Have you ever tried to figure out your body shape? There’s so many different names that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with.
Some people use fruit to define the body, such as pears or apples. In fashion school we were taught these variations with the alphabet, like A-shaped and H-shaped. I’ve even heard my body described as a ruler. Excuse me?
How does one keep up with all of these variations? I’m going to make this a bit simpler.
Very few women are actually born with the coveted hourglass figure (also known as a proportional body), but with a little help we can all appear as if we were.
For years I bought clothes without knowing how to dress for my body type. I ran around town in dresses that were not only ill-fitting, but showcased the flaws I was desperately seeking to hide.
If only I’d known there was an art to flattering your body shape! Fortunately, I’ve learned a few lessons along the way that I want to pass along.
Bigger on the Top
The key to finding the perfect dress for this body type is to add volume to your bottom half. Stay away from bodycon dresses that will only emphasize a larger bust; look for dresses with an A-line silhouette or Empire waist instead.
If you’re going for a tank dress, please don’t be tempted to buy one with spaghetti straps! You’ll definitely want a wider strap that provides more support.
Bigger on the Bottom
Finding a dress that flatters a body with a bigger bottom half means adding volume to the top. You certainly want a dress with a defined waistline – whether it’s a horizontal seam or you create your own waistline with a belt.
This body shape can also work a low-cut neckline. V-neck, sweetheart, halter, and scoop necklines all draw attention to your upper half.
Bigger in the Middle
Ladies with a little extra in the midsection should seek to add both volume and structure to create balance. Instead of a sheath dress, try a dress with a fuller skirt. A V-neckline also helps to elongate the body and create shape around your waistline.
It can be tempting to hide your stomach with loose fabrics, but a dress with a more structured top is going to compliment your curves instead.
The one dress silhouette that every proportional woman wants in her closet is a wrap dress. It hugs your curves in the best way possible. Most dresses with fitted waistlines accentuate this body type. If there’s not a fitted waistline, you can create one with a belt.
A classic sheath dress that hits right above the knee follows your body’s curves. Not a fan of shorter length dresses? Go for a long, straight silhouette instead.
If you weren’t born with definition to your body shape, there are a few tricks to create the illusion of natural curves. Much like woman who are bigger on the top, an A-line dress and Empire waist will enhance your appearance.
Another tip is to pay attention to the seams. Look for vertical darts along the bust and a horizontal seam at the waist. A deep V is very flattering on a straight-shaped figure.
Of course these suggestions are here to guide you, but if you truly love an item don’t let anyone stop you from wearing it. I try to adhere to these as often as possible, but occasionally you have to disregard all of the rules and wear what makes you feel good.
At the end of the day, fashion should always be about having fun.