DIY, How I Wore It, Wardrobe

The Amazing A-Line Shape

Hey There☺,

This week’s wardrobe wonder is the A-line sillouhette. It’s the one shape of dress, skirt, or coat that can work for all 6 body shapes.

If helps to give the illusion of curves for the straighter body shapes and nicely accommodates the hips of the curvier body shapes.

Style Details & History

Per Wikipedia, an A- line shape is one that is fitted to the upper hip by means of seams and darts.

Although the term was first coined by Christian Dior in 1955 as the label for his spring collection that year, the shape was not the shape that we understand the term to mean today.

Dior’s A-shape was a fingertip-length flared jacket worn over a dress with a full pleated skirt.

1950’s Dior silhouettes inspired by the shapes of letters. Includes the A-Shape. The Fashion Encyclopedia

In spring of 1958 Dior’s successor Yves Saint Laurent introduced the A-shape that we recognize to be an A-line today with his “Trapeze Line” which featured dresses flaring out dramatically from a fitted shoulder line.

Yves St Laurant – 1958 trapeze dress

A-line clothes remained popular in the 60’s and 70’s but disappeared in the 80’s.

By the late 90’s and early 2000’s they saw a revival.

Body Shapes Styling Ideas

As previously mentioned, this shape works well for all 6 body shapes. Length is best worn at or above the knee, below the calves, and maxi.

For oval body shapes dresses are best fitted to right below the bust. Skirts are best with a lower rise. Rise is the distance between your waist and crotch.

For a body shapes refresher click here.

My A-line Looks

I think this shape definitely flatters my “curvy” rectangle shape and it makes fitting my curvier bottom a lot easier.

My favorite length to wear is definitely midi or maxi. Check out a few of my A-line shaped pieces below.

DIY

The Body Shapes Round Up

Hey Guys,
Hopefully you are all doing okay during these challenging times. I don’t want to dwell on what’s going on in the world right now because I want this post to be a respite for me and for anyone who is taking the time to read it.

I am very excited to finally bring you this post. It has been a long time coming. The reason it’s taken me some time to get it posted is because I was looking for someone to create custom illustrations to go along with this post. Both my husband and daughter agreed to create them for me, but that just never happened. And really, I am not mad at either of them because fashion illustration really isn’t their thing and besides my husband is the BIGGEST supporter of my Blog in so many other ways.
Eventually I found a fashion illustrator on the web and he did a fantastic job of bringing my visions to life.

I mentioned in previous posts that I was working on some personal projects and taking a few classes. WELLLLLLL, I’ve been studying to become a Personal Stylist. A large part of my training was learning body shapes and how to dress them. For me personally, this has always been a confusing concept because there is a whole lot of conflicting information out there and there doesn’t really seem to be a universal standard to go by. I’ve seen the number of different body shapes range anywhere from 4 up to 12. And even when the sources agree on number, the categories of shapes aren’t always the same.

The shapes that I will be referencing today will be the shapes that I learned and that I will talk about here on the blog. When I recommend a certain style for a particular body shape, I want to make sure that you guys know what I mean. You may find that you don’t perfectly fit into just one category, but that’s okay because I don’t. Mixed body shapes and variations do exist and I will do my best to show you guys how to work around that.

Without further ado, let’s start talking body shapes.
The Body Shapes

First things first. Let’s start out by defining exactly what your body shape is. It’s the front facing silhouette of your body that is formed when you trace an outline around your body that includes both of your shoulders, your waist, and your hips. The width of these three body parts in relation to one another will mainly be used to determine your body shape.

Tip: It is best not to try and determine your body shape based on the circumference of your bust, waist and hips because you can have a straight shape with a protruding bust or bum that causes you to measure like an hourglass. You should measure from left to right at the shoulder line, waistline, and hip line.

Apple

Description – When measuring from left to right, your shoulders and upper arms will be broader your waistline and hip line. Your shoulders are broad and rounded. You have a large bust and volume in the stomach. Your waist can be defined or undefined.

Celebrity Example: Jill Scott

Inverted Triangle

Description – When measuring from left to right your shoulders are more prominent/wider than your waistline and hip line. There is often little to no waist definition. Also referred to as strawberry, Y shape, or V Shape.

Variations

  • Cornet – Broad shoulders, small bust, undefined waist, slim hips
  • Goblet – Broad shoulders, large bust undefined waist, slim hips

Celebrity Example: Naomi Campbell

Rectangle

Description – When measuring from left to right your shoulders, hips, and waistline are roughly the same width but you have little to no waist definition. Also referred to as brick, H shape, or straight shape.

Variations

  • Column – you are the lean version with narrow hips and shoulders. You have longer legs and a slight waist.
  • Lollipop – you have large volume in the bust, longer legs, and a slight waist.

Celebrity Example: Gwyneth Paltrow

Hourglass

Description – When measuring from left to right, your shoulders and hips are roughly the same width but your waistline will be smaller. For the most part, there should be a noticeable curve from bust line to the waistline and from the waistline to hip line.

Variations:

  • 8 shape – Your hips have a shelf like appearance. The widest point of your hips is at your upper hip line. You have a high waist (short waist).
  • cello – plus size hourglass
  • vase – narrower bust line than standard hourglass shape. Not as much definition between the bust and waist.
  • top heavy – bust is slightly larger than hips
  • bottom heavy – hip are slightly wider than bust line.

Celebrity Example: Christina Hendricks

Triangle

Description – When measuring left to right your shoulders and waistline are balanced (roughly the same width) but your hip line is wider. You will usually have a small bust, longer waistline and shorter heavier legs. You also have a flat stomach. Also referred to as pear body shape.

Variations

  • Skittle – average size bust, big thighs
  • Bell – small shoulders, small bust, small waist, short waist, big thighs, big bottom

Celebrity Example: Jennifer Love Hewitt

Oval

Description – When measuring left to right your shoulders and hip line are balanced (roughly the same width) but your waistline is wider. Plus size ovals can have imbalanced hips.

Variations

  • Imbalanced Hips – Hips can be slightly wider than shoulders. When plus sized ovals have imbalanced hips, Trinny & Susannah refer to them as apples in their book The Body Shape Bible.

Celebrity Example: Kathy Bates