Do you know your body shape? Most of us have questioned ourselves on this when shopping for the ideal outfit, and have trawled the internet, makeover TV shows and books in search of answers.
Our bodies are incredible, so why do we all seem to strive for the “holy grail” of body shapes? I’ll let you in on a (not so) little secret: there are many different body shapes, and each one is perfect, normal and above all, worthy of celebration!
Here at Bloomin’ Sexy, we stock a truly inclusive size range that reinforces our belief that your body deserves luxury at any size. We also know that comfort is the key to feeling sexy. With our magnificent materials – Italian satin and luxury lace – you’re dressed like royalty before you’ve even chosen your outerwear. Not only will you look fantastic, you’ll feel it too.
What Are the Most Common Body Shapes?
There are various different resources you can find online about body shapes and how to figure out which one you are. They tend to compare us to fruits or basic shapes, and even glasses. The consensus is usually the same: you’ll fall into one of these categories and be given advice on how to dress for your shape and preferred style.
The most important thing to remember is there are no wrong answers! There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ body shape. As Lisa Newport, a stylist with a wealth of knowledge, points out, “When you’re looking at your body shape you’re looking at the silhouette, not the circumference. We’re not using a measuring tape.” She advises to take a photo of yourself and draw a line straight down from your shoulders, and look at your body on either side of that line. This is important because you can be most shapes at most sizes! I have always been “pear” shaped, regardless of my weight, as I’ll talk about later.
The most easily recognisable body shapes are:
Apple is when hips are slightly smaller than your bust. The apple shape can be described as “top-heavy”, with slim arms and legs. The majority of your weight falls into your mid-section. (Like our designer, Jill – more on that later.) Lisa refers to this shape as an O shape. She recommends styling with “busy, dense patterns to disguise a tummy” and “slim, straight bottoms.”
Pear It’s one we can all easily recognise with the coveted “curves”. This is usually the opposite of the apple, with narrow shoulders, waist and bust, and larger hips and thighs. (Like me, as I’ll discuss in a moment.) Lisa advises that pear shapes (or A, as she prefers) focus on accentuating your waist “as your waist tends to be really quite slim.” She says belts or belted jackets are a great way to do so. She also suggests you “draw attention up with nice lapels and jewellery.”
Rectangle The hips, waist and bust measurements are largely the same with a rectangle body shape, giving a straight up and down appearance. Rectangles can be any size, with some carrying more weight around the bust or the hips. Lisa refers to this shape as H or I depending on the person’s breadth. Lisa recommends that the wider H shapes don’t shy away from bold patterns as “when you’ve got a busy, dense pattern on you can’t actually tell what’s going on underneath it!” Other great advice she gave was to use “scarves and necklaces to draw attention upwards.”
Hourglass Another easily recognisable body shape. Did you know that only around 8% of women have this body shape naturally? It’s outlined by similar measurements of bust and hips, with a smaller, defined waist. Lisa, calling this an X or 8 shape, recommends using “soft, drapey fabrics again because you’re softer and tend to be curvier, so it’s best to avoid tailored or stiff fabrics.”
I am the classic pear shape (or as I’ve always termed it – cello or double bass). Just as described above, I’ve always had a small waist in comparison to my hips and legs. My clothing has always had to be cinched in, so trousers with an elasticated waist are a must! I tend to favour A-line or flared dresses and skirts as finding anything to fit both my legs and waist is a challenge.
As I touched on above, my weight has had little effect on my shape. I have always had a considerably smaller waist (although not so small these days), compared to hips, and even in my smaller days my thighs rubbed together.
Jill, our lovely designer, is more apple shaped with a rounder torso and slimmer limbs. Even she gets a small amount of chafing at the tops of her thighs. It seems I am not alone in this, and the dreaded thigh-chafe is rife!
Knowing our own body shapes, and the gap in the market that we both felt, we created our own solution. We knew it would have to cater to us and so many women we know who fall into the apple or pear shape category.
“I would just like to tell you how thrilled I am with the knickers I have from Bloomin’ Sexy. I have a pair of Romance & Urban. They are so comfortable but with an up-to-date look. No boring knickers for me from now on!!!
Thank you for finding that gap in the market and making me one happy lady. x”
Luxurious and Anti-Chafe
We knew which body shapes we needed to focus on, and that we both had trouble with thigh chafing. We turned to the must-have features of our ideal shorts, focusing on the anti-chafe panel on the inner thigh.
I spent what felt like years searching for a functional yet beautiful solution for my chafing thighs. It seemed that everything I found was too thick, too uncomfortable and just unsexy. Exactly the opposite of what I needed for a very special event I was attending. (My son has the amazing job of composing music for films and I was the lucky plus one for the red carpet!)
For this kind of event I needed to feel confident, supported and above all, comfortable.
As my search went on it became very clear to me that what I was looking for simply didn’t exist – yet!
With a very clear idea in mind, I went to Jill who is a friend and seamstress, and together we crafted the very item we both longed for – sexy, comfortable, anti-chafe lingerie.
“These pants felt really lovely to wear. I often have problems in hot weather with leg rubbing, but don’t like to wear leggings as they are too hot and restrictive on the waistband. These are a great alternative as they feel lightweight, yet supportive and are functional and practical yet look beautiful. I love the lace and fabrics used- they feel like a luxury product.”
We’ve put a lot of time into creating the ideal pattern. Our first attempts had a lower waistline which caused trouble for anyone over a size 12. It seemed that on smaller waisted/larger bummed women (like myself) the shorts just didn’t stay up. Choosing a smaller size also meant that the stretch around the legs, whilst not uncomfortable, pulled them down.
So, we adapted. Raising the waistline to ensure a comfortable fit around the waist while keeping that stretch to the legs to make sure we catered towards both pear and apple shapes. The result is the high-waisted, gorgeous shorts we now know and love.
This Is Not Shapewear
Let’s be clear: our shorts are not shapewear.
Shapewear is a swear word in this house. There’s just nothing I find comfortable or sexy about cramming all your glorious curves into what someone else perceives as the “right shape”. You’re already the right shape!
Not only are they uncomfortable, many shapewear options are plain, too constricting (leaving a displacement of your natural shape in the form of bulges at the top and/or bottom) and downright unsexy. Leggings are a popular choice but they’re just so warm. We don’t need added humidity on a beautiful summer’s day, when all we want is to get rid of that awful thigh rub!
With this in mind, we have deliberately set out to make our lingerie as comfortable as possible, and we succeeded. Our shorts don’t squash, squeeze or constrict you; they support and celebrate your natural shape. As all good clothes should!
Fitted with brilliant stretch in the legs as well as a unique inner thigh panel made of luxurious satin, your thighs sweep over each other, entirely eliminating that thigh rub we all know too well.
They exist to make sure you feel comfortable in proper lingerie made with luxury materials that make you feel good – both physically and emotionally.
Our Plus-Size Mannequin
Knowing that it tends to be us larger ladies that suffer with chafing thighs, we made a point of creating with plus sizes in mind.
Up until fairly recently, a mannequin over a size 8 was positively unheard of! (1647 have written a great post about their brilliant one here.) Even now, it’s difficult to find a shop with mannequins representative of a vast number of ladies in their windows.
Our mannequin, Molly (as we’ve lovingly called her) is doubly special. Not only is she a glorious size 18, she also has legs! Most torso mannequins don’t have legs at all; fortunately Molly’s are just long enough to show off our shorts beautifully.
We chose a size 18 as it sits around the midpoint of our size range, and happens to be one of our most popular sizes. This means we are able to see a realistic representation of our wonderful customers right the way through our creative process.
“I’d like to say thank you for my pair of black classic knickers. They are a brilliant concept and so pretty but practical. And well done for providing for all shapes and sizes putting other manufacturers to shame. My size 18 looks and feels great.”
The average dress size for women in the UK is 16, but we know that averages don’t tell the whole story. Many of us don’t know our true size and body shape until we are mature. Our bodies go through many changes throughout the course of our lives, with some even referring to menopause as a “second puberty”! You may find that your shape stays consistent throughout the years, and you may find it differs completely. Either way, it’s time we started to celebrate our bodies, especially us apples and pears!
We had to search to find materials that gave a good stretch so they would mould to these body shapes but not feel too constrictive. That meant a satin that would stretch but would also work with a stretchy mesh. We also wanted to make sure it would go back to its original shape and wash well. Incorporating the cotton gusset allows women to wear them as normal knickers, too.
We are all very different shapes and sizes, as we’ve seen above, and we all need slight adaptations made to make sure we’re comfortable. That’s why we use these premium materials, so we can accommodate both larger and slimmer thighs without compromising on comfort.
How to Wear Bloomin’ Sexy Shorts
One thing I’ve come to notice is that there’s very little information out there about making sure your knickers are fitted correctly! Most guides I’ve come across seem to focus only on bras.
I’m sure you can recall at least one campaign telling you how to ensure your bra is fitted correctly, usually from M&S or similar. Can you think of anything suggesting to you that your knickers might not fit? I can’t! Consider this your first snippet, of course relating to our gorgeous anti-chafe shorts.
When worn correctly, the satin panel at the front should be pulled up, so that the leg seam sits as high leg knickers would. They have a higher waist, too, reaching to your belly button or just above. They should not feel uncomfortably tight, nor should there be any sagging. Don’t forget, they have been designed with your comfort in mind.
The best way to gauge your size is by going with the size you would usually choose for leggings. (Having said that, my leggings are falling down! The elastic is rolling down as I’ve gained weight… Oops!)
Remember, the legs of our shorts are made with amazingly stretchy mesh and lace to accommodate both smaller and larger thighs, without compromising on the waist comfort, so if you fall between sizes, we’d recommend going with the smaller size.
Bloomin’ Sexy Lingerie
With Bloomin’ Sexy, you’re safe in the knowledge that our underwear is made for women by women and gives that coveted mix of comfort and sexiness. We all deserve to feel confident, empowered and downright sexy. After all, there’s nothing quite as empowering as reclaiming your sexuality and looking damn good in the process!
So, sit back, have a browse of our styles and find your perfect pair with us!
What’s your body shape? Let us know in the comments or get in touch using our contact form.