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How to Choose Clothes According to Your Body TypeMon, October 1, 2012
To look fashionable doesn’t mean to become a slave to trends and wear things, which are really stylish, but never flatter your figure. Fashion is a bit more complicated world and it has its rules for various body shapes actually. Finding just the right piece of clothing according to your body shape isn’t that easy and it requires a long search and mathematical calculations, especially if you have a non-standard figure. Certainly, if you are a leggy beauty with 90-60-90 proportions, you can look amazing in any type of clothing, be it a figure-enhancing tight mini dress or a loose maxi one. However, the world isn’t that perfect place and not all women are granted with an ideally sculpted figure. Thus, if you have a flat chest, bulky tights or excess weight in the abdominal area, you have to follow some fashion tips to choose clothes according to your body type. The secret to an ideally proportioned outfit lies in the “golden section”, which divides the whole outfit into two parts the way that a harmonious balance is created between the upper and lower parts of a body. And since these parts vary a lot from figure to figure, take a look at the main style rules of the proper clothing selection for different body types.
Pear, Spoon, Bell or A Shape (Triangle Upward)
Features: wide hips, full legs, small breasts and narrow sloping shoulders.
The Goal: to attract maximum attention to the upper part of the body.
Pear body shape is the most common female body type, one in which the width of hips dominates the width of the shoulders, while the chest is far from the outstanding size. Women with this body shape should choose clothes that will skillfully conceal the serious shortcomings of the bottom and draw attention to the upper part of the body, as well as emphasize the bust, visually equalizing the two body parts with the help of colors and styles of clothing. A long jacket with a wide neck will significantly expand the shoulders and accentuate the waist. Think colorful tops, blazers with shoulder pads, and try to stick to the “light top, dark bottom” color principle. Loose pants will make the tights not pop, as well as will visually lengthen the figure. If you plan to go to the beach, choose a one-piece swimsuit abundantly decorated at the top.
Pear shaped women would rather avoid classic jeans with back pockets, as well as styles with low waists and miniskirts. Maxi, on the contrary, will help you hide the figure flaws and highlight its flying femininity (learn more about pear shaped body styling tips).
Apple or V Shape (Triangle Downward)
Features: broad shoulders, a massive chest, larger abdomen and narrow hips.
The Goal: to focus on the narrow hips and conceal the large abdomen and wide shoulders.
This type of figure is quite common among business women, who carefully control weight and are actively involved in sports. Hence, broad shoulders are formed, which in combination with the fragile toned figure and narrow hips creates a non-standard profile. Apple shaped women try to distract the attention from their broad shoulders and place the focus on the narrow hips, slender legs and perfectly toned thighs – a considerable cause for pride.
Broad shoulders can be easily camouflaged with a raglan sleeved blazer, a dress with a low waistline and a V-neck top. Large vertical stripes will also help you visually balance the figure. Broad shoulders are also very easy to hide under dark fabrics, while light colors should be left for the lower body part. Never wear double-breasted jackets and dresses with shoulder pads, as well as avoid big wide collars. Also try to stay away from breezy fabrics and belts or catchy details on the waistline (learn more about apple shaped body styling tips).
Banana, Straight or I Shape (Rectangular)
Features: large and wide bones, excess body weight evenly distributed in the abdomen, buttocks, face and chest, flat rear and straight shoulders.
The Goal: to mitigate the figure lines, create roundness and a silhouette.
Women with a rectangular body shape usually have shoulders and hips in the equal width with the waist line, which creates excess weight in the abdominal area and absence of any feminine curves and profile. The main rule here is to avoid any kind of belts, ribbed inserts at the waist line, in short, any element that will emphasize the problem area. Go for relaxed styles of dresses with a flowing wait line, elongated and loose blazers, as well as tops in dark shades or with geometric prints, which visually narrow the figure. Avoid any frills and ruffles, pleated clothes and ones with bias cuts (learn more about rectangular shaped body styling tips).
Hourglass or X Shape (Triangles Opposing and Facing In)
Features: enlarged chest, hips and rear, balanced proportions.
The Goal: to focus on the waist line and the advantages of the figure.
In the XIX century, the hourglass figure was considered to be perfect: the accentuated breast and thighs and the well-underlined waist line give aristocratic nobility to the figure. Women with this body type have a narrow waist and bust and hips in the same size. The happy owners of hourglass body shape don’t suffer from the problem of excess weight and can wear almost any style of clothing. Especially ideal are strapless tops highlighting the neckline, floor-length dresses, tapered dresses and silhouette-embracing band dresses. Any fitting clothing, soft and flowing fabric, straight jacket and tight pants are a great choice for such a figure.
Hourglass shaped women are advised to avoid additional accents on the waist line and baggy clothing styles that hide their flattering features and make the figure shapeless. Also stay away from heavy fabrics and pieces with rough cuts (learn more about hourglass shaped body styling tips).
Whatever type of body you are granted with, never underestimate your beauty and femininity. Just follow these easy style tips for different body types, experiment with various clothing pieces and create your unique style, which brings out your best features and skillfully camouflages the problem areas.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Lookbook.nu