In my world, Juicy doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Very early in my marriage, the word Juicy meant bedazzled velour and matching sets and hoping-to-be-a-mom-soon-so-I-might-as-well-dress-like-one comfort. (What can I say? I’ve always been a trendsetter. Really? Oh. I had no idea you felt so strongly about velour. I promise I’m not wearing it anymore. I hope we can still be friends).
After years of Juicy and Couture going hand in hand, I spotted the first pair of pudgy baby cheeks belonging to my first pudgy(ish) baby, and after that, the word juicy forever came to mean my girls and their squeezable, smushable parts. Cheeks and bellies and toes all became juicy, and I love to tell them: “Who’s juicy and sweet and can’t be beat?”
They’re blessed to have such a wordsmith for a mom.
(Do you have a child who brings out your smushing instinct? Eva’s cheeks and her slightly round belly are just so juicy to me, and every time I see her, I want to smush her. Okay, almost every time. Except when she is whining. So about 4% of the time, then. Lola doesn’t have any smushy parts but I want to smush her anyway.)
Anyway, that was totally off topic. All of this to say that I am no longer trying to be juicy. I am not a fruit. Fruity, occasionally, but definitely not a fruit. And neither are you.
So let’s just put the whole apple-pear-asparagus body type thing to bed once and for all, shall we?
You are not an apple. Or a pear. Or an eggplant.
And neither am I. Sure, my belly fluctuates between not-so-flat and definitely-not flat, which, by certain standards, might classify me as an apple. Add to that the string bean legs I was teased about in grade school, and I have become a salad.
And not even a very good one. I need some blue cheese crumbles or something.
Helpful Hint: Does your stomach size fluctuate too? I have discovered a super-simple solution. Tunics! Tunics make it possible for me to eat chocolate. Problem solved. You’re so welcome.
And now, allow me to introduce you to a body type system that is pleasingly fruit-free: The Style Dial®.
Now that we’ve decided I’m no longer an apple and you’re no longer a pear or an eggplant or an artichoke, let’s get to the truth about body types. We like to complicate things and assign shapes and fruit and cutesy nicknames, but in reality, at the very basic level, you only need to answer 2 questions to discover your basic body type. And here’s a pretty picture to explain it all.
That’s it. Two questions. Sure, this handy dandy chart is an oversimplification of all of the beautiful possible shapes of womankind, but it’s a start. (Keep reading! The questions are coming!)
Allow me to elaborate.
According to the system I use, created by The Stylist Online, there are 3 basic body types: Style Dial® 1, 2 and 3. The Style Dial® recognizes the fact that there aren’t only 3 women in the world, and that’s why it’s shown on a dial. We will all fall in different places on the dial, based on our unique body shapes. In addition to the 3 main body types, there are also types that combine the characteristics of two types, such as a 1 (3) or a 2 (3). Confused? I can explain.
The chart below shows the 3 basic types, and a description of the characteristics found in each type. If 3 or more of the items for one body type describe you, then you may be onto something.
Question 1: Are Your Hips Curvy? Or, to put it differently, are your shoulders narrower than your hips or about the same?
If you have hips, a bum, or (as is often the case), both, you know it. No one has to, you know, point it out. Love them or not, they are there, and you have to address them. Or, more accurately, dress them. As the song says, your hips don’t lie. And in this case they point you to a Style Dial® 2 Body Type. No hips, or hips proportional to your shoulders? Head straight to question #2.
Question 2: Is Your Waist Straight or Defined?
The next big question refers to waist size. A defined waist is one that is 2″ (or more) smaller than the upper hip measurement. If the difference between your hips and your waist is less than 2″, you have a straighter, less defined waist.
A classic Style Dial® 2 has a defined waist. If your waist is straight, then you’re a 2(3).
If your body is straight, with no hips or waist definition, and you tend to gain weight all over or in your midsection, then you’re a Style Dial® 3.
If your body is proportional, with your hips and shoulders about even, and your waist is defined, then you’re a Style Dial® 1. Proportional hips and shoulders, but with less definition in the waist? Then you’re a Style Dial 1 (3).
One more note: It is possible, with weight fluctuation, to go between a Style Dial® 1 and a Style Dial® 3 body type, but if you’re a Style Dial® 2, you will always be a Style Dial® 2, because your curvy hips are based on your bone structure and are not dependent on weight.
Don’t worry! That’s what I’m here for! Join me over at the Style Confidence Club, where I’ll analyze your body type and color, teach you how to tame your closet, and generally take you through all of the steps I use with my clients.
Now will you forgive me for that velour tracksuit?
Nada Manley says
Hi Maggie! I know it can be a challenge to find the right shorts for your body. They aren’t easy for anyone. I too am short-waisted, and I understand that struggle. The key with a short waist and a SD1 is to keep the shorts sleek without all of the waist detail, bow belts, and pleating that is so prevalent right now. They should be sleek and simple. And since your legs are shorter, the shorts should be too. Show a bit more leg, and they will look longer. A mid-thigh length would be very flattering. Also go up one size to avoid them riding up in the middle. I hope that was helpful and I am so glad you are enjoying the videos. Let me know if you have any questions!
This is SO helpful. I haven’t worn shorts in more than 20 years because I can’t seem to find anything that looks right on me.
Can you speak to how being short-waisted vs. long-waisted might play into this? By your system I’m a 1, but I have a very short waist, very long waist-to-hip, and stumpy li’l legs (I’m 5’6″ and my inseam is 29″). I’m also plus size (45-40-49), which adds extra complication to my shopping. And shorts are the absolute most terrifying part of a wardrobe, to me!
Thank you so much for the great guidance you’ve got here!!
Nada Manley says
Hi Jennifer! LOL! I love this question. So you would be a Style Dial 3 still, from your description, so I would recommend a wider leg or palazzo style pant or jean, and shorts with some volume at the hem (and no detail on the bum). Vertical necklines like V-necks or button-down shirts will also be great on you!
Nada Manley says
Hi Kathryn! You would still be a Style Dial 3 because the same silhouettes are going to flatter you. Broader shoulders than hips is pretty much always a Style Dial 3.
Nada Manley says
Hi Christina! So many women would envy your body type, but I know that dressing around a large bust and flattering it can be a challenge. First of all, the SD1 rules for flattery, with vertical necklines, is going to work very well for you as long as the V-neck isn’t too deep so that it shows too much. Having that neckline really minimizes the bust. Avoid high necklines and turtlenecks and any bulk in that area. Also avoid anything too tight, which will overemphasize the bust. Having a full or structured skirt or pants on the bottom can really balance out the top. Keep all detail and embellishments on the lower half of your body, including fun pockets, trims, etc. An A-line skirt or wide leg pant would beautifully balance your shape. I hope that helped. I’d love to share specific examples in the FB group!
I am a Style Dial 1, with incredibly slim legs and hips, a defined waist, but a very large bust. While I wear a 4 on bottom, I wear a 10 or 12 on top to accommodate. I’m also nearly 50 and don’t want to particularly show off this aspect. Any suggestions?
Jennifer Johanning says
Wow, something that finally that is more easy to understand! I’m 43,,somewhat athletic (ex-gymnast) with a straight waist per your descriptor, 5’3 (and 1/2 to 3/4) ? My shoulders are slightly broader than my hips. BUT, I have an arse lol! So, I want to dress my age, but not frumpy, also dont wanna try and look like I’m 20! What style shirt/short/jean would you reccomend? Help!
Mid-life almost crises!
So what happens when you have broader shoulders than hips (and minimal butt) but still have a defined waist? Style Dial 3 (1)?
Nada Manley says
Hi Frannie! I am so sorry about the delay. Don’t know how I missed this. Here are some tips for you:
In dresses and tops, structure through the body that helps define the waistline, body skimming (not hugging)
Stick with plunge or vertical necklines in dresses.
No oversized or boxy cuts of anything
Most sheath dresses won’t work too well, and anything too straight
For formal wear, column gowns with a defined waistline are your go to.
Tops that hit either above or below the widest part of your thigh work wonderfully.
Vertical necklines are key!
Nothing too straight, too fitted, or too shapeless.
Lower/mid rise waistlines work best in trousers, but in skinny jeans, a higher waistline is best to smooth everything out.
Straight legs are best, but you can also do true boot cut.
No tapered legs
Pencil skirts work only if they have a very high waist and my top skims the waistline.
Just nice body skimming silhouettes with an A-line hemline work best.
Try to create long lines with your silhouettes, and attempt to avoid looks that chop you up.
Spanx are every woman’s friend. 🙂
I am a Style Dial 1 (hips/shoulders proportional, defined waist), but I have heavy thighs. I also have a long waist.