom half. I will find A-line dresses more suitable because they have more room in the bottom for my bottom. Here is an example:

Or this one:

Having said that, according to the rules of body shape, I should not be wearing pencil skirts or anything with pattern on the bottom half of my body and you know what?? I totally do! Because I like the way they look and I’m not afraid to show off my booty a little 🙂

Styling is about finding clothes that FIT you that brings attention to the areas that you are most proud of. YOU get to CHOOSE what that is! You can experiment with trending styles like bigger booties or something oversized OR you can try your own silhouette. Remember the cliche that confidence is the most beautiful thing you can wear! So wear that one well 🙂