Dec 082005

I’m going out tonight, dressed as an hourglass. Not in an hourglass costume, I’m talking about one of the six basic silhouettes. Most advice in how-to-dress books would be unnecessary if women learned to dress in the silhouette that most closely matches their own body-type. The six basic shapes are hourglass, rectangle, oval, figure-eight, triangle, and wedge (inverted triangle); they are determined by the line of the shoulders (straight or sloped), how the width of the shoulders relates to the width of the hips, and whether or not the waist is visibly smaller. Sketch it out.

To study this subject in depth, I recommend the excellent book The Triumph of Individual Style, by Carla Mason Mathis and Helen Villa Connor.

The good news: there’s really no such thing as a pear-shaped woman. She’s a triangle, wearing the wrong outfit.

  6 Responses to “A Pre-school Geometry Lesson”

  1. Yikes. It’s an expensive book — $65.

  2. […] At one time or another we’ve all asked the question. Does this make me look fat? It might. Is it: 1) The wrong silhouette, or shapeless altogether? See A Pre-School Geometry Lesson. […]

  3. […] there’s special occasion clothes. In my idiom, sometimes it’s fun to dress up as an hourglass, especially if the occasion calls for formal. Conversely, I think the slinky column look can be […]

  4. […] it ruins your silhouette or can’t be made to work with either of your balance […]

  5. […] Triangle Silhouette: A two-piece dress or coordinate equals a dress. An ordinary skirt & blouse does not. […]

  6. […] personal idiom expresses the inner you to the outer world. Daily demands, personal coloring and silhouette, your lifestyle, even your budget, all combine with your fashion personality and many other […]

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