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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Well Fitting Outfit – Well Fitting Bra


A well fitting bra is essential to a beautiful wardrobe. If the bra sags, your outfit sags. If  it doesn’t fit and is uncomfortable then you are fidgeting and your top looks like it doesn’t fit right. A well fitting bra will let you stand proud and comfortable with no bumps and bulges showing through.

The Mechanics are for Elsewhere

I am not going to go through the mechanics of how to measure for a bra here. You can find that on any lingerie site or in any store. Just some thoughts on things to keep in mind when bra hunting – gathered from years of personal experience as a double G cup.

The Lost Retail Market!

Unfortunately the retail market has not caught up to the fact that a great majority of us are very well endowed and try to simply grade up with what is currently on the market. That results in painful bras for all of us!

Tip 1

It not a sales pitch to get us to spend more on a bra by saying be sure the cup contains the entire breast smoothly, it is essential! It may be ‘sexy’ having that cleavage spilling out of the top of the bra but only if you plan on wearing nothing but the bra. Under a blouse you end up with 4 breasts and funny bulges and bumps. In addition to that, the overflow puts additional stress on other areas of the bra and wearing it becomes a game of rearranging and adjusting to move the pain points around. No fun.

Tip 2

If the underwires dig into your sides then you have the wrong bra and probably the wrong cup size. Ignore the clerk and try on a larger cup size (and smaller band) or another style altogether.

Tip 3

The band around your ribcage is not the element that is totally responsible for keeping your bra on. It is only one element. If it is tight then there is something else wrong with the fit of the bra. It job is to keep the cups  located in the right place on the body and to hold it closed but you should be able to slip a finger easily under the strap.

Tip 4

For those of us well endowed women perhaps the greatest struggle is finding straps that don’t want to fall down all the time. We cinch them up tight until they dig into our shoulders to keep them up but they still eventually fall down. We get bra straps to hook the straps together in back and turn it into a t- back but the bra still doesn’t fit right. Persevere! Eventually you will find one where the straps are close enough together to stay up.

And The Biggest Tip of All………

Biggest tip of all – never accept the edits of any sales clerk on how a bra should fit and how theirs is the best and buy based on their ‘wisdom’. I did that for too many years. Buy if it feels divine and like a second skin. If not, keep on hunting. It may take dozens of brands and styles to find the one that works best for you. Then, 5 years later, that one is wrong and you are off again in the hunt.

The hunt will be rewarded when you look in the mirror and that simple top flows smoothly and beautifully over your bust and everything looks ‘perky’ and where it belongs. A well fitting bra can make all the difference in an outfit so persevere!

Fit is important in so many ways to a beautiful wardrobe. For more on the top and to discover the joys of a well fitting wardrobe visit my site www.IstinaDesign.com and my Shop of clothes completed after the order is received and to the measurements sent to us in your profile.



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5 Elements of a Basic Wardrobe


Reworking my wardrobe a few days ago, I was reminded of the 5 items that all well planned wardrobes contain. So if you are looking to improve and revamp your wardrobe here are the 5 items to be sure and include:

Basic Black Dress

You never know when you will need it. A favorite aunt dies or your boss ‘invites’ you to a dressy company dinner (that ‘to die for’ clubbing outfit will not work here!). If you have to rush out and find something, it is usually not the best for your body shape or even your style. You end up tugging at it all through the event and it ends up in the back of your closet afterwards dying a slow death until you send it to the thrift shop. It is better to take the time now to shop for one that enhances your body shape and is classic enough to stand up to the years. Having it in your closet will save you the frantic shopping and money lost on an ’emergancy dress’ later.

I will explore 5 good dress styles for the 5 body shapes a couple of weeks from now!

Well Fitting Basic Jacket

Along those same lines, there may be times when business casual is just a little too casual. While you can hide in the woodwork with what you normally wear to work when the bosses boss comes to town or you are out for drinks with the boss, would it not be far more empowering to have a nice classic blazer or suit jacket in your neutral color to throw over that business casual outfit and instantly dress it up. Become the wow person rather than the hidden person. If you have a beautiful classic one the looks beautiful for your body shape then you can instantly become a standout.

Check back in a few weeks for styles good for the 5 bodyshapes!

Basic Comfortable Loafers

If shoes are your thing – go for it. If the high the better is your thing – go for it. There will, however, be times when your feet protest fashion and high style slows you down. Have a nice pair of loafers to relieve your feet on that 3 hour shopping spree or running after the relative’s (or your) kids. They are always a good element to have in a wardrobe.

Classic Dress Pants

A pair (or two) of classically styled dress pants that enhance your body shape are an excellent core to an empowering wardrobe. Coordinate them with that basic jacket and augment them with several blouses or tops and you are ready to take on the business world-any where!

What to know what your empowered body shape is? Check out Find Your BodyShape on my website IstinaDesign.

I see another blog on the 5 bodyshapes from this as well!

Well Fitting Lingerie

As mundane as it may sound, well fitting lingerie can make or break a wardrobe. I am not referring to matching panties and bras in exotic laces. I am referring to panties that fit comfortably with out showing too tight or too baggy winkled lines under your pants and skirts and bras that fit well and make your tops look like a million rather than dime store.

What to look for in a good fitting bra? That is next weeks blog!

All Put Together

Once you have those basics, look at your lifestyle and fill out the rest of your wardrobe around those 5 basics

For more info on the basic body shapes check out the section, Find Your BodyShape , on my website IstinaDesign. For more assistance on putting together that empowering wardrobe check out the packages I offer in my Shop


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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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