Of apples and hourglasses

Unfortunately, none of us are perfect. Even the hottest models out there get Photo Shopped. We all have things about our bodies that we hate, but there are ways to play up your best features and make the bad ones not as noticeable. By following these simple tips you can learn how to compliment your shape.

WOMEN:

Pear Shaped — Is your bottom half larger than your top half? Have wide hips with small shoulders? You’re pear-shaped. This is easily fixable by wearing things that draw the eye upward. Things like unique patterns and bright colors help to do this, and detract from your hips.

You’ve got an excellent upper body, so if you can get that to balance your lower body, you’ll look fabulous. V-neck shirts help emphasize your upper body, and wide belts emphasize your waistline. Try to veer away from tapered bottoms or large pleats in skirts because this will make your hips and thighs appear even larger and draw a lot of attention to that area.

Dream Dress: You’ll be the bell of the ball in an empire dress. This is a strapless dress with a flowing bottom that comes to below the knee. Top it off with a decorative shrug, bolero, or shawl that will draw away from your hips and thighs.

Apple Shaped — Apple shaped women have a larger bust, waistline, ribcage, back and shoulders with slender hips and legs. If this is you, you’ve got a beautiful set of legs! Make sure to play them up. Try wearing a shirt that goes in under the bust and then flares out over the stomach. Wear lots of tailored jackets and blazers; this will make your waistline appear smaller because of the cut. Avoid wearing loose and flowing things on your legs, try to wear tighter pants and skirts to highlight them.

Dream Dress: Best bets for you are either a sleeveless black sheath, or a soft princess seamed dress. Both will help show off your bust and legs, while camouflaging your waist and tummy.

Rectangle Shaped — Also known as the “athletic body type,” your shoulders, waist, and hips are all the same width. You have a lovely figure, but sometimes have troubles trying to look like you have curves. When picking out what to wear, try to choose things that will accentuate your shoulders, waist, and hips. These areas are the ‘curve areas’ that will make you look more feminine.

Short-sleeves, strapless, or decorative tops will help define your shoulders. Wrap-around shirts or belted shirts help with the waistline, and light jeans with decorative pockets or flared skirts highlight your hips. Of all these, the most important is your waist. If your waistline looks slim, the curves will follow. Don’t wear baggy tops or bottoms. This will make you appear bigger in all areas and will distract from what curves you do have.

Dream Dress: Rectangle girls look best in ball gowns, or dresses with a form-fitting bodice and full skirt. Wearing a dress like this will help you accentuate your waist and add more shape to your silhouette.

Hourglass Shape — If your bust to hip ratio is about the same with a smaller waist, you are hourglass shaped. You have the most proportional body type, so take advantage of it and dress up your curves! Wearing things that draw attention to the waistline, like shirts with waist bands or wraps, help do this. Baggy and loose clothing worn in variation can be good, but try to avoid them because they usually drown your delicate bone structure.

Dream Dress: Because of your body type, you could pull off almost any dress you want. But you would look most stunning in a corseted-bodice dress with a full skirt because it draws the most attention to your best features.

Tall Body Type — Mostly, the rule of thumb is that if a woman is 5’8 or taller, she is considered tall. This can be used to your advantage tremendously, so embrace your height! Don’t try to slump, this will make you appear even taller, less confident, and thicker through the middle. You are one of the few body types that can wear horizontal stripes. Also, wearing different patterns or colors on the top and bottom halves look better on your body because they break up the line of your body. Wear a brightly colored top with jeans, or wear a striped skirt with a white shirt. Wearing all one color will make you seem like a giant because the vertical line your body creates is not chopped up. Try to avoid wearing extremely short or long skirts, this will make your body look disproportional.

Dream Dress: Your longer figure would look gorgeous in a low v-neck, body-hugging dress that goes a little below the knee and has a slit. This will make your legs and décolletage unmistakably irresistible.

Short Body Type — Are you 5’3 or under? Do have a small bone structure and tiny feet? This is the body type for you. You’ve got great features about your body, so your main objective is to elongate it. This can be done in a cinch if you learn what to wear. As was mentioned before, the way you dress the vertical line of your body influences how tall you look. To elongate your body, make your body a continuous line by not breaking it up with different colors and patterns. Wear the same color on top and bottom, and also try wearing vertical stripes. Visually, vertical stripes make you longer and leaner. Likewise, you can wear vertical lines with pleats and other cuts that lengthen your body. Do not wear horizontal stripes because they will make you appear shorter and wider. Another risk you might face because of your petite shape, is looking like a little girl. Steer clear of girlish patterns and try to go for more mature attire to combat the ten-year-old look.

Dream Dress: Wear a to-the-floor gown in one solid color. That way, you’ll appear long, lean, and elegant. A v or scoop neck also helps elongate the neck and chest.

MEN:

So what about the guys? Guys have many different body types that are common too. There are different things that they should wear to help them when dressing for their body types. You’d be surprised how much what you wear can affect how you look. So guys, follow these simple tips to help you accentuate your best features, and hide the features that aren’t as great.

Heavy Set Men — If you’re a little bigger, your main focus should be to focus on height because it will off-set your width. Look for things that will lengthen your body. Vertical stripes and going monochromatic in color may help. Also, when getting your dress pants, make sure to get pants with forward pleats. This is very slimming on your body shape and will help hide the bulk. Never, wear double-breasted suit coats. These draw attention to the width of your body, not height, and they usually make you look bigger. We all know that a jacket should cover your behind. For your suit jacket, make sure that it doesn’t make your behind look bigger by avoiding double vented jackets. This means that there are two slits in the back instead of only one. Two vents make you visually wider than only one. On your shirts, wear prints that are small and spaced further apart to avoid drawing too much attention to your belly. Another helpful tip would be to always wear a belt because it draws the eye inward, making your waistline look smaller.

Tall and Skinny Men — You need to watch what you wear to avoid looking lurpy. When it comes to your body type, the way things fit are extremely important. Never wear really tight clothing. This will make you seem like a toothpick without much of a shape. On the other hand, make sure your clothes don’t drown you. When picking out a suit jacket, let the shoulders of it come slightly past your shoulders. That way you look like you have more width. Tall and skinny body types can wear horizontal stripes, plaids, and patterns so wear whatever you’d like in that department. However, avoid vertical stripes. These will make you look taller. Always break up the vertical line of your body by wearing different colored tops and bottoms. The one-color outfit idea is definitely not for you. This may seem weird to you, but your shoes also play a big role in how you look. Never go for a round toed shoe because it will make you body seem disproportionate. A square toed shoe looks best with your body type.

Short Men — Short men look great in monochromatic and vertical looks because they are looking to elongate the body. I keep mentioning vertical stripes, but for your body type I should specify that these stripes should be small. Smaller than ¾ inches on suits, and on casual shirts just try and make sure they’re not too big. Not only is it out of style, but it drowns and detracts from your shape. Suit jackets that are ventless (have no slit in the back) look great with your body type. Make sure that your jackets aren’t too long, because that will cut off leg length and make you look shorter. Also, the sleeves of it have to be the perfect length. Too long and you’ll look like you’re being swallowed by your clothes, and too short, you’ll look like you’re wearing a 12-year-old’s jacket. Try finding dress shoes with taller soles to give you a little extra height.

Extremely Muscley Man — Being careful with what you wear is essential to your body type because you wouldn’t want anything to make you seem bigger than you are. Your shoulders tend to be very large, so try to find jackets with little to no shoulder padding. You want to make sure you have the impression of the V body shape, because if your small waist isn’t visible you’ll appear boxy. To do this, get suit jackets that slope inward at the waist to make your shape show more. Sometimes it is hard to shop for this body type, so you may not be able to find a suit off of the rack. Invest in a tailored suit that is made for your different body dimensions. Don’t wear shirts with small collars or lapels. This will make you look like you’ve out-grown your clothes.

No matter what your gender, size, or shape, always dress what you want to highlight in light colors and what you want to hide in dark colors. Confidence is always your greatest asset, so whatever you wear, rock it.

One Response to "Of apples and hourglasses"

  1. Candie Yo   February 13, 2010 at 10:30 pm

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