How To Dress For Your Body Shape

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The 5 Body Shapes
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The 5 Body Shapes

Which One Are You?

1. The Pear
2. The  Column
3. The Apple
4. The Hourglass
5. The Strawberry

The Do's and Don'ts of Dressing For Your Shape

The dos and don'ts of dressing for your body shape It doesn’t matter what you've read in the fashion magazines, the thing to remember about fashion is, that literally anything goes. It could be that little black dress you’ve had in your wardrobe forever, but you look and feel fantastic in it every time you wear it. Or it could be the designer dress you bought for $10 at the thrift store, it doesn’t matter, if you feel good wearing it, you will look good and your confidence will shine through. The first step to finding the right clothes to bring out your Inner Goddess, Rock Diva or Princess is to figure out your body type so that you can emphasize your best features. *Please note all photos are of garments available to buy in my Ebay Store, Frocks&Things.

The Hourglass Body shape is all about proportion, and fashion is all about dressing those proportions to look their very best. Don’t worry over height and weight, focus on your shape. A slender lady can have the same body shape as a curvy lady, just as a short woman can have the same body shape as her taller friend. And it's not about trying to look thin; it's about accentuating your shape and enhancing what you have so you feel and look your best in all of your clothes. We are all unique and our bodies are as well! Generally our body shapes are narrowed down to five general categories: pear, wedge, rectangle, apple and hourglass. You might fall into one category, or you might be a blend of two or more categories. Once you've determined your body shape, you can begin to consider which fashion trends to embrace and which to avoid. Spend some time in front of the mirror and do an honest assessment of your body. Then put these fashion tips to work.

1. The Pear

Pear body traits:
  • Your lower body is wider than your upper body. Your bottom is rounded and your waist is well-defined. 
  • Your best assets: Shoulders and torso 
  • Emphasize your waist and arms and add volume to your shoulders and upper body. Go for sweetheart, scoop-neck or plunging necklines.
  • Go for interesting hemlines, such as asymmetric on dresses that slim the hips and thighs, like short at the front and long at the back or a tulip shaped skirt.
  • Vintage 1950’s style is also a good option for the pear shape.
Do's and Don'ts
  • DO try A-line skirts
  • DO keep hems of pants, skirts and dresses wide to balance the hips.
  • DO experiment with light-colored tops/dark-colored bottoms for contrast.
  • DO look for boat neck tops, square and cowl necklines.
  • DO wear strapless dresses to show off arms and even out proportions.
  • DO try styles with ruffles on top.
  • DO wear jackets that hit right above the waist.
  • DO opt for pointy-toed shoes to elongate your legs.

Examples:-

1. White - Size 12 = $40.00 - The Hi-Lo Hemline
2. NEW - Tequila Sunrise - Size 8 = $50.00 - 1950's Style Dress with Sweatheart neck
3. Kim Kardashian - Size 10 = $80.00 - A Line shaped dress
, 2. NEW - Tequila Sunrise - Size 8 = $50.00, 3. Kim Kardashian - Size 10 = $80.00
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, 2. NEW - Tequila Sunrise - Size 8 = $50.00, 3. Kim Kardashian - Size 10 = $80.00
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, 2. NEW - Tequila Sunrise - Size 8 = $50.00, 3. Kim Kardashian - Size 10 = $80.00
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2. The Column

  • Rectangle body traits: The waist, hip and shoulder widths are similar.
  • Your best assets: Your arms and legs
  • Your fashion goals: Create curves and show off slender legs and arms. For rectangle or ruler body types, a sweetheart neckline adds some curves, or a pencil skirt with a side-slit shows off your legs and adds visual interest.
  • To add dimension to a straight body type can consist of wearing belts to define the waist and layering items like accessories or tops. A great alternative to a dress for a rectangle-shaped body would be the crop top and skirt set.
Do’s and don'ts
  • DO wear scoop neck and sweetheart tops to create curves.
  • DO wear long jackets to create a lean look.
  • DO wear tops with collars, ruffles and details to flatter your chest.
  • DO wear a good bra that will make the most of what you have.
  • DON'T wear overwhelming styles.
  • DO layer to add more dimensions.
  • DO wear dresses with ruching. Cinches on sides are ideal.
  • DO have fun with colorful bottoms... feel free to experiment.

Examples:-

1. Carla Zampatti - Size 8 = $80.00 - Ruffled collar and cinched in waist
2. Misu Australia - Size 8 = $18.00 - Ruffled Skirt
3. Bardot - Size 8 = $18.00 - Collar and Cotton Lace Detail
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3. Apple

  • Apple body traits: Most of your weight is above the hips, which are narrow. Your back, ribs and shoulders are broad.
  • Your best asset: Your legs!
  • Your fashion goals: Elongate the torso and show off your legs Apple-shaped bodies have a fuller, rounder torso with a minimal waistline, it's important to lengthen your body. Select dresses that have necklines that elongate your figure, like V-necks. Dresses with an A-line or empire hem should be staples for an apple-shaped body. A way to create a waistline and draw attention away from the mid-section is to wear a structured jacket with a dress.
Dos and don'ts
  • DO go for monochromatic looks.
  • DO go for v-neck tops to create the illusion of a longer torso.
  • DO wear a bra that offers good lift and support.
  • DO wear belts at the smallest part of your waist. 
  • DO wear empire tops and dresses.
  • DO wear boot cut and flared jeans to create an even line from the shoulders down.
  •  DO wear shorter skirts to show off your legs and draw attention away from your midsection.


Examples:-

1. Wish – Size 8 = $15.00 - Wrap front and loose around waist
2. Bird Paradise – Size 14 = $15.00 - Empire waist maxi dress
3. Portmans - Size 12 = $22.50 - Short dress, emphasizes your legs
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4. The Hourglass

  • Hourglass body traits: Your shoulders and hips are similar in proportion and set off by a tiny waist.
  • Your best assets: Curves, curves, curves!
  • Your fashion goals: Show off your curves Balance is the key to this shape. Keep the proportions of a fuller bust even with the fuller hips and thighs. Search for dresses that have a fitted top half and hug your waist. Wear V-necks or sweetheart necklines to slim down the bust, accessorize with belts so that the naturally smaller waist is accentuated. A-line cut or wrap dresses are a perfect match for the hourglass-shaped body.
Dos and don'ts
  • DON'T hide your curves with baggy clothing.
  • DO wear a good bra and showcase your bust.
  • DO wear fitted dresses or a belt at the waist
  • DO try wrap dresses.
  • DO go for high-waisted skirts.
  • DO wear skinny or straight leg jeans. When it comes to your day or night clothing choices, picking cuts that work best with your figure can make a world of difference. Patterns can overwhelm or make the outfit, depending on the body type and age. Go for fabrics that contain Lycra or Elastane whilst still being a fitted style. Select a fabric that's high-quality and hugs only the right places to create a streamlined silhouette.

Examples:-
1. Diana Ferrari - Size 14 = $20.00 - Wrap front fitted little black dress
2. Liz Jordan - Size S = $25.00 - Ruched sides and fitted
3. Dzingingof - Size 12 = $30.00 - Reversible cowl neck fitted dress

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5. The Strawberry

Wedge body traits: This body shape features a broad chest and wide shoulders with narrow waist and hips.
Your best asset: Your legs
Your fashion goals: Accentuate your lower body while softening your shoulders and upper body. To flatter all body types and especially the wedge shape, accentuate and draw attention to what you like. Do you have great shoulders and arms? Go strapless and wear a statement necklace to draw attention up. If you have a tiny waist, use a fabulous belt to really show it off. If you've got great legs, opt for something shorter but that has sleeves to give you some balance.

Do’s and Don’ts
DO wear bright colors on bottom.
DO wear wide-leg pants.
DO wear full skirts.
DON'T wear spaghetti-strap tops.
DON'T wear boat neckline tops.
DO experiment with high-waisted styles.
DO look for clothes that create the illusion of a waist.

Examples:-

1. Nadja - Size 14 = $25.00 = High waisted maxi dress
2. Liz Jordan - Size 14 = $20.00 Wrap front bodice
3. Suzanne Grae - Size 14 = $16.00 - Slightly gathered at side
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