“Dress Your Shape-type” Book Reviews

I hope that’s a fairly unambiguous title for this post. šŸ˜‰

I decided that since the weight is coming off slowly (if at all šŸ˜¦ I’m not getting discouraged, I’m not…) that I needed to just accept my size and shape for what it is in the here and now. I can’t change it overnight, and I need clothes that fit and flatter now, so I needed to have a reality check. It’s hard sometimes to fully accept something you don’t like, even if you know it’s there, in some sort of semi-denial. [/psych lesson]

So I visited my handy dandy library, which didn’t have any books on the subject, but could order some in. So, after a preliminary search via Google and checking out reviews on Amazon, I requested a few books via interlibrary loan. The two I chose were: The Body Shape Bible by Trinny and Susannah and The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou.

We’ll start with The Science of Sexy (TSoS). The book was interesting, I’ll give him that. None of the dry reading that I feared when I requested it. I felt like the first few chapters were kind of “fluff”, he had some interesting anecdotes that were relevant, but not exceptionally informative (sort of more the common sense type stuff that you maybe hadn’t thought of in that way or whatever). Around page 30 he starts to get serious though, by asking several questions about what you want to convey to others based on your clothing–read: how much sex appeal are you trying to ooze? He also asks what parts you want to play up or hide and what colors you think look the best on you. I found his “Ten Dress Sexy Commandments” both useful and somewhat amusing. Then he shows you how to take your measurements and sends you to a “fitting room” based on your height/weight/measurements. Overall, I’d say the book is a good supplement, but I wouldn’t take everything in it as gospel truth or anything. It’s a worthwhile read if you are trying to get ideas and determine your body shape.

According to this book (and sadly, reality) I am a short, full rectangle. With great legs. šŸ˜‰ Unfortunately, like everyone else, he suggests that I wear empire tops/dresses and A-line skirts. *Yawn* Surely there has to be something else out there that would flatter my figure that isn’t a-line or empire waisted. He also says that I shouldn’t wear bell-bottoms (meh), bootcut (what! That’s the only kind I like!), or flare-leg jeans because they make me look short and squat. He suggests straight legs jeans/pants, but I look positively AWFUL in straight leg pants, and they hide one of my best features! There’s nothing sexy about being the same width all the way down to my shoes. šŸ˜Æ I don’t know…I disagree with pretty much everything he suggested for my body, though I agreed with most of the things he said I should avoid wearing. It mostly left me feeling like I should just wear sweatpants and a hoodie and not even bother with getting dressed, but I tend to overreact like that.

So the next book I picked up was The Body Shape Bible (BSB). Another quirky read, my husband was shocked to find the word “t!ts” (you mean women actually call them that?!) in there šŸ˜† and it was definitely entertaining. This book gives you more options to choose from as far as body shapes, but that makes it harder to fit yourself into one of the categories, IMO. I mean, I’d always figured I was what they refer to as an “apple” or something, but I think I was probably closest to what they referred to as a “Goblet”. I liked how the authors chose photos of real people (sometimes themselves even) that were good and some that were bad to give examples of what they were talking about. Usually it was pretty obvious why a certain outfit was a bad choice, and it makes you wonder why they left the house that way–I mean they are movie stars who have an entire group of people helping them get dressed and ready, how did NO ONE notice that maybe that particular dress wasn’t a good idea? Sorry, I’m rambling again. Anyway, the images used to portray the different shapes were of normal sized women wearing the same basic grey leotard thing that didn’t hide any bumps or bulges. There were little arrows pointing to the parts that were really relevant to determining the shape of the woman in question, with a description of what was being pointed to (i.e. long slim legs). Then the same model was photographed wearing an outfit that made her look questionable or downright bad. There was a list of no-no’s, and a list of things that would flatter ranging from shirts and skirts to shoes and jewelry. Overall, I liked the book. The writing style was the kind of thing you’d expect a girlfriend to say out on a shopping trip, while still being helpful. I loved how they used models that many of us could relate to. You see real life garments on a real life model, there’s a few more clothing options, and the back of the book has a list of stores to check out (only really relevant if you live in the UK area, but I can’t expect them to list stores for the whole world) as well as the brands on the different clothing items sorted by model.

I was excited to see a 3/4 length fitted coat with a wide belt as one of the options (look ma! No empire waist!), though I’d have been more happy to see it suggested to wear a double breasted one (since I’ve a bit of a double-breasted coat/jacket obsession). They suggested making shoes a focal point (yet another reason for me to purchase those plaid shoes) so that attention is drawn to the legs. There were also the typical A-line skirt and wrap/crossover tops, as well as suggestions for empire waisted garments, but at least there were other options too.


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