Style Me Monday: How to figure out your body shape ? (and other things I learned from Jeannie Mai)

This summer I had the great pleasure of attending BlogHer12 in NYC and met Celebrity Stylist Jeannie Mai at the Windows Style Luncheon at the Microsoft New York Offices. During the Spreecast there was a pause during which we had the opportunity to ask questions directly to Jeannie! She was super sweet, friendly, and fabulous through the whole thing so I bucked up my courage and asked a question. My question was simple..."I can identify other peoples body shape, and how to dress them but I can never figure out my shape and the best way to dress it. Also, when determining a body shape, do you include your shoulders or just bust, waist, and hips?"I was thrilled to hear the echo of others agreeing about how hard that can be to figure out but Jeannie had an idea all ready for me. There are two different ways to do this - one on the computer and one by hand. Have someone take a photo of you straight on (make sure you're not wearing anything too loose or too tight like shapewear that would change your body shape). Then using a marker on the printed photo or a paint brush on the computer and outline your shape. If you're like me and are too critical to look at the image when you can still see it's you, colour in the shape on the computer or cut out the shape and flip it over to the white back if using a physical photo so that you can clearly see the shape of your body. (And yes, do include your shoulders as they balance our hips.)

Now that you can see your shape you can put it into the usual categories - hourglass, inverted triangle, triangle (pear), and column - but we're not done yet. It's not just shape that matters, you also have to know, what is your favorite feature of yourself? Mine is that I always have a noticeable waist no matter what size I'm wearing. Your might be your long legs, ample bosom, shapely arms, beautiful smile, defined collar bones, or something else completely unique to you. Whatever it is, name it, embrace it, and love it!

You now have all the tools you need to start dressing your best for your shape. the key thing to remember is balance. At the end of the day we are all finding the best way to balance our shoulders and chest with our hips while creating a great defined waist in between.In my case, I'm somewhere between a triangle and an hourglass. My shoulders and hips more or less balance out (though my hips are still a touch bigger visually) but I do have a noticable waist line (though it's a bit mor padded than I'd like to see it). Knowing that I love to show off my waist (and make it look as tiny as possible) I look for a few things in an ideal outfit

1. Something fitted through the hips and rear but flows down straight from the widest part of my hips 2. Something with a clearly defined  higher waist by way of an empire waist, mid to high rise bottom, or a tie, bow, rouching, wrap or belt detail hitting the smallest part of my midsection 3. A top that either shows off some bare shoulder or adds some volume with pintucks at the shoulders, capsleeves or flutter sleeves.

Hear are a few of my favourite outfits for my body type:

Has this helped you? Share it with anyone who might enjoy it... Still a little lost? Let me know where you're stuck or your body shape & favourite features and I'll do my best to help you!


Style Me Monday: Skinny Jeans

Skinny Jeans have taken over the world! From the fashionistas in hollywood, to the moms and kids on the school playground - we are surrounded daily by every variation of the Skinny Jean you can think of. From dark to light, classic blue to bright bold colours, from skinny straights to skin tight jeggings, there is a style for everyone. Yes, that's right everyone! Even me (as much as I've pushed against it).
My current faves are the coloured jeans and classic dark skinnies. To demonstrate their versatility I've put together a few great outfits to share!

Outfit 1: I love this look for these last days of warmth in the early fall. I've paired the classic dark skinny jeans with a simple white top that cinchs in at the waist (smallest part) and has a bit more volume all over to balance out the figure. I love these grey suede boots! They're a great fall staple that can be dressed up or down a pull on right over the skinny jeans while keeping you comfy with a minimal wedge heel. For accessories, add the straw fedora you picked up for the beach, a big bright bag (I love the punch of the red on the softer palette), and a great soft scarf in a neutral or pastel colour. This would be the kind of outfit I'd throw on for grocery shopping, running errands, a casual coffee date, or a play date at the park with my daughter.

Outfit 2: I love this as a great option for dressing up at night. You could hit the town with the girls for some dancing, or settle down to a date night in your favourite restaurant looking fabulous. I've paired these great skinnies with a jewel toned silk top (satin or a fabric with a great sheen would also work here). I love the rich colour and the luxurious feel of the silk! To keep the outfit simple and streamlined stick to nutral tones in the accessories but don't be afraid to add a little sparkle for pizzaz.
Outfit 3: In the top two outfits we looked at a casual outfit with a boho feel and a more glamorous outfit for night but now I want to offer an option with a little more edge. For you ladies who like the idea of a rocker chic style, I designed this outfit for you and me. To me a great pair of black leather heeled boots is the first step to giving these dark skinny jeans a bit more edge. The top allows for something comfortable while showing a little skin through the mesh panels at the shoulder. I love a great blazer, or a great leather motorcycle jacket, so why not take the best of both worlds? The richness of leather, the motorcycle style collar, the fitted style, and button closure all work together on this great white number, while the white pops in contrast to the dark jeans and boots. Again, I've added that large red structured bag. The shape and colour work with the outfit for the added wow factor!
Which of these outfits would you be most likely to wear? Why? Tell me all about your Skinny Jean Style in the comments below!