Dressing Your Body Shape Part III – The Individual Shapes

This article recently appeared in Live Well Wyoming

If you’ve read my last two articles, you know your body shape and a little more about how to use the illusion of color and shape to your advantage.  Now it is time to discuss how to dress each shape.

If you are a Straight/Rectangle body type, your top goals are to add length to your torso, hide a large rib cage, create the illusion of a waist, and draw the eye to your legs.  Dresses that fit the shoulders and fall loosely to right above the knee are a great choice.  Add tights and slim boots to emphasize the legs for fall.  A deep v neck will elongate your neckline.  Avoid belts and choose items that suggest a waist but don’t emphasize one.  Other good choices are a longer jacket with a short skirt or a loose fitting jacket with straight legged pants.

For the Pear/Spoon body type, you will want to draw attention to your upper torso, add width to your shoulders to balance wider hips, hint at your waist without cinching it, and de-emphasize your lower body.  Empire waist tops and dresses are a great choice for you.  Choose necklines that are wide like the boat or cowl because they will add balance to your hips.  Choose flared skirts rather than straight.  Other good choices for you are ¾ length jackets over shorter skirts as well as tops that hit just below the waist rather than at the hips.  Choose darker colors for the bottom.  Avoid belts or emphasized waists unless you have an open jacket over the top.  Use accessories to draw attention upward.

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The top goals for the Hourglass body type are to emphasize your waist and curves as well as to avoid oversized clothing.  Choose fitted styles with darts or defined waists.  Wrap dresses are your friend because they show off your waist and bust.  Choose top styles that allow room for a generous bust and blouse your tops to help provide balance.  Mid rise pants are more flattering on a larger rear than those that hit at the waist.  Just be sure to wear a shaper to avoid the muffin top that mid rise bottoms often create.

Inverted Triangle body types should draw attention to their hips and legs, work to slim their shoulders and de-emphasize the upper torso.  Low slung waists or loosely draped belts are a great choice for you.  Deep v neck or round necks will slim your shoulder area.  Shorter hemlines or straight pant legs will draw attention to your legs.  A longer jacket with a short skirt is also flattering on this figure as it serves to elongate the upper torso.  This is a great body type for leggings and longer tunics.

For the Oval/Round body type, the top goals are to elongate the neck, downplay the middle while elongating the upper torso and drawing attention to the legs.  Try loose fitting jackets or tops over slim legged pants or narrow skirts.  Choosing tops and bottoms of the same color with a jacket over the top that is a different color will elongate your torso and draw attention away from your middle.  Make sure the monochromatic portion is darker than the over jacket or top.

The Diamond body type should draw attention to a spot above the waist, add width to the shoulders, and draw attention away from the hips and thighs.  This is another body type that works well with empire waists.  Wider necklines and cap sleeves will make the shoulders appear wider and balance out the hip area.  Flared skirts allow room for full thighs.  Tunic tops over slim legged pants also work well for this figure type, especially when they are the same color.  Hemlines that fall just below the knee are also good for this figure type.  Avoid tops that hit at the hips or outfits that emphasize your waist.

The key fashion trends for this season are still focused on elongated tops, sweaters and jackets over slim legged pants.  This is good news for almost every body type on this list.  If you have wider thighs or calves, just choose a straight leg style rather than a slim leg style.  You will still accomplish the same look.  Choosing the right clothing takes a little practice but is a skill that can be mastered.

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