Monday, September 10, 2007

Dressing for Your Shape? (aka possibly TMI and no pictures, sorry!)

I've been pondering a lot recently about what really looks good on me. Apparently, I'm a pretty poor judge of it myself, considering the opinions of others 'round here.

For those of you who don't know, I am SHORT - 4'10" (not quite a legal "small person," but I'm only an inch over the max). I also would consider myself what some like to call "curvy," I suppose, but I am not sure what that means. I mean, I've seen magazines call Scarlett Johanson curvy, but did you see her in The Prestige (great movie, btw)?? In that corset? She was pretty much a stick with boobs. A very lovely stick, true (I rank her as one of the top 4 most attractive ladies on planet Hollywood), but a stick nonetheless. So, as a disclaimer, when I say I am "curvy," I do not have anything near the figure of Scarlett Johanson. I have boobs, 34" hips, and a little belly (but a 26" waist, except maybe at Thanksgiving). I also have short legs and well, my thighs ain't exactly proportional to my height, and they probably ain't going anywhere, either.

So, let's just say that designers aren't exactly designing for my body type. And I can see why that is - I sure as heck can't ever find things I like on myself, and if I like them, no one else does. All I've found that we can all agree on my looking nice in are button down shirts and pinstripe dress pants, and who wants to wear those all the time?

So anyway, if you're out shopping and you can't find things you like, well it's a bummer, but it's no huge deal - just don't buy it. Or return it if you buy it and get home and wonder what you were on at the store. But what if you're sewing or knitting for yourself? How do you determine whether something is going to flatter you if you can't try it on first? I know you can try on something similar at a store, but what if you can't find anything similar?

Also, which distorts your shape less? A mirror or a camera? Anyone know?

BTW, the pink dress did not go over well in person. Apparently, though it looks pretty good in the photos... not so much IRL (not that I had the nerve to wear it out after the looks I got just trying it on in the house!). At least that's what I hear. So I dunno what steps to take next. I have to admit to a major self-confidence drop recently, and I don't like it one bit. ;-)


Luni said...

Coming to really know my body and be happy with it is a lifelong struggle for me. Just when I think I'm there, my durn body changes! I've been able to ignore a lot of facts because I was buying 'off the rack'. Now that I'm knitting, I have to be throroughly familar with the details. All the measuring, trying-on and photo-taking that comes with blogging about this hobby challenges my confidence.
I have learned that side views and lighting effects are my friends.
I started out trying to take pictures of all the details, then I noticed the best photos in blogs and magazines just show a FO looking good. Sometimes you can't even see the FO clearly.
One other thing I've learned is that if I post something that doesn't look good, I don't get many comments. Those things go to the back of the closet, and again I learn.
What is it about the button downs and pinstripes that works for you? Maybe if you can isolate the effect, you can reproduce the effect in another type of wear?

Tany said...

Pictures or mirrors CAN distort a figure! I'm never happy with my pictures and I think I look much better in front of the mirror.

You raise important issues here; I believe that clothes can make you radiant and gorgeous if you feel really good in them. The opposite is also true; so, it's more a matter of "what makes you feel gorgeous and self confident" and not as much “what people thing when they see a picture of you”, which, as we all know, often distorts reality.

Lotta said...

I would say that with age comes wisdom. ;) I have figured that you learn what really suits you, as you get older, and you can tell just by looking at a garment or a pattern, whether you should try it or not. I am also rather curvy, and there are a lot of clothes out there that I can't wear, unless I want to look like a slut, or as thick and solid as a tree trunk. I have found it very helpful to spot people, who have the same figure as I do, and to look at what looks good on them and also, what doesn't. Learn from others' mistakes. ;) And remember, you're a lucky girl, a lot of "stick women" would kill to have your curvy figure!

sulu-design said...

I'm surprised about the pink dress - it really was fabulous on you in the photos. Based on the pictures of you that I've seen here, I can say that you look great in wrap tops and in v-necks. And you've got a great pair of legs, so you can work short dresses and skirts, too. Don't let one disappointing outfit get you down. You are super cute and it seems to me that you really know how to dress to accentuate your best physical qualities.

sulu-design said...

Oh, yeah... that comment above is coming from a girl who has never posted a photo of herself on her own blog. Who am I to give advice?