The British woman’s figure is shifting again. The high street fashion firm, Debenhams reported that the British ideal of the perfect woman is on the move once more.
One shape has dominated British thought regarding women for 50 years now, the thin, tall, slender hips. Now, though, that old-fashioned Jane Russell look is swinging back around. That shape is the hourglass figure, or so the sales reflect its popularity.
Sale for shapely women’s wear top off at 225% in 2010. These were clothes that cast the ideal woman’s silhouette.
Michelle Dowdall, spokesperson for Debenhams admitted, “Large breasts, tiny waists, and wide hips are pushing their way back into the market and into the UK mainstream. We’re returning to an age when all women looked like Jane Russell, Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth. It’s bad news for stick thin models – but great news for ordinary women on the street with healthy, fuller figures.”
Debenhams believes the trend towards ample proportions may have been inspired by recent hit TV series Madmen. The increasing popularity of music by singers such as Duffy and Paloma Faith who base their image on 1950s style film stars may also be having an effect.
However there is also evidence to suggest that the definition of feminine beauty is cyclical. Nude body forms chosen by artists and painters across the last two centuries have alternated between thinner and fuller figures every fifty or sixty years, experts say.
Since thin female bodies have been popular since the 1960s, this trend, combined with Debenhams sales figures, suggests that Britain may on the cusp of change. A propensity for hour glass figures would have a dramatic impact upon the clothes and fashions worn by women in the future, says Debenhams.
An hour glass figure demands sharp, tailored clothes which define the body’s curves rather than hide it. Pencil skirts, fitted jackets and strapless dresses would all rise in popularity – a major shift away from today’s boyish, androgynous styles. Deep v-neck sweaters, tight fitting blouses – and good underwear hiding bumps and lumps will also become even more essential.
Michelle Dowdall continued: “We’re watching this development very closely because it could have a major impact upon fashion in the future. Like all good businesses we look at trends way ahead, so if hour glass figures are going to return – and current evidence suggests that they are – then we need to begin planning for that major change now.”
Current popular hour glass figure icons include Christina Hendricks, Nigella Lawson, Scarlet Johansson and Salma Hayek”