Let’s be honest, bodies change over the years, especially women’s bodies. Not just as we grow from a child to an adult, but through many other changes – puberty, pregnancy and menopause probably being the major ones, along with weight fluctuations due to diet or ill health.
When I was training to become an image consultant, our body shape training suggested that our shape doesn’t change, but what is meant by this is that our bone structure doesn’t change. Basically, the position of our hip bone (high, low or balanced) indicates whether we are likely to have a more curvy or straight torso. So, if you have a curvy shape with waist emphasis (low hip), you will always have this, although it is likely that your waist will thicken when you reach menopause or put on a significant amount of weight. Equally, if you have quite a straight, boyish shape, with little or no waist emphasis (balanced or high hip), you are not going to somehow gain a smaller waist at any point, unless you go in for corsetry.
There is, of course, a lot more to consider than the height of our hips as we are all unique, and so many factors can have an impact on our individual body shape over our lives, such as muscle mass, fat distribution and overall body composition.
What most women I see struggle with is the fact that their bodies have gone through so many changes over time, leaving them unsure of how to choose flattering clothes for the body they see in the mirror now. Also, even though we are through the pandemic, many can still find it difficult to move away from the casual clothing so many of us lived in during that time.
Illusion and disguise
Part of my job is to help my clients accept the body they have right now, which can be the really tricky part. Most women I see focus entirely on what they consider to be their problem areas and completely overlook the positives. I have no magic wand I can wave to return the slim waist or flat tummy to my clients, but by using some clever techniques of illusion and disguise, I can certainly show them how to look slimmer, taller, more youthful and much more.
Simple tips such as avoiding excess fabric or embellishments in areas you want to disguise and diverting the eye to another area of the body can be really helpful.
Choosing flattering colours
Along with this, wearing flattering colours can provide many positive benefits, especially when worn close to the face, such as a clearer, healthier-looking complexion, diminished fine lines, enhanced eye colour etc., helping to boost confidence.
Working out which colours make us look and feel good and which add shadows to our face, or make our complexion look dull, can be truly transformational.
A professional colour analysis consultation, to really understand your most flattering shades and how to combine them is an excellent investment and one of my most popular sessions.
It’s not just our bodies that change over the years. Life experiences can change us as a person and this can have a big impact on our personal style choices. Our personal style is unique to each individual and by exploring this and dressing in a way that expresses our personality, it’s another avenue to increasing our confidence and self-esteem.
If this is something you haven’t come across before, a good way to start to investigate it is to use Pinterest, Instagram, or your favourite magazines to look for styles that inspire you, just as you might do when decorating your home. Think about what you are drawn to when buying something new to wear. It might be that you love stripes or floral prints, love to add to your shoe or handbag collection, or prefer to keep to simple, casual styles.
The styles you choose now could be completely removed from those you chose in your twenties, or, they could be similar, with a few subtle changes, but by acknowledging and embracing your style choices, you can start to feel more comfortable in your own skin, allowing personal style to be a reflection of self-love, confidence, and acceptance.
A quote I use quite a lot, and which I believe we should all remember is the following: “Everybody is different but every BODY is beautiful”.
Accepting changes in our body shape can be truly empowering, leading to a more positive mindset which can help us in all areas of our lives.
If this strikes a chord with you and you would like to find out more about working with me, I’d love to have a chat with you. Why not check out my website, find me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram or book a free discovery call with me?