Akram's Ideas
Akram's Ideas : Guide To Charm: Step 5 Defining “Chic”

Guide To Charm: Step 5 Defining “Chic”

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Already in our yearlong series “Guide to Charm” we’ve looked at:

This month we answer the question when is a woman considered “chic”  as we follow the steps from the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm.

What is Chic

The word “chic” is French is origin and is typically defined in one of four ways:

  1. Adjective : attractive and fashionable; stylish
  2. Noun :smart elegance and sophistication especially of dress or manner
  3. Noun: a distinctive mode of dress or manner associated with a fashionable lifestyle, ideology, or pursuit
  4. Noun: a casual and understated style, as in dress or décor, that expresses a specified trendy lifestyle or activity:

A Chic Woman

According to the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm , a chic woman is more than just one that dresses in the latest fashion trends. Instead it is a woman who is comfortable in her own body and knows how to dress to dramatize her good points.

A chic woman is one who is never over or under dressed, and feels confident in her clothes. This confidence radiates a sense of charm making her chic.

Optical Illusions

So, if being chic is all about wearing clothes that are right for you, how do you know what’s right for you?

The book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm , suggests using optical illusions to help your clothes portray the look you want.  After all you clothes can make you look taller, shorter, thinner or rounder, it’s just depends on the clothes and what look you are after.

Body Shapes

There are lots of articles regarding body shape. The idea is that you dress to enhance your body shape.

Different Body Shapes
Different Body Shapes

While the names of the body shapes vary, depending on what article you read, the most common ones include:

  • Apple – border shoulders and bust, narrow hips
  • Banana (Rectangle) – waist, hips and bust measurements are less than 9 inches apart
  • Pear – hips are greater than bust
  • Hourglass – narrow waist, hips and bust close to same measurement

Not sure what body shape you are, luckily I came across a great little body type calculator that helps you identify your body shape.

Ideal Body Shape

While the hourglass shape is considered several studies over the years have suggested that about 46% of women are actually a banana shape.

As it turns out I too am a Banana.

Minoins love bananas
Minoins love bananas

Of course as it turns out many celebrities are also banana shapes, so I guess I’m not in bad company after all.

Banana Shaped Celebrities
Banana Shaped Celebrities

As far as other body shapes go, 20% are pear, 14% apple and a mere 8% are the ideal hourglass shape. This suggests that our ideal shape is not necessarily one we should be aiming for.

Remember what we’ve learned so far in our guide to being charming, it’s more about how you feel about yourself than anything, the same goes with being chic. Instead of trying be something you’re not we should focus on our own assets and dress that flatters your body type not that of someone else.

Dressing For your Body Shape

Once you have a better understanding of your body shape you need to dress for it. How does one do this.

Luckily the Internet provides with countless charts and suggestions for dressing for our body type. These charts often have a list of dos and don’ts, such as the one by FashionCents.tv.


Choosing the Right Style for your Body Shape
Choosing the Right Style for your Body Shape

While charts can help you build a wardrobe that will flatter your body type, it’s important to be true to yourself. If you feel good and look good in a certain fashion style that might be considered a don’t for your body type, to heck with the rules!

Our “Guide to Charm” continues next month when we explore your wardrobe.

Don’t forget you can copy of Better than Beauty: A Guide to Charm, here.

Pin It
Akram's Ideas : Guide To Charm: Step 5 Defining “Chic”

Add comment

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

Follow @akramsideas



  • Dresslily Spring New Arrivals: Up to 60% OFF + Free Shipping, Shop Now!
  • Sulky.com Free Projects, Tutorials and Webinars