The first thing you need to do if you wish to know what clothes you should be buying, and which you shouldn't, is to discover which body shape you have. It will most likely be one of the following options.
- Pear: Which is slender in the upper body with full hips, thighs and bottom.
- Apple: Which has broad shoulders and full breasts and tummy, with a smaller waistline and slender legs.
- Hourglass: Which is curvy with full breasts, hips and bottom, with a smaller waistline and slender legs.
- Slender: Which is generally slim all around, with small breasts, hips, bottom and waist, and long slim legs.
- Full Figure: Which is curvy all over, with broad shoulders, large breasts, wide waist and full hips, bottom and thighs.
......so now you can look at the appropriate section that I have compiled for that body shape. Below is a collection of tips relating to each body shape that I have picked up along the way, from TV makeover shows I've seen, articles I've read, and personal experience. If you would like to add anything further please contact me and I shall add/amend this guide....after all who knows your body shape better than you!
Colour has the ability to draw the eye to wherever it is placed. It can also be a helpful tool in playing up or down certain parts of your body. So use colour with the knowledge that a dark colour minimises and narrows that part of the body, for your body shape this can be done by wearing dark trousers with a light top, and avoid wearing the reverse.
Select jackets that are slightly fitted and taper gently. Boxy styles may accentuate the size fo your bottom.
Clingy pencil skirts and skimpy mini's are a bad idea as they will enhance your thighs instead of balancing against your upper half.
Cowl and square necklines are fab for combating your narrow shoulders.
Wear empire style dresses for best use of style for your shape. Avoid clingy body hugging tops, and bias-cut styles, as they are unflattering to your body type. Instead wear slightly looser blouses or jackets to create more volume, as this will create harmony between your upper and lower halves.
To bring the focus of your admirers' eyes to your upper body you can wear brightly coloured or patterned tops, and consider accessories around the neckline. But avoid gathers in material around the waist or any pleated skirts. Try an A-line skirt or bootcut/wide-cut trousers which have no back pockets or any detailing around the buttocks. Avoid styles that cup your cheeks; instead opt for styles that hang full from the middle of the bottom.
A double-breasted jacket (eg military style) will enhance your chest effectively.
Avoid wearing high-waisted or cargo/combat trousers.
Accessorise your neckline to draw the attention away from your waist and thighs,
When choosing jackets, avoid ones that end on your hips. Look for ones that are either very short or very long.
Unfortunately this is the most difficult of shapes to clothe, buying dresses is practically impossible due to usually needing different sizes for your top and bottom. So sticking to separates is really the best plan if this is your shape
Colour has the ability to draw the eye to wherever it is place. It can also be a helpful tool in playing up or down certain parts of the body. So use colour with the knowledge that a dark colour minimises and narrows that part of the body, for your body shape this can be achieved by wearing a darker coloured top and a lighter bottom, as this will divert the attention from your chest. You can also create a good effect by wearing an entire outfit of the same colour as this will soften the shoulders and make the body appear longer and leaner.
Flaunt well-toned legs. This will draw attention to where you'd prefer it to be. You can wear cropped trousers or culotte to create this effect.
Never wear shoulder pads.
Wear tops with vertical stripes or panels down the sides. This will downplay your broad shoulders and streamline your shape and give the illusion of a slimmer body. (These can be different colours or all the same colour/material)
Avoid off the shoulder, capped or puffed sleeve tops. Instead choose a top with a V-neck as this draws the eye-line down the centre of your body.
To enhance you bottom and balance out your figure wear trousers with back pockets or detail and flare or boot-cut trousers are the best for hiding a belly, especially with your wonderfully slim thighs.
Make the most of your legs, they're your best feature, and unlike the pear shape you can wear shorter skirts with ease.
Cropped jackets work particularly well for your shape.
Avoid wearing large belts or buckles, choose the thin belt if you decide you want one, but try to avoid any detail that could draw attention to the waistband, whether that be from a belt or patterns on a top/skirt. Cinching in your waist with a wide belt will only draw more attention to your broad shoulders.
You can draw attention away from your top or stomach by wearing trousers or jeans with design or detail around the ankle.
Colour has the ability to draw the eye to wherever it is placed. It can also be a helpful tool in playing up or sown certain parts of your body. So use colour with the knowledge that a dark colour minimises and narrows that bart of the body.
Wear wide leg trousers. Steer clear of back pockets or any detailing around the bottom. Avoid styles that cup your cheeks; instead opt for styles that hang full from the middle of the bottom. Front pleats and pockets will help balance your silhouette.
Select jackets that are slightly fitted and taper gently. Boxy styles may accentuate the size of your bottom.
Wear empire dresses for evenings out. Avoid Clingy Bias-cut styles,as they are unflattering to your body shape.
A V-neck top will be good for you as this draws the eye-line down the centre of your body.
The retro styles of the 40's and 50's are perfect for your shape.
Leave chunky knit styles in the store and go for a close knit item as chunky knits just end up making you look larger than you are.
You should try to stick with single-breasted jackets and aim for those that are slightly fitted or have princess seams.
Monochrome looks fab on you, teamed with a belt to finish off the look. You have the waist....show it off.
A belted jacket is a good look for your body shape.
Resist the temptation fo buying long gypsy skirts, they will wash you out and make you look dumpy, instead keep skirts at knee length or just above.
Pencil skirts are always a good option BUT always avoid the pencil skirts that are narrower at the knee than at the low hip, they make the bum look very wide. Aim for a skirt that goes straight down with perhaps a little flare but not A-Line, as these will make you look dumpy.
A strapless or off the shoulder top would look good on you.
Colour has the ability to draw the eye to wherever it is placed. It can also be a helpful tool in playing up or down certain parts of your body. So use colour with the knowledge that a dark colour minimises and narrows that part of the body.
Layered or ruffle tops are great to boost your cleavage and thin straps set wide apart will make the bust area seem bigger.
Your shape is perfect for horizontal striped; they combat the length of your legs to make you look more balanced.
You suit cropped trousers and culottes as these show off your wonderful slender legs while drawing attention away from your chest.
Full or pleated shirts help create the illusion of a fuller figure especially when teamed with a fitted top.
Longline or full length jackets are wonderful for this figure, and the full length cardigans suit you well, and really break up the focal line when worn over skinny jeans. A belted double-breasted jacket (eg Military style) will also really suit this body shape.
Avoid sheath or clingy dresses that contribute nothing to creating the illusion of curves, instead choose jackets, tops and dresses that are fitted at the waist, also wide belts which cinch in will really accentuate your waist which will create instant curves.
Avoid tunic-style tops as these float over your chest and will swamp you out. Also avoid cropped jackets, as these will only display your lack of a waist.
Slender body types can wear high necklines very well; this includes polo necks and also the wider styled halter neck panel tops.
Belted shirt dresses or wrap dresses are a great style for you.
Colour has the ability to draw the eye to wherever it is placed. It can also be a helpful tool in playing up or down certain parts of your body. So use colour with the knowledge that a dark colour minimises and narrows that part of the body. For your body shape you should consider navy, dark brown, charcoal and black as base colours.
To minimise a generous bottom wear trousers which skim your legs like a bootcut; but steer clear of pockets or any detailing around the bottom as these draw unwanted attention to this area. Think about flat front, side zipp and pocketless trousers, as they minimise your full hips and bottom.
Select jackets that are slightly fitted and taper gently. Boxy styles may accentuate the size of your bottom.
Wear empire cut tops and dresses with the seams just under the breasts. Avoid clingy bias-cut styles, as they are unflattering to your body type.
Aim for tops which have a V-Neck line as this draws the eye-line down the centre of your body streamlining, alternatively you could also wear a shawl to cover up those shoulders and draw the attention to the tassels/stitching on the shawl. But be careful not to display too much cleavage, you can place a colourful cami top or t-shirt underneath the v-neck top/jumper and it will provide a sense of self expression and very effectively streamline your figure without the flesh being quite so on show.
Avoid short or cropped trousers, they will not lengthen your legs, infact they do the complete opposite. Instead by trousers that are 2 inches too long and wear heels, this will create the illusion of natural height.
You can carry off the bias-cuts very well as these will naturally crease at your waist and enhance it further.
You can draw attention away from you top or stomach by wearing trousers or jeans with designs or detail around the ankles.
Wearing pointed shoes will elongate your body, or you could even wear rounded toe shoes with an interesting detail to divert the attention from your waist or bottom. But avoid chunky shoes, as these will enhance these areas.
Avoid wearing belted or drawstring looking clothing, as this will draw attention to your waist.
Wear tunic-style tops as these float over the stomach without becoming tent-like.
Use accessory colours sparingly, by following the 75% / 25% rule of balancing your colours and clothing to accessories ratio, for example if you have a jacket and trousers the same colour, then your blouse can be the extroverted colour element. This will give you the impression of a longer line and will appear to add inches to your height.
© SJ_Booker - 2006 - Click HERE to read more "About Me".