Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

March 09, 2010

I've just got big stomach bones ... no really, I have

At some point in the not too distant past, I believe I was the owner of a waist. The recollection is a little hazy (being on account of both my memory - and anything in the abdominal region - having being trashed by child-bearing). Still, older parts of my wardrobe seem to tell a story of a torso that once went a little bit in and then a little bit out again. All in the right spots.

Now as I look in the mirror, there's little evidence as to its prior existence. Ever. My pre-baby figure was never particularly perfect, but the hourglass bit seems to be indelibly stamped in my sense of self. Brown hair, brown eyes, 5-foot-5 and a waist.

Being waistless feels a little bit sad and a whole lot exasperating.

Some clothes no longer fit. Others do, but drape oddly or don't look particularly flattering. I seem to take a pile of wrong things into the fitting room when trying on clothes. And there's been more than one sewn muslin abandoned - just because something fits, doesn't mean you should wear it. I am beginning to see I am attracted to sewing patterns that are likely to produce more misses than hits.

I wonder if once lost, a waist be recaptured? Realistically the odds of it happening again in my lifetime seem somewhat slender. Sure, I could lose a little weight (ok, ok, maybe quite a bit ... or a lot even ... I realise that the I've just got big stomach bones excuse would never wash at Weight Watchers), but I suspect that even as I begin the process of trimming-down, my basic shape is unlikely to change.

So I have been casting around to work out what the new body shape is and how I should dress it. Google helpfully profers shapes and fruits. Am I a rectangle? A triangle? A pear perhaps? Or maybe an apple? Er no, no, no and no.

Just when I was beginning to think I should call myself a paw paw and be done with it, I chanced upon a website called Shop Your Shape. This site has a good body shape calculator. You input your bust, waist and hip measurements in inches and answer a couple of additional questions and the calculator ascertains your shape. (I do have to point out that none of the questions relate to kilos or pounds - afterall the site's by-line is Its Your Shape Not Your Weight That Matters!)

Once the calculator has deduced your shape, you are directed to line diagrams of trousers, skirts, dresses and jackets that are most flattering for that shape. I had a genuine light bulb moment when I saw the recommended styles and colour blockings. Only a few were things I would have intuitively chosen; some I would have actively rejected. But once I saw the logic behind the shapes and lines, I had to agree that I'd be inclined to give them a go.

So now I can shop and select patterns with the confidence of knowing that my body shape is a "Spoon". (Of course the irony of the probable role of the spoon in the disappearance of my waistline, is not entirely lost on me.)

Shop Your Shape
Body shape calculator and dressing hints online.
Free. Registration on the site is available, but is not required.

Links to a selection of clothing stores are provided.


  1. Liesl!! This is a fantastic find!

    New to clothes sewing, I have found it really hard to find patterns that will suit me once sewn up.

  2. But guess what happens when I put my measurements into this site! I get "Your body type is unavailable at this time. A very small percentage of women do not fall into any of the 7 body type catagories. We are sorry that we cannot match your body type at this time."
    There is no hope for me!
    I'm basically a lollipop. Bust bigger than hips, waist only a few inches smaller than bust and only a couple of inches bigger than hips. Flat bum and thin legs. Weird, basically.
    I never had a waist to find! I'm off to check out the "spoon".

  3. Thankyou so much for this site. I'm a spoon too. I too find the clothes I feel best in are the ones recommended.

  4. Giggles, spoon - the reason you lost your waist, hilarious!! Try Tony Ferguson. I was lucky enough to pop out 4 babies & return to high school weight (& tone) but i was in my 20s!! When i weaned that last baby, i turned 31 & boom, weight piled on, carbs were the enemy. Enough was enough late last year so i did a few months of Tony Ferguson & off fell 12kg. Kept it off all over Summer & Christmas too. I'm going back on next week to lose the next 12kg. I long to be a neat size 10 again, so annoying when i see those pictures of me with 4 children, slim & young, 35 sucks!! Love Posie

  5. What I want to know, is what the heck is that turning 35 bizzo about? Nearly four years after the fact, I'm still stunned that I can't drop 2kg just by looking at a pair of trainers. The injustice. Just back from rowing at a gym wall. Took ages. Think I'll go and investigate my inner (and outer) spoon instead. (great research Mrs!)...

  6. Oh hilarious! Thanks for the link!

    I'm apparently an hourglass, but I feel the website hasn't taken into consideration that while my bust/waist/hips may be hour glass, there's a few ah..tyres.. that need to be taken into consideration!

  7. it seems i'm in the wonderful world of spoons ... that's how i got the belly problem ... too much on a spoon! LOL interesting i actively pick stuff they recommended ... basically anything high waisted which covers up the bulge. tania ... i'm with you. why can't i love the 4 kgs i want ... i summoned up the energy to put the damn sneakers on ... do i have to use them too?

  8. oooh good one - I do like to check out all this body shape biz! By my measurements I'm usually a pear-ish, but really to look at front on my hips aren't much bigger than my shoulders - it's the butt sticking out the back that adds the cms!
    I came across a similar site this week too - my shape - http://www.myshape.com/
    You put in HEAPS of measurements and it makes your own personalised online shop of clothes to fit & suit you! Fun! =)

  9. Thankyou so much. This knowledge is absolutely wonderful. I too have a few unusually large stomach bones and have been casting around for new styles because I see other women who are totally out of shape+++ and they still look wonderful and I want to too. So thankyou. If this is all you say it will be invaluable. Cherrie

  10. I can't wait to check this out!! Thanks for the tip! My little bundles of joy devestated my middle...and I swear that when I exercise I get BIGGER! Finding clothes that fit has been a real problem...I love the tips you're providing...thank you!!!

  11. A very small percentage of women do not fall into any of the 7 body type catagories. We are sorry that we cannot match your body type at this time.

    Ugh. That's the same thing some "genius" jeans fitting website told me a year or so ago. Granted, I am pregnant at the moment, but I gave it a pretty good guess as to what my body will measure at when baby is a month or two old. Even though my bust and hips are about the same and my waist is about 10 inches smaller than they, I am not an hourglass, I guess. Then, add to that the fact that my natural waist is about 4 inches below my bust and, well, I am not in a good place. I honestly don't know what clothes look good on my freaky body. At least for the next 3.5 months it doesn't matter because I am carrying a basketball in my blouse :D

  12. Another spoon here! I read so many people saying that large stomach bones occur post babies. But really it's that post 35 thing. I have never had any babies and I still gained 3 inches round my waist through my mid-thirties. Middle aged spread.

    Some people retain water. Me, I retain shortbread. And chocolate.

  13. what a neat site to try :) *goes to get tape measure*

  14. This pear says thanks for passing on the details of this site.... xxx

  15. I, too, am a spoon! I do find some of their choices flattering, but some like the empire waist shirt with the flowing bottom makes my hips look even bigger! It is so hard to lose even 5lbs, I can't imagine all 25 I need to lose :(

  16. Haven't had time to try the site yet. Is pumpkin a possible shape? Do you have to put your cankle measurements in?

    Bloody 35, bloody big boned stomachs, bloody chocolate!

    Hoping I'll see you tonight my friend.

  17. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm a spoon, and now I know that I was mostly right with my clothing choices. It is such a great site!!!

  18. Hihi, you should get a personal dresser then. JK. :) Of course, what other people say also matter. That is why you could ask advice from your friends and loved ones whenever you're about to buy clothes.

  19. Thank you for sharing this link!


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