We all know that bodies in come in all different shapes and sizes and what a relief that is! How boring would the world be if we all looked like Barbie. Hourglass, pear-shaped, boyish, apple, triangle, tall and small, Fashionolia have the best tips for dressing for your shape. Our informative and informal advice will have you looking fabulous all year round.
The hourglass shape is just that of an hour-glass. Top and bottom curvy with a small waist. Think Jessica Rabbit. Now this is the figure most women dream about, and most men for that matter. But hourglass women can sometimes wear things that are revealing and because of their body shape can give off the wrong signals. Here’s how to look gorgeous as an hour-glass:
- The best fashions for an hourglass shape are those styles that are fitted to show off your curves. Your best tops are those that accentuate your waist, so fitted tops, corset shapes and wrap over jumpers are ones to look out for. Even if you are large it is much better to choose tops that mirror and work with your curves, than try to hide your shape in baggy jumpers.
- Jackets and tops will look especially good on you if they have a belt, as you can pull it tight to show off your middle.
- Boxy styles and empire lines will not suit you as they will hit your chest and then flare out missing your waist.
- Dresses to stay away from are those that are straight up and down. Also avoid dresses cut on the bias, as these are designed to give you curves, but you already have them! The best style is a wrap dress that can be pulled in at your middle showing off your curves.
- Most styles of trousers will suit you, high or low waist, as long as they are not too baggy. The only style to avoid would be tapered trousers that get narrower towards your ankles, especially if you are a very curvy hourglass, as they can make your bottom look larger.
Someone with an apple shaped body carries most of her weight above her waist, most noticeably in her stomach. She often has large breasts, narrow hips and thin legs. A protruding tummy is the hallmark of the apple shape and the cause of continuing frustration for the woman who must dress this figure type.
- Look for fabrics that skim your apple shape. Instead of dressing in clothes that are tight or clingy, buy flowing silks and loose cottons tailored in simple designs. Dress in monochromatic outfits, instead of mixing several colors. This gives the illusion of length rather than width. Dark colors and small patterns are best for the apple shape.
- Emphasize your great legs and draw attention away from your apple shape by dressing in short skirts. Buy skirts and pants with flat fronts. Although they may be more difficult to find, look for side and back zippers. Avoid pockets, pleats and gathers near the waist.
- Wear tops with a long shirttail hem. The rounded hem camouflages the tummy. Find tops with that wrap around your figure and create folds over the stomach area.
The apple shaped woman often finds jeans and pants that fit in the waist are much too large in the hips and thighs. A good compromise is dressing in tunic style tops with trim-fitting maternity jeans and pants. They’ll give you the extra room in the tummy, but will fit nicely in the hips and thighs.
With pear shapes, the majority of the weight tends to lie in the lower half of the body, on the hips, thighs, calves and buttocks. They usually have a well defined waist, a small to medium bust size, narrow shoulders and a slender neck and face. Because of the fact that most of the weight lies in the lower half of the body, unless you get the right fitting clothes and balance out your body, you can end up looking out of proportion and highlighting errors which you may not want to emphasise.
- When you’re choosing trousers, opt for darker colours, such as black, navy or brown, and choose styles that will make your hips and bottom look slimmer. Good options include trousers that have a wide leg or are flared, as these will help hide bigger thighs. Low-rise trousers and jeans can also be good and if your thighs aren’t too big you could also try straight legged jeans in a dark colour.
- Skirts that cling to you and highlight any extra flesh, or really full skirts that make you look bigger are a no no. Instead, opt for A-line or flared skirts that skim your hips and take the eye away from your waist. As with trousers, wearing darker plain colours – not bold patterns – will make you look sleeker.
- Necklines on tops which are wider or lower are ideal for pear shaped figures, as they emphasise your bust and draw attention to the top half of your body, rather than below. So look out for v-necks, round necks or square necked tops. Halter neck tops also work in a similar way and help balance out the overall look of your body.
- In the same way as skirts, it’s advisable to avoid anything figure-hugging or that are bias cut, as they’ll emphasise the wrong areas of your pear shaped figure. For the most flattering fit, choose an empire style dress or even a wrap dress, as these are much more suited to pear shapes.
If you have an inverted triangle body shape you are top heavy. You have proportionally broad shoulders, large bust and narrow hips. This body type is also referred to as a v shape upper body. It is the second best female body shape (after the hourglass figure).
- Avoid too tight (plays up large breasts too much) and too baggy (just makes you look heavier). Opt for fabrics that skim the body, preferably knits and wovens with stretch for a better fit. V-neck, boatneck, turtle and mock necks and shirt collars are your most flattering necklines. Play up nice cleavage with a peek, not a Dolly Parton-sized slice. Especially appealing: a pretty lace-trimmed cami showing under a jacket or top. Avoid full sleeves or puffy sleeves.
- Balance out a top-heavy figure with an A-line skirt that will give you the look of a waist and more of an hourglass look. Choose flat-front, never pleated, pants that have a lower rise than the natural waist. Five-pocket jeans are your friend! Front pockets on jeans help disguise a tummy problem, while back pockets can help define a flatter rear common to top-heavy women. Avoid anything too tight — from pencil skirts to skintight jeans — because it will only accentuate top heaviness. Play up nice legs with shorter (an inch above the knee) skirts.
- One-piece dressing is tricky for you. Best bets: A sleeveless black sheath, a soft princess seamed dress, a strapless dress with corseted top. Resist the urge to cover up head-to-toe: showing a little skin, whether it’s bare arms or shoulders, is much more flattering.
Sporty figures have broad shoulders and broad chests, though this may not translate to large breasts. You probably have a straight figure-a figure without a tiny waist, large hips or a large chest. Even if you have a sporty figure, you may not be a tomboy and may not want to dress like a boy. But you may need some tips to dress your figure.
- De-emphasize your shoulders. Wear scoop neck or V-neck tops, especially if you have a large chest. If you don’t have a large chest, try wearing a fitted, buttoned shirt to create a waist. Wear tops with broad straps rather than skinny ones.
- Balance your shoulders by adding width to your hips, especially if you have narrow hips. Try wearing A-line skirts and pants that are straight legged or boot cut. If you’re tall, you can try wearing flared pants, but be cautious with this look.
- Create a waist. Purchase fitted jackets and tops to emphasize the waist you have. Look for straight-lined skirts and pants with darts to create a waist.
- Consider purchasing lingerie to emphasize your chest, if you don’t have much of one. Get yourself measured by a professional lingerie salesperson so your bras fit and consider purchasing push-up bras or bras with padding.
- Look for clothes with flairs. Tulip- or mermaid-shaped skirts or tops with flairs at the hemlines may look great on you.
- Find a good tailor so your clothes fit exactly to your shape. Tailors can improve your existing wardrobe for only a few dollars.