Shape up to your personal style
REGARDLESS of what you have read in fashion magazines, there is no cookie-cutter approach to style. Dressing for your body shape is about proportion, and fashion is all about best dressing those proportions. Don't focus on height or weight, focus on shape, it's about accentuating and enhancing what you have so you feel unsurpassed in every outfit you own. Our body shapes have been universally defined by different categories and even by measurements of fruit. Once you've determined whether you are hourglass, a rectangle, apple or pear, here is a little guide to the best styles and silhouettes for dressing the new-year-new-you.
Are you the hourglass? The figure of old Hollywood movie starlets, all curvy with a small waist, you should do nothing but highlight and accentuate your curves. Try on belted jumpers that tie at the back to pull in your waist, pair this with wide leg trousers that lengthen and balance your proportions. Dressing up in a V-necked wrap dress will capture your bust and highlight those curves between your waist and hips. After a daily uniform? A high-waisted pencil skirt and cropped top cuts in at the smallest part of your figure, accentuating your curves and smoothing over your thighs. All of the above flatter your streamlined silhouette, making you feel womanly.
Are you the apple? With a slimmer lower body you can balance out your midsection by highlighting your shoulders and shapely legs. Elongate these by wearing circle skirts that hit the smallest part of your torso and flare out over your stomach. Avoid gathered or ruched materials, A-line or empire hemmed dresses are your staple silhouettes. If going to work, pants that sit low on the hips and fall straight can be paired with low-necked tops to create lines and show off your decolletage. Top with a swing coat that hangs from your shoulders and creates movement when you walk. It's not about changing what you've got - it's just a balancing game.
Perhaps you are the rectangle? You shoulders, waist and hips are all of a similar shape. By extenuating your arms and legs you can create slender curves and build dimension. Wear sweetheart or scooped necklines to give your bust shape and use tops with texture to form flattering interest around your chest. Defining your waist will create a shapelier figure. This can be achieved by accessorising with belts, wearing dresses with cut-outs or cherry-picking cropped jackets with a banded bottom that snuggly mold to your waist. Slit skirts and tapered trousers will elongate legs and give the illusion of proportionate hips. Just never fear to experiment with colour and pattern, you are much more than a clotheshorse.
Are you the pear? The widest part of your body is your hips, and by accentuating your top half and lengthening your legs you can appear taller in proportion. A structured jacket will add volume to your upper body, making your hips look smaller in comparison. Pretty off the shoulder dresses will bring delicate attention to your collarbones and A-Line or high-low skirts will tuck in at your waist and float over your hips. Be on trend with bootleg trousers with detailed hems that will balance out your figure and if tucked into pointy shoes, your legs will look longer. Such garments will draw attention away from your hips to other stylist details.
This new year, use these clever styling tricks to best show off the body you have. January is no longer a time for dieting, protein powders or punishing yourself on a treadmill.
Embrace what your mother gave you, every shape is beautiful and feminine - it's in your "jeans”.