|The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou|
I am writing this week's non-nail-related post regarding a book that changed a lot about my self-perception a few years ago. If you are a fan of the television show What Not to Wear, or fashion advice, or books with really neat pictures, read on...
Four years ago my stepdaughter and I were walking through my favorite cosmetics/perfume/tobacco closeout store. As we walked past a table of discounted books, the title of one of them caught my eye. I picked it up and chuckled, "Hey Hannah, here is what you and I need...The Science of Sexy!!" We chortled heartily, and then I looked closer at the book and recognized the name of the author, Bradley Bayou. I said, "Hey, I know this guy...he is a designer who has a fashion line on QVC!" It wasn't a how-to guide on becoming a tramp. It was a very detailed manual on how to dress for your individual body type! That was the deciding factor...well, that and the red $4.99 price tag...and I bought the book.
That night Hannah and I looked through the book and discovered is was just a really cool book. I have never thought of myself to be what you would call "sexy." I consider myself to be about as sexy as...uh, say...Madeleine Albright. I don't really want to be called sexy anyway. I much prefer the term "attractive." I do love to dress well and look the absolute best I can. But sometimes I find it hard to be optimistic about my wardrobe because I have a truly unfortunate figure.
I suppose all women feel that way, but I really do. My lovely Mom and sister are proportioned the way most women are, but I am built like a boxer. A male boxer. I have an enormous shoulder span...and I sent in a search party 3 decades ago to find a waistline, and they have yet to return with good news. And no matter how small I get, I always have fat on me. I can remember Mom with me in the dressing room once while I tried on a pair of size 6 jeans (that fit)...she looked at me and said, with amazement, "It's really something how you can be so small and have so much fat on you." And it's true! So, what does a girl do when she hasn't the funds for total-body liposuction? Why, she camouflages! And that is exactly what Mr. Bayou tells you how to do in his wonderful book! :D
The book starts off by saying that even Hollywood celebrities aren't happy with their bodies. Bradley specializes in dressing celebs in the way that best suits their body types. There are 4 basic body types: hourglass, triangle, rectangle, and inverted triangle. Then he gives you a weight, height, and measurement chart to determine what category you fall into and what "fitting room" (Bradley's guidelines for your shape) you need to visit in the book. Height is broken down into short, average, and tall. Weight is categorized into slender (petite for short women), medium, full, and plus. You put all your measurements together and you come up with something like "tall medium inverted triangle."
When I put mine together, my body type is "average full rectangle." How very glamorous. But it was no surprise, because I always knew I looked like a brick. I am actually borderline medium/full, depending on how many potato chips I've had the week before.
Bradley's ultimate goal is for every body type to look as close to an hourglass as possible...upper half balanced with the lower half...because when you achieve this, you look proportioned and thinner. That's where the invaluable advice comes in...
A lot of the dressing suggestions are common sense...like if you are heavy on the upper half of your body, you shouldn't wear a ruffled blouse, because the ruffles add to your body and make you look even heavier and more unbalanced. But a LOT of people just don't have common sense when it comes to dressing, as a trip to Wal-Mart on any given day will prove. How many times have you seen top-heavy women who wear leggings and look like they're about to tip over? They make the mistake of thinking, "My legs are small, so I'll show them off." But they don't understand that wearing something tight or short on their bottom half will only make them seem like they have somebody else's legs on their hefty body.
Bradley Bayou is such a nice guy though...at the start of every "fitting room" description, he gives you a little pep talk. My Average Full Rectangle message was the following:
"First and foremost, your blessing is that as a full-sized woman, you have some gorgeous...curves (cough)...you have nice, slim legs in proportion to your body (my legs are one of my good features)...you're one of the few shapes that look great wearing boots (guilty as charged!!)!"BUT...
"Your curse: As an average, full rectangle, you lack a defined waist (really?)...your silhouette almost has a slightly male shape (I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee)...you have to be a bit more inventive in creating the optical illusion of hourglass curves."So Bradley proceeds to instruct me to wear jackets that cinch at the (area where I'm supposed to have a) waistline and skirts made out of stiffer fabric to give me hips. And THEN, Bradley tells me to shorten my hemline!! What?? Me, wear a dress that doesn't go past my calves? I don't want to look like a floozy! But...I did it. And I discovered that you can still be modest with a knee-length hemline. And my particular body type is one of the only ones that can pull off ankle strap shoes!! YESSSS!!
|My recommendations for my body type|
So for the past four years, my wardrobe has been made up of dresses and skirts that flare out to give me some upper-body balance. I really love them too, because they are devastatingly cute. But I will admit to every so often wearing things that don't necessarily go with my body type...I have a purple dress with a straight skirt that really looks rotten on me, but hey, I love that dress.
Bradley Bayou also gives advice on choosing your accessories for your body type, which is also very helpful. For example, if you're like me and have no neck, you shouldn't wear large beads if you don't want to look like your head is resting on your chest...after all, my last name isn't Addams.
I was going to post before and after pictures, but guess what? I hate taking pictures so badly that I can't find any full-body shots! Oops!!
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I highly recommend The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou to all women out there. It has been a wonderful find for me and (Short Medium Hourglass) Mom and my (Average Full Triangle) sister. You can get this fabulous asset to your wardrobe on Amazon. Now you, too, can be scientifically sexy! :D
As always, thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day! <3