House of French

November 21, 2008

Finding Your Face Shape

Filed under: Finding Your Figure — xfrenchx @ 3:30 am

Determining Your Face Shape

Since so many people spend so much time looking at your face, it’s very important that we make an effort to flatter our faces in the best way we can. Most people wouldn’t think that the clothing they wear can actually make their face look bad, but it can. Determining your face shape is a big step towards making the right decisions when purchasing your wardobe. It may sound simple, but with this little bit of knowledge, you can avoid wearing styles that don’t accentuate your beautiful face.

As a general rule, you should avoid accessories and clothing that mimic that shape of your face. For example, if you have a round face, you should stay away from short, rounded necklaces and collars. You also need to be aware of hairstyles that will suit your face. Check out the pages on haircare for upcoming articles on hairstyles that will and wont work with your face.

The easiest way to determine the shape of your face is to stand in front of a mirror, with your hair pulled back, then take lipstick or liner and trace the outline shape of your face right onto the mirror. Then, match your features up with the description below and whichever one has the most matching features is your shape. It is very possible to have features from more than one shape, but overall one shape will obvisouly dominate. If you’re stuck on which one is yours, take the guidelines of both into consideration for the most flawless compliment.

Rectangle Shape – Your face is definately longer than it is wide, and your jaw line is probably sqaured. The sides of your face, consisting of your forehead, cheekbones and jawline, are all relatively the same width. You most likely have a straight hairline.

Square – Your face is pretty much the same width as it’s length. Your chin is square and broad, with the sides of your face being the same width all the way through. Your hairline is most likely straight.

Oval – Your face is a bit longer than it is wide and you have a round jaw line. Your face may look similar to an upside-down egg, with a wide forhead and cheekbones. You can probably divide your face into three equal portions, from the forehead area, to the nose area, then the chin area. Your eyes are even and properly spaced, with one eye width between each other. Your hairline is rounded.

Oblong – Your face is much longer than it is wide and you have a rounded chin, and most likely a rounded hairline. Your features along the side are straight, with the forhead, cheekbones and chin all being the same width.

Round – Your face is pretty much the same width as length, with a round jaw. Your cheekbones are very round and are probably the widest part of your face. You have a round hairline, and most likely have plump facial features.

Triangle – Your face is longer than wide, with a broad jaw. The sides of your face are uneven, with a narrow forehead and a wide jaw. You most likely have smaller features on top, such as small eyes, paired with a wide mouth.

Inverted Triangle – You have a longer face than wide with a long, pointed jaw line. Your chin tapers from your forehead, which is the wudest part of your face.

Heart – You have a longer face than wide, with a long and pointed chin. At the sides, your face tapers from your forehead to your jaw line. Your hairline has the shape of ‘v’, like the top of a heart. Your forehead is probably the widest part of your face, and your cheekbones may be just as wide.

Diamond – Your face is a little longer than it is wide, with a long and pointed chin, as well as a narrow forehead. The biggest part of your face at the sides are your cheekbones, and they are most likely high and pointed. Your facial features are well balanced and in good proportion to each other.

November 5, 2008

Horizontal Body Shape

Filed under: Finding Your Figure — xfrenchx @ 6:39 pm

Women of all shapes and sizes always have something that they don’t like about their figure. In fashion, the idea is to use clothing to create an hourglass shape. The hourglass is the ideal shape because it is a balanced silhouette, with the shoulder line matching up to the hip line, with a contoured waist. Many people make the mistake of thinking that if your measurements are 34-26-34 that you are an hourglass shape. Your bust size however, does not determine your shape, it’s your shoulder width, hip width and waistline that make your overall figure, and even many fashion stylists and designers think the bust-waist-hip measurement works. It may work in most cases, but can something really almost work? The shoulder-waist-hip analysis determines the shape right every time. So, aside from your initial silhouette, there are other factors that determine your “shape”. These other factors include whether you are short, long or normal waisted, your height and weight and even your reach. Properly fitted clothing must tailor to all these body needs. Since it would be impossible for designers to create clothing that suits every unique aspect of each person’s body, there are four major body types instead. After you have obtained clothing to suit your overall body type, it is up to you to have those articles tailored to fit your body flawlessly.

Hourglass Shape:

Hourglass figures can be any size; it’s the shape that determines the hourglass figure type. Women who have hourglass figures always have a defined waistline and are equally balanced top and bottom. If you have an hourglass figure, you basically hit the jackpot! Since this is the ideal body shape, you have very little work to do in balancing out your shape. The thing you need to worry about is making the most of your figure, and avoiding clothing that will ruin your beautiful curves. Although you are lucky for having this shape, the downfall of your curves is that a lot of silhouettes will not work for you at all. Since the average woman is actually either a triangle or rectangle figure, clothing tends to be cut to fit these shapes better. Curvy girls tend to get stuck wearing basic pieces, and have less luck looking good in all the fun clothing! With the information you need however, you should have no problem finding at least a few statement pieces to mix in with those classics that are practically made for you! Celebrities with your shape: Drew Barrymore, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet, Tyra Banks

The Do’s:

– Buy anything that has wrap detailing (such as wrap dresses or tops), which will make the absolute most of your curves. Besides, the wrap style is a classic and a good investment piece should last your entire life

-Look for fitted clothing at all times. Never buy anything that is straight and shapeless

– Consider seperates for a dressy look as opposed to dresses. You will get a perfect fit buying seperates, but a lot of dresses will fit you in one area and not in another area

– If you are like me and you just love dresses too much, find one that fits you in the biggest areas and then have the waistline tailored to your trim tummy

– Wear v-neck tops; they are great at making your curves look lean instead of stumpy

– Wear monochromatic schemes in dark, flattering hues, this will make the most of your curves

– Look for clothing with princess seaming, which will hug your curves wonderfully

– Try high waisted pants and skirts – but avoid anything in a bulky fabric

The Don’ts:

– Buy clothing that hides your curves. I know this poses a major problem because the main silhouettes in fashion right now are traingles and cocoons, but steer clear of these trendy pieces. They will look horrible!

– Buy tops with a lot of detailing near the top, which will only widen your shoulders and ruin the balance.

– Wear stiff or bulky fabrics, they have less shape so they won’t compliment your body.

– Buy anything that ends or begins at the widest part of your hip.

– Choose high necklines, unless you are an hourglass with a small bust.

Rectangle Shape

One of the most common body shapes, this shape is not only found in thin girls, as many believe. Just because a rectangle is long and thin when you draw it, doesn’t mean all women with this shape are actual rectangles! Every shape consists of women of all sizes. You have a rectangle silhouette if your top and bottom are relatively the same width, and your waist has little or no definition (in other words, your waist is just about the same width as your shoulders and hips). Your body is often refered to as “boyish”. Your arms and legs are slim in proportion to your body, and you most likely have a smaller bust. Your vertical body shape is probably balanced, or you are short waisted, with long legs. It’s likely that your bum has little definition or is flat. Your main goal is to define your waist, and exaggerate your hips and shoulders.

The Do’s:

– Wear semi-fitted clothing

– If you don’t mind exposing your arms, short sleeves and sleevelss tops do wonders for your body

– Get a lot of A-Line skirts!

– Medium to high necklines

– Look for tops and jackets that have slight shoulder padding. Before you get intimidated by that statement, it’s important to know that shoulder pads are not what they used to be. You should find a small, fitted shoulder pad that is not visible on the outside. No one should even know that they are there.

– Any shirts or dress that flow through the midsection – wrap styles are your best friend when it comes to defining your waistline, and will help create curves

– Straight and bootcut pants are your best option – look for flat front trousers with a slight flare

– Wearing belts at your waistline is a great way of faking curves, especially when done with a fitted top and an A-Line skirt, just avoid belts that are too big or bulky

– Strapless dresses help to create and enhance curves

The Don’ts:

– Stay away from clingy fabrics and fitted clothing

– Anything too baggy is out of the question – it will only shrink your figure even more

– Don’t wear straight, narrow skirts

– Low necklines are off limits – they will only elongate your body, making you leaner

Triangle Shape – Most commonly referred to as the Pear shape, you have narrow shoulders, a well defined waist and full hips. Your vertical body is most likely either well balanced or long waisted with shorter legs. Most women with this shape have full thighs and a round bum, paired with a small to medium sized bust. You are also one of the more lucky body types, since you already have the full hips and defined waist, which puts you two steps ahead in achieving that ideal hourglass shape. Your main goal is to find clothing that widens your shoulders, which will balance your body.

The Do’s:

– Wear bootleg, flared and straight pant styles with little detailing on the pockets

– Wear short sleeved tops, and batwing, dolman and puff sleeves are great choices

– Empire waists and babydoll tops/dresses are very flattering for you

– Try shoulder pads in your tops. Forgo the huge 80’s shoulders and embrace the new, refined styles

– Stock up on accessories that will bring the eye upward

– Choose medium to high necklines

– Prints and detailing on blouses and other tops is crucial

– Wear skirts and dresses that are slightly flared, as well as the universally flattering A-Line

– Look for jeans with a slight low rise (always avoid extremely low rised pants!), which will avoid gaping at the back as well as visually minimize your curves on the bottom

– Find garments that define your waist well. Foolproof items include belts worn at the waist and wrap style tops and dresses

The Don’ts:

– Steer clear of tapered skirts and pants, and anything too fitted on the bottom

– Avoid anything baggy

– Beware of any shirt that has a hemline that hits at the hip

– Stay away from stiff, bulky fabrics, especially in the hip area

– Avoid any type of detailing or design lines in the hip area

– Don’t wear pants or skirts with open pleats

– Never wear a plain top with a more interesting bottom, you will bring the attantion to the hips

Inverted Triangle – Also known as the “V” women with this body shape have broad shoulders, a slightly defined waistline and narrow hips. You most likely have a short waist and long legs, and probably have a flat bum and big chest. This is one of the hardest body types to dress, since there are less options available for creating big hips, as opposed to all the options available for balancing shoulders. Your goal is to minimize your shoulders as much as possible, and combine that illusion with clothing that enhances your hips, for an overall balance.

The Do’s:

– Tops and dresses that flow through the waist (always consider a wrap style)

– Wear flowing fabrics

– Wear three-quarter length sleeves

– Try medium and low necklines

– A Line skirts or any skirts with flares at the hem

– Flared and wide leg pants

– You should look for a low-rise in bottoms, but avoid anything that’s so low that you can’t sit down without showing your underwear

– Wear belts on your waistline, which will create a bigger curve in your hip

– Get a well fitted bra since your bust is a focal point on your body

– Halter tops and dresses will visually narrow the look of your shoulders

– Bubble dresses are great for enhancing your hips

The Don’ts:

– Avoid any tops that have details or emphasis on the shoulders

– Don’t wear high necklines and big collars

– Stay away from stiff, bulky fabrics

– Steer clear of tapered skirts and pants

– Never wear double-breasted jackets or coats

Apple (Diamond and Oval Shapes) – The apple shape includes two different types of body, that are basically the same, just with one difference each. The Apple shape body is round, with no definition in the waist. The difference between the two types is that Diamond shaped women have a high stomach, and oval shaped women have low stomachs. The style guidelines for both these bodies are the same. Your main goal is to create the illusion of a longer, leaner body, and to draw the eye upward.

The Do’s:

– Tops and dresses that flow through the waistline – the more you hide it, the bigger it will look!

– Wear jewelry near your face to draw the eye upwards, giving a leaner appearance

– Semi fitted clothing, slightly loose fitted clothing works well for your body

– Shoulder pads will help even and balance your lower torso

– Try monochromatic schemes

– Low necklines (unless you have larger than a C-cup bust)

– Straight, flat front pants in soft, flowing fabrics

– Straight and slightly flared skirts – but stay away from too tight versions

– Get a good fitting, well adjusted bra which will help visually take pounds off your figure

–  Seamless, well supported undergarments hide bulges

The Don’ts:

– Avoid high necklines

– Clingy fabrics expose imperfections

– Fabric with large patterns will only make you look larger

– Pleats are very bad for making your the body appear wider

– Large lapels, which will only make you look wider

– Belts aren’t a very good friend of yours – unless it is hidden well

– Tucked in tops will only reveal or create bulges

– Stay away from narrow or tapered skirtsand pants

– Fitted clothing will only show bulges, or even create bulges

October 20, 2008

Vertical Body Shape

Filed under: Finding Your Figure — xfrenchx @ 9:28 pm

Most of us know our main body shape as being either a rectangle, hourglass, triangle or inverted triangle. While this is the quick and easy analysis of you figure, there is much more to it than that and knowing all the information is the first step to fixing the problems that are in your wardrobe right now. I know many women who think of their bodies as one of the four types, and they use that common knowledge to determine what clothing works best for their shape. But can you imagine how much better you would look if you knew even more than that? Not only do you need to take into account your horizontal body type, but there are also other shapes besides the main four, that apply to a higher percentage of women today than the four we all know. The things you need to know for a full body assessment are:

– your vertical body type

– you horizontal body shape

– your weight

– your height

– your face shape

– your bone structure

– your neck length and circumference

I will be going into further detail for each of these topics, which will be featured in different parts.  Part 1 focuses on your vertical body, and check out Part 2 for more information on your horizontal body shape.

Determining You Vertical Body Shape:

To find your vertical body shape, you need to compare the top half of your body to the bottom half. Your vertical proportions are just as important as your horizontal proportions, because this will determine what types of clothing you need to wear in order to create the leanest balance possible. You also need to know what lengths you should look for in your clothing. If you are short waisted for example, you will want to focus on making your waist look longer, so that it flows nicely with your long legs. The most accurate way of finding your vertical proportions is to measure your entire height, and then measure the height of your hipline. (Your hipline is not just where your hip bones are – it is the fullest part of your hip, and is usually found right around the bum area). With these two measurements, you can determine where your hipline comes in relation to your total height. An easier way of finding out your vertical shape is to bend your arms in half and place our hands at your shoulders – do not stretch your hands if you can’t reach your shoulders, just touch where you hands reach naturally). If your elbows sit above your waistline, you are long waisted. If they are lower than your waist, you have a short waist. If your elbows hit at your waist, you are proportioned! Do not mistake where your natural waist is! Many women believe their waist is lower than it is because of the low rise pants – but your natural waistline is located right above your belly button. It is important to keep your height in mind when reading these tips, because some of them do not work for short or tall women. Don’t know whether you’re short, tall or average? A petite woman is anyone 5’3 or shorter. Average height women fall between 5’4 – 5’6 and you’re considered tall if you measure anywhere over that.

Long Waisted – Women with long waists tend to put on weight in their hips and thighs the most, and tend to be short, although some tall women do have a longer waist than legs. Your main goal is to make your legs look longer, and your torso look shorter.

The Do’s:

– Wear short to medium length tops

– Tuck in your shirts if you are slim and don’t have belly bulges

– Layer your tops

– Pair light coloured tops with dark pants

– Use medium or wide belts

– Try straight skirts (unless you are a rectangle shape)

– Use jewelry, scarves and other details that draw the eye upward – this gives the illusion of a longer legs

– Wear straight or boot cut pants

– Wear pants, shoes and socks all in the same colour (for added leg length)

– Wear medium to high heels (try to stay away from flats whenever possible)

– Try those trendy high waisted pants & skirts – they were made for you!

– Allow your pant hem to extend all the way down to the ground (but not dragging on the ground!)

The Don’ts:

– Wear long tops (especially if you are short!)

– Wear skirts or pants with a low rise

– wear tight and tapered skirts or pants – unless you are thin – then try to get them in high waisted versions!

– Cropped pants – they visually cut your leg length off – a double no no for you short gals!

Short Waisted – Your bottom is typically round and high and you tend to put on weight mostly in your waist, but also in the back of your hips (also known as your bum). Your most likely tall, but some short girls fall into this category as well. Your goal is to make your torso look leaner, and your legs look shorter.

The Do’s:

– Look for design details on skirts and pants, that will draw the eye downward, which will give the illusion of a longer torso (this is not advised for short girls)

– Wear medium to long jewelry around your neck (avoid this if you are short as well)

– Pair light coloured skirts with darker tops

– Wear tops and dresses that flow through the waist

– Try skirts and pants with narrow waistbands, or no waistband at all

– Wear skirts that are straight or slightly flared

– Opt for low rise pants, that are straight or flared

The Dont’s:

–  Wear details on top, that will draw the eye upward

– Wear pinstripes, which too will only draw the eye up your body

– Short tops – they will only cut your torso off even more

– Empire styles on shirts and dresses

– Wide belts are a big no

– Stay away from this season’s high waisted pants and skirts as well as the skinny jeans and pencil skirts

Balanced Body – In some cases certain women have all the luck, and this is one of them. Women with a balanced vertical shape are usually also hourglass figures. You tend to distribute weight gain evenly, but your waist will almost always stay smaller than your hips and shoulders. You probably have either a round, formed bum or a flat bum. You also most likely have slim arms and legs. Since your body is well proportioned, your concern isn’t to gain balance, but to maintain what you have. You may also want to elongate your mid torso if you are shorter because sometimes your curves can look stumpy.

The Do’s:

– Use decorative accents like scarve and jewelry to bring attention up to your face

– Choose medium long tops

– Try wearing monochromatic schemes

– Always find tops are dresses that flow through the waist and hug your curves

– Choose pants and skirt with narrow waistbands

– Opt for straight or flared skirts

– Try not to go any higher than your natural waistline when wearing pants or skirts (unless you want to achieve the look of bigger hips!)

– Straight and bootcut pants look great

The Don’ts:

– Stay away from short tops

– Empire tops and dresses should be avoided

– Wide belts

– Pants or skirts with a high waist

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