Important thing to know about the 8 Heads Tall Dabble class: It’s not what you think
it is. The “dressing for your body type” class is not a body inquisition and the “8
heads tall” method is not some new agey method of determining body type. Also,
I’m assuming you didn’t attend because wearing a leotard, on a Saturday morning
no less, sounds like the worst. Well, as it turns out, you don’t have to wear a leotard.
I didn’t know this, so I did wear the bathing suit. I was that dummy. A pair of fitted
jeans and a tank top work just fine.

If you want to know how to dress yourself, take this class. Even if you think you
know how to dress yourself, take the class. Personal shopper, expert stylist, Instructor Nancy knows how to find your best assets and how to play them up. She does this in several ways.

First we introduced ourselves. I spoke and then Nicole, the one other student
in class, explained why she signed up. Her closet was filled with suits from her
corporate job and she wanted to start expanding her wardrobe. She also said she
was toying with the idea of going into fashion styling and wanted to learn more.

Next, we took our measurements. We took the basics: bust, waist, hips and then less
common ones like arm length from shoulder joint bone to elbow and elbow to wrist.
Fun fact: my right arm is longer than my left by 1 in. Nancy said it was something
about handedness and blood flow. I’m saying it’s because I’m special!

If you consider that this class is about dressing for your body type then taking
measurements shouldn’t be as scary. No one cares about what you’re working with,
they came to find what looks best on them. This is the attitude I took. Also I made
jokes about my small chest. That helped.

In total we took 10 measurements that left us with our “true fit” size. This is the size
you’d follow if you were working off a pattern or having a custom garment made. If
this doesn’t apply to you, think about that list of measurements you just created and
now nice it is to finally know exact lengths.

For the second half of the class we learned about Nancy’s 8 heads tall approach and
I apologized for wearing a bathing suit. 8 heads tall is a method of determining body
proportions so you can buy clothes to optimize your shape. You measure how long
your head is and you see how many heads fit into the different quadrants of your

To do this, Nancy helped Nicole and me tape big pieces of paper to the wall. Then we
took turns tracing rough outlines of each other’s bodies to the paper. Though rough,
the outline did help me determine that my torso is average, double the size of my
head. And I found out my legs are on the short size. This is what I was hoping to get
from class.

With measurements and body outlines done, we asked Nancy what all this meant for
clothes shopping. Even though we were a tiny group, I feel like Nancy would be this
thorough with a slightly bigger crowd. She gave us specific brands that would work
well with our body types; she talked about color and fit, and even gave us the name
of her personal alterations wonder woman (you’ll have to take the class to find out

Everyone I’ve since told about the class says this the kind of class they need. I like to
think of it as going to therapy. You’re taking time to do something for yourself and
you’re making an investment in your future. Dressing well is more than just looking
nice. It’s about gaining that Beyonce confidence. In the immortal words of Jersey
Shore’s Sammi Sweetheart, “just do you.”


Ali Kelley is a 20-something trying to figure out her life one Dabble at a time. Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see her newest Dabble class adventure, and cheer her on with words of encouragement through the comments section below or on Twitter @freegiantparty.