Swimsuits for Body Shapes

The biggest hurdle in paying attention to body shapes when you are buying a swimsuit is a simple one. It is one or two pieces of skin tight fabric on your body. No fabric too pleat, pad, or arrange to create dimension and line. So….it becomes all visual work – lines draw your eyes and different colors of fabric that divide the body. There is some variation of cut that will emphasis or deemphasize the shape. Lets dive into it.

For The Earth Goddess (aka apple body shape)

Start with a base of black (always good as black appears smaller and further away) and add moving blocks and lines of color on the outer edges

Earth Goddess thirds

You may occasionally be able to find a swimsuit with layers of fabric. Then use the tried and true rule of thirds and divide the torso vertically into thirds.

earth goddess layers

If you just aren’t in the mood for black, go ahead and use a bright color and color block. Just be sure that the center block is long and narrow and draws the eye up rather than across.

earth goddess blocking

There are a couple additional ideas on my Pinterest page Earth Goddess Swimsuits

For the Sassy Gal (aka inverted triangle body shape)

Your goal in selecting a swimsuit is to divide and break up your upper torso and keep the eyes moving all over your body rather than focusing on your bust and shoulders. An easy way to do that is with a halter style neckline.

SassyGal halter

Another neckline that will do the job just as well is the deep v neckline. It does not have to be a deep as this one as long as it emphasizes the deep v.

Sassy Gal deep v

You can also play with color. Use two colors in the suit and keep the darker or more brilliant color on the bottom with a more muted color on the top. This will help balance your torso.



Take a look at a few more on my Pinterest page Sassy Gal Swimsuits

For the Lady of Movement (aka rectangle body shape)

You can have the most fun with swimsuits of all the bodyshapes. They were made for you!

Go all out for suits that tie and wrap you in a multitude of ways!

Lady of Movement all wrapped up

Or select a beautiful cutout that moves in and out, creating an hourglass shape right on your torso.

Lady of Movement Cutout

If you are going for a look with less exposed skin, use visual lines to create that movement around your body.

Lady of Movement Lines

Bikinis will work for you as well. Just keep them very lively and graphic.

Lady of Movement Graphics

There are yet more examples on my Pinterest page Lady of Movement Swimsuits

 For the Lady Dive (aka hourglass body shape)

Keep that hourglass going with the cut of your swimsuit.
Lady of Movement Cutout

Emphasizing the curve of your bust is all that is needed in a skin tight swimsuit to accentuate that hourglass shape.

Lady Diva Sweetheart

For your body shape even the most basic suit will look good. No way to inadvertently hide those curves!

LadyDiva bodycling

Check out my Pinterest page Lady Diva Swimsuits for more ideas.

For the Lady Peacock (aka pear body shape)

Make good use of color blocking in your suit. Remember – draw the world’s attention to your head and shoulders. With no extra material to use – color can do it!

Lady Peacock Color Block

Like with other outfits, look for wide horizontal necklines in your suit. They can be gorgeous on you.

Lady Peacock Wide Neckline

If you want to go with a bikini then do it. Again like everything else, put all the action up top. Grab a bikini with fun extra in the upper piece.

Lady Peacock bikini

Some more fun ideas for swimsuits on my Pinterest page Lady Peacock Swimsuits

More Info

For a better understanding of your body shape visit What is All This About Bodyshapes? on my website IstinaDesign . To determine what your body shape is check out my Find Your Bodyshape. Then over to my Shop that is displayed by bodyshapes!


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5 BodyShapes – 5 Jacket Styles


As promised, my suggestions for jacket styles for the 5 Bodyshapes. Are you somewhere between two bodyshapes? Take ideas from both bodyshapes – they will both work for you.

For The Earth Goddess (aka apple body shape)

Buy a jacket that is intended to be worn open. Buying one in quiet classical colors gives you the opportunity to add some bright pizzaz to the blouse beneath and creates that long beautiful line to your face. It can be a variety of lengths – from just skimming the hips to duster (or dress) length. Those lengths will look better than cropped at the waist jackets. Steer clear of huge billowy jackets that attempt to hide you. You will look slenderer with a more tailored look that doesn’t hide you.

For the Sassy Gal (aka inverted triangle body shape)

Asymmetrical lines work great in a jacket for you. Asymmetrical collars and buttons ironically make your torso longer. Snuggly fitted double breasted fronts will streamline your look. Keep the length hip length or longer. Asymmetrical hems look magnificent on you. You are one of the two body shapes that could carry off a peplum (full short skirt added at the waist of a jacket) in a jacket.

For the Lady of Movement (aka rectangle body shape)

Follow your mantra – soft and flowing! Flared sleeves keep the line moving. Angular necklines will too. Single button closures create even more movement as do asymmetrical hems. Any length of hem will look good. Find ways to add drama and excitement in the body of your jacket. You can go to the billowy flowing jackets and kimonos if that is your thing.

For the Lady Dive (aka hourglass body shape)

Corsetted. Corsetted. Corsetted. Keep your jackets fitted and structured. You look best in the classical jacket that is hip length and fitted to your figure with one or two single front buttons and the classic single lapels. A jacket with boning or design elements to create a very fitted look works as well. You are the other body shape (beside the Sassy Gal) that can handle a peplum in your jacket. It will enhance your bust, waist, hip curves

For the Lady Peacock (aka pear body shape)

While you look best in a jacket that is trim in the torso, emblish it to the hilt at your shoulders and neck. Full collars draping to the shoulders and big double collars look great. Asymmetrically closed cowl like collars will look magnificent on you. You can sport yokes that break up the jacket with a different color, trim or even fringe. Fringed or embellished sleeves can add pizzaz to your look.

More Info

For a better understanding of your body shape visit What is All This About Bodyshapes? on my website IstinaDesign . To determine what your body shape is check out my Find Your Bodyshape. Then over to my Shop that is displayed by bodyshapes!


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What About My Lower Half? (Slacks and Trousers for my Body Shape)

Studded Dress Slacks

We focus so much attention on the tops and jackets and dresses that look the best on our body shapes. Often the slacks we buy to go with that fantastic top is an afterthought and may hinder the look we are striving to create. If we do take the time to look for the best for our shape, there is so little information on what will look the best on each body shape.

No more….. Tips and Guides for those shapes

Sassy Gal (aka inverted triangle body shape)

You look best in slacks that create a beautiful long line to your torso. Unlike most of the other bodyshapes, you look great in slim low waisted pants. Skinny jeans and cigarette pants take those long legs of yours a long way. On the other side, cargo pants with all the pockets also look great on you. For the dressier look, stay with the slender leg lines.

Lady Peacock (aka pear body shape)

Don’t distract from all the fun lines and embellishments you are creating at your shoulders. Stay with straight simple lines in your slacks.  Keep the shape straight or flared or loose and flowing. Keep the front flat and the pockets subtle (angled at your hips so they merge into the line of your slacks).

Lady Diva (aka hourglass body shape)

You can continue that structured corseted look in your slacks by adding wide corseted waistbands. For the legs of your pants keep the classical line going to keep the bust, waist, hip curves going. Flared or straight legged slacks are the best. You can also sport the wide legged pants as well. Most important is to keep the pants fitted to your shape. You are one of the body shapes that can sport cuffs on your slacks.’

Earth Goddess (aka apple body shape)

Keep your slacks tailored and felt fronted. Those pockets are best if they are angled at the hips and lay smoothly against the slacks. Go for the wide legged look to keep the same line going through your entire length. Keep things sleek and smooth and avoid bulky pockets and trim on the slacks.

Lady of Movement (aka rectangle body shape)

Everything but the classical work great in your slacks. Floppy pants and cropped pants or capris are just two of the styles you wear beautifully. You, unlike the other body shapes, can carry off super wide legged pants. Bulky pockets and other trim work well since they create movement in your line. As always create as much movement as possible.

More Info

For a better understanding of your body shape visit What is All This About Bodyshapes? on my website IstinaDesign . To determine what your body shape is check out my Find Your Bodyshape. Then over to my Shop that is displayed by bodyshapes!


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The Importance of Words (and BodyShapes)


One frequent question I get when explaining body shapes with my unique terms is Why? Why all the bother to change the terms referring to the various body shapes? The ones we use are descriptive and accurate.


Some years back I studied (among many fascinating topics) the effects of words and images on our attitudes and mindsets. The current terms we use to describe body shapes: hourglass, rectangle, inverted triangle, pear, and apple create images that are, at the very least, not empowering. While we can state that words are just words, they have a definite (if subtle) effect on the person who “owns” the term. We hold ourselves up to the implications in our minds of the term.

Let’s Look At It Differently

The way we move around, hold us, and position our bodies over the course of a day affects the shape of our figure. Leaning over a book or computer terminal will promote the shoulders moving forward and discourage the posture that will display the bust. These actions also requires a lot of sitting which will spread the hips. Being someone who moves around a lot, stretches, exercises and runs keeps the figure long and lean. The exercise tends to inhibit the growth of bust and hip. Every body habit affect our figure in some way. To me that is a better way to describe someone’s body  shape.

Why not describe what they are rather than some numbers held against and ideal? Why not use an empowering term describing their essence rather than pointing to a negative aspect that essence has created?

Compare Them


The fact is any figure where the hips and bust are within 2 inches of each other and the waist is 8 inches or smaller. The waist can be 34″ as long as the bust is 42″ or more.

The implication is that to be an hourglass has a wasp waist that few of us can ever hope to obtain.

Tend to be created by the person who loves being social and loves to be the center of attention. Posturing and wiggling are used to great advantage.

The message is you are only really an hourglass if your waist is smaller than you can every hope to obtain. You are too think in the waist

Lady Diva Message

Implication is the person has developed this figure because they are comfortable around people and being the center of attention. Posturing and wiggling hips are part of the personality

The message is you love center stage and look best dressing  to enhance that.


The fact – any figure where the hips are more than 4″ larger than the bust and the waist is smaller than either.

Implication is the hips are the biggest part of your figure and is all anyone can see.

Tend to be created by bing very into books, numbers, writing and studious attention to details

The message is that your hips are grossly too big.

Lady Peacock Message

The best look for you to offset the figure created by your habits are to draw all the attention to your face and shoulders. A peacock fans its tail feathers to draw attention. If you had similar feathers they would be around your shoulders drawing attention. Do the same with your clothes.

Inverted Triangle

The fact – any figure where the bust is more than 4″ larger than the hips and the waist is smaller than either.

Implication is that the bust and shoulders are the biggest part of your figure and is all anyone can see.

Tend to be created by women with strong personalities. They hold themselves regally and strongly so not to be dismissed and are often in fields requiring a strong forceful personalities like sales. This regal posture encourages broad shoulders and bust to match. It also encourages long legs to stand tall on.

The message is that you have football shoulders, nothing matches and you are out of proportion.

Sassy Gal Message

You are a strong person and often overpower the people around you. You are sassy. Dress to give the people around you a chance to shine. Look for styles that take advantage of your strong stance and create a long lean look. Reduce the shoulders to allow others in so you are sassy rather than overpowering.


The fact – any figure where the waist is larger than the bust or hips.

Implication is that you are just flat out FAT!

Tend to be created by women who have mothering personalities. They adopt the role of earth mother nurturing everyone around them. There is a reason that the image we have of ‘big mama’ in our society is rotund – she is nurturing and feeding us.

Earth Goddess Message

Just because you have such a nurturing personality you should allow yourself to be seen by the people around you. Following the rule of thirds and dividing your figure into vertical thirds and using brighter colors in the inside third draws attention to your face and to you. This bring you out into the world for you.


The fact – any figure where the bust and waist is within 2″ of each other and the waist is less than 8″ smaller than either

Implication is that you have no figure. You are nothing. You are not feminine.

Tend to be created by women who love movement. They are into sports and fitness or just have too much energy to sit still and are constantly in motion.

Lady Of Movement Message

Don’t deny that movement. Clothes moving around the figure will create curves and enhance your femininity by adding visually to the bust and hips.

Which Would You Like to Be?

Compare those different messages – the disempowering negative description of one part of your body or a positive view of you. The words you use to describe yourself get internalized and create your self image. Lets make those words beautiful and empowering – creating a positive you.

More Info

For a better understanding of your body shape visit What is All This About Bodyshapes? on my website IstinaDesign . To determine what your body shape is check out my Find Your Bodyshape. Then over to my Shop that is displayed by bodyshapes!





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Academy Awards Toots and Oops!!

Being public figures and posing so beautifully in ensembles put together with great intent, the actresses on the red carpet at the Academy awards give us great opportunity to see what does and doesn’t work to enhance the figure.

Because of the nature of personality of that shape (the hourglass), a majority of actresses are Lady Diva. They thrive on red carpet attention. This year two Divas gave us both a perfect example of a beautiful unexpected way to enhance her figure and a less than beautiful way to UNenhance the Lady Diva figure.



A Lady Diva is the body shape that is normally referred to as an hourglass. The bust and hips are within 2 inches of death other and the waist is at least 7 inches smaller.

Because her shape already has the curves, the Lady Diva’s (aka hourglass) biggest challenge is not to hide those curves or turn them into something less. Unfortunately Dakota Johnson did just that in the gown she wore that night. While the gown itself is very beautiful, it hides her figure throughly. The shape of the gown is very long and rectangular. There is no real waist to the gown. The one shoulder accent and straight from the shoulders cut of the side seams only serves to minimize her bust and create more of a flat look. Saint Laurent is a fantastic designer but that dress was not for her.



On the other side of the spectrum, Anna Kendrick did something dangerous but unexpectedly gorgeous for her Lady Diva figure. I would normally advice a Lady Diva to avoid the very simple halter style dress that she sports. The thickness of the neckline and the positioning of the opening in the front of her dress only bring the eye out to her bust and back into her waist – beautifully enhancing and reinforcing the curves of a Lady Diva. The gently full gown slowly expanding from her hips down serve to keep her hips in proportion but add a long elegance to her dress. Fantastic. Kudos to the designer – Thakoon.


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Jewelry Can Empower Your Look

Jewelry Montage.001

Accessories Count Too

Along with anything else in your wardrobe, jewelry can empower or disempower your look. It would be a shame, after spending time and focus getting your ensemble beautiful for your particular shape, to reduce its punch with a necklace or earrings that don’t harmonize.

Let’s Check It Out 

Lets check out each of the five body shapes and see what works best. Then you can head over to Istina Design’s Shop and check out the beautiful manufactured stone necklaces available. They can be customized with the perfect chain length and style for your body shape. Custom necklaces are also available by contacting me directly on Istina Design.

Lady Peacock

Also known as a pear, you can get away with all the jewelry that other shapes are advised to stay away from. Go for big and chunky. All those statement pieces look beautiful. Huge, statement, or just plain bright earrings look great on you. You can wear pendants but don’t go real small and delicate. Consider putting them on a ribbon to tie around your neck.

Lady Diva

Also know as the hourglass, you are best heading for all the classic time tested jewelry. Pendents look great on you in any size. You are best if you keep the chain length to around 18″-20″ so the pendent sits just below your collarbone. Any chain will work but steer clear of the big linked chunky chains. You can get away with a chunky statement piece but be selective – just the necklace or just the earring being chunky or large.

Earth Goddess

Also know as the apple, you are best with necklaces that frame both your face and neck. Don’t make them too small or their smallness will be all that is noticed. On the other hand, don’t make them big chunky statement pieces or your face will look small. Not only will chain lengths of 18″-20″ good for you but so will the chains that hang down long on your front. They work beautifully with an open front coat that provides a beautiful display area for them.

Lady of Movement

Also know as a rectangle, you are best keeping your necklaces long and wearing multiple ones of differing lengths. Create movement with your jewelry as well as your clothes. You can get away with statement pieces as long as they are not up close to your face. Big chunky pendants are beautiful.

Sassy Gal

Also know as an inverted triangle, you look best on long chains and pendants that hang low on your chest. Long skinny earrings will add to the long svelte look that you are working at creating.

Just About Anything Goes

Just about any necklace will work as long as you pay attention to the length and style of the chain it is on. Go out and have fun. Most important, if that necklace calls to you – answer it regardless of its style and adjust it to fit you beautifully.

Our Jewelry

To check out the jewelry on Istina Design, please check out the accessories in our Shop.


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The Hourglass Figure is the new Lady Diva

Not an Hourglass but a Lady Diva 2


It’s A New Year

Let’s resolve this new year to change how we look at our bodies. Lets replace the negative can’ts with empowering cans!

In this mission to revise how we look at ourselves, let’s checkout body shapes and get some new empowering cans rather than the old can’ts.

Not an Hourglass but a Lady Diva

In this blog I will look at the body shape that has long been considered the ideal one – the hourglass. There are more hourglasses amongst you than you may realize. Let’s leave the current thoughts and associations with it behind and change the name to  Lady Diva. Our personalities help make our body shapes and vise versa our shape affects how we present ourselves to the world. Let’s face it, we love to flaunt those curves!

They’re Not Perfect!

We normally associate Lady Divas with models and those “perfect figures” we all envy. But it is not true. You may have the shoulders of a linebacker or be several pounds overweight BUT if your hips and bust are within 2 inches of each other and your waist (no matter how large) is 7″ or more smaller than your bust then you are an hourglass. Need help knowing how to measure? Check out Find Your BodyShape.

Keep Those Curves

The problem is how to keep those curves visually. It is SO easy for a Diva to lose her shape in a beautiful but not Diva inspired ensemble. The lines of the garment you wear can either enhance or distract from your shape. Look for ways to keep eyes on your bust and hips and the curves of your waist. It doesn’t matter the size of your waist but rather the relationship between your waist and hips and bust.

There are several design elements that will enhance your Lady Diva figure. Side pockets that slant at the hips rather than ones that are straight on your side will keep that waist to hip curve going. Look for dresses and skirts that mimic that hourglass shape of yours. Dresses fitted at the waist and skirts that are A line are good. Waistbands show off  your waist and accentuate your bust and hips. Use single lapels and single breasted jackets to keep and repeat that v that points to your waist. Find ones that nip in at the waist or have a single button there.

Keep it Fitted

Enjoy the corseted look. Despite any weight concerns you may have, you want to accentuate your curves. Visually you will lose several pounds! Look for ways to draw attention to your waist and enhance your curves. Keep your garments fitted.

Don’t Lose Those Curves

Don’t lose those curves by wearing styles that hide or change them. It is a delicate balance to maintain and where many Diva lose their shape. High necked tops and blouses with bows and flounces create their own lines that often conflict with yours and do nothing but alter your shape. So do smocks and other oversized and loose fitting clothes. Big decorations as well.

Sleeveless tops pull the eyes that were moving away from the waist towards the bust and shoulders back in and create a distorting line. When possible wear something of a sleeve to keep that line soft. Just about any sleeve will enhance your diva style.


Keep your necklines open and comfortable. Wide v necklines are good as are open round ones. Keep your necklines free of clutter. Take advantage of your curves to flaunt necklines such as the halter and off the shoulder v neckline. You can go strapless and make it look beautiful.

Want More?

For more Lady Diva information check out my page on Lady Diva Dressing.  Then slide right over to the Shop to get those Diva styles – it’s already sorted out for you!

Contact Me!

Need more info on just what your shape is and what looks best then contact me  at IstinaDesign.



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Trunk Shows

To avoid the major markup that retail stores have to impose on clothing to cover the cost of retail I am using a different way to get my clothing to you - in home trunk shows. Invite a few of your [...]

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