Thinking about body shape and sweater design

I’m at an age where the body starts letting you know that while you’re a long way from old, you’re not young anymore either.  I’m at a point where there are some grey hairs peeking out, where skin is changing texture, where minor health troubles are more persistent, and above all, where body shape starts to really matter in terms of clothing selection.

Now, I have been one of the really lucky ones who kept slim without trying throughout most of my 20’s. But suddenly what I eat matters to my waistline, and although the pounds haven’t increased beyond where I was at several years ago, I’m wearing the weight differently.

Clothes that once looked cute now make me look frumpy, dumpy or totally top heavy.  So I picked up The Body Shape Bible from my local library to try and diagnose my makeover needs.  For the record, I’m a “vase”, and the book did a great job of detailing all my problem points and assets, as well as what to look for in clothes.

Around the same time, I ran across a magazine article (KnitScene Fall 2011) pointing to the “Fit to Flatter” sweater design website.  The two went together hand in hand.  Susannah and Trinny of “What Not to Wear” fame helped me diagnose my body shape via their “Bible”, and then Amy Herzog of the “Fit to Flatter” helped me figure out what those shapes mean in terms of picking sweater patterns that will really look good on me.

Even if I don’t have time to knit myself a million sweaters (or even one right now), at least these tools will help me pick a better sweater off the rack.  And I also will benefit from not spending a million hours knitting a sweater that I ultimately won’t like.

For any other knitters who feels like they are a long way from midlife-crisis but still desperately need a shot of makeover goodness to feel better about their shape and wardrobe, I highly recommend both resources.

Better still, both resources also tell you how to modify garments to look better on you.  The Body Shape Bible explains a lot of tricks for upcycling dated or unflattering clothes, and the “Fit to Flatter” site tells you how to do everything from  adding a few short rows or modifying a neckline or hem, to designing a sweater from scratch.

Grad school is going to be interfering with my knitting life for a little while longer, but once that’s done, I really look forward to designing a sweater from scratch.  One that will be perfectly fit and totally flattering.  In the meantime, I’m cleaning out my closet.  I don’t need anything that makes me feel less than awesome.

Until next time (and I promise, I’ve got a couple of posts on the steampunk projects queued up), keep those needles clicking…

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