Sunday, 18 July 2010

Apples, Pears and all shapes inbetween....

I saw a headline the other day and for the life of me, I can't remember where, but it said something like "look at your mother in law if you want to know what your wifes figure will end up looking like" and I thought that is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard of.

Take me and my four daughters. Now that the teenagers are growing up and turning into young women, not one of them has the same body shape as me. Body shape is not something I ever really thought about until I started to pile on the pounds a few years back, I just never really thought about it, but the weight has not distributed itself evenly over my body and I now find myself in the "apple" category which is apparently the most dangerous type from a health point of view, as the fat surrounds all of your vital organs, whereas if you are pear shape the fat can do no harm to your hips and thighs and because they have slim faces and smaller busts, they always look thinner, don't you think?

I had my first child when I was 26 and before I gave birth to her, I was a size 10 and eight and a half stone and back in those days I used to refer to myself as "thick waisted".  The reason for this was my Suits for the office.  If I bought a skirt that fitted nicely on the hips, it was always a little tight on the waist and if it fitted comfortably on the waist, it was too big on the hips.  Fitted tailored summer dresses which always looked so nice and smart with heels for the office, were always tight on the bust and waist area if they fitted nicely on the hips and if comfortable on the top half of the garment, too big, again on the hips.

So I find myself with all the excess weight around the top half of my body, from the hips right up to my chin and take one size, sometimes two sizes bigger in a top, than I do in a bottom.  The introduction of "Hipsters" meant that I didn't really notice the weight going on, as my hips are no bigger now than they were 10 years ago, before I had my Little Man and as I have mostly been wearing a casual, stay at home Mum, kind of wardrobe consisting of jeans and t-shirts, this has meant that I just looked in the mirror one day and thought "what the fuck?". 

I am not the proud owner of any weighing scales, which I realise now is a huge mistake.  Had I have been weighing myself regularly over the last 10 years than it may have been easier to deal with losing a few pounds, rather than now, when the situation requires losing a few stone, which just won't shift even if I cut out, chocolate, biscuits, bread and potatoes.  I must be the only person who has joined Slimming World and put on weight! I prefer the green days you see and all that pasta and potatoes - oh no, it doesn't suit Moi!

So now on to my girls and the proof that none of them will end up with my figure - Thank God!

Daughter one - The Classic Pear. 
Seriously scary for me, because she has yet to have children.  At the age of 17 she gave up Dance which she had been doing since she was a little girl and also passed her driving test and gradually the weight has crept on.  A classic pear shape, which means although she has put weight on her upper body, her hips and the top of her legs are much bigger.  She can't fit into any of my jeans as she just can't get them over the top of her legs.  She has to buy hers from Gap and always in a boyfriend, slouchy style to accomodate this problem area. I sometimes wonder if it is not harder to dress this body shape.

Daughter Two - The Ironing Board.
As a baby I used to call her "skinny rabbit bottom" because when I changed her nappy, it seemed like she had no bum!  This is the one with the model girl figure (if only she were a couple of inches taller). Any size 8 fits, no matter from what shop, or if bought online and sometimes even a 6 if she really wants it and they don't have her size!. A straight up and down figure with a small bust - Boyish, I guess is the proper name for it - lucky her!  In my mind this is the sort of body that after having children will ping straight back like an elastic band to its pre-pregnancy size. Lucky little Bitch!

Daughter Three - The Glamour Girl.
Although she takes the same dress size as her slightly older sister, she has a figure that wouldn't look out of place on Page Three!  On her recent holiday to Cyprus with her eldest sister and her friends, Daughter one told me that on the first day as they all derobed around the pool, that the older contingent of the group had their jaws dropping open in amazement at her figure.  A 32dd bust, tiny waist but a more meaty backside and top of thigh, than the Ironing Board, but sadly for the Ironing Board, this girl still fits into all her clothes and pinches them frequently (the cause of many arguements now that the IB is home from Uni).

I have in recent years at least been able to realise what I can and can't wear and here are my top tips for apple shaped figures.
  • Fitted dresses and pencil skirts are out.  Dresses need to flare out from under the bust (your smallest part) or be completely A-Line.
  • Avoid Pencil skirts like the Plague! If your belly is not too big and you can still wear a skirt, a tulip or bubble style will balance out the hip area.
  • Banish all belts from your accessories drawer except the ones needed to keep your jeans up! If you belt a dress or skirt it will only draw attention to your biggest part - your belly!
  • Most apples shapes have good legs, so do show them off, but if over 40, stick with knee length dresses to show off shapely calves. Do wear skinny jeans, bermuda shorts and leggings but team with loose flowing tops.
  • Tops must never be tucked in, they must be Tunic styled, flowing and A Line to skim your belly.  I do still wear t-shirts but put a waistcoat or cardigan over the top as this helps to disguise the belly overspill!
  • Coats - I do have a trench, well you have to don't you? but don't belt it up! Capes are good and there are going to be lots around for the new season, otherwise a Pea Coat or Swing style is best.
So as you can see, there are ways to disguise problem areas of my body, but sadly for the double chin, the only option is a Balaclava!

What body shape are you and do you have any tips for dressing your kind of figure?


  1. That headline goes back to the ancient Greeks! but I think it was in reference to ankles can't remember which god/goddess but it was one of the few things that stayed in my head from history/Latin classes. I would have to say I am boyish with broad shoulders and yes I did ping back into shape after having my 3 tots. With genetics there are so many variables - you can take after your mum or dad (thing 1 looks like a mini-me but has his dad's body) or you could be a throw to a past great aunt!

  2. You are so right about looking at the mother in law saying - it will give some guidance. Your three are essentially pear, celery and hour glass.

    Your tips for apple shape are really helpful but as with any body shape proportions are both vertical and horizontal so you can play around with it. But apple shape is the hardest - a princess line is the most flattering when it comes to coats, dresses and hence why an a-line skirt works.

  3. It seems it all depends which is the latest health scare! For instance, I recently read that PEAR-shaped women, who have a high hip-to-waist ratio, may be at greater risk of developing dementia in old age than women with rounder, apple-like figures!

    You can't win...

    btw am posting a pic of my own body shape tomorrow. All have been warned!


  4. I love that diagram you found!!
    I am an hour glass figure. So long as I avoid low slung waists and any 20s style cuts I can pretty much wear anything else. Though I wouldnt mind being a good few inches taller, floaty maxi dresses make me look like a loo roll dolly.

  5. I am an apple shape. I always when I was younger although very slim used to say I had no waist. Boobs always big, no bum to speak of and slim legs. Have put on weight as I have aged though. Jeans are a nightmare if I buy a bigger size to compensate for the waist they are absolutely huge on the legs and bum so once I find a pair I buy several of the same type. Tops if I buy the size that fit my boobs then its normally to wide at the shoulders as mine are very narrow, and the neckline is huge. Again once I find something I am comfortable in I tend to buy a few. If the tops are too flowing I just look like an ancient pregnant woman and strangely enough fitted shift dresses one size larger than normal seem to fit, have bought two recently that look ok. I think Im glad that I have boys but even their shapes are completely different although both slim one has much broader shoulders than the other and slimmer hips and the other one has footballers legs! Loved the bit about the balaclava Fab .... I feel like I need some sort of drawstring to gather me in and pull me up hehehehe xx

  6. I have unfortunately inherited my mother's love of cake, hate of exercise and generous Greek bum. But we've all got to work with what we have, I suppose! x

  7. Hmmm..I think I'm falling in-between apple and pear ... hopefully with getting more active (just got the OK to start back to trend mill..yay!!) I'm hoping to end up at pear. So for the in-betweens; I have found that shift dress are helping me.

    Great POST!!!HHL

  8. What a fabulous post..I am nothing like my mother... she has big boobs tiny waist and curvy hips. She is also 5'2" ... Do you think I came out of her.. flat chested with boy hips??
    I am going back to read this all again.. I am just wanting to say hi and say how much I enjoyed this .... I have had a manic week and weekend and looks like its going to continue lots of photos posts and stuff from me .. and hope I don't miss many posts and blogs of all my favourite people xxx

  9. Hey, radom unrelated comment but I've been thinking after reading your post on blog sales and seeing a few bloggers say they'd like to do one. That we could all organise a blog sale day and all post our wares on that day and link to each others blogs. Do you think it would work? P x

  10. Fantastic post!!
    Unfortunately I haven't my mother's shape who was an hourglass with great legs.
    I'm more of a pear shape with awful legs and knees. I never wear short bottoms.....
    Oh well sometimes it seems one is never happy what one has.... but we must work with that.
    Hope you're having a nice weekend


  11. Of the 3 options listed, I'm an hourglass with tendencies toward apple (as most hourglasses do). I have a short waist and large breasts. My stomach gets larger most easily and my limbs and waist are slender.

    I wonder which of your 3 girls you most resembled when you were their ages - or none? I just wonder how you can know they won't go in the direction of your body type (which is fantastic in that it is well-loved and healthy and stylish!, even if you would like to shed a few pounds).

    My daughter seems completely differently proportioned to me, or anyone in my family. She is extremely lean and muscular - a shape I love. I find it so challenging not to put my hopes for her, shape-wise (based on my own biases and the body I have lived with), onto her. I have to remember that all of the shapes are excellent - as long as healthy, confidence and style go along with them.

  12. What a wonderful written post!. And yes, I do agree that daughters don't always inherit their mother's figures. My mother has the tall long legged slim model body....still. I ended up with the classic pear shape and my daughter has the apple shape. Go figure. I wish that my daughter and I had the same shape so that we could share clothes...just think of the money we would save!

  13. Phew will have to read that all again.You are exactly right my daughter is nothing like my body shape either.

  14. Like your site's new look. And I'm tall but slightly pear-shaped and nothing like my mum who is five foot two and cuddly!

  15. Great post Mrs F! I think I'm a pear - always have and always will have childbearing hips. Which is right pain and very necessary as my childbearing days are well and truly done with! I think it's only as we get older that we learn to dress for our shapes more. I'm sure I spent many years ignoring it... and no doubt leaving the house looking hideous! xxx

  16. Like you my tops are mostly 2 sizes bigger than my bottoms, I always assumed I was an apple, but I can wear belts so I am probably more of an inverted triangle, not sure what fruit that is!
    It has taken a while to adjust to my shape post children and even this year I have made a couple of mistakes as I err towards the shroud still.
    To explode the myth, my eldest is a very curvy, 36 24 34, the second is a classic ironing board who is leaning towards pear, the youngest already is beginning to go apple.
    Like you I think that it is a ridiculous generalisation to compare our children with us although weight is a big issue in my family and in Emin's but not in the eldest twos' so I guess they are looking to have an easier time than Leyla.

  17. Great post! My personal theory is look at your own mother and make sure you work out and watch what you eat so that you don't turn into her!!!! I'm never really sure what catagory I fall into, probably petite hourglass I suppose but petite is always too short everywhere although I'm only 5ft 2"? I just know if I so much as look at any sugar and dairy related item I gain a few pounds instantly!!! e xxx

  18. Hi there, have just found this fabulous blog and would love to take part in this conversation. I tried earlier but my computer kicked me out! How horrible. Anyway, I am absolutely passionate about women who aren't afraid to share stories about their body shapesand I've loved reading through all the comments. I am pretty lucky to be a classic size 12 hourglass (with E cups), but my mum is a petite apple and even at 71 (she is going to kill me for that!!) has absolutely fabulous legs and bum! My cousin is also an apple although on the larger side and has a terrible time finding things that fit her, although we completely revamped her wardrobe together recently and 'wow'! She looked amazing and found many ways of wearing clothes she never thought she would ever wear including fitted dresses, cinch belts and trenches! I shared our hilarious but oh so successful story on my blog if you would like to have a look. My favourite shape believe it or not is a pear. One of my best friends is a pear and I've been practicing dressing and styling her. Her shape is actually really versatile, particularly now that I've introduced her to her new BBF - the local tailor LOL! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  19. Thanks girls for all of your fantastic comments, I really appreciate that you take the time to write xx

  20. I am an apple. i do love apples more than I do pears in the fruit world , too! My mom was pear shaped and always on a diet that didin't really change much in her appearance.
    I was size 14 in my 20s, then climbed to 18 after my 3 were born. got down to 14, seven years ago, and climbed up to 22, my heaviest ever. i have been yo-yo dieting in between which explains I think my intention to participate in Blog Sale Day :)
    Marrying into a family with a mil twice my size didn't help at all, as i tried to keep up with hubby's culinary habits. I actually think I'm growing into my m.i.l :/
    Trully great post, made me speak up. Thanks!!!

  21. I am an absolute pear shape myself. I have found your blog and shall follow from today.Great!!
    Un abrazo from South Spain

  22. Great post. I was always an ironing board and always wanted to be an hourglass. Kate's says above it's actually called a 'celery' which I like! I've got bigger all over as I've got older but not much in the bust area. I tend to wear dresses or jumpsuits as it's easier for my shape to just throw them on. I've always meant to lose the extra weight I've put on over the years but I love food too much! xx


Let me know your thoughts, all comments are much appreciated, I know it takes time and effort xx