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The Asymmetrical Figure

As the figure evaluation progresses, it may be determined that the halves of the figure, side to center, are not identical. In other words, the size and conformation of the right side of the figure may vary considerably from the size and conformation of the left side. When this happens the figure is termed asymmetric.

Asymmetric variations may or may not have been detected previously, depending on the degree of variation, the awareness level of the individual, and the style of clothing regularly worn. Although the discovery of an asymmetrical figure may come as a surprise, it should not be considered unusual. Variations may have been present at birth or they may have resulted from illness, poor posture, or some specific activity. A conscious effort to correct poor posture can minimize or eliminate the variation.

Akin to asymmetrical variations are variations that occur from front to back. They may be the result of disease, such as the rotation that occurs with scoliosis, or they may be postural attempts by the body to achieve a counterbalance, such as raising a shoulder to counter weight carried on the opposite hip.

Asymmetrical figure variations can occur anywhere on the body. Check for differences from side to side in the following areas:

neck base slope

neck base width

shoulder length

shoulder height

back width

back length

blade size and contour

blade placement

chest width

chest length

bust size and contour

bust placement

midriff width

midriff length

waist width

waist placement

hip width

hip height

armscye size

upper arm circumference

upper arm length

elbow circumference

lower arm circumference

lower arm length

wrist circumference

thigh circumference

thigh length

knee circumference

calf circumference

calf length

ankle circumference


Figure 3-2 Single high hip and high shoulder on the same side of the body; Figure 3-3 Single high hip and high shoulder on opposite sides of the body

Multiple asymmetrical figure variations are common and can include the following combinations:

• High shoulder, high breast, high hip, and long leg occurring on the same side of the body (see Figure 3-2)

• High shoulder and high breast, high hip and long leg occurring on the opposite side of the body (see Figure 3-3)

• Wide or full back, wide or full front occurring on the same side of the body

• Wide or full back, wide or full front occurring on opposite sides of the body (One shoulder blade protrudes while the other seems almost depressed; one breast is fuller than the other.)

Asymmetrical variations can account for fitting problems and for discomfort wearing certain clothing styles. Knowing the effects of various styles allows the individual to select those suited to the figure and thus eliminate time consuming fitting and alteration procedures; however, dependence on these styles can be too limiting. Whenever other garment styles are selected, pattern alterations should be made to improve the fit and to create a balanced, more symmetrical appearance.

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Friday, 2016-12-30 8:06