Revamp Your Image – Understanding Your Figure and Proportions

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 24,809
    Fashion stylist Natalie Jobity discusses how to understand your figure and proportions in order to revamp your image.

    Natalie Jobity

    As President of Élan Image Management, Natalie Jobity coaches women on how best to harness their own unique flair and lifestyle needs into a personal presence that is memorable, powerful and in alignment with their core values and beliefs. Natalie is certified by the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). She has also received styling and image training from the Image Resource Center of NY, an internationally recognizable training group in the image consulting field. Natalie specializes in: •helping clients discover their personal style •coaching and mentoring on effective presence and ‘personal branding’ •styling clients for special events •accompanying clients on personal shopping expeditions •assisting clients in using color and accessories for impact and expression •conducting wardrobe audits •styling models for photo shoots or fashion shows She conducts workshops and seminars on creating ‘purposeful presence’ and works with local designers as a stylist for their fashion shows. She is a published writer and a member of the AICI, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), Ladies Who Launch, NAFE, DC Fashionista’s meetup group and Howard County Chamber of Commerce. She writes a monthly newsletter on image, presence, personal branding and fashion, writes a monthly column for ‘Passionate for Life’ ezine and has an active blog on her website Natalie’s formal education includes a B.S. in Accounting and Economics, a Masters in Finance and an MBA in Marketing. Personally, Natalie has always loved clothing and fashion and has had many evolutions in her own image. She has an intuitive sense when it comes to selecting color, fabric and cut to enhance different body shapes and colorings and how to harness people’s essence into their outward appearance. As a 6 foot tall woman, Natalie has first hand knowledge of how to address the needs of clients with very special considerations and how to make their image work for them in new and creative ways.

    Hi, my name is Natalie Jobity, and I am President of Elan Image Management, an image consulting company and styling company. We are talking today about the six steps to revamp your image. The first thing to understand about your body and it's shape is really embracing it. Everyone has a unique shape, unique proportions, it is important to embrace your shape, accept it, and wear the clothing that really compliments and flatters it. Now, I am going to show you, using Catherine again as my model, what kind of shape you have, and from that some tools to figure out how to enhance or camouflage your shape. So, what I am going to do right now is actually -- not even measure Catherine, but pretty much use a rule of thumb in determining figure, which is taking a plum line from the shoulder to the hip. Now, if the shoulder and the hip are of the same width, it means that person is actually an ideal shape, and that there is a define waist, it means that their shape is ideal. If, for instance, the shoulder is wider than the hip, as I will show in a minute, it means that person has a shape that's called an inverted triangle. If the hips are wider than the shoulders it means the person has what's called a triangular shape. Even though each of those shapes, there are different things to do to make them look more balanced and look more proportioned, but I will show you for Catherine's body, what her shape is. I'm going to take a plum line again from the shoulders, her shoulders to her hipline and just see what happens. This is the plum line, and you can see she has a defined waist, and pretty much her shoulders and her hips are pretty balanced. Her hips are sticking out a little, tiny bit much, but I wouldn't call her a triangle, because it's really so slight, it's not a big deal. Looking at the rest of her I can tell that she is not an actual traditional triangular shape. So, for all intent and purposes, Catherine is an ideal shape. She is perfectly proportionate in terms of her shoulders and her hips, and she defiantly has a defined waist. So, for instance, if Catherine shoulders were wider than her hips, so let's say this part -- if we did this exercise and this part ended up being out here, you can see that's a whole inverted triangular shape. What that means is that an individual with that kind of figure wants to create more volume and more width in their lower half, by the hips, because to balance out their wide shoulders. So, there will be things like wearing fuller skirts, wearing pants with cutaway, with pleats, anything to give them volume here, would have a person with an inverted triangular shape be more balanced. If the reverse was true, if Catherine's shoulders were inwards more and her hips were outward, she would be a triangular shape. With a triangular shape you are trying to balance out the shoulders to the hips. The quickest way to do that is to wear shoulder pads, but there are others ways as well. You could also do things such as making sure that you wear dock up bottoms, making sure that you wear lapels to broaden the shoulder line or bottle necks, anything that would give the illusion of a wider shoulder, the person with a triangular shape, which looks like this, that's what they need to do. So, for Catherine, she doesn't have any issues, she is fine, so she is good there. The next thing we want to do though is look at Catherines proportions, and I'm going to go through this very quickly, not in detail here, but to give you a sense of how proportion can configure into how clothes fits you, and how to pick clothes that better enhance your figure. So, the first thing I want to do is look at her torso area, and determine whether her torso is short or long-waisted. How do I do that? There is a theory, a principle to be learned with torso in image consulting school, it's called the Eight Heads, Essentially what it means is that each part of your body is all equivalent to eight heads. Starting with your head, your head length determines the rest of your body's proportions. In Catherine's case, her head length is eight inches, it's eight inches. In the principle of eight heads, her torso if she was ideal will be exactly 16, two head lengths, 16 inches, her rise, which is the point from her waist to her crotch area will be one head length, and her upper leg will be two head lengths, and her lower leg, knee to the ground, will be two head lengths. So, there we just talk about the torso, and the rise area for this video. So, I'm going to look at her torso to see if she is short or long in her torso. Again, her head length is eight inches, and I'm just measuring up to her waist. Her waist is -- looking at where it comes in, is about here, it's about fifteen-and-a-half inches, so Catherine for all intents and purposes is pretty balanced in her torso area; she is neither long nor short. If she were short-torsoed, she would want to do things to create length and elongated torso, like wearing longer necklaces, or wearing things that have vertical line, or wearing her shirts outside, or longer than her waist. If she was longer-torsoed then she would want to do the opposite of that, she would want to wear her pant higher up or wear things or use the actual length in a torso to take advantage of the wide waisted belts that are very in right now. All those things can help camouflage a longer torso, but that's not her issue. The rise part is the part from her waist to her crotch, and that is about nine-and-a-half inches. So, for Catherine, she has a slightly longer rise, because in the eight head theory we would say, it should be eight inches for Catherine, so it's an inch-and-a-half longer. All that means is that for Catherine, she is actually doing the right thing right now, she is wearing low-rise jeans. The best way to take care of a long rise is to wear your pants lower, because then you want to cut some of that length off in the rise. So, she is doing that already. Another thing to do is to actually wear your tops longer as she is doing. So, you are reducing the length of the rise by a longer top and also by a lower bottom. So, that's exactly the way you would take care of a long rise. If her rise was short, she would do the opposite, she would wear tops higher up and she would actually probably want to tuck some things in to make the illusion of a longer rise, that's a separate issue. That's not her problem though. So, that's pretty much it. We have talked about a couple of ways to look at your figure and your proportion, and how to address those issues. The next step we are going to go on to now is how to make sure you have an effective professional presence when revamping your image.