A Stylist’s Four Tips to Get the Right Fit

I’m so excited today because I get to introduce you to someone I think is pretty special.  Her name is Samantha Hannah and she’s not only one of my mastermind buddies but a very talented personal stylist.  I admire her ability to perfectly pull an outfit together but even more her sweet spirit and beautiful soul.   Sam is from New Zealand and when you meet her, you instantly notice her passion for impeccable style (and her cute accent!)

When I decided to offer a masterclass teaching fit advice as one of the bonuses for the Fall 2015 GYPO Style Challenge, Sam was my first pick to teach it.  She understands fit so well and knows that it’s the difference maker in whether an outfit works for you or not.

For a more official intro, here’s Sam’s bio:

Samantha Hannah is a spirited personal stylist and personal branding strategist, keynote speaker, TV host and founder of the e-course The Entrepreneur Style. Over the past 9 years Sam has helped thousands of women find a unique personal style that allows them to express who they are from the inside out through onte to one coaching, workshops, live events, and more recently her online courses.  She’s the style expert on the TV show Starting Over, had a regular spot on TVNZ’s Good Morning Show, been the style expert in NEXT magazine and the fashion editor of 4 magazines.

Sam believes, “Style is more than the clothes you wear, it’s everything you are.  What you think, what you value and how you live all affect the way you see yourself, which then affects the way you dress and how the world receives you.  To be successful, you need to become aware of all of these things.”

Today Sam is sharing with us her top four tips for getting the right fit.


Ever had days where you’re shopping online or out in stores feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because you just don’t know what shapes, styles or colors to buy that suit you?

I know I did before I became a stylist, as have plenty of my clients since. Knowing exactly what to buy that’ll flatter your shape can be one of life’s hardest challenges; especially if you’re a busy working mom, with limited time to spare.

You wish to click into an online store or glide into a clothing shop, picking out an armful of garments in shapes and styles that fit you well, and confidently purchasing them knowing the pieces you’ve chosen are going to look gorgeous.

What if I told you this is possible? And that all you need is a sprinkling of some key ingredients and you’ll never feel stressed about your dress again.

For the past nine years I’ve dedicated my time and energy to learning, researching, experimenting, trusting intuition and practicing the art of personal styling.   I’ve worked with hundreds of women from many countries, all shapes and sizes, ages and colourings, creating what I believe is a practical yet fabulous recipe book of styling tricks. And I’d love to share some secrets with you.

1.  Know your body proportions more than your body shape. It’s so easy to put yourself in a box, but realistically that box may still be wrong. Not all body shapes are the same. As an example, height, weight and torso length are just 3 of the many things that could be totally different between, say, two ‘pear shaped’ women. Your body proportions give you much more information about yourself. Remember, your body is unique… it’s suppose to be. There’s no one like you and that’s a beautiful thing.

Your body proportions include some of the following:

  • Is your torso long, short or proportioned?
  • Is your waist defined, slight or straight?
  • Are your arms long, short or balanced?
  • Are your shoulders wide, narrow or balanced to your hips?

Knowing the answers to questions like these will help you find the right fit of clothing for you.

2.  Learn how to take your measurements. This is essential for choosing the right size garments for you. Before you make any purchases, always have your measurements with you.

  • Your height – to know if something is going to be too long, too short or just right.
  • Your waist – it’s not necessarily at your belly button. I’ll explain more in a moment.
  • Your bustline – measure around your bust, cross your nipple line.
  • bustYour hips – stand straight and raise one leg up, bent at the knee, until it’s horizontal to your hip bone. Mark the top of the leg at the hip, lower your leg and measure around your hips and bottom from the marked point.
  • hipsYour rise – measure from the top of your pubic bone to your belly button. It’s important you know your rise when buying pants because the rise determines where your pants sit on your body.

3.  Get to know your waist! Your waistline holds so many answers to your ‘best fit’ questions because it is the centre point of your torso. It’ll tell you if you can wear tops tucked in or out, fitted or floaty, tapered or straight, which is super useful in your buying decisions. And since this area is crucial to many of my styling decisions, I thought I’d share my exact recipe for finding a client’s waistline to help you even more.

Finding your Waist. waist

Put your hands on your torso, and tip over to the right side.You’ll feel your body indent in one place more than another, usually it’s around the bottom of your ribs.  Keeping your right hand at the place where you indented the most, stand up straight. This is your natural waist.

Are you short waisted or long?

  • Keep your right hand on your torso at the point where your natural waist is.
  • Put your left hand underneath your bra line.
  • Between the hand on your natural waistline and your hand under your bra line, how much space do you have?

If you have little space between your bra and your natural waist, you have a short torso.   You’ll be best choosing garments that shape in on the outside of the body like tapered jackets and to avoid wearing belts.

If you have plenty of space between your bra and your natural waist, you have a long waist. You may find it easier to wear belts and garments with detailing around the middle.

Is your waist shaped or straight? If the area from underneath your arm to your natural waist curves in, you have a shaped waistline. You’ll suit styles that accentuate your waist and tailored garments.If the area from underneath your arm to your hips goes straight down, without curving into your natural waist, you have a straight waist. You’re best to wear your tops untucked and choose styles with an open neckline.

4.  Lastly, forget about clothing sizes. Having worked behind the scenes styling many fashion designers lookbooks and magazine editorials, plus personal shopping with hundreds of women, I can tell you that clothing sizes vary so much it’s impossible to know exactly what size you are. I’ll never forget one client of mine who had clothing sizes ranging from a size 6 to a 12 after one shopping trip!

The number inside a garment is just that, a number. It doesn’t define you. Remember your body proportions and measurements to find clothes that fit you well, because as Grace Kelly once said,

Your dress should be tight enough to show you’re woman and loose enough to show that you’re a lady.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my four tasty secrets from my styling recipe and you’re able to put them to good use in your next shopping trip. If you’d like to know even more about your body proportions and finding the right fit for garments like pants, jeans, dresses, tops, even accessories, then make sure you’re signed up for GYPO Style Challenge because I’ll be running a mini personal styling master class in there too, and I can’t wait!

Oh, and the last secret I want to whisper in your ear before I go is this: You’re enough, just as you are, and you deserve to wear all the things that make you feel beautiful.

Along with Alison, I can’t wait to help you Get Your Pretty On!

With love and spirit,

Sam x

Be sure to follow Sam on Instagram where she shares her outfits and style advice and at her web site www.samanthahannah.com

She also has a free online course for entrepreneurs called 7 Days to Colour You to discover the right colours that make you and your brand shine.  You can sign up HERE.


If you’d like to get the bonus fit masterclass that Samantha Hannah will be teaching, it’s not too late to join the Fall 2015 GYPO Style Challenge.  Late registration is now open.  The outfits start on October 4th so you still have plenty of time to get your shopping list items in place.  You’ll get your shopping list of seasonal trends plus 21 days of mix and match fall outfits.