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Message Board > Fashion Styles and Trends > What to wear for my figure ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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What to wear for my figure
I feel like a linebacker
Tizmehr
Tizmehr
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Date: 5/22/12 4:16 PM

I'm short, 5'2", have a short back waist length and have very square shoulders. I have no idea what sort of styles, necklines or shapes to wear or avoid wearing.
Can anybody give me some tips?



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In reply to Tizmehr <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 5/22/12 4:52 PM

I was allowed to reprint the figure analysis from Vogue Sewing Book on my blog in its entirety that may be of help. It is in several parts here.

It goes through all sorts of things from sleeves, silhouettes and necklines and several more besides. Of course, it is in the 1970s version of the book, if you have that as well.
-- Edited on 5/22/12 5:00 PM --

n45
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 5/22/12 5:11 PM

I'm 5'4, slim, with square shoulders and a bust. I find that crew necks, and high neck lines are not that flattering. Showing some neck with a V or a scoop or a deep slit really helps to balance and avoid "uniboob". I also avoid things like epaulettes, puffs, pads, frills and in general too much going on around the shoulder area. However, I don't think shape "rules" are written in stone. Halters and bateau necklines look GREAT on my square shoulders, and I know some books say to avoid those. I will also widen the boat neck to drape over one shoulder. Dolman sleeves work well also.

I prefer wider leg pants for more balance on the bottom with slim tops. If I wear a very slim or tight bottom, the top is usually a bit looser and longer tunic style. Having a strong shoulder line can be a real asset (particularly if your posture is good!). We can't grow inches, but we can walk tall like models with good square shoulders!

The shapes I tend to avoid are the ever popular sack dresses and shapeless sheaths. They tent over my shoulders and bustline and make me look pregnant. If you have a smaller bust, then that might not be a problem for you. If it absolutely needs a belt for shape, I usually won't wear it. With a strong shoulder, having something that nips a little at the waist creates more of an hourglass look on me. Wear a box, look like a box as my friend always says. I also don't do swing or trapeze style shapes up top, since I don't need more volume in that area.

The sewingplums.com blog has a great series on shapes as well as links to sites that give shape and silhouette info.
Have fun trying things out!


-- Edited on 5/22/12 5:16 PM --
-- Edited on 5/22/12 5:19 PM --
-- Edited on 5/22/12 5:25 PM --

CSM--Carla
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CSM--Carla  Friend of PR
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In reply to Tizmehr <<


Date: 5/22/12 5:47 PM

Flatter Your Figure by Jan Larkey is a wonderful resource and simple to use.

She identifies body shapes issues and shows how to use clothing to 'transform' them. It's fun and easy--though it was written in 1991 and some of the photos are outdated, the principles still apply.

AnneM
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Date: 5/22/12 6:18 PM

I think the book Science of Sexy is also good. Similar to the "Flatter Your Figure" book, it talks about different figure types and what tends to work better for different figures. I bought a copy used. There is only a small section on each figure type, but I find it interesting regardless, particularly if you sew (or shop) for others.

------
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

Sarsez
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Date: 5/23/12 0:10 AM

I second the Jan Larkey recommendation. Her book was a revelation for me. I thought my figure problems were X,Y and Z. Turns out they actually A,B and C which lead me to chuck out most of my wardrobe and start again!

------
24th Nov 12 to 28th Nov 13
Fabric and patterns rules for me.
Remember to shop your stash girl!
Remember to keep sewing to your wardrobe plan!

Tizmehr
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Date: 5/23/12 9:53 AM

N45 those are just the type of tips that I'm looking for. I'll also go check the local bookstores to see if they have the books that have been recommended.
Thanks to all for the help. Maybe I'll finally be able to wrestle this figure into some clothes that actually help 'even' things out.


n45
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In reply to Tizmehr <<


Date: 5/23/12 11:26 AM

Another good, short read is the "Pocket Stylist." I think it helps to realize square shoulders can be a sexy figure asset and not a flaw . There's a difference between trying to balance your figure and "hide" things. There's another square shoulder pattern reviewer (her name escapes me at the moment) and she makes a lot of strapless things that look amazing on her.

Imogene Lamport's Inside out style blog also has a good post about the "V" shape. Everything she suggests doesn't work on me (like crew necks) , but she offers some great food for thought and pictures.

Dotmoll
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Date: 5/27/12 8:11 AM

I like n45's recommendations too. Bit old for some of those styles now, but a younger woman than me should enjoy them all!

crazygrad
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In reply to Tizmehr <<


Date: 5/28/12 4:41 PM

I like the Body Shape Bible. If you're broad shouldered, are you small or large breasted? Do you have a waist? What about hips? Because using their body types, you could be a column, cornet, goblet, or brick. Broad shoulder and short waist sounds kinda goblet-- Broad shoulder, big breasts, no waist, narrow hips (exception- long legs). Goblet celebs are Catherine Zeta Jones and Jessica Lange.

If that sounds like you, Trinni and Susannah suggest:
open necklines
skirts with panels
single breasted coats/ jackets
shaped, but sturdy, heels
skirts that fit through the hips with flare at the hem

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