Body, Style, Body

body image style

Your body is part of your style. Knowing about it, respecting it, and dressing it with care are all part of being a fashionable woman. Never let anyone convince you that learning to dress your physical form is shallow, wasteful, or unimportant.

Your style is part of your body. Since you don’t walk around naked, what you wear influences how your body is perceived. Never let anyone convince you that your unclothed body is the body the world sees.

You may feel that you can control your body’s shape, color, and texture but absolutely flounder when it comes to your personal style. As you explore the world of adornments – seeking forms and styles and pairings that you can adopt as your own – try not to let pretty things mislead you. Clothing, shoes, and accessories can be breathtakingly beautiful, but they must make YOU beautiful if they are to become part of your personal style lexicon.

You may feel that you can easily define your personal style, but have very little idea how that style relates to your body. If you shop for texture, color, and embellishment alone, paying little heed to how garments interact with your figure, you are missing out on an important level of style definition. Until your evaluation of clothing, shoes, and accessories takes into account their aesthetic appeal AND their effect on your body’s aesthetic appeal, your style is not yet mature.

Body and style are inseparable, and each more powerful when the other is afforded equal reverence and care.

Both images via unduex. LOVE her.

Originally posted 2009-08-03 05:50:00.

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28 Responses to “Body, Style, Body”

  1. Judith

    "Never let anyone convince you that your unclothed body is the body the world sees". Brilliant!!!! You've hit the nail on the head again, Sal.


    Totally agree…everbody must know yourself to choose better what to dress :)))

  3. Rosie Unknown

    So, so true. And sadly, so under appreciated. When will people learn that muffin top s both uncomfortable, unattractive and degrading?

  4. Dawn

    Another wonderful piece of writing and wisdom! It's so true, your body totally plays into style, if it isn't comfortable in what you are wearing, it just won't look stylish.

  5. Erin

    At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I'm going to paraphrase Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada.

    What we wear is important, because we live our lives in what we wear.

    I mean, truly. It's an expression on the outside of how we think and feel on the inside. It IS important.


    So true! our second skin, I'd say~
    Fabulous week Sal!

  7. WendyB

    "Never let anyone convince you that your unclothed body is the body the world sees". …well, except for nudists.

  8. Clare

    I love how each of your posts serve as incredibly well-timed reminders. Thanks again!

  9. ula dee

    you are so great, thank you for including my images 🙂 I love your posts, you are so very right!

  10. Rita

    I agree but where to we start? How do we begin to figure out how to dress our figures?

  11. Maegan your comment about patience. I AM SO NOT PATIENT!!! LOL. usually, I start a project then half way through I just WANT TO BE DONE….I stab myself with the needle like 20 times. lol.

  12. Make Do Style

    It is an interesting dynamic the idea of body and clothing.

    Foucault is a good read on the body as discipline as is Bourdieu regarding body, dress and space.

    The real topic here of course is how to dress well for ones body but then this presumes all manner of things regarding taste etc.

    Still, dressing ones best is harder today that it used to be due to pressures of more more more.

    I prefer less and better quality but then it does mean I wear the same clothes a lot sometimes 2 – 3 days in a row – unheard of! But not if they get dirty!

    Learning to dress to suit yourself and body does mean compromise or a keen sense of personal style.

  13. lisa

    Great post. Part of style is being able to carry off what you're wearing with confidence, and logically speaking you can't really feel your best if you're wearing something unflattering, can you?

  14. Meli22

    This is my favorite post so far I think! This exactly defines what I am working towards right now… I am 'maturing' in my style, and am still trying to find ME in my style, and am learning what flatters me and what I feel GOOD in. ; ) This year, I wore my first dress (except graduations), my first skirtssince 14, and so on. ; )

  15. Sarah R

    I think what I've learned from reading Sal's blog is that I shouldn't wait until I lose weight, or get fit, or some arbitrary goal in the future to find clothes that fit me well now. I've been waiting and waiting to update my wardrobe for over two years, hoping I'd get below a size 18. Well, here I am, two years later, still a size 18/20 and I have crap to wear.
    I'm going to go shopping, buy myself some nice clothes and enjoy them NOW. In the future, IF I lose weight, I'll take them in or take them to consignment. Life is too short to wear old ugly crap you hate.

  16. Imogen Lamport

    So true – I'm always looking for the harmony between body, style and personality for my clients!

  17. Cecilia

    I couldn't agree more. I think the first step in doing that is to make sure that you try on EVERYTHING that you buy at the store, for general fit, but then at home, as well, to get the REAL picture and to make sure that it fits into your wardrobe. I just read a few books on personal style (which I'm looking to get back into, after way too many years of letting myself go because of weight issues) and at least a couple of them mention the tip: "imagine at least three ways of wearing it before you buy it". That sounded like good advice to me.

  18. Cecilia

    Oh, also, make the time to shop! As much as I hate "wasting" a babysitter for a personal shopping trip, I find it very rewarding. The last time I went on a serious shopping trip I had both grandmothers split babysitting for a whole day. I ended trying on 4-5 entire stores (!) and only finding a few tops that worked really well (and a couple of skirts, but they went over my budget), but the trade off is that I have worn each and every one of then endlessly because they both fit very well and look great. I could never have found them if I tried dragging a child with me, or even just done one store per day…

  19. Sal

    SarahR, you are a STAR. Dress the gorgeous body you've got today, and worry about your tomorrow body tomorrow. Hope you nab some killer duds for fall, lady!

  20. jennine

    i really like the sentiment of this, however i don't know if i agree whole heartedly. just because i hear so many women who use the word 'flattering' as an excuse to not try new things with clothing which is a shame because there are so many great designers who make garments beyond our conception of 'flattering' which are a lot more expressive, and pushes fashion into an art form rather than a function.

    i've always felt that clothes are the bodies we can choose, though as i get older, i'm finding that our choices form our bodies as much as they determine our wardrobes.

  21. Sarah R

    I wish we had an autumn here, Sal. I'm hanging in Florida, so summer skirts and tunics last me most of the year. I *will* be in the market for a gorgeous red trench though, to last me for the few months of slightly chilly weather.
    But thanks…I feel like a new woman. I'm thinking I might cut off my hair and donate to Locks of Love, too.

  22. Sal

    jennine: I totally hear ya! But my thought is that, before you can explore garments that hide your figure, you need to learn to show it off. Otherwise more adventurous items that play with proportion and volume and suchlike can make you FEEL weird about how you look. You lose your sense of where you end and the garment begins, and can end up feeling disproportionate or fat or uncomfortable.

    I think a very solid sense of what flatters your form is necessary before you can start manipulating it. That's been my experience, anyway.

    Ooooh, I feel a whole new post coming on!