When I started wanting to change how I dressed, I started shopping like I’d won a trolley dash. I’d hit the weight I wanted to get to, I’d taken lots of my old clothes to a dress agency to be sold and I truly believed that everything I saw and liked would now look great on me. Because we live in a retail desert, I did huge orders from Boden, White Company, Zara, Hobbs, Jigsaw and ASOS expecting to have to narrow my choice down to a final selection for the budget I’d allowed myself. The shock was that nothing worked. Everything, except the 3 pairs of boots I’d ordered, went back (thank goodness for feet – they look good in anything). It was so disappointing – it had taken me 6 months of dieting and exercise to get to what I had thought would be this great day and I didn’t feel like I looked any better. Although I didn’t know it, the question I needed to ask myself was “what body shape am I?”

Mr MC and the boys realised that it wasn’t a good time and took many valiant attempts at reassuring me before I was able to approach the situation with a calm, clear head. I wouldn’t normally take such a random approach to a project they reasoned, in fact a day out shopping in our family is planned like a military campaign with every store being visited before I can accept that the first thing we saw and instinctively liked was, in fact, the best one. Why should this be any different? There must be a way to do this claimed Mr MC – a strategy. And of course he was right. I needed to work out:

  • What shapes would look good on me?
  • What I need to hide and what can be revealed?
  • What are my best colours?
  • What kind of clothes do I actually need for the life that I lead?

I also decided that I needed to divide my wardrobe into workhorses (basics) and heroes (glam pieces to add a bit of je ne sais quoi).

What body shape am I?

Ok so this is to be the cold light of day moment, the starting point for me to move on from. I’m always seeing features in magazines that try to answer the “what body shape am I” question. I always give up because:

  • I know I’m choosing the body shape I want to have rather than the one I actually have
  • My body has changed and it’s hard to accept that
  • I can usually narrow it down to 2 or 3 but can’t work out which one is actually me
  • I can’t be bothered to find a tape measure and then do lots of adding and subtracting
  • In a nutshell it’s just too much hard work.

I also put it off because I think I’m going to get thinner so I’ll do it then. The fact is that even if you do lose weight your actual body shape probably doesn’t change, there’s just a bit less of it so you may as well get on with it! Now, Mr MC is a graphic designer, so he’s pretty good at things like shape and perspective. I outlined my quandary and he thinks he’s come up with a good way of approaching it. Apparently we need to draw my shape and then compare it directly to the outlines that you see in magazines. Let’s see if it works. His idea is to:

  • Find a white wall to stand against
  • Wear something dark and clingy – I’m going for my gym stuff – probably not what he was hoping for.
  • Grin and bear it while he takes a straight on photo.
  • Print the photo off
  • Draw round the edge of my body – apparently if you’re taking this really seriously use tracing paper (greaseproof works too)
  • Compare the shape to those below:


My photo

What body shape am I?


Outlined with a Sharpie – blimey – look at those shoulders!



what body shape am I?

Ta dah! It turns out I’m an inverted triangle (funny that, I always wished to be an hourglass but assumed I was a pear):

What Body Shape Am I? Midlife chic helps you to define it.

I can’t help seeing myself in a whole new light – as a moshling or one of Sponge Bob’s friends maybe. Oh well – the next thing to uncover is how to dress for my inverted triangle but at least I’m one step closer to getting my groove back. Hugs and kisses to the ever patient Mr MC.

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