I was recently reading Mrs Bossa’s blog article about a dress she found that was made by Trinny & Susannah. For my readers in the US that don’t know who Trinny and Susannah are they’re basically style guru’s that made a series of TV shows in the UK that highlighted how to dress for your body shape. I’d probably say they kicked started the whole phase of TV shows teaching you how to look and dress better. I can’t remember anyone really doing it before them. Anyway.. click on their names above to see them in action. Mrs Bossa also posted a picture of the back page from one of their books which she has kindly let me republish on my blog so please check that out below.
What’s my beef?
Well I’m sure you can see that they break down the body in to 12 different body shapes, they’ve even highlighted the shape that best represents their bodies. Trinny suggest’s she’s a pear and Susannah a vase. Now this is the part where I start to air ‘my beef’ I’d personally not describe Trinny as a pear, not by a long shot, she’s pretty much straight up and down. Not a good start when even the author can’t get it right.
You’re probably wondering how someone who actually works with people’s image is so anti ‘body shape’? I’ve read a lot of books on different body shapes and how to dress for your body and I’ve always found them confusing. Not because I’m a male trying to learn about women’s style or how to dress women, but because I’ve always found the method slightly flawed.
I’m not against people dressing according to the body that they have, quite the contrary. I am against trying to pigeon hole every body or ’99%’ as it says on the book into a very limited number of categories. I mean think about the human body and think about all the different shapes and sizes it comes in. Can we really just slot someone into 1 of 12 shapes?
When I was learning about body shapes I decided to try a little experiment. I watched different people go by while I was sat in a coffee shop and try and put them into different categories. It was quite difficult simply because they didn’t fit the perfect shapes that are often printed in books and magazines. You’d find that women would have often traits of more than one shape at least.
So what’s the alternative?
I mentioned earlier I do believe people should dress differently depending on the body they have. However, what I would advocate is focusing on the features you love about your body and aiming to highlighting them. If you love your bust, get a good bra (everyone should have good underwear regardless) and highlight it. If you have long legs, again make sure you wear clothes that emphasise your best bits. Then aim to take the emphasis off the parts of your body you don’t like so much. Think your arms are too big? Trick the eye into making them look slimmer… if your tummy is a problem area again wear clothes to take the emphasis off that region. It’s a damn sight cheaper than a tummy tuck.
So there you have it my beef with body shapes…
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and definitely check out mrs bossa’s post as well.
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