| By Rachel Monique Maskell

How do you measure up?

Hello Bella!

How are you feeling? I’ve been oscillating between hopeful and angry and sometimes dumbfounded at the state of the world. The fires and hurricanes on top of it all feel like Mother Nature is screaming out too, perhaps clearing out for what’s to come. 

So much to rant on but I promised that this email will kick off the series on body shapes and how best to dress for you! 

The five main silhouettes I will focus on include: wedge, triangle, hourglass, round, and rectangle. 

Wedge: shoulder width is greater than hip width

Triangle: hip width is greater than shoulder width

Hourglass: hip and shoulder widths are equal, waist is 9-11 inches smaller

Round: waist width is greater than shoulder and hip width 

Rectangle: little or no waist indentation

In subsequent emails I will dive into these more in depth with recommendations on how to balance the look, but to begin we need to know which shape best fits our current height/weight distribution. 

Steps to determine your body shape:

  • Dress in something form fitting so you can see the shape of your body, preferably in dark colors.
  • Using a friend or a tripod take a full length picture of yourself against a contrasting background. Be sure to get feet and top of head and take the photo straight on. If taken from above or below the measurements can be skewed. 
  • Print image on 8.5x11 paper.
  • Measure shoulder, waist, and hip widths using a ruler.
  • Compare widths to silhouette descriptions above to determine your shape.

Bonus: take a side profile shot with your ‘normal’ posture. How clothing looks on us has a lot to do with how it hangs on our bodies so having a better understanding of your posture may also help to inform what works best on your shape. 

Remember that this information is meant to guide us and be a useful tool. We are not measuring to judge or criticize our bodies. We are all beautifully unique. By knowing our silhouette we can choose what we want to draw attention to and what we want to minimize. Like much of art, fashion is how we direct the eye. 

Next up...the wedge. 

Until then, give yourself a hug and embrace the body you’re in!