Blog Post: Body Shapes and how to use them to your advantage
Flipping through fashion spreads, glossy mags, and shiny catalogues makes dressing well look deceptively easy. After all, even the most unlikely styles and funky combinations look unwaveringly flawless on the pages’ fashion models: gorgeous, willowy, and flaunting the type of perfect (and Photoshopped) figures that, as we all know, are not realistically attainable by, nor representative of, the overwhelming majority of us, regular women.
While runway models are chosen for their lack of curves and identical body size in order to make fittings easier and show off the clothes, 'real’ women's bodies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. And we want our clothing to emphasize us, not the other way around; to bring out our best features, while perhaps drawing the eye away from the parts we don't love with some well-placed optical tricks. Making the right outfit choices requires that you know your own body shape first, as well as learning about the styles and silhouettes that work to flatter your figure. In this post, we'll talk about the four main female body shapes and how to know yours, and offer tips on what to wear to show off your curves at their best.
When your silhouette resembles a triangle, your hips are wider than your bust, and your bottom half is curvier than your upper body. Your slender arms, shoulders, collarbone, and a defined waist are your best assets to highlight.
How to show it off: Create more balanced proportions by choosing tops that draw attention to your upper half with wide necklines, embellishment, bright colors, and details such as flutter or princess sleeves, and look for belts and nipped-in shapes to emphasize your narrow waist. Simple, dark colored bottoms that skim the hips, A-line skirts, and straight-legged trousers that fall straight down from the widest hip.
If you are an inverted triangle, it means that your bust, back, and shoulders are broad and wider than your hips, which are on narrow side. You tend to gain weight throughout your midsection and upper body, while your shapely legs are your best asset.
How to show it off: You’ve got gorgeous gams, so show them off! Flaunt your lovely legs in short skirts and skirts, and look for fuller silhouettes that will balance out your top half and details such as pockets or whiskering (faded creases). Meanwhile, streamline your bust line with darker colors on top, wrap-style tops, and V-necks that elongate and draw the eye down.
You have a straight body shape if your hips and bust are balanced and relatively narrow, and your waist is not well-defined. You don’t have a lot of curves, and want to show off your trim legs and arms while creating the illusion of a more hourglass silhouette.
How to show it off: Choose tops and bottoms that add curves, while emphasizing the waistline. Boatneck, off-the-shoulder, gathered and ruffled necklines and billowy, flowing silhouettes help add oomph to your bust line, while wide belts, seamed tops, and structured jackets that nip in at the waist add definition. In bottoms, look for volume again: full skirts, wide-leg pants, pockets and tiers will balance out your shape. And don’t forget dresses! Floaty silks or sharp shirt-dresses, cinched with a belt, it’s your direct ticket to va-va-voom!
If you’re an hourglass shape, consider yourself lucky! You’ve been gifted with the shape most women strive for - a feminine, proportional silhouette of curvy bust and hips, a well-defined waistline, and slender arms and legs.
How to show it off: You already have a naturally balanced shape, so your clothes’ only job is to maintain and emphasize it. Do it in clothing that follows the natural lines of your body: fitted tops, tailored jackets, pencil skirts, and form-fitting dresses are all great ways to highlight your curves, as are wrap dresses and tops, skinny jeans, and shorter skirt lengths. Basically, you can get away with wearing pretty much anything - have fun!
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