Thank you for last week’s informative comments on Trinny & Susannah’s twelve body shape definitions. Overall, I’m left with the impression that people find them a little confusing. Perhaps the simpler approach of sticking to five simple categories is more effective after all.
Here are some additional thoughts on using body types to maximize your style quotient:
- Don’t expect an exact match: Instead of boxing a person into one category, I prefer to suggest that they tend towards a particular body type. It is impossible to create a small set of shapes that matches all of our unique bodies, but a few rudimentary generalizations can be made to create rough guidelines.
- Use the definitions as a starting point…: Even if you’re unsure about your exact body type, chances are high that you will at least tend towards one of my five categories. This makes for a good starting point. Once you understand the basics of what’s recommended for this shape, you can zone in on the specifics and concentrate on which cuts and fits look best.
- ...but focus on your unique body: Whether you have a short or long neck, a large or small bust, a short or long waist and a flat or full tummy will all play a role. In the end it’s all about figuring out what looks best on your body rather than categorizing your body shape. Nicole’s comment sums this up perfectly.
- Use multiple categories if necessary: Some people find similarities with more than one category. For example, you may tend towards an hourglass but your slightly fuller thighs have you also following some of the rules for the pretty pear. Note that some types are not compatible: you can’t be a mixture of the pretty pear and the inverted triangle because these shapes are completely opposite.
- Rules are made to be broken: You might find that you can break some of your body type rules because you have a stronger feature that lets you “get away with it”. Again, body type is a starting point, but your unique body has the final word.
I enjoyed The Body Shape Bible because it addresses real women with real bodies. I don’t personally find Trinny and Susannah’s nomenclature offensive, but I can understand how some people might feel this way (after all, no-one likes thinking of themselves as a “brick”). The overall tone of what they are saying about ALL women’s bodies is positive and in no way harmful to any body image.