Day 2 | Dressing for Your Body

So often women struggle to dress properly for their body type, fighting against what Mother Nature gave them.  All body types are gorgeous in their way - they are!  What makes you look and feel fabulous is learning to wear clothes that flatter and minimize your "fluffy" areas while accentuating your, um, assets.

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THE BASIC FOUR


I've worked on and off in retail fashion for over twelve years.  Of course I love the clothes and accessories but my favorite thing about working in fashion is helping make people, mainly women, look good.  The smile on their face, turning around in front of a full length mirror, actually admiring how they look, made them feel great...and that made me feel awesome!


Step 1: What type are you?


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DETAILED BODY TYPES


Whether you're a pear, rectangle, or pinwheel (ha!) it comes down to one thing: Making your body look proportioned.

While it's fun to speculate on what body type (or combo of types) you have, I'd recommend beginning by choosing one of the basic four types: Apple, Rectangle, Pearl, Hourglass.

  • APPLE - Top heavy, thicker in the middle, often with larger bust; lean, toned legs and rear
  • RECTANGLE - Straight proportions throughout body; shoulders, waist, and hips relatively the same width; often a very lean or boyish body
  • PEAR - Bottom heavy, gains weight in the thighs and rear; slim or narrow upper body, typically with a smaller bust
  • HOURGLASS - Equal hip and bust measurements with smaller waist; often with a soft build with mild muscle tone; equal distribution of weight throughout body

Fashion is architecture.  It is a matter of proportions.  - Coco Chanel


STEP 2:  Create flattering proportions

There are a few things every woman wants:

1. Small waist
2. Perky chest
3. Long legs

Am I right?

Creating curves and shape for a RECTANGLE, creating balance for an APPLE by adding width near the hips 

CINCH:  Nearly all body types will benefit from a cinched waistline.  PEAR and HOURGLASS shapes should use belts to pull in a flouncy top, look for dresses that taper in the waist, and get those blocky button-ups tailored to fit you like the gorgeous woman you are!

RECTANGLES benefit from tops cut on the bias and have a soft look.  Belts and tapering may be used to add curves to your frame, but be careful as this may only draw attention to your hard angles.


Adding a belt draws eyes inward and makes your waist more defined

APPLES beware!  Drawing attention to your midsection is a no-no; adding a belt to try and cinch your waist will only show off the extra fluff you've got going on around your middle.

Instead, look for tops that drape away from your ribcage.  Empire waists, tunics, flowing blouses, trapeze styles, and other loose, feminine tops will allow you to be comfortable and de-emphasize your midsection.
 

Flowing peasant top is perfect for a larger midsection; paired with a low-slung belt draws eyes down toward slim hips and thighs


SEAMS:  All types should look for flattering curved side and bust seams.  While there is no color or pattern difference, the eye is tricked to follow simple seams that curve in at the waist, out at the bust.  Same goes for pant legs where the outer seam tapers inward to make your legs look curvy and lean.

Skirts with extra seams down the front will help flatter PEARS and HOURGLASS shapes, creating more vertical lines down your curvy lower half.  Curvy or exaggerated seams offer shape to RECTANGLES, while APPLES should look for tops with smooth lines and minimum embellishment.


Carefully placed seams and color blocking around bust, waist, and legs create the illusion of a curvier, yet slimmer, silhouette


COLOR & PATTERN:  Why is black so slimming?  It is the absence of color and light.  Light is visually sucked inward, creating the illusion of a smaller space.  The reverse is true of white, which is extremely reflective and creates the illusion of a larger space.  DIYourselfers out there can attest to what happens when you paint your kitchen cabinets white - whoa!  Your kitchen is now HUGE!  Haha!  The same goes for fashion.

Wear lighter, brighter colors and prints on areas where you want to draw attention, and likewise, wear darker, solid hues on areas you'd like to de-emphasize.


Slim rectangular bodies benefit from lighter tops with fun cut-outs like this keyhole blouse; a flowing patterned skirt adds dimension and curves


  • APPLES will benefit from darker, simplified tops but can go light and bright on bottom.  If you've always wanted those crazy floral skinny jeans, go right ahead!
  • RECTANGLES out there can wear just about anything...you model, you.  Your challenge will be to add curves with bold patterns and color blocking (more on that soon!). 
  • PEARS are going to look awesome in dark wash jeans and black leggings when paired with a lighter colored blouse or scarf.  PEARS will also benefit from dark opaque tights with dark shoes that will lengthen and slenderize your legs. 
  • HOURGLASS shapes are lucky in that their bodies are well proportioned, so wearing dresses or outfits with the same tone and intensity on top and bottom looks great.


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Alright ladies!  I'm SO excited to share more tips with you tomorrow.  Who knew I could on and on about this stuff?  Ha!







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