Day 5 | Dressing for Your Body III

Today we're finishing up the Dressing for Your Body mini-series (Part I and Part II).


As a reminder, if you'd like to qualify for a super awesome jewelry giveaway at the end of this series, please become a "follower" or subscribe to Bella Storia.  Hope to see you around more often! *wink*

Here we go..!

Best color blocked dress EVER!

LENGTH & WIDTH:  We have all heard that horizontal lines can create width.  Remember that this includes hemlines, belts, and even pockets!

  • HEMLINES -  If you've got slim and/or toned legs go for lengths above the knee, otherwise just below the knee (but above the center of your calf) will be most flattering (that's you, PEAR).  Just remember that a hemline draws the eye to that area and will accentuate wherever it ends.  If you have thick calves, don't wear capris.  If you're super slim, you might want to wear loose fitting, above the knee shorts to add some curves.  The same principal applies to tops and sleeves.  PEARS should look for hems to stop above the hip (your widest part) and short or half/elbow-length sleeves, drawing eyes toward your tiny waist.  APPLES should avoid long sleeves that end at the same hemline as your top - this will make you look blocky.  HOURGLASS shapes do well with shorter, loose fitting sleeves, while RECTANGLES often look great in cap sleeves and bracelet-length sleeves that highlight slender arms and wrists.

  • BELTS - If you have a thinner midsection, you should invest in a few belts that fit around your natural waist (just above your belly button); these are your new best friend!  Wear them over dresses, blouses, sweaters, and even open cardigans.  Avoid adding belts to your natural waistline if you are thicker around the middle.  Instead, opt for low slung belts closer to your hips, or find tops with soft fabric wraps around the middle for definition.

Universally flattering jeans - midrise, dark wash, bootcut
  • POCKETS - Such a simple utilitarian thing, and yet pockets can create a world of trouble for your lower proportions!  Be wise about their placement:  Lower pockets will add oomph to your rear, while higher pockets will add visual lift.  Be careful that pockets aren't too small, as this will only make your bum look wider in proportion.  Most women benefit from pockets with a little embellishment (ex. embroidery, small rhinestones) but remember that lots of bling or top flap pockets will add dimension to your rear (APPLES & RECTANGLES, this is a good thing for you!).  PEARS and HOURGLASS figures should avoid front and back pockets that run horizontally.  Instead, look for pockets that are at a slight angle.  

*** NOTE:  JUST SAY NO TO MUFFIN TOPS - Ladies, please, pleeeeease don't wear pants that are too small or too low in rise (waistline)!  Curvy girls need to look for mid-rise pants that fall just below the belly button (this does NOT mean "mom jeans").  Super low-rise jeans will only make you look wider than you are.  Lower rise pants do work for APPLES and RECTANGLES, giving them shape and drawing attention away from wider waists.

Remember that some rules are meant to be broken!  Love your skinny jeans?  Here's a great example of how different body types can wear the trend.  Remember:  It's all about proportion! | via

FIT & SHAPE:  How your clothing is cut plays a huge part in how it makes you look.  There's a lot to cover, so let's do this by body type.

  • APPLE - The key for your body type is downplaying your larger upper body and drawing attention to your fine looking legs!  Look for loose, boxy tops and shorter skirts, shorts, and dresses.  Opt for straight leg trousers, cargo pants, or wide leg pants.  Skinny jeans will look great on your lower body, but if you have a more extreme APPLE shape it may make your upper body look out of proportion.  You can wear brightly colored and patterned bottoms and look amazing, just combine them with darker toned blouses.  APPLES typically have bums that lean toward the flat side so you'll want to look for A-line or flared styles with features like ruffles, layers, or textured embellishments; this will help balance out your frame.  Look for pants and skirts that are a low to mid rise and sit near your hips.  Avoid jackets or tops that have shoulder pads or short puffy sleeves.  Wrap style tops and tops that flare at the hip bone will look great on you and help define your waist.

  • RECTANGLE - Whether you're rail thin, athletic, or thicker head-to-toe, RECTANGLES benefit from finding clothing that will help define (or create) curves while keeping their upper and lower bodies in proportion.  Find tops and bottoms that have flowing fabrics and extra embellishments.  Belted peasant tops, peplum tops, flutter sleeves, ruffles, and shirts with full or rushed bust areas will help create a curvier upper body.  Boxy, structured tops will do nothing for your shape.  Pants with flap pocket or pleats will add some lower body curves.  You should also look for pants with wider waistbands to help define your waist.  You'll look great in full, tiered, or fluted skirts.

  • PEAR - This body shape battles keeping their lower bodies from overpowering their narrower upper proportions.  Look for fitted tops in fun colors and patterns that show off your slim upper body.  Tops with wider necklines (ex. U-shape, boat neck), shoulder pads, or embellishments will give your upper body some extra curves and help balance your wider hips.  A-line, full, and simple box pleat skirts (think vintage styles) that sit at your natural waist (usually above your belly button) will look fun and fabulous on you.  Find mid-rise pants that fall straight down from the widest part of your hips.  PEARS should avoid extreme flares or skinny jeans that will bring unwanted attention to your fuller thighs.  Pants with simple shapes and minimal embellishment work best for you.

  • HOURGLASS -Though this shape has enviable curves, modern fashion isn't always geared toward your body type.  Avoid boxy or shapeless tops and dresses that hide your small waistline.  Look for tailored shirts, form fitting wrap tops, and belted styles.  Fitted fishtail and pencil skirts will look especially great on this body type.  Most any style pant will work, but you should typically avoid low-rise jeans.  Mid to high-waisted trousers and skinny jeans will show off your curves, but most any style bottom will look good on an HOURGLASS as long as you keep in mind upper and lower body proportions.

I hope you found this informative and interesting!  I can't believe how much I had to say on this topic, and the fact that I feel like each topic, each body type, could have it's own post is crazy!  I'm not going there this month, but it's given me some food for thought for the future.

Now that we've finished discussing what you should be looking for when shopping and dressing yourself, we can move forward and start looking to see how we can refashion and style our clothes to make us look our most FABULOUS! 

'Cause that's the whole point, ya know.

To look FABULOUS for LESS!


Stay tuned for my 31 Days of Refashion and Thrifting challenge.  We're moving onto some vicarious thrift shopping, my latest haul, simple refashions, and working with what you've got in your closet this very minute to create a workable wardrobe!