Last week I gave you an intro to body length proportions... you know, your up and down vertical proportions, not your pear/apple/banana horizontal body shape proportions. We split your body into two halves (top of head to leg break / leg break to bottom of your foot), and we discovered if you were long legged and short torso-ed, long torso-ed and short legged, or evenly balanced. Just knowing that information is a GAME CHANGER.
To tuck or not to tuck? I feel like a shrimp in this skirt. What gives? Should I cuff my jeans? I'm 5'8". Why are my pants always WAY too long?
All of these questions can (generally) be answered by knowing your basic body length proportions.
But you see, simple memorization of "to tuck or not to tuck" won't ALWAYS work because, let's face it, there are other influencing factors. Like, the "rules" for your horizontal body proportions may contradict the "rules" for your vertical body proportions. Or, you've got 48 shirts that you realize are cut too deep for you, but you've got to figure out a way to make them work because you've got 48 of them! (OY VEY!!) This is why you need to UNDERSTAND the "rules" so that you can APPLY and MANIPULATE them as necessary.
I've read all kinds of literature about body length proportions (my favorite is The Triumph of Individual Style) and quite frankly, it can get complicated and crazy-mathematical. So I've made it REALLY REALLY simple for you.
Basically, the great artistic masters of yester-year believed that the ideal human (adult) figure is 8 heads tall. Like this:
Well, not exactly like this. For one, my mouth is open, so that throws things off. And two, my body is NOT "ideal" so that right there disqualifies me as an artistic figure of exemplary proportions.
Here's how they (ie - the great artistic masters, and now - the clothing industry, doll makers and comic strip artists) break down WHAT exactly 8 head lengths SHOULD look like.
TOP HALF Head 1 - top of head to chin Head 2 - chin to mid-breast Head 3 - mid-breast to natural waist Head 4 - waist to leg break
BOTTOM HALF Head 5 & Head 6 - leg break to knee Head 7 & Head 8 - knee to bottom of foot
So, now it's time to check out the video, where I SHOW you HOW to measure YOUR body length proportions without having to crop your head off and use fancy editing software to see if your body is properly proportioned to your head x 8.
Be forewarned. My husband took the kids out for a romp along the river today, and I had about 1 hour to get dressed, film this video, and then figure out how in heck to get it from my phone to the blog. Although I would have liked to film myself 1768 times and carefully pick and choose the best version, I filmed once (ONCE!) and moved on to the technical piece, which I knew would give me trouble. (NOTE - my husband JUST pointed out that I said UMM way too many times. Wonderful. I promise I'll do better next time.)
Oh, and as is true to my character, I'm a chatter-box. If you want to hear me yammer, listen to all 4 minutes. If you want to get to the point, jump ahead to minute 2:00. (PUSH PLAY EVEN IF THE SCREEN IS BLACK. IT SHOULD STILL WORK.)
(Well, there you have it. My first ever video clip for my blog. It's not perfect, but I did it. YAY!!)
Now that you know where you're long and where you're short, you can work to shorten where you're long and lengthen where you're short. Here are a few of my tricks for my particular body length proportion measurements:
I'm long CHIN TO MID BREAST, which isn't a surprise because I have a very long neck and low boobies. I've got a whole lotta vertical space there that needs to be filled, which is precisely why I LOVE necklaces, scarves and shirts with ruffles around the neckline. I HEART volume!! Fortunately for me, this also happens to work with my horizontal measurements (narrow shoulders) so breaking up this long vertical space and adding more bulk is just what the stylist ordered.
I'm also long from WAIST TO LEG BREAK, which is why low rise pants never ever work on me. I've tried to wear them, but ONE, I get muffin top, and TWO, my butt shows when I bend over, which is a look I prefer to save for plumbers and teenagers. I've also got a good sized rump, so that makes pants feel shorter in the rise on me than they would on a gal with a flat bum. I've found that my most favorite jeans (HERE) are medium rise, and are cut lower in the front and higher in the back. And that for me is perfection.
And of course, since I have a proportionally long torso and short legs, I ALWAYS have my sleeves rolled up! I've said it once and I'll say it again, a pushed up sleeve will make your legs look longer. Every single time!
I can't possibly go through every single body iteration here, so here's what I'm gonna do for you. Leave a comment for me with your body length proportion questions, and I'll answer them the best I can from afar. I'm dishing this out for FREE folks, so start asking!! And tell your friends!
Hope this was helpful, and I'll see you next week!
PS. What did you think of the video piece? Helpful? Do it again? No way, never? Let me know!! xo