Butternut squash..

Butternut Squash

and other vegetables!

Well girls, guess what?

According to a recent survey conducted by 'The Vitality Show' we all want to have the shape of a Butternut Squash.

True !


( The enviable shape of a butternut ! )

According to the illustrious survey 3000 women were asked what fruit or vegetable would best describe their shape.

27% of women claimed to be the envious shape of a butternut squash with a small waist and larger hips and bust.

21% said they were a pear shape, with a smaller bust and waist but bigger hips.


Another 21% admitted looking like apples – this is the dreaded shape apparently for it means next to no waist.


16% thought they were shaped like an aubergine – large waist and hips and smaller bust.


The remaining 15% described themselves as either carrots, long and lean, or like a broccoli floret with a large bust and skinny waist and hips.


 ( Are you long and lean like a carrot or very heavy on top with small hips like broccoli? )


The measurements of the 3000 women were taken.

Then horrors, the results were revealed.

Over half were apples and very few were butternut squashes at all.


( As apples, do we feel we need to hide?)

When I read the article, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, for I meet so many women who come for dress fittings who have been labelled one thing or another throughout their lives, but don't actually understand their shape at all and how to dress it to their maximum potential.

I recently had a woman of 35 come to me for a dress to wear to a wedding of a friend. She was a lovely size 16 with a great figure. Her best friend had asked her to be one of the wedding party but due to a complete lack of confidence in her appearance she did not want to stand at the front of the church and have everyone looking at her, so had declined the honour.

The reason for poor self image was that whilst at university a humorous comparison of women's shapes had been conducted and she had been labelled 'a brick' – insinuating that she had no shape at all.


( The dreaded brick shape  )

The brick shape label had never left her, and as a result she had dressed in sack-like outfits ever since. It was certainly a sad scenario.

Women are so terribly self conscious about their bodies and their looks that often as not most of their feelings of confidence in who they are, comes from their perceived opinion of their appearance.

I have met so many successful women who feel dreadful about themselves due to poor body image. They just don't feel young enough, thin enough, pretty enough, shapely enough. I have spoken at conferences and women's groups where I ask the question, “Who feels good about their appearance? ”. The sad thing is that on only one occasion, has a woman been confident enough to put her hand up and say she is happy with what she looks like. Everyone else had a list of things they would change if they could. If it isn't their hair, it is their nose, and if not their nose, it is their hips and if not the hips it is their legs…… and so it goes on.

Men don't seem to suffer from poor body image in the same way at all. Or if they do have a bit of an issue with something, they don't tend to dwell on it and let it ruin their life. The oldest, wrinkliest, baldest, out of shape gentlemen can ooze mass amounts of confidence. And women of course love these guys! So why does it bother all us girls? Why are we so hung up?

We need to think here…

We are born with a shape that can be worked on and altered to some degree by diet, exercise and surgery but there are some aspects of it that can't be changed. And that just has to be accepted.

The positive thing to think about is that we all have shape, and yes, it may remind us of apples, pears, plums or whatever.


However, the truth of the matter is –

All shapes can be dressed beautifully, elegantly and with flattering lines.

It just requires an understanding of what works well, along with brilliantly cut clothes.

Our bodies change shape over our lifetime. There are very few people who stay an identical shape all their lives. Bodies change as we get older. We need to be aware of these changes and alter our dress styles accordingly.

What suited us at 25 will not be the same as what suits us at 40.

And what suits us at 40 will no doubt be different to what looks great at 70.

Keeping this in mind, it is advisable to try different styles and colours regularly.


(A popular style that suits so many shapes – the wrap over and stunning in an all-over print)

I meet so many women who have a huge list of rules for how they should dress.

Examples of things I hear :

*I will never wear sleeves with gather at the shoulder seam.

*I will never wear blue.

*I will never wear a skirt that is cut on the bias.

*I will never wear a dress.

*I will never wear a dress with an all over pattern on it.

*I will never wear a top with a large pattern on it.

* I will never where a top with a square neckline.

*I will never wear anything at all with a frill on it.

*I will never wear a shirt with buttons down the front.

I could go on.

Maybe you can guess what I am going to say….. but before I do, take a look at these butternut squash.


They are all completely different.

And so I can't help but say….

Keep an open mind when it comes to your rules..for they may be like the butternut squash – all representing a wide range of differences.

Just think…..

* Blue comes in a myriad of different shades, hues, tones.

* Gather on shoulder seams can look completely different depending on the cut and style of the actual sleeve.

* Bias cut skirts differ enormously depending on the type of fabric they are made from and if they are made up of panels.

* Tops with large patterns can look amazing on all shapes and sizes depending on the cut and pattern of the top.

* Dresses differ so enormously in shape, cut and fabric that there is always a style that will suit.

And so on…and so on….

You may be throwing away a whole plethora of outfits by one bad experience.

In fact ladies, why not ditch the rules, throw the list away.

Have an open mind and try something new. You may be wonderfully surprised by how fantastic you look when you have an adventurous spirit. Time and time again, I have seen so many women genuinely shocked by how amazing an article of clothing looks on them that breaks all their own rules.


( All-over print – looks nothing but divine)

And yes, it doesn't work all the time, you will find some clothes do look horrendous on you and do make you look dreadful, but don't give up, keep trying – have that positive, pioneering spirit to venture into new styles, colours and shapes!!


( A white trouser suit – breaking all the rules of wearing all-over white )

This summer I am going to wear a green patterned/floral dress for the first time.


( Our fabulous green print vintage style dress )

And yes, it is a little scary, for I have never envisaged wearing all-over  green before.

But it is gorgeous and looks fabulous on.

I leave you with another thought about those butternut squashes.

On perusing the 30 or so on sale in Sainsburys the other day, I came to the distinct conclusion that we all have the enviable shape of one of these vegetables, so different and individual is each squash.

Much like humans really.

We are all individuals, all different, all unique.

Celebrate your uniqueness and dress your shape to its own advantage, regardless of the type of butternut you are.


As for me….well I am going to daringly put on the green dress, pop the butternuts into the oven and bake them with garlic, add a few herbs from the garden, a little fresh chilli, then whiz them into soup with some stock and eat them!


P.S By the way, my favourite way to eat butternut squash is in a salad.

Cut the squash into cubes about 3cm square and roast them in a hot oven until cooked.

Mix them into a salad of rocket and mixed leaves, artichoke hearts, crumbled feta cheese, some black olives then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil .


Or, I was at a dinner party the other evening, where our host mixed roast butternut squash with spiced puy lentils, onions, baby leaves, and sesame seeds and it was equally wonderful.

Any butternut squash recipes gladly accepted.

Much better to eat them, than ponder their shape!!!

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