How (And Why) Your Body Shape Should Guide Your Shopping

Your body shape should guide your shopping.

“Your silhouette, the essential frame you were born with, is the beginning of any conversation you have with your clothes.” – Kendall Farr

Your body shape should guide your shopping, but contrary to popular magazines, style quizzes and internet searches, you are not a fruit or a geometric shape. I learned this through dressing myself, styling my clients and the practical guidance from Kendall Farr’s book, “The Pocket Stylist.”

I’ve written about dressing for your body shape and how to look at your body like a stylist and that is where you need to start. If you haven’t assessed your body, shopping will be a fruitless expedition.

Let’s say you’ve had the honest conversation with yourself and your body, now it’s time to use and implement this knowledge.

Let your body shape guide your shopping.

Firstly, consider your frame and whether you have any problem areas or areas you wish to conceal or minimize. It will save you time and frustration to know (and accept) your body, your height and your frame.

Some general guidelines for addressing your potential problem areas …

  • If you know you’re bigger on the bottom and want to minimize that area, use dark colors, structured fabrics and drape in your skirts/dresses to help you.
  • If you know you’re bigger on top, wear dark colors, fabrics with drape, and avoid necklines and jacket colors that congregate over your bust. Work to create a long line with your clothes.
  • If you’re bigger in the middle, patterns will be your friend and any substantial fabrics. You want to frame the rest of your body – adding attention to your shoulders and using jackets to create some structure for your silhouette.
  • Consider the areas of your body you want to highlight and play up as well as those you want to minimize. That is why I love the concept of using your body frame (bone structure) because I translate that as a way for you to know what features to accentuate to balance your frame if you’d like.

Don’t check your knowledge about your body at the door when you go shopping, remember what you’ve learned, always try your clothes on and don’t forget about alterations, if needed.

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