The secret to looking great is to work with what you’ve got and make the most of your best features while downplaying areas that you feel less confident about. For most people, this begins with identifying their body shape and choosing clothes that will fit well and flatter their form.
For any body shape
Whatever you wear, you want to feel good, and dressing to suit your body shape is a good start. It can help to think of your body in three sections:
- Head to waist
- Waist to knee
- Knee to toe
Whatever your body type, dressing in a one-to-two ratio will help flatter your shape. This means choosing a dress that stops at the knee to dress your top two-thirds, or a high waist and shorter top to divide your top third from the bottom two.
For those that want something a little different, a biker jumpsuit teamed with knee-high boots can give all the effects of the rule of thirds but with a bold twist that will really turn heads. There are a few main body shapes and knowing which you fit is the key to finding outfits that look and feel great. The main ones are:
This shape goes in and out of fashion every few years, so knowing how to dress when you are bottom-heavy is really important. You can draw attention away from wider hips and thighs by focusing all eyes on your top half.
Bright colours, prints, and patterns are an ideal way to draw focus, and you can also use eye-catching sweetheart or boat necklines can also be used to give some width to the torso and balance your overall body shape.
To flatter your figure if you don’t have a clearly defined waist, you can give the illusion of a shapelier form by balancing out your shape with tailored tops and jackets that don’t hug too closely around your top half. Avoid accentuating your shoulders and steer clear of anything skin-tight on your top half – opt instead for flowing tops and skirts that stop short of your knee to create a more balanced effect.
Luckily, casual wear is easy as straight-leg jeans look great on apple-shaped bodies and you can pair them with a loose top to really highlight your best features. Choose top or bottom for anything tight to ensure that avoid looking top-heavy.
Sometimes called ‘rectangular’, this body shape looks great in belted outfits that create the illusion of a waist but also show off amazing legs and shoulders. Tops and bottoms with straight lines can make an athletic figure look boxy, so try and add some shape by choosing high-waisted trousers and figure-hugging tops to enhance your shape.
Athletic body shapes suit almost every fit of trouser, from straight legs to skinny and everything in between. Mid-rise jeans are the perfect compromise between form-fitting, practical, and comfortable and are a great choice for athletic builds.
While many people admire hourglass bodies, it can be hard to find the right cut of clothes to bring out the best in an hourglass figure. Highlighting the waist can really make an outfit pop, especially in a mini skirt or similar which will also highlight your legs.
Long-line tops may swamp an hourglass figure and baggy clothes simply don’t do the curves beneath justice. Many people with hourglass figures have a large bust that can either be accentuated or dressed down to complement whatever they are wearing.
Whatever your body shape, you will always look better when you feel comfortable and confident. Learning about your body shape and funding clothes that suit it can help you curate a wardrobe full of items that look and feel great on you and that can be combined to create a wide variety of outfits for any occasion.