The Body Shape Compendium addresses all those questions that you may have about body shape, and why it is worth knowing about body shape for a crossdresser or transgender woman. This section is being continually updated so check back occasionally for new information.
What does knowing your body shape really tell you?
Given the number of magazine articles written on the subject, it’s obviously something that is considered to be an important factor in the whole “finding flattering clothing” issue that many women face and conversely, us too, if your appearance is important to you. Sister House is all about style for the TG woman and this is an important component to creating that desirable feminine image. Clothes doth make the person for it’s how we are judged on first impressions. Many of our other faults as male bodies in female clothing can be overcome with the judicious use of the right garments worn in the right way.
Body shape is your outline, from the front (pretty much) it’s your silhouette. We determine your shape based on the differences between shoulders (not bust), waist and hips/upper thigh. It does not take into consideration your upper arms, your knees or calves, or your body proportions, whether you are petite or tall, the roundness or flatness of your bottom or all the other body variations.
Here are some important body shape facts as we learn why clothes may fit you, but they may not flatter you. Why? because they were designed for models with an hourglass shape and not yours. Only 15% of women claim to have that neat hourglass shape.
And yes, it is important, but no, it’s not everything. Personality can be more important than body shape when choosing outfits and garments. But now I’m going to share with you what knowing your body shape will tell you and how you can use some of my magicians toolbox of rules, to use these illusions to flatter your figure.
Our clothing choices reflect and affect us. We know this. When we gradually learn to use our clothing lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns to reflect or communicate our personality traits, our values, interests, roles, and goals, that’s image from the inside out. When we create an attractive image on the outside and experience a positive response from others, that’s a positive effect of image from the outside in.
Take a good look at the difference in the attention going to the body of this model wearing a form fitting dress with basic fitting ease, on the left, as compared to a looser-fitting dress with added fashion ease, on the right. With a little more fitting or fashion styling ease, the clothing silhouette becomes dominant and the body becomes subordinate. You not only look slimmer, but you feel slimmer, more confident, and able to forget about the shape of your body.
What you will find here
As noted above, you will learn about clothing lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns and how your choices effect the clothes you buy and wear. We’ll look closely at the body shapes (and they go by different names sometimes) and then we’ll show you what clothes look best on those body shapes and why.. Each of these choices is a broad subject until itself, so follow the links for a more comprehensive discussion of each subject.
Clothing lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns
Lines Shapes Colors Textures Patterns
Determining your body shape
So let’s have a look at 5 basic female body shapes.
There are several ways to define your body shape. The most basic way to do it is to determine if you are either a
- Inverted triangle
- Pear (also called triangle or spoon)
- Rectangle (also called ruler, banana or straight)
- Apple (also called oval or cone)
You can split these main categories in sub categories to further customize your body shape, but let’s keep it simple for now.
How do you find out which one you are?
Characteristics of the hourglass:
- Well defined (narrow) waist
- Hip and bust tend to be almost the same and quite big
Characteristics of the inverted rectangle are:
- Shoulders are wider than the hip
- Bust tends to be proportionally large
- Hips are small
Characteristics of the rectangle are:
- No defined waist
- The hips tend to have a similar width as the shoulders
- You do not have a lot of curves
- Your bust tends to be small or average
Characteristics of the pear:
- The hips are wider than the shoulder
- Fat tends to accumulated on the hips and buttocks
Characteristics of the apple
- No defined waist
- Weight tends to form on the stomach
- Average bust size
Still not sure, then check this body shape calculator.
Now click on the links above the picture for a detailed explanation of how to dress for that body shape.
Determining and dressing your vertical body type
Understanding and dressing for your vertical body could be significant for crossdressers and all those with a male body structure as it deals with the proportions of the body and how being short-waisted or long-waisted effects your choice of clothes.
Have a look at the image below. The body is divided into four sections:
- The top of the head to the nipple line (with bra on).
- The nipple line to the hip line (fullest part of the bottom).
- The hipline to the center of the kneecap.
- The kneecap to the floor.
Almost everyone has different proportions and women can be placed in one of three main categories: the balanced body, long leg-short torso, or short torso-long leg. A detailed explanation with drawings is here.
Practically speaking however, one of the easiest ways to dress your body is to find a celebrity with your body shape and follow her examples. Justine Leconte is my go-to fashion designer and in this video she gives us examples of celebrities with your body shape. Once you know that, you can Google on the celebrity, or better yet, go to Pinterest (largest search engine next to Google) for the many examples of that celebrity’s style. Lastly, create a Lookbook of your celebrity’s styles and use it when shopping. Go to the original article where the pic is embedded and often you will find the source where you can buy the product.