Maybe it's me, but I get so frustrated when it comes to fit. I hear something about "Curvy" sewing or curvy crochet, or curvy clothes, or curvy wardrobe planning and get excited to read all about it. Then deflation hits - it's all about being plus sized. Those challenges aren't necessarily mine. I am curvy, but I am not plus-sized! (Well, after my cruise, I may have to change that statement if I don't make
drastic consistent diet changes.)
I'll tell you that Levi's got it right with their bold curve jeans. It is almost impossible for me to find jeans that fit - especially fitted jeans. Skinny jeans (and believe me, I've tried numerous brands) will not fit me. If I finally get them to go around my thighs or calves, I am actually looking at something like a 16, and then the waist is way too big, the crotch length is wrong, etc. Levi's bold curve fit me perfectly! No gapping at the back waist, no tugging on the thighs, and they actually make my butt look good! Too bad is too hot to wear jeans :-(
But seriously, I'm so happy about finally finding jeans that fit. I was actually looking for skinny jeans, but the guy in the store was really helpful. When I told him that skinny jeans strangle my calves, he suggested the "slim fit", These were exactly what I wanted! The first time I bought a pair of bold fit (they were straight leg), I got the 6 regular. They have changed their sizing now, and I wear a 29, which I think is equivalent to an 8. The problem is, these jeans are not readily available in many departments stores. Luckily for me, there is a Levi's outlet not too far away. They are also available online if you already know your size, but I ALWAYS try on pants. Uh, that's the model to the right, not me :-)
Now, back to the issue that brought this up. I was reading Sham's website, Communing With Fabric, and I saw a link to Curvy Sewing. This is a new website that targets "curvy" women. However, when I looked at their tag-line, it said "a plus sized sewing community". I did sign up to be a member of the site, because it looks like there may be some good information coming through there, but I was disappointed. Then I found this on the web. Curvy Does Not Mean Plus Sized. Gotta love Kathleen Fasinella. Her book has been on my wish-list for years. One of these days I'll have to give up the cash and get it. Here's the definition of curvy:
The technical definition of curvy refers to a waist-hip differential of .75 . For example, a woman with a 36″ hip is curvy if her waist is 27″ or less. This is a nine inch difference but does not hold true for all dimensions because curvy is relative. It’s math, not opinion. By way of comparison, a hip measure of 46″ is only curvy if her waist is 34.5″ or less, a difference of 11.5″.
Check this out. According to the definition above, the girl on the left is curvy, but the girl on the right is not. Each model was measured at the waist with a green line and that same green line was copied and pasted onto different areas of the body. You can see the difference! Of course, the true measurement needs to be all the way around, but the lines are drawn just for a visual.
Lets do the math. My measurements (as of yesterday) are 36-29-40. Using the formula above, .75 X40 =30. Since my waist is only 29, this qualifies me as curvy. Now, let's look at the bust measurement. 36 X .75 = 27. Since my waist is over 27", according to the forumula above, I am not curvy. However, I wonder if there is a caveat. My upper bust measurement is 31.5 and my underbust is 30.5. Visually, I am very curvy on the upper part of my body. There is a 5" difference (averaging upper and lower bust measurements) which is almost 14%. I wonder how/ if this factors in.
So, what I really want is information on how to look best for the true curvy girl, fitting tips, wardrobe ideas, etc. It's hard enough to decide what is stylish and appropriate to wear when you're 50+ Most fashion magazines, patterns, etc., use very young, very thin models. I want to be stylish, but not look like I'm trying to look 20. I also don't want to look like a frump. My style is changing now that I live in a foothill community, but I still work and want to look well-put together, but be comfortable (shoes are always an issue. Stylish and comfortable just never seem to be in the same arena - but that's another post.)
So, are you curvy but not plus sized? How have you met the fashion challenges? What resources have you found valuable surrounding this issue?