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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

My thoughts on Kate's Advice: Body Shape

You may recall Kate's two posts on
Style Analysis for Ruth
Style Advice for Ruth

I'm carrying on with my thoughts on Kate's advice.

Kate wrote:-
Body shape
As Ruth notes above she has a definite curve at her lower back and a fullish derriere. But she has a fairly straight look from the front. So I think her body shape is semi-straight. Ruth’s shoulders don’t slope and have a squarish outline. However they are rounded forward, and her head is also set a little forward and this combined with a slight curve at the upper back makes her spine appear to have a definite S shape. Her lower back goes in – a classic “sway back”. I would say that Ruth’s shoulders are very slightly wider than her hips, which is pretty ideal, and makes her figure look balanced.
Ruth’s has a shapely, but relatively modest, bust.
Women with a semi-straight silhouette tend to gain weight across all areas meaning it can be hard to disguise weight gain.  Ruth is most concerned about having too much bulk at the waistline and plans to address this. Certainly the use of a belt or a tie in the hollow of the waist can make the slightly fuller tummy appear slimmer.
Ruth has a good, round bottom and longish legs that means she looks great in trousers. Trousers are probably her best look. They can be formal and tailored for work, jeans or casual styles for the weekends. Overall with the semi-straight silhouette Ruth should go for slightly fitted styles avoiding the extremes of either the straight or shaped figure. I will elaborate this in my next post.
Now this was interesting, because Kate is comparing shoulder and hip width, I don't come out as a pear shape which I would do if you compare bust and hip. So I think the analysis of semi-straight is actually quite helpful. As she's observed I gain weight all over so basically stay this shape. However I'm a few inches over the NHS recommended maximum waist size for women as this estimates the amount of hidden fat a person is storing around their organs so for health reasons it would be a good idea to try to lose some inches off the waist. Interestingly I shall still have a weight above the recommended BMI even when my waist is within the recommended range. However it is definitely worth doing and I'm planning to tackle my eating habits once the bulk of the KonMari process is over.

Kate then continues
Face shape
Ruth’s face shape is fairly round with quite a lot of curves – for example her shaped lip line, and her cheeks and chin have a definite curve to them. This is not an angular face, although her jaw is squarish, but it is as wide as it is long. Consequently the longer, looser hair styles with a side parting are much more flattering than the pulled back look with a straight fringe.
OK I can see this. It might take a while for the fringe to grow out!
Ruth is a UK s14-16, and  5′ 5″ tall. So she will suit medium to large-scale patterns. She has already worked this out for herself, and as you can see from the pictures above, Ruth choses wider belts, larger prints and jewellery.
I think I'm more the 16-18 end at the moment, but yes I already knew not to wear small prints or tiny detail as its just lost of a sturdy person like myself :-)
In terms of proportions Ruth has nice long legs, with a relatively short upper body. When we choose clothes that make us appear to be “in proportion” we need to get the horizontals in the right place to help create a balanced figure. And in order to appear taller and slimmer we want to avoid the horizontal lines in our outfits cutting across our body at it’s widest point.
Ruth often chooses a long jacket over a long skirt. While this look is OK for her proportions a longer top or jacket over a short skirt will be more flattering. The two looks she wants to avoid are a short top over a short skirt, or a short top over long skirt/trousers. For the same reason she should usually wear her tops out over her skirt or trousers, rather than tucked in at the waist.
Ooh now I think there's a few interesting things in here, firstly I would not have considered myself to have long legs so this had me scratching my head a bit tbh. In the Jan Larkey method I come out as balanced, but Kate uses different measurements. I have had some success in the past with petite jackets with 3/4 sleeves (I may have a shorter upper body, but I don't have shorter arms).
I agree that we want to avoid the horizontal lines cutting across at the widest point. I thought I was already doing that, but maybe more tweaking is needed.
I wouldn't have considered that I was wearing long jackets over long skirts, I would have said moderate jackets with longer skirts, so obviously need to play a bit with proportions here. It can be difficult to shorten jackets though so have to see how this works out as I take the outfit photos (deep sigh).
DBF agrees with Kate on wearing tops untucked, as he has gently suggested it a few times, though for shirts and blouses and tailored bottoms with belt loops I don't think it looks right to wear anything else.
Heck this is tricky isn't it?


Cherie said...

Ruthie, very interesting comments from Kate, and your analysis of them is great! It is tricky! That proportion thing, especially. Sounds kind of fun to flesh out these looks, and you have the skills to do so!

Anne said...

I agree - have fun with some experimentation! I'm interested in your comment about not being a pear shape by Kate's method. It means that you'll be considering items you didn't consider previously?