Body Shapes and What to Wear

When it comes to dressing right for each individual body shape, it is all about balance. With clothes we can influence the visual appearance of our bodies, enhance what we like about ourselves and take the focus away from areas that we don’t want too much attention to.
Clothes can’t change your body, that is a matter of diet, exercise and genetics and we better make friends with what we have, since it is what it is. There is no rule for beauty. Every woman is beautiful in her own way. There are however a few rules on what to wear and what to avoid for bringing out your best side.
Most common are five basic body shapes – the pear, the reversed pear, the apple, the hourglass and the yardstick – we may also call it the asparagus, the willow or palm.
Pear body shape
With a pear shaped body you are fuller around the hips, have a wide pelvis and are small around the chest and shoulders. You’ll want to get the focus on your upper body therefore tops with large patterns are great as are shiny tops in bright colors. Opulent, shorter necklaces, large collars, shoulder pads and medium long jackets are good choices.
Wear straight cut skirts or pants in matte, solid colors, preferably darker. Avoid wide, pleated and patterned skirts. Also stay away from high waist pants with pleads or any kind of decoration that lets the eye wander to your hips.
Reversed Pears
Reversed pear body shape
If you have broad shoulders and a big chest but small hips the ideal look for you are wide legged pants, roomy skirts, dresses that are cut small on top and wider below the waist. The new again baby doll look could work great for you. Avoid tight pants and skirts, voluminous tops with heavy patterns.
Apple body shape
Apples are at their fullest around the middle. Simple cuts and straight lines work well for this body shape. Straight cut blouses, but please no “tents”. Straight, not tight pants and skirts. Flowing fabrics, jackets that reach the top of your thighs, long necklaces and flowing scarves will be very favorable.
Avoid anything that is tight around the middle like waist cut dresses, large belts, tugged in blouses with an elaborate top. Also stay away from waist short t-shirts and short jackets. Not to mention horizontal block stripes. Try polka dots instead or vertical lines.
Hourglass body shape
According to surveys the X-shape is the most coveted among women however it comes with its own challenges to be curvy on the chest as well as around the hips. If you wear tops and dresses that are too wide, perhaps to camouflage the opulence, you might appear larger than you are. If the clothes are too tight you may resemble a 1950’s pin-up model and get too much unwanted attention.
Again it’s about balance. Everything long and flowing that brings out your waist through cut or with a belt is ideal. Sleek shapes, soft materials and subtle patterns work well as do wrap styles, be it wrap dresses, blouses or skirts. Pick jackets that have a waist. Necklaces are great at medium and short length. Avoid the “tents”, straight shapes and stiff materials. High, round necklines won’t do you any favor.
The Yardstick
Yardstick body shape
The lucky willows among us can wear just about anything. That is why the slender and straight shape is most prevalent among the world’s fashion models. They even look good in tube dresses. With this slender shape blousy styles look great, striped, plaid and floral motives. Pleated skirts in all lengths, short blazers, elaborate tops and the new ruffled dresses. Avoid tops and dresses that are plain and skin tight.
Note: There are no real ‘rules’ when it comes to dressing. The above tips can help you decide and find outfits that bring out the best in you. However … If you fall in love with a special dress, top or skirt and it makes you happy to wear it – get it and don’t think about any fruits. All that counts in the end is that you feel good in the colors and cuts that you chose. If it makes you happy you will radiate joy and that is what fashion is about!