Do your parts make up the classic female figure? You know, the one with the defined waist and matching bust and hips, ye olde 36-24-36 Marilyn Monroe ideal, give or take a few inches (or a few dozen inches).
Mine don’t. Simply put, my parts don’t match. So if you’re like me, finding a good fit is possible, but it’s gonna take some superb investigation skills to find clothes that you love and clothes that fit.
Jabba the Gut
I joke a lot about Jabba the Gut. When it comes to dressing, though, Jabba is no joke. My stomach muscles were surgically removed due to MRSA. I am lucky to be alive. I realize that. But, sadly, I tend to look about 16 months pregnant without the Spanx I wear almost 24/7. Pants are a particular nightmare. I get them on my legs and up to my hips, yank up the back over my (flat) butt and then Jabba does his best Gandalf imitation, screaming YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!! Seriously.
The Body Shapes
According to the fashion industry, female bodies come in basically four shapes: apple, pear, hourglass (the lucky ones), and rectangle. I was always told I was an apple. Found out later I was more of a larger rectangle. Never had much of a defined waist, even before Jabba came on the scene. The hourglass is the most desirable female figure but the pear shape is the most common. A lot of the plus-size models that are super popular right now are simply hourglass gals blown up a bit from the standard size. All shapes have fit problems, even the desired hourglass who may not want to look so. . . . well. . . .hourglassy!
Pear shapes have well-defined upper halves and usually smaller waists, wide hips, a bigger butt and meaty thighs. Making both halves look good at the same time is the challenge.
Apples (sounds like a fruit salad, eh?) need to define a shape. I used to joke. . . . hey, round IS a shape! Yes, it is and one that’s very hard to dress.
Rectangles are kind of squished in apples, more what society calls a “boyish figure” no matter what size. As with apples, the trick is to create a more defined shape.
Lest We Forget Boobs
Boobs are desirable, right? Well, men and Hollywood seem to think so, but gals who are “well-endowed by their Creator” have fit problems, too, especially when your girls are not in proportion to the rest of your body. A really good bra is a must, preferably one that supports, doesn’t gap in front and doesn’t dig into your shoulders. Although a small woman, my mother had very large breasts and she had permanent strap digs in her shoulders until she passed from this earth.
Fitting Your Flaws
When your parts don’t match, you have to learn what works for you and what doesn’t. What you like may have to take a back seat. Comfort may go by the wayside, too.
After many years of searching, I have found one or two styles of dresses I like and think look okay on me. One major defeat, however, is the dreaded elastic waist pants. Honestly? I hate them. Realistically? Not much choice. Jabba snickers. I found the best fitting pair of jeans for me have a lot of stretch. My arthritic fingers can’t do the three buttons at the top so I just yank them up and down, like they had an elastic waist. These jeans fit me about as well as anything does. Moral of the story: You win some, you lose some.
So What’s A Girl To Do?
Search, try on, search, try on. . . lather, rinse, repeat. See what you like and what you think looks good on you. Get an opinion from someone you whose opinion you truly value. Trust me when I tell you we are not always our own best advocates. When you find a brand you love and fits well, buy it up. And then next time you go to church, light candles with a blow torch and pray that they don’t discontinue the line.
Are you the classic hourglass (LUCKY YOU!!!) or an apple, pear or rectangle? What do you do to create a shape you like better, if anything? Do you have tips for your sisters out there struggling with parts that don’t match? Please leave a comment and help us out. I’m always on the lookout for a better fit.
As far as a perfect fit goes, though, I’m afraid it’s a bit like the X-Files. . . . the truth is out there. Problem is. . . Scully and Mulder haven’t found it yet and neither have most of us. 🙂
See ya next time!