Young black woman jumping wearing a colorful dress isolated on a white background
Young black woman jumping wearing a colorful dress isolated on a white background

How many times have you been to a mall to buy an outfit, on first sight it looks so gorgeous that it becomes a must have. You pick from the rack a size 14 and proceed to pay. If you are like me, I don’t always like the idea of having to try on clothes because I feel I’m quite familiar with my size. Well like many women; I have fallen victim of buying an outfit that just did not fit well when I eventually tried it on at home.

If you are lucky and you are within a proximal distance you can easily return and exchange for a better size. However if you make the mistake of travelling out of the country with those items, there is no way you will be able to return them. You then end up giving the clothes out or go through the whole adventure of getting the outfit adjusted to your correct size, that’s if it is not altogether too small . We all have our stories to tell; and this goes to show that with clothing you cannot be too perfect. It all depends on the designer, the locality of your purchase and the measuring standards used to determine size dimension. For me a French cut comes up much smaller; an Asian cut comes up quite tiny, while an American cut is always bigger and the British cut usually is the best fit.
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Your body can look good in almost anything, it is important that you shop for the body you have now and not the body you used to have, want to have or working towards having. The size and fit are key to your looking good. Your unique body includes all your features, starting from your face, your eyebrows, eyes, nose, cheeks, lips and jawline. If you take a long look in the mirror, you will have either a curved or an angular shaped face, if you are lucky you have a combination of both. It would interest you to know that this usually has an impact on the design, style and features of your clothing that will best fit your profile. You need to wear outfits and clothing pieces that emphasize all your unique features then combine that with impactful colours. For instance if you are curved facially, the best look would be to wear clothing items that are slightly more rounded like round toe shoes, round shaped jewellery, round neck collar , round glass frames and rounded handbag. Many women are not familiar with their body shape so buy clothing just because it looks nice. The clothes end up looking too tight, too loose or not proportional. To enjoy your clothes accentuate your body features in the right places. If you have not thought about it before engage the services of an image consultant or good fashion designer to take correct measurements for you from your bust, waist and hips.


1. Identify the size of your waist first, if it is a small, play it up with a belt. If it is heavy avoid any detail around your waist.

2. Master your bust size and buy the right undergarments. If you are light on top, fitted tops and jackets will look good. If you are heavier on top, wear darker colours to look proportioned. Draw attention away from you bust emphasizing more on your waist or the lower part of your body.

3. Your full shape is completed by your hip size. If you are heavier on hips, wear an A line skirt that flows freely around you, avoid tight skirts that will overemphasize your shape. If you are smaller on the hip, wear skirts and trousers that and are not baggy. Wear a polished look always.

4. Don’t overlook your full body proportion; you may have long legs and a short torso or long torso and short legs. Proportion your look by wearing nice colours, pattern and designs that compliment your clothing with nice accessories.

5. If you are short, to give yourself some element of elegance, wear shoes that have a heel at least 1-3 inches. This will help your strides and posture and create the much needed presence. If you are tall don’t shy away from heels but wear in moderation. Flat shoes will affect your walk, body positioning and posture; remember to glide with grace always.
Whether your body shape is H and rectangular, V wider at the top, A wider at the bottom, X the desired figure eight or O fully rounded you are what you are , learn to make the most of it. Keep your body fit and healthy; eat regular meals with controlled portions. Exercise is must to keep your brain active and your energy levels high. Your body is your temple, handle with great care. Good luck all!

Ship Shape By Janet Adetu
JSK Etiquette & Image Training

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