Maybe you’ve noticed in the mirror that one of your shoulders is higher than the other. But did you know that our bodies also twist from top to bottom, lean to the side, and are sometimes bigger on one side? Just because most patterns are symmetrical doesn’t mean that your body is too!
News flash: we are living, organic beings!
After performing dozens of body scans, we’ve discovered that many people out there just aren’t super aware that their bodies have these unique qualities. “Perfect” balanced silhouettes appear everywhere from pattern drawings to standard dress forms. It’s really no surprise that our mental image of our body does not match reality.
It’s helpful to understand how you are asymmetric so you can fit your garments better. Depending on your body’s shape, you may want to fit left and right pattern pieces separately. Ultimately, understanding your body’s unique shape will give you better control over how your garments hang and drape over your entire body.
Here’s an example from an early prototype test study. You can see this lovely lady’s asymmetry by looking at her Beatrice from the front, sides and back:
It’s also fun to see these pictures superimposed over photos of her:
She’s a right-handed artist who paints… can you tell?
How to “see” your unique shape
If you aren’t having your body scanned for a Beatrice, another way to see your body’s shape is to have a friend take pictures of you. Put on a tight fitting outfit like yoga clothes and tie some elastic around your waist and underbust for reference. Then have your friend take some shots straight on from the front and back and each side. In each shot, make sure the camera frame is lined up so the floor is level and the model fills up the whole frame, like in the pictures above but include the whole body from head to toe.
If you are having trouble seeing your asymmetry in the photos, you can open up your images in a free program like Preview and draw some lines or rectangles to bisect your body as reference. You too can learn a lot about your body and posture in just a few minutes. If you try this out, please let me know how it went in the comments! 🙂