Body + Clothes + Personality = Harmony

For much of the 20th century women thought that their clothing should “mask” what was beneath. Thankfully, that thinking has pretty much gone by the way-side; however, many women still try to cover their figure flaws by wearing clothing that does not follow the natural line of their bodies. It may sound odd, but the best way to accentuate figure assets and draw attention away from figure flaws is to wear clothing that conforms to your bone structure.

To determine what clothing will harmonize with your body you need to look at these four areas; your shoulders; your waist and your hips. What you want to look for is whether the bones in these areas are rounded our angular. Take for example your shoulders. Do they curve gently from your neck into your arms – or are they a straight line into another straight line from your neck to your arms? When looking at your waist; does it curve in and back out at your hips – or does your waist have little, or no, curve to it? Are your hips straight and somewhat narrow – or do have a very definite roundness to them?

Please DO NOT think that rounded is “fat” and angular is “thin”. That could not be further from the truth! We are looking at the bone structure underneath the skin…NOT the amount of flesh covering those bones. You might be rounded or angular in all four of these areas however, most women are rounded in one or two areas and angular in the others. If the latter is you, then you are a hybrid…not rounded or angular, but a combination…just like an egg. Its oval shape is part rounded and part angular.

A side note: An oval (hybrid) face shape is considered the perfect. This shape allows the most freedom in hairstyle and clothing neckline choices. A rounded or angular face shape will limit the shape necklines that look the best on you. Rounded or princess necklines will frame a rounded face whereas square necklines or deep v-necks will be the best choice for an angular face or square jaw line.

You create harmony between your body and your clothing by choosing fabrics and clothing lines that follow your bone structure. Where you are rounded you should choose soft, flowing or filmy fabrics; gathers ruffles and bows. Accordingly, stiffer-bodied fabrics in clothing with straight detail lines such as pleats and darts will create harmony with angular bone structures.

Every woman has her own unique personality traits that determine the kinds of clothing she is most comfortable in. It is important to consider your personality when making clothing choices. It does not matter how beautiful your clothing is OR how great the color is on you OR how much your friend likes it…if it does not suit your personality, the overall impact will not be as harmonious as it could be. Your body language will tattle on you when you are not mentally comfortable in what your wear.

Women with dramatic personalities want to draw attention to themselves. They will choose trendy styles, bold colors and designs and dramatic accessories. Your message when you walk into a room is – look at me. A textured sweater tunic in a jewel tone with neutral leggings and boots suit you perfectly.

Those of us who are practical, meticulous and cost/quality conscious are comfortable in well-made coordinated classic clothing such as a classic blouse, skirt and princess flats. We are at ease with our message – my style is timeless.

However, if your idea of a perfect outfit is a little dress and a strappy heeled sandal, you probably love to dress up and would never be caught dead without your makeup. It is very important that your message convey that – you are always put together.

Comfort at all cost – is the final message some of us want to convey. We are athletic, natural galls who are drawn to natural fiber, “no-fuss” clothing. What we wear is not as important to us as whether they are functional and comfortable.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to personal style. However, each style type has its drawbacks. •Dramatic women must be cautious that they do not steal the show when that is not appropriate.

•Make certain, if you love classic clothing, to mix it up a bit so that you are not boring.

•Frilly, filmy dresses with heels may appear too “sexy” for an office work setting. Save the look for evening.

•Natural style woman have to work at dressing up when that is what the occasion calls for.

In other words, whatever your style signature is – use some creativity and ingenuity to match the occasion.

This is one part of fashion that is ALL ABOUT YOU! So have fun and enjoy making harmony between your body, personality and clothes!

The Historical Development of Corporate Clothing

Corporate clothing or work wear, the clothing worn by a great part of the population, is seldom written about. However, the history of it does deserve some attention, as it is inextricably bound up with social issues of the day.

Diana de Marley, produced an interesting review of corporate wear and staff uniforms for the artisans and professionals during the twentieth century. She stated that “after the First World War most professional work wear was in black, as so many people were in mourning, however during the 1920’s grey suits became more common.The battle was on between frock coats and top hats versus lounge suits and bowlers hats, as people selected their corporate clothing.

The short jacket gradually replaced the frock coat, and at the same time the lounge suit became more popular among the working class. They wanted to wear suits, even if they were shoddy. The short jacket and trousers were the modern version of the hip length jacket and knee breeches that they had been wearing since the seventeenth century. The lounge suit had none of the inconvenience of long frock coats, so the workers adopted it in great numbers to such an extent that black lounge suits were accepted as Socialist suits, worn by some into the 1950’s.

When Gordon Selfridge opened his London store in 1909, the male staff had to wear black suits and the women black dresses with high necks. After the War in the Twenties the girls were allowed white blouses, black cardigans and black skirts. The men still had black suits. This was typical of all corporate uniforms for large retailers of merchandise at the time.

A great many uniforms followed fashion. The girls working for Heinz wore long striped blue dresses with gigot sleeves, white aprons, and large white caps to cover their hair. During the Twenties staff uniforms in food factories changed to shorter skirts and lower waists, and in the Thirties the waists went up and the hems went down as part of the return to a more feminine look. It put companies to a lot of expense, but workers did not like to look dated when the cinema made them more conscious of changes in fashion.

A large part of the working population worked on the land during the early part of the twentieth century. Even by the late 1950’s one man in twenty still worked in agriculture, however by the 1980’s this had fallen to one in a hundred. The old labourers who had stuck to their traditional clothing wore heavy corduroy trousers, boots, and leather leggings called buskins in Suffolk and corduroy waistcoats with a cloth back. The old sleeved waistcoats in corduroy were so thick a jacket was not necessary for work wear.

The Great Western Railway prided itself upon its smartness and looks, which characterized just how many companies, expected their workers to represent the corporate image. The GWR rule book of 19333 stated:”when on duty be neat in appearance, and where supplied, wear uniform, number and badge.”

In the mill towns “the first sound in the morning was the clumping of the mill girls clogs down the cobbled street” wrote Orwell in 1937.Clogs continued into the war, along with the tartan shawl , calf length skirt and dark stockings. In the cotton factory their now traditional pinafores continued as the principal form of protection for work wear.”

With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the shift of labour towards the towns, the gradual development of occupational dress suited to the job in hand occurred.

In recent times, we now see more emphasis in corporate clothing and work wear related to the service sector, where the corporate image and brand awareness plays a more important role, and the perception of the business to its customers is ever more important, reinforcing the need for classic corporate wear.