We all know those women who look good in absolutely anything from an ill-fitting shift dress to a sculptured body-con number. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t blessed with such great genes (or the willpower to resist every tasty morsel that comes our way) and we have distinct styles that seem to suit us while others are unflattering at best.
The reason is that most of us adhere to a particular body shape. The good news is that once you have determined which body shape you have, there are simple tips for dressing to suit it that will have you looking polished and put together every day of the week.
- THE APPLE
Apples have a wider mid-section which is where they tend to gain, and carry their weight making their waist the widest section of their body, followed by the bust. Apples often have really good legs.
Dress your apple shape in:
* outfits which show off those to-die-for pins
* your goal is to choose clothes that make you look taller and slim down your mid-section
* longer length, single breasted jackets and tops that sit just below the hip bone are the most flattering
* A-line and flared skirts
* V necklines which elongate the torso
* wrap dresses – they nip you in under the bust and emphasise the smallest part of your torso while showing off your legs and flattering your bust.
* a belt sitting just below the bust to draw attention to the narrowest section of your body
- THE PEAR
A pear is larger on the bottom with narrow shoulders and a small bust and a clearly defined waist. Hips and thighs are your problem areas.
Dress your pear shape in:
* darker colours on the bottom and lighter colours on top to create a more balanced silhouette.
* wide or bootcut pants also bring balance to your shape.
* show off your narrow waist by belting it or wearing a cropped jacket
* draw attention to your top half with interesting necklines, patterned blouses or interesting sleeves.
* don’t wear pants with large pockets or details on the hips – that will draw unwanted attention to your problem area.
- THE RECTANGLE
Also known as the ruler, rectangles are straight up and down with similar, usually slim proportions all over: shoulders, hips and waist all about the same width, meaning no waist definition. The rectangle’s challenge is not to disguise any area, but to define their shape to look feminine.
* tailored clothing that fits like a glove will show off your figure
* mid-waisted pants and skirts give the illusion of a waist-line
* just about any neckline can work for you – try sweetheart, halter or scooped
* you can work a tucked in shirt better than any other body
* skinny jeans and pencil skirts look fabulous on your lean shape
- THE HOURGLASS
Curvaceous is the word here. An hourglass figure is defined by a narrow waist and shoulders and hips in equal proportions. It’s often considered the ideal female body type but can these ladies often tend towards being a bit overweight.
* flaunt that small waist by wearing a belt and choosing dresses and jackets that are nipped in at your narrowest area
* choose a pencil, flared or mini skirt which all look great
* a slight flare on the ankle of your trousers looks best for an hourglass
* form-fitting is the key to really making the most of your shape. wrap dresses were made for you and you’ll likely look fantastic in a body con.
* choose a scoop or v-neck to show off the bust.
* adding bulk to your bust is a no-no, though, so avoid anything too fussy and choose single breasted jackets and coats that are more streamlined.