dressing for one's shape, how people formulize that, and how unhelpful that is, etc

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I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what looks good on me and what doesn't, but I def still put on stuff that has an undesired effect sometimes (skirt length is really hard, because I have long legs that are really thin at the bottom and p big at the top - too long and I look like an egg, too short and it's showing too much real estate for my comfort). The thing is, when I try to "study up" on body shapes and how to flatter all of them, the materials always seem to act like there are 3 body types that exist on this earth - or at most, like, 6! when i put my measurements into some kind of rubric, it always says that i'm an hourglass shape, because my bust and hips are the same - however, the thing always then starts talking about my "narrow waist," and i don't have a narrow waist at all! so all the clothes it suggests i would be totally uncomfortable in, like a sheath dress with a wide belt!! omg would NEVER EVER wear.

Worse, though, and perhaps obviously, all the information is judgmental, ie assumes that it's obvious what parts of your body you should hate and which you should like, which is gross and not what I'm after.

is there some kind of resource out there that is nonjudgmental (ie, doesnt decide what would look good or bad on me, but just describes what different shapes/lines will do to/on my body?) and that is accurate and helpful for like a zillion body types, and takes into account all kinds of measurements - arms, height, etc?

1 P.3. Eternal (roxymuzak), Sunday, 23 February 2014 17:55 (ten years ago) link

or can someone just tell me how to wear a suit

1 P.3. Eternal (roxymuzak), Sunday, 23 February 2014 17:57 (ten years ago) link

yeah I've found those kind of things helpful in theory but pretty awful for the reasons you mention.
I dunno, I have bought enough stuff in my life that I've convinced myself to like but I always reach for something else in practice because I know it doesn't look great on me, for whatever reason. So I've ended up with a (pretty restrictive at the moment) bunch of 'rules' about what I will and won't bother trying on.

There was a show that was popular here with 'Trinny and Susannah' that apparently consider TWELVE body shapes... Skittle, Goblet, Hourglass, Cornet, Cello, Apple, Column, Bell, Vase, Brick, Lollipop or Pear. I remember thinking they did quite a good job at demonstrating what did/didn't work on them, but I can't really bear to watch them.

kinder, Sunday, 23 February 2014 18:22 (ten years ago) link

i remember those 2. skittle?!

1 P.3. Eternal (roxymuzak), Monday, 24 February 2014 03:59 (ten years ago) link

I think that's British for "bowling pin"?

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Monday, 24 February 2014 04:05 (ten years ago) link

Tiny little disc candy vs. thin bowling pin

Jaq, Monday, 24 February 2014 04:06 (ten years ago) link

Hmmmm I think the "dress for your body shape" thing is better framed as "wear clothes that fit you properly." Unfortunately--especially when it comes to suits--this is best accomplished by a really good tailor. My best suits have involved a jacket that fit well out of the box, then maybe just a little shaping to get it looking really ace. Pants: my strategy is buy on the big side and basically have them reconstructed to be comfortable and fit nicely. Good-quality materials are important in a suit. Fully lined pants are important. None of this stuff comes cheap.

I wish I had some "how to do a suit without spending hundreds of dollars" protips, because I could use them now that I am no longer a corporate whore with money to blow on suits.

quincie, Monday, 24 February 2014 04:11 (ten years ago) link

actually I have spent more money on the tailoring in some cases then on the suit itself if I scored it from Filene's or a clearance rack or something.

quincie, Monday, 24 February 2014 04:12 (ten years ago) link

I've held off on asking about the dress code for my upcoming internship and am secretly hoping that the answer is "scrubs." Which is not gonna be the case, so I have no idea what I am going to put on in the morning because I don't think my corporate whore suits are going to do the trick.

quincie, Monday, 24 February 2014 04:14 (ten years ago) link

Wondering how long it takes to learn to do the tailoring oneself. Just getting into using a sewing machine & wanting to go in that direction.
Of course not everybody has the time or inclination to do that. &it is going to take an unspecified length of time and patience to reach that skill level.
Just thinking ideally it would be a skill everybody were taught since we're not a species of clones so shapes vary wildly.

Stevolende, Monday, 24 February 2014 08:21 (ten years ago) link

I am by no means a seamstress nor do I even do the basics of sewing, but my mom is quite skilled. Her advice is that it is often more straightforward and satisfying to make up a basic pattern from scratch that fits you well from the get go (because of how you took the measurements, cut the pattern, tried on and pinned during the construction process, etc.) than to try to reverse-engineer something store-bought. That kind of tailoring is a specialty unto itself, and one she avoids (but will whip me up something with darts and pleats and linings and complicated patterns with no problem).

IIRC in orbit can weigh in on this sewing stuff.

quincie, Monday, 24 February 2014 09:34 (ten years ago) link

She and I can both vouch for the "Very Easy Very Vogue" (Vogue) patterns for pretty simple sewing (her) that looks good made up (me).

quincie, Monday, 24 February 2014 09:37 (ten years ago) link

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