I don’t mean your bust and underbust measurements–if you’re reading Hourglassy, you’ve known your bra size for a long time. Today I’m continuing with the topic of vertical proportions that I introduced last week.
According to The Triumph of Individual Style, the body that is easiest to dress is eight head lengths long, distributed in the following proportions:
head = 1 head length
upper torso = 2 head lengths
rise = 1 head length
legs = 4 head lengths
Before I continue, I must pause to sing the authors’ praises for their sensitive treatment of this subject. Did you notice I used the phrase “easiest to dress” instead of “ideal”? These quotes from the book show why:
The easy-to-dress body is rare. Yes, it is beautiful, but it does not negate the beauty found in all bodies. We present it here not as the ideal, but as an easy way to demonstrate the idea of the Golden Mean as applied to clothing.
Like us, you are probably dismayed to find nothing in the stores that fits, making you think there must be something wrong with your body. Believe now and forever that there is nothing wrong with your body, only that many clothes out there are cut for the easy-to-dress body proportions and not for your proportions.
Now here’s how to discover if you have easy-to-dress body proportions, using my measurements as an example. If you’re measuring yourself, you may want to use a string.
A. measurement from top of head to soles of feet = 63″
B. measurement from top of head to chin = 8.5″
C. Divide total height by head length. 63 · 8.5 = 7.41
(Because my body is less than 8 head lengths, my head is considered long. If it were more than 8 head lengths, my head would be considered short. If I wore 4″ heels, I would be shy of 8 head lengths by just .12 of an inch!)
D. measurement from chin to waist = 16″
Because this is less than 2 head lengths, I am considered short-waisted. If it were more than 2 head lengths, I would be considered long-waisted.
E. measurement from waist to crotch = 11″
Because this is more than 1 head length, my rise is considered long. If it were less than 1 head length, my rise would be considered short.
F. measurement from crotch to soles of feet = 28.5″
Because this is less than 4 head lengths, my legs are considered short. If it were more than 4 head lengths, my legs would be considered long.
If you took your measurements, did anything surprise you?
This is fascinating to me, and I don’t usually enjoy math at all! So far I have only measured my head and the length of my whole body. When I am standing flat-footed on the ground, my body is 7.7 head lengths long. Shoes that have two inch heels bring me to exactly 8 head lengths (but don’t worry, I will still wear my 4-inch ones). I can’t wait to get a friend to measure my other dimensions so I can see whether I have vertical proportions that are easy to dress. I know that the horizontal proportions (waist to hip ratio, waist to bust ratio) of my body make it difficult to dress.
Not much surpise, actually, but nice to have it in print, hah!
My waist is pretty high, which was confirmed by short waist/long rise in this. And it was also confirmed that despite being taller than average, I have shorter than average legs! Never thought about my head compared to my body, but this also confirmed that I had a proportional head, so maybe that is why…