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Jan Larkey system
Understanding your figure
Lindy Ann
Lindy Ann  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/26/12 10:49 AM

Just a day or two, I read somewhere on PR about Jan Larkey's book, Flatter Your Figure. I can't find that thread now, but I was so impressed, I ordered the book from Amazon. It's OOP, so it's a used copy, but under $4. I got the book yesterday and read through it.

I haven't yet done the actual (simple) measurements she describes on myself, but I've already learned a lot. Her system is all about proportions, and she shows very simple ways to determine your figure problems and your "assets."

The magic of it is that she shows, with many illustrations, how to go from knowing your problem areas to matching those with styles and style details which will flatter, and not detract from, your appearance. Though the book is older, there are so many styles shown (for example, 22 skirt styles) that it's pretty near timeless.

I finally understand why some styles are a disaster on me. I recently had my first ever total wadder dress. I chose a elegant, lady-like Vogue dress pattern, and I ended up with a clown costume, nice workmanship, but not suitable to wear in public. If I had read Jan Larkey's book first, I would never have chosen that pattern.

The book will work no matter your size and shape. Some of the fashion advice is dated, but the principles are easy to understand and won't change.

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Lindy Ann <<


Date: 5/26/12 1:09 PM

I had this book and found it helpful. Unfortunately for me, there was a part where I needed a "helper" and my dog wasn't willing to do so (extra feet got in the way). DH was no help either. But I did learn some things, such as proportions, etc.

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teeandcee90
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In reply to Lindy Ann <<


Date: 5/26/12 4:38 PM

After reading your post I looked at this book on Amazon, read the reviews, was wowed by the cover pic, and ordered it. Thanks for posting about it.

Lindy Ann
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In reply to teeandcee90 <<


Date: 5/26/12 8:43 PM

Maybe this topic belonged somewhere else, but I posted it under "Fitting Woes" because that's what drove me to look for more information on choice of styles.
That dress that turned out so badly was very nicely fitted to me. I worked on the sleeves, bust line, waist and hips, as well as shortening appropriately. Everything fit just right, and it still looked horrible.
So as important as a good fit is, fitting won't make up for a bad choice of design.
In RTW, if I had tried this dress on, I would have known immediately that it wouldn't work. But I was looking at the pattern envelope -- it was just a drawing, too, not a photo of a real person wearing it.
Now with my Jan Larkey book, I will be looking more critically at designs before choosing the pattern.

wenznz
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In reply to Lindy Ann <<


Date: 5/27/12 4:39 AM

I think it was this thread you were thinking of?

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Wendy
Wellington, New Zealand

JPForster
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In reply to Lindy Ann <<


Date: 5/27/12 10:57 AM

I, too read about Jan's book on PR - and ordered it! Haven't received it yet - but, am so happy that I made the right decision to do so. Thanks for the review.

teeandcee90
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In reply to Lindy Ann <<
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Date: 6/1/12 9:14 PM

And at least with RTW you'd only be out your shopping time. Ugh

I got my book today and my mom and I are going to do the measuring next week. Her system makes so much sense as I've never been able to figure out if I'm an apple or rectangle or both or neither or all of the fruits/shapes. I'd given up.

Lindy Ann
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In reply to wenznz <<


Date: 6/2/12 9:18 AM

Yes, Wendy, that's the thread I had seen.
One of the useful things I learned from Jan Larkey's book is that it's more about proportions than size. For example, I always thought I was short waisted and short legged, and needed to camouflage those flaws, but according to her system, I'm not. I'm just proportionally short all over. So those aren't problems after all.
So I'm now putting my effort into addressing the spots where I am out of proportion.
I should mention that the "measurements" she gives instructions for are not so such for measuring hips, bust, etc in inches or centimeters as they are about comparing the relative size of different parts. For example, how to determine if your hips are large or small in proportion to your shoulders.

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