Known as the most “womanly” body type, channel your inner Sophia Loren and look for clothing that draws attention to your narrower waist without adding bulk to the other areas. This is the most proportionate body type so as balance is always key, those blessed with this shape should look out for clothes that best accentuate their natural curves and small waist. CONTINUE FOR TIPS!
HOURGLASS Fall’s hottest trends to flatter your shape
BODY TYPE Smaller waist in proportion to broader shoulders and wider hips and fuller breasts. Shoulders and hips that are symmetrical with shapely legs.
DO Start with great fitting undergarments. This shape usually has a fuller bust so a good bra will work wonders.
Emphasize your waist. Tops that just end at the waist will emphasize this aspect. Or a longer blouse belted at your natural waist will do the same trick.
If your top half is slightly larger, try a v-neck or scoop-necked blouse. V-necks help draw the eye away from the shoulder area and make the torso appear longer and slimmer.
Halter or sleeveless tops and dresses emphasize shapely shoulders and wrap-around tops and dresses show off fuller breasts and a defined waist.
Jackets for this shape can be worn long or short. Just make sure to buy one that curves in at the waist or get your jacket altered after purchasing to get this effect.
Go for bottoms that play up your shape. Wear jeans that are made of stretch denim as these hug curves and allow for more give at the waistline and hips. Scout out pants that are cut for larger hips and have a smaller waist.
For your bottom half, according to denim diva Paige Adams-Geller, a former fit model who knows a thing or two about perfect fit, this shape “looks best in anything that has more of a boot cut shape at the bottom. An a-line skirt that ends right below the knee has the same effect.”
Making sure your shoulders, hips and ankles (for pants) are all in proportion is key to achieving a good balance for the curvy girl.
Wearing belts at your natural waist is figure flattering as this is the midpoint or smallest part of your frame with your curves moving out from both above and below this region.
DON’T Don’t go baggy. Give your body some definition. Depending on the day and how you are feeling you can choose to emphasize key areas such as shoulders, bust, waist or hips.
Don’t neglect your curves. Forget straight lines. Try a-line skirts or pants with a flare. Conversely, go for a sexy pencil skirt that accentuates your smaller waist and curvy hips as it nips in at the bottom for a va-va-voom look.
If you have a bigger hourglass shape don’t just stick with darker solid colours, which we all know are slimming. If you like bold or graphic prints simply choose patterns with smaller shapes.
BODY TYPE A fuller face and breasts with broader shoulders and arms. You are widest in the midsection and narrower in the hips and thighs.
DO Accentuate your assets by wearing clothing that opens up your neckline and chest. V-necks, u-necks, square and boat neck tops all achieve this effect.
Fitted is fine but tops and dresses should never be too tight or snug.
Jackets and tops that are empire or fall straight work best. The key is that all these should fall below the biggest point of your middle.
Proper fitting and supportive undergarments are important for apples as you may have fuller breasts. This is key as defying gravity and lifting your chest is much more flattering than sagging breasts.
Wear belts either above or below the biggest point of your middle. If you’re wearing a belt below the largest part of your midsection, wear a blouse or shirt that can be flounced over it a little to hide your middle and create a more balanced silhouette.
A-line skirts are flattering as they work to create a waist by giving you more of an hourglass shape. Boot cut and flared pants also achieve this desired effect.
Solid, dark colours diffuse help to diffuse a thick trunk but you can wear lighter colours, just remember to make sure the fit is not too snug around your middle.
Adams-Geller points out that pants should, “have a higher rise and usually a wider waistband because if it’s a two button waistband or wider, it flattens your tummy out more.”
Lower rise pants are do-able as long as the fit is not too tight so that you end up with the dreaded muffin top.
Pants with flap pockets on the back give your rear some curve as this body type tends to be flatter in that area.
Create length away from your torso by wearing pants that have a flat front and fall below the ankle or longer if you are wearing heels.
DON’T Don’t do shoulder pads. Not that this trend will ever come back like the 80’s style (we hope) but this will only add bulk to an area that may be large for you.
Don’t forget that small things like sleeve styles and length can make a big difference. For instance bell or cape sleeves can hide a bulky shoulder area.
Don’t do large graphics. Stick with small prints on either the top or the bottom as large patterns will only serve to focus and make larger areas where you don’t want it.
Don’t forget to focus on your assets. “Women who have a larger stomach should focus on accentuating their [higher] waist, which will draw attention to the smallest part of their body while covering their midsection and trouble spots. The best way to do this is by wearing a belt over a top or cardigan.” says McInerney. This should be worn in the narrowest part of your waist which is higher than other shapes.
Don’t wear your pants too tight in the waist area. This will not only create the dreaded muffin top and increase the size of your middle but also draw attention to the area you are already self- conscious of.
Don’t touch pleated or tapered pants. These only add width to your middle area as they emphasize the waist and hips and narrow at the bottom in the case of tapered pants.
Said to be the most common shape for a woman, we all know it’s the hips that get the most attention for a pear. This is not a bad thing. For all the different body types it’s always about maintaining proportion but this is most important for you. CONTINUE FOR TIPS!
BODY TYPE Usually this shape has a longer neck with narrower or sloping shoulders, a smaller bust and waist and fuller throughout the butt, hips and thighs.
DO It’s all about balance. Those with smaller top halves in comparison to a bigger bottoms should aim to give the appearance of wider shoulders and chest to create a more proportionate figure. Do this by emphasizing your upper body states Adams-Geller by wearing, “something that has details on the shoulders, like an epaulette. Military style is usually ideal for balancing that off so your hips look more aligned. Jackets are always great, any kind of blazer with a top underneath to give you more emphasis on the shoulders.”
So to give provide a feel of wider shoulders, puffed sleeves and structured jackets that end below the widest point of your hips will balance out your frame.
Try tops in bolder, brighter shades.
Go for tops with wide straps and/or low necklines as this draws attention upwards and add width where it’s needed.
Puffed, dolmain or raglan sleeves add width for more proportion with your bottom half.
Blouses with detail and dresses with patterns draw attention to your curves rather than stopping on any specific body part.
Empire waist or wrap dresses are generally flattering on most figures but is quite flattering for pears as they skim over the hip area.
Similar to the hourglass, a-line and flared bottoms really flatter the pear shape. Dresses, skirts or pants that have a flare or wide-leg disguise the thicker thigh and hip area by bringing the widest point of the garment lower down.
A straight-legged pant works as well, just remember to keep the length below your ankle.
Darker or solid colours on your bottom half are more slimming but you can also wear lighter colours or items with small prints as long as you keep proportion and fit in mind.
Avoid clunky, chunky shoes. It’s all about lengthening your frame from head to toe. A skinnier heel provides a sleeker look.
DON’T Don’t go too tight on top or bottom. You want to create a fit that flows over areas you wish to de-emphasize.
Don’t have tops or jackets end at the widest part of your frame.
Be careful with dresses cut on the bias as these may be snug around the hip and upper thigh.
Don’t go near pleated or tapered pants. These will only draw attention to your widest area. As McInerney advises, “a flat front pant creates a long, lean leg.”
Don’t wear pants with back pockets that are too small. This is just unflattering and will make your butt look larger.
Don’t do large side pockets. This just adds bulk where you don’t want it.
Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Hourglass and pears can rock a skinny pant. You need only to look at Beyonce to see that this is true. It’s all about balance so when choosing a skinny, tapered fitting pant, make sure it’s not too tight that spillage in the form of muffin tops don’t occur. A looser blouse or tunic works well with a more fitted bottom here.
This body type has a lean, athletic form. With a small bust, waist to hip ratio you don’t have to worry about creating a balance which is always the goal. Show off those slender arms and legs. It is possible to create the illusion of more curves, it just takes a little know-how. CONTINUE FOR TIPS!
PETITE Fall’s hottest trends to flatter your shape
BODY TYPE Typically slim all over, with small chest, narrow waist and hips, and long slender arms, legs and butt. May have a full neck and broader back.
DO Having a lean frame means you don’t have to worry so much about balancing your proportions.
Concentrate on making sure your clothing fits well. Being short or slender throughout you may have more difficulty finding garments that fit you perfectly so look for a good tailor.
Wide cuffing jeans that are too long for you is a great look but get some pants hemmed to your leg length. Adams-Geller thinks that, “Ankle jeans look so cute on petit women when they hit the ankle. You can wear it with ballet flats or you can wear it with higher shoes, it looks really cute with the little gladiator sandals right now. On top for the petit frame you have to really avoid anything that’s too overpowering.”
Play up your slender physique or try to bring out some curves.
Tops with horizontal strips look great on your body. It’s a classic look and a hot trend right now so have a few in your arsenal.
To show off your small frame, wear fitted shirts that are cut narrower under the arm and hang straight down as opposed to an a-line.
Tucked in shirts combined with straight legged pants create a lean silhouette.
To bring out curves start with your undergarments. Look for bras with extra padding for volume and underwire for lift.
Blouses with ruffles, ribbing, ruching and puffed sleeves add fullness.
Buy jackets that nip in at the waist or get them altered to create the appearance of a curvier waistline.
Narrow belts cinched in at the waist look great against your slim frame.
Look for dresses cut on the bias as they cling to your figure more and emphasize what curves you do have for a soft feminine look.
Tulip shaped skirts/dresses balloon out at the sides creating the illusion of curvier hips.
Skinny pants were made for you. No one can rock a skinny pant like your frame.
To emphasize your frame, low rise skinny pants, straight legged with slight flare, or high-waisted all showcase a long, lean line.
As you have a slender rear, go for pants that are snug around your butt to create some lift.
Pants with flap back pockets or smaller back pockets spread further apart make your bottom look fuller.
DON’T Your body type can wear almost anything. Just don’t go too baggy all over as your figure will just get lost. If you go baggy on the bottom, just balance it with a close fitting top.
You may lack a defined or have a thick waist so if you want to get away from a boyish look don’t forget to belt or choose items that create the illusion of a turned in waist.
Avoid straight shift style dresses as they hide your shape.
Stay away from boxy unstructured outerwear and tops as their rectangular lines can overpower your slender frame.
Say no to too much spandex. If you want to create lift in your rear it’s important to read labels as spandex may flatten even further. So if the description says “stretch” in it be careful.
Don’t forget to make alterations. Stephanie McInerney reminds us that, “If you find a style you love that isn’t available in petite, take it to your local tailor. He or she will be able to shorten the inseam or take in the top to make it fit your body perfectly.”
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