Dress to Impress: Fashion Tips for Every Body Shape

Dress to Impress: Fashion Tips for Every Body Shape

Finding the perfect outfit can be a transformative experience, boosting confidence and highlighting your best features. Understanding your body shape is key to dressing in a way that flatters your figure. Here’s a guide on how women with different body shapes can dress to look their best.

General Tips

The overriding principle to looking good is that your clothes have a flattering fit. Whether that’s hugging your figure or flowing loosely over it, clothes that are well-fitting and tailored will nearly always look great. It’s also important that whatever you wear is comfortable, as if you feel good you will almost certainly look it too. Don’t squeeze or stretch into clothes that aren’t suited to your shape, and seek out items designed for you – a fuller bust bikini top will flatter and support you in all the right ways far better than one designed for smaller busts, for example. 

The other principle is balance – different body shapes have different focal points and distribute weight differently. You may well want to emphasise an aspect of your body you’re particularly proud of, but in general a good looks comes from balance. 

Apple Shape

If you have an apple shape, you probably carry weight around your midsection, with a fuller bust and narrower hips. The key to a flattering look here is to draw attention away from the tummy and accentuate other areas. Go for tops and dresses with high cinched waists that nip in to create a lovely hourglass illusion. Long tops and shirts (long but not wide!) are your best friends, as are belted dresses and the classic ‘Empire’ waistline under the bust. 

Lower cut shirts draw the eye off the belly and focuses it upwards, also elongating the appearance of the torso. You can also do this by adding cute accessories like wraps, scarfs and neckties. For smarter looks, a well-fitted blazer can define your shoulders and make your waist appear slimmer. You should avoid straight, wide or ‘boxy’ fit shirts. 

Pear Shape

Pear-shaped ladies have wider hips and thighs – your look should emphasise these while complementing your smaller bust and narrow shoulders. Like apples, pears should try to achieve a balanced look. Look for tops with ruffles, bold patterns, or statement necklines to draw the eye upwards.

Look for vintage-style ‘A-line’ dresses and fit-and-flare clothes. These styles are perfect for balancing your figure while showing off your curves. If you don’t want to over-emphasise your hips, aim for darker shades on the bottom paired with wide-leg or straight-leg pants, which seem to slim the hips and elongate the legs. Equally, shirts and jumpers that are loose at the neck, or even hang off the shoulder, widen the shoulders and balance your lovely curves below.

Strawberry Shape

Strawberry-shaped, or inverted triangle, women have broader shoulders and bust with narrower hips and legs. The way to look great is to create harmony between your upper and lower halves – but here you want to flatter your upper half while emphasising your lower. 

To get this balance, opt for skirts and pants with volume, like flowing skirts or wide-leg trousers. You can safely opt for bolder, brighter colours on the bottom. V-neck and scoop-style tops soften broad shoulders. This is another shape suited to tailored jackets that nip in at the waist help create a balanced silhouette.

You should avoid shoulder pads, ruffles, puffy sleeves and other looks that give extra volume up top. The same goes for looks that show or emphasise the shoulders like halter tops. 

Hourglass Shape

Hourglass figures have a well-defined waist with bust and hips that are proportionate. If you have this shape you are usually in luck when it comes to fashion, as most looks tend to be designed with this naturally curvaceous look in mind. But it’s still possible to make unflattering choices. 

Fitted clothing, such as wrap dresses and belts, should become your go-to wardrobe staple as they will highlight your natural waistline. For more formal looks, a bodycon dress will flatter your figure. So will the classic pencil skirt. Belts should feature prominently in your accessories selection. 

At the top, V-necks and Sweetheart necklines will enhance your bust without unbalancing the look and overwhelming your figure.

The secret here is making sure that everything is well-fitted. Aim for tailored pieces that follow your body’s natural lines to showcase your hourglass shape. Baggy or loose-fitting clothes risk making you look heavyset rather than curvaceous. 

Rectangle Shape

Rectangle-shaped women have balanced bust, waist, and hip measurements, often with a straighter figure. Because your shape is naturally balanced, you have a lot of scope for different styles but the goal here could be to create the illusion of curves.

This can be done with peplum tops and dresses with ruching at the waist are fantastic for adding shape. Define your waist with belts and waist-gathering dresses, while outer layers like well-structured blazers do the same job. For the bottom half, high-waisted pants and jeans are your friend. 

Equally, things to avoid are low-waisted trousers and any formless or straight-hanging dresses or tops. 

Shaping Up

Every body shape has its unique beauty, and dressing to flatter your figure can enhance your confidence and style. By understanding your body type and using these tips, you can create a wardrobe that makes you feel fabulous every day. Remember, the best outfit is one that makes you feel comfortable and confident, no matter your shape!

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