The Hip Shelf


Marjorie Collins, Library of Congress

I’m guessing the photographer, Marjorie Collins, chose this particular composition for the contrast in textiles.  Or maybe it was for evidence of just what women were willing to take off on a hot day—with shoes, stockings and jackets strewn in the foreground. 

But for me Collin’s photo clearly illustrates a big body change that comes with aging.  Not only do many women get a menopot, a rounded belly where they didn’t have one before.  They also often experience a rising hip line, sometimes making the high hip even wider than the lower hip.  Is there an official name for this?  I simply call it the “hip shelf.”

And I certainly have one.  Right now I’m taking part in an online class to make a custom skirt block, so I’ve been taking lots of measurements.  While I still have somewhat of a waist, my high hip juts out almost immediately below it, as you can see on the first (and quite imperfect) block draft. I’ll bet I could balance a book on that shelf.

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8 Responses to The Hip Shelf

  1. Mema says:

    Yes, nobody told me that my body changes the whole life. But now I now and try to make peace with it.
    Have a nice time
    Mema / Mechthild

  2. JS says:

    Always new things to look forward to. *Sigh*

    Which sloper class? I bought some Craftsy/Bluprint sloper classes by Suzy Furrer.

  3. Marie Noëlle says:

    Same problem here. I tried Suzy furer but didn’t manage to get a proper skirt sloper. I this get better result with tissue fitting

  4. Lynn says:

    I’m taking the class Skirt Skills with Brooks Ann Camper, which I discovered on the wonderful podcast Love to Sew. It is very labor intensive and is only the first step to the class I really want to take on pants fitting. I’ll post about my progress when I’ve finished. Sometimes I think I could have bought solid gold pants with all the money I’ve spent on trying to get a good pants fit. Of course, the gold pants wouldn’t fit all that well!

  5. Robert Moeller says:

    Marjorie Collins gets credit form her picture but what about the photographer who took the picture of you? And I don’t think you could balance a book on what we can see.

  6. bellneice says:

    I find it interesting (in a good way) that your blog is the only place I’ve ever found that discusses the changes to a woman’s body post menopause in a realistic way. I guess it is because you have no alternate agenda. Every other website, book and magazine article implies if you eat nothing but candle wax and beets, and exercise ceaselessly, you can look the same way and wear the same size you did when you were 21 -and shame on you if you don’t. Even physicians who continue to say that a waist to hip ratio above .8 is unhealthy. A waist to hip ratio below 0.8 is unrealistic for a post-menopausal woman, even one at a healthy weight.

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