Styling for your Size

With all the variety and choice that comes with the latest fashion trends and styles, it can be difficult to figure out the best style of clothes for your body. As much as we might love a certain look, sadly sometimes there are things that are more suited to our unique body shape. This applies to different shapes, patterns, and fabrics — and there is no worse feeling than trying to get dressed in the morning and feeling like nothing fits the way you want it. You deserve to feel confident when you walk out of the door, and when you know what works best for your shape, getting dressed will be a whole lot easier.

Draw attention to your best assets while minimizing the parts of your body you don’t love as much. At the end of the day, all body types are beautiful and worth loving, and guaranteed no matter your body shape or size, you undoubtedly have some asset that is the envy of all your friends. Learn to celebrate what nature blessed you with and use it to experiment with silhouettes to find what makes you feel most confident.

This body type is curvy, characterized by a voluminous chest, narrow waist, and full hips. You should choose clothes that accentuate your curves without exaggerating them. Like actress Christina Hendricks, your figure embodies this hourglass shape and you have killer curves in all the right places. If you have this body type, you’ll likely first gain weight in your bust and/or hips. But this isn’t a bad thing! Embrace your curves with form-fitting and flattering options.

What Works: Anything form-fitting that nips in at the waist — wraparound dresses, high-waisted pants, waist belts, V-neck tops, pencil skirts, flared pants, and wrap blouses.

Styles to Avoid: Anything that is boxy or oversized — babydoll dresses, oversized cardigans, high necklines and ruffles, embellishments, or pleats that draw too much attention to your hips and bust.

The opposite of hourglass, this slim body type is characterized by a straight up-and-down figure. Likely lean and tall, your hips are about as wide as your shoulders and you probably have a small bust. Like Kiera Knightly, your weight is distributed equally, so the goal with this body type is to create a silhouette that highlights your stunning stature. You look best in tailored clothing that emphasizes your height, with bold patterns and fabrics to add volume and shape.

What Works: Anything that creates a silhouette — a tailored blazer, ruffled shirts, flared skirts, high necklines, tucked-in shirts, long cardigans, scoop-neck or sweetheart necklines… and since you have long lean legs, pretty much any style of pant will work for you.

Styles to Avoid: Anything that is loose around the waist — empire-waist tops, dresses that are tight all over, super baggy shirts, and anything that is too boxy.

This body type is characterized by hips that are generally the widest part of your body. Just like J-Lo, you have a gorgeous, defined waist which is your best asset, and you should be aiming to elongate and balance your figure by accentuating your upper body.

What Works: Anything that adds volume to your upper half while de-emphasizing your lower half — boat neck shirts, off the shoulder tops, a-line skirts, darker colors, mid-rise and wide-legged pants, scarves, and anything with a detailed neckline that draws attention to your upper body.

Styles to Avoid: Anything that doesn’t balance out your top half with your lower half — shapeless dresses, skinny jeans/pants, pants with large pockets or anything that is too detailed around the hip area.

Petit is a tricky body type because it spans all the different body types: rectangle, pear, and hourglass. Petit women don’t just have shape to work with but also height! It’s super important to find clothes that are properly proportioned for shorter women (this means shopping for brands that offer petit clothing or getting your clothes tailored). The goal here is to great long vertical lines to show off your adorable frame and follow the rule of thirds — rather than dividing your top and bottom in half, cover two-thirds of your body with the bottom (like high-waisted jeans) and one-third with a top (or vice versa). This automatically lengthens your frame rather than making you look shorter than you actually are. If you want to avoid having to tailor your clothes, lots of major clothing companies carry perfectly proportioned petit brands such as Banana Republic, Draper James, H&M, Lord & Taylor, and Nordstrom.

What Works: Anything that elongates your body and creates a flattering silhouette — shift dresses, monochrome outfits, vertical patterns, high-waisted pants, maxi dresses, cropped jackets and shirts, structured clothing, and any shoe with some type of heel.

Styles to Avoid: Anything that chops up your frame — clothing that is too boxy, flat shoes, fabric that can look overwhelming, horizontal stripes, and calf-length dresses (try knee or ankle-length dresses instead!).

Curvy body types work in a similar way as petits in that you can be curvy and still have a pear or hourglass body shape. Some clothing brands have truly revolutionized the plus-sized market, and there are tons of amazing options that make for some exciting shopping. These companies include Modcloth, Dressbarn, Eloquii, and Target! These retailers all offer extended sizes up to size 30 that involve quality, figure-flattering, and trendy options.

What Works: Anything that creates a silhouette — flared pants, high-rise jeans, intricate patterns, solid colors, deep v-necks, fitted button-ups, wrap dresses, and pliable fabrics that can be wrapped, twisted, and gathered to mold to your curvaceous figure.

Styles to Avoid: Anything that lacks shape or is too boxy — caftans, fabrics with large patterns, boxy jackets, and exaggerated cuts that can make you look lost in a sea of fabric.

Ultimately, each of us have a unique body and no two bodies are identical. Learn what works for you and how to highlight your best assets. These rules are just a guideline for how you should dress your body. As always, the best rule to looking your most fabulous is feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin. Sometimes, rules are made to be broken, so don’t take these rules too seriously.

Fashion should always be fun, not traumatic. Have you joined my Social yet? Ask me how!

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