THE BLOG

Is Shopping a Nightmare for You?

19/03/2013 13:38 GMT | Updated 18/05/2013 10:12 BST

Have you ever left home with your credit card ready and completely confident that you're going to find new awesome clothes for your wardrobe... and after several hours in multiple retail stores and trying on lots and lots of pieces, you didn't buy anything?

Trust me. I feel your pain. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to buy - and having money to do so - new clothes and finding out that whether you can't find your size or they simply look hideous on your body. You end up thinking: "what's wrong with my body?"

Eventually, you get the idea that the problem is you: your body and your size. Well ladies, I'd like to assure you that the problem isn't you, nor your shape or your size. The problem is that clothes are not designed to fit specific body shapes... they are designed to fit common "targets", like gender, age or style and designers end up thinking of women, not like real women, but merely targets.

Luckily, there is a wonderful thing called fashion styling that helps real women get help for their fashion dilemmas. Unfortunately, these services cost some money and for those who are struggling to pay the bills, this will never be an option. That's where technology comes in. Some startups have been working on providing a fashion styling service online and their results are quite good. Obviously I won't mention my own startup that provides that same service, because that would be wrong, but I will talk to you about some simple tips that can help you choose clothes for you, kind of like a "fashion styling for dummies guide".

Know your body shape

Bodies come not only in several sizes, but also different shapes. Some women carry more weight in the hips, and these are often referred to as "Pears" or "Triangles"; others have a larger bust, and they are called "Inverted Triangle"; some have defined waists, other have larger tummies. So, my first advice to you is: Know your body shape.

Once you know your body shape, it will be much easier to find clothes for you. The easier and fastest way to find out your shape is to use an online body shape calculator. Once you know your body type, you enter a whole new world of fashion. As you probably already know, fashion is architecture and you just have to enhance your best features and "disguise" the other ones, by creating the right proportions... in this case, in creating an hourglass frame.

In other words, I mean that if you have wider hips and a smaller bust (Pear), you should look for cuts that don't draw attention to that area like straight or bootcut if we're talking about pants, and A-lines that don't add more volume if we're talking about skirts and dresses. As for tops, wide V or U necks with details around the shoulders and bust will work better for you.

So, this was just an example of how you can work fashion to be your friend. Once you know your body shape, you just have to learn how to enhance your best assets.

Choose the right colors for you

Understanding your shape will not only help you choose the clothes that have the best structure for you, but will also help you choose wisely your color palettes. Picking up the example above of a pear shape, and knowing that your hips are wider than your bust, you should try looking for bottoms that are dark colored and tops that are more colorful.

Darker colors will overall make you look slimmer, and will draw the attention away from that area. Please note that by darker colors I don't mean just black. There are several dark colors that will help you achieve this, like navy, dark purple, dark grey, and brown, so please don't just assume that dark refers only to black.

On the other hand, strong patterns will obviously draw the natural eye to them, and if you want to draw attention to your bust, for example, you can choose patterns and bright colors to do that.

These are just two tips that could really help you transform your nightmares with shopping into dreams... or, even if they don't become dreams, this will surely help you save loads of time trying on clothes that will hardly have a good fit on your body shape. Please do keep in mind that there are many other little details that make a huge difference, like the importance of wearing good underwear (the kind of underwear that covers lumps and bumps) and off course, properly accessorizing your outfits. With good accessories you can transform almost everything in your closet into awesome outfits, suitable for several occasions.

Now that I gave you my tips, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on this. Has knowing your body shape helped you in your fashion dilemmas? Did the nightmare disappear or gone smoother?