How to dress for your size and shape
In our previous post, we looked at body shapes – how they differ, and how you can define your own. Armed with that knowledge we can help you style the perfect outfits to fit your unique shape, and coupled with your own fashion favorites – this is the ultimate in looking your best.
Here is my expert advice on what looks best (and what doesn’t) with your body shape.
If you are an ‘Apple’ shape..
You will tend to keep weight around your middle area, or you might even be in the early stages of pregnancy, or still carrying a little extra baby weight.
Either way, clothes should work to either conceal or distract the eye away from this area. Looser fitting tops work well around the midsection, but balance this out with a snug fit around other area, such as arms. Slim cut pants draw attention to good legs and a shift dress will skim over problem areas.
Avoid: Anything that draws particular attention to the middle such as high rise jeans or pants, fancy belts, or anything that ‘cinches’ the waist.
If you are a ‘Pear’ shape..
Your shoulders and torso are generally narrower than your hips. A pair of wide leg pants or denims in a darker color will flatter your hips and slenderize your bottom half. Tailored or structured jackets make features out of your shoulders and draw attention to your neck and face. Wider necklines do the same too, lengthening your shoulders and collarbone. ‘A’ Line skirts are brilliant for this shape as they taper away from the hips and don’t cling – this seasons ‘midi’ shape in particular!
Avoid: Anything shapeless or oversized on your top half. Skirts or dresses cut on the bias or out of flimsy or figure hugging fabric such as silk are a no no too. Skinny jeans are not ideal, but balanced with longer tops can work.
If you are an ‘Hourglass’ shape..
You are larger of bust, have a narrow waist and fuller hips, you need to work with your natural curves rather than against them and accentuate rather than hide. High waisted pants draw the eye to a thinner middle. Another way to draw attention to the waist is a pencil skirt paired with a blouse, or a fitted dress with a ‘pencil’ bottom half.
Wrap dresses are the ultimate for this body shape as they draw in the waist and usually fall at the knee or just below. ‘V’ Necklines are flattering for the bigger bust line and lengthen the torso also, flattering curves is the key here, rather than exaggerating them.
Avoid: Anything shapeless or too ‘boxy’, ‘oversized’ drowns this shape too and makes a woman look bigger than she really is , such as cardigans or tunics that ‘ hang’ from the bust.
If you are a ‘Column’ shape..
You need to create more waist definition with your clothes – with a relatively ‘boyish’ figure, skirts are a good bet, especially if they flare over the bottom area, but are nipped or snug at the waist. Boot cut pants are a good shape for a leaner figure. Fitted jackets with a ‘nipped’ in waist work well too. This figure type can get away with fussy necklines or frills around the bust as it exaggerates the top half more.
Avoid: Anything unstructured or ‘flowy’ at the waist. Dresses or clothing that are tight all over do no favors for this shape – the key is to create curves.
If you are an ‘Inverted Triangle’ shape..
Your shoulders and back are broad and you may even be a bigger size on your top half than your bottom, with slim hips, and a flatter backside. You need to accentuate and balance out your shape. Tailoring in shirts and jackets work well on you, with dark tops and the wrap style suiting you also. Anything that nips in at the waist will favor your shape.
For pants, fussy details around the waist will work for you, pocket detail for example, as it creates more volume to the bottom half. Full and ballerina skirts have the same balancing effect as wide leg or boot cut pants or denims.
Avoid: Fussy tops and plain bottoms – slim cut pants or leggings – Anything boxy around the shoulders or padded around that area.