#008 – Embracing Your Body Shape with Susie Hasler
Joining me on the sofa is fashion guru Susie Hasler, managing director of Styled by Susie. You might think I’m going off piste but, her clients and our ‘Frankettes’ want the same thing – to feel good and look good. This is not only achieved by regular exercise but, “Knowing how to wear your shape,” she says. And guys – don’t tune out – this might be one more for the gals but, if you want to stay in the Missus’s good books, a little body coaching might be just the thing you need to get in touch with your feminine side.
Words PHILIPPA HENNESSY
After noticing a gap in the market for styling on a high street budget, Susie became a registered Style Coach TM and qualified in 2011. A year later, Styled By Susie was founded. Her ethos? “To bring personal styling into every woman’s life – it’s a service that shouldn’t be limited to the rich and famous.” And, basing her advice on high street stores and prices, this is exactly what she does. “I believe in dressing for style, not for fashion,” she emphasises. And what about her own style? “Edgy, fun accessories, lots of leopard print and a pair of trusty Dr. Martens.”
And luckily, she lets slip that one of her favourite colours is blue, which is good, because I’m (once again) clad in my ‘Frank blue’, or as she calls it, ‘cobalt blue’. I’m liking it.
Back to more serious business – the body shape. According to Susie, there are five different body shapes that women have: the hourglass, the apple, the strawberry, the pear and the rectangle.
“EMBRACE YOUR SHAPE”
“We can tone up but we can’t change our natural shape – we should embrace it instead.”
I have to confess, that being a bloke, I’m clueless when it comes to this technical shape jargon, so, picking out the pear and the strawberry, these are her guidelines for choosing the right outfits for your shape:
THE PEAR SHAPE is narrower on the top and can gain weight quite easily on the bottom half:
- Keep the focus on the top half
- Wear interesting necklines
- Add detail to the top half, such as stripes, texture and bold colours
TOP TIP: By keeping the bottom half simple will balance you out into more of an hourglass shape.
THE STRAWBERRY SHAPE is a wide upper body with fuller arms, big bust, smaller hips and slimmer legs:
- Focus on the detail in the lower half bottom half!
- Wear plain, classic tops
“Many of the strawberry shapes I work with were keen swimmers when they were younger. If you fall into this category, your goal is to balance your figure by accentuating your bottom half.
“You can have completely different guidelines for each shape – different clothes and accessories enhance certain body shapes. It’s all about dressing you,rather than wanting to know why something which suits your friend doesn’t suit you. Ditch the ‘My friend looks great in this, why don’t I’? You have to dress your individual shape and that’s where I come in – to help women show off their best bits.”
She consults women of all different ages, shapes and sizes. “Many come to me when they’ve lost their way a little bit and don’t know how to dress themselves. A lot of them have had children and/or gone through the menopause. My services (which include online style analysis) can help them get back on track and win back their confidence.”
She reveals that she’s worked with a few men in the past, but stresses that her passion is with women. “There’s so many things you can do with a woman’s style that you just can’t do with men.”
Highlight of the job? “I call it the ‘Wizard of Oz’ moment, when a client looks in the mirror and they’re wearing an item they never thought they would and they love what’s staring back at them. They’re looking good and feeling good. Job done!”
Time’s flown by and she tells me she has an appointment with an 82-year-old woman to get to, leaving me having flash backs of Dorothy’s blue gingham dress suddenly turning into a green emerald one. However, I’m soon brought back to earth by her parting words of wisdom: “Always remember that a woman is beautiful, no matter the shape of her body.”
I have been warned…
If you’re having a wardrobe dilemma and want to know how to enhance your shape, go to styledbysusie.co.uk. You can also track Susie and her team down on Facebook and join her rapidly growing group of over 5,000 women.