Shuffling off the frump.

25 Jan

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while, but it’s time to bite the bullet. So, deep breath and here we go…

Some of you may recall that last year I made an Ingenue pullover from Wendy Bernard’s gorgeous book Custom Knits. If you have no life at all, you may even have wondered why I haven’t done a proper Finished Object post, complete with a triumphant picture of me wearing said pullover. Well, there’s a very good reason why I haven’t done that.

It’s horrible.

Actually, that’s not true. Empirically, Ingenue is a beautiful garment. The pattern is lovely, with it’s 1960’s Audrey Hepburn styling. The posmerino yarn is soft as a dream, gloriously warm and slightly haloed thanks to the possum fur. The colours are stunning: I think it is one of the best dyeing jobs I’ve ever done. No, the problem is entirely me. You see, I was temporarily insane when I chose this project – I forgot that I’m not 25 anymore. I was a completely different shape before my babies: effortlessly thin, practically breastless, long-necked, long-legged, you get the picture. The ‘mod’ styling of this jumper was exactly the sort of thing I loved to wear (and looked pretty damn good in, if I do say so).

Yes. Well. I am very much not that girl anymore, a fact that was brought home to me when I saw the one and only pic there ever was or will be of me in the Ingenue:

That's me on the far left, looking like an overstuffed teddy bear.

Yes, I’ve gained back all the weight I lost two years ago (and then some), but I’m sure that even if I were still slim this jumper would not work on me. Because even at 70kg I’m a lot curvier than I was 17 years ago, and the Ingenue’s basic shape is not one for curvy girls.

So, having established that this shape was wrong for me, I then had to figure out what was right. A bit of Google-Fu and a quick trip to the library later, and I had my answer: Trinny and Susannah’s Body Shape Bible. It turns out that my post-baby body is a Cello, a more statuesqe version of the classic Hourglass and, right there in the section on what to avoid:

Polo-neck jumper or shirt – you have breasts, quite large ones in fact, and anything that covers your cleavage is a big no-no. You’ll simply look shorter and wider with some sort of deformity in the middle of your chest.

Yep, that about sums up how I look in the photo above. As for what I should be wearing, there’s a whole list of “right” shapes there on the linked page. As it turns out, my wardrobe isn’t chock-full of wrong:

  • Most of my t-shirts are scoop- or v-neck (or henley, which can be unbuttoned partway for much the same effect).
  • The 2 or 3 dresses I do own are high-waisted, if not halternecks (they are mostly autumn/winter wear).
  • My jeans are all boot-cut rather than skinny, and my very favourite non-jeans pants are wide-leg.
  • I generally prefer cardigans, which create a vertical line, distracting from the predominantly horizontal nature of my shape.

So I’m not too badly off, and now I have a shopping list of styles that will work for me; both now, and as I get my weight back down (which is most definitely on the cards for this year).

As for Ingenue, it will be returned to string in the very near future, and I have already picked out the pattern for its next incarnation – Foxhollow, a brand-new longline gorgeousness from Amy Swenson:

(c) Amy Swenson 2012

Stay tuned, because this isn’t over. There will be wardrobe purges, new clothes bought and made, and all manner of fun as I figure out how to dress this version of me.

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10 Responses to “Shuffling off the frump.”

  1. Regenia January 25, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    So when was the picture taken? You’re hair is looking really good if it’s recent. I can’t believe its been almost a year since the cut.

    • kissmyfrog January 25, 2012 at 11:36 am #

      That was last July in Bendigo. It’s been cut a couple of times since then (yes, I have freakishly fast-growing hair!) At the moment, it’s about twice that long, and very curly.

  2. 2paw January 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I don’t quite fit any of the shapes. It’s maddening, but I couldn’t wear Ingenue either. I’d be like Mrs Bucket in full bustal flight!! I do the boot cut, the v and scoop necks, waists are not good on me, I think a-lines are?? Oh, Foxhollow is very nice!!

  3. Lynne January 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    I love that long line cardigan. Good on you for taking such a massive step! And you are very brave to post it on the ‘Net!

  4. RoseRed January 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    I love Trinny and Susannah. I was pleased to find I mostly dressed according to their rules, and now I pretty much entirely do. Not always, because sometimes something against the rules actually does work.

    I love Ingenue too, but it is no good for my figure for the same reasons as you, sadly.

  5. amy January 26, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Hmm. Maybe I should take another look at that pattern. I’m a stick, basically. You’d think three babies would result in more cleavage, but no. I have no idea what my body shape is (is “stick” an option?) but it is January in New England and I dress in layers. Thermals (usually two), a wool sweater or a bulky sweatshirt or fleece…the very idea of exposed skin at the moment, yikes. Summer is shorts and t-shirts. Oh, dear. I have no style whatsoever, do I?

    I love that second sweater, your new plan. That is some serious knitting commitment, though! Can’t wait to see it finished & on. 🙂

  6. Kate January 27, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Oh dear… it didn’t really look like that in real life…
    I’m with you on the defrump though – and making some definite moves towards a version of myself who looks like she has some kind of clue what she looks like to other people.

    • kissmyfrog January 27, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Thank god, because I was seriously considering hunting you all down and kicking your collective arses for letting me leave the house looking like that! However it did look, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Audrey, which is what I wanted.

      I know it’s only every couple of years, but whenever I’ve seen you, you’ve always looked pretty put-together. Mind you, that incredible coat would pull anything together. Bestest lucky find in all the whole of EVER! Probably not a workable proposition in HK, though. Does it get very cold there?

      • Leonie February 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

        I agree with Kate it didn’t look like that in real life. It certainly looked better!

  7. Cathies Blog January 31, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    I love it! and I love that yarn too,but I do agree when knitting something we have this preconcieved veiw of what it will look like,that svelte figure in the book,ahem no but in saying that I decided I will have no life if I continue to pretend that I am not the age I am,yes I do try to dress a little below my age and can get away with it sometimes but reality strikes when you least expect. I knit Snowgoose last year and all fello knitters thought and said it was wonderful but i got an eye full in the shop window and like you i doubt it will see daylight on me anyway for some time,yep weights crept up on me even though I dont eat much I cant get rid of that nasty package around the waist

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