Every woman has different curves and angles, and knowing how to dress your best is important for both professional and personal success. Just think about it: knowing you look great helps boost your confidence and self-esteem, which in turn helps you relax and do your best. But every woman follows a different path to looking her best, and here are a few pointers for making your curves and angles work for you.
Pear-shaped bodies are quite common, especially among women who have had children or are naturally wide-hipped or bottom-heavy. Basically, being pear-shaped means that your lower-body parts – including your hips, legs,
and booty – are larger than your upper body, including your arms, chest, and waist. Pear shaped women are all the rage in certain circles, but if you want to balance out your figure, amplify your bosom, or draw attention away from your more prominent assets, try flared or bootcut pants, highly-tailored blazers and jackets (and pads or ruffles at the shoulders will help your cause even more), and tops that kick out at about mid-hip.
These pieces will make your hips and behind look smaller, give the illusion of wider shoulders that match your lower body, and give your figure that a Coke-bottle look. Try to avoid skinny-leg pants, leggings, thin-strapped tank tops, and bolero-cut shirts and jackets – except when you’re in your sexy mode – as these will make your lower body look disproportionately huge.
Women with arms, chests, and waists wider than their hips, legs, and behinds are said to be apple-shaped; essentially, this body type is the opposite of the pear-shaped physique. The main problem for apple-shaped women is widening the hips and narrowing the shoulder area for a softer, more feminine appeal. Key wardrobe pieces for them are loose, flowing skirts, wide-leg pants, wide belts, and shirts with minimizing ruching at the bust. Belted waists look cinched-in and automatically narrower, which helps match an apple shape’s smaller hips.
Also consider deep-V necklines that call attention away from the arms and shoulders, as well as shorter-cut shirts and jackets, which create a straighter line from the chest downward.
Banana-Shaped, or Straight, Figures
As the name implies, straight figures are basically the same size all over; the
shoulders, waist, and hips are all about the same width. This body shape is found on women of all sizes, from athletic tomboys to plus-size divas, and presents the same problem every time: creating the appearance of a defined waist, while adding a bit of flair to the upper and lower bodies.
Banana-shaped women should always wear fashions cinched at the waist, from shirts and dresses with belts to mermaid-style skirts and tailored, jackets with strategic darts and pleats. Full-skirted, 50s-style gowns and 80s-inspired, puff-shoulder blouses will also boost the upper and lower bodies and add curves. However, by all means, avoid one-size-fits-all outfits like rompers and overalls, which will only overwhelm your shape or make it look boxy.
This is the classic feminine profile that most women are chasing: a defined waist that sits narrower than the roughly equal hips and bustline, just like an old-fashioned bottle of Coca-Cola. Women with this body type generally don’t need to worry about what they wear; everything’s made to make them look good! Slinky gowns and tight pants are just as easy to pull off as loose sundresses and trench coats, so have fun.
The key, as always, is to play up your assets – and even to create some where they don’t naturally appear! So go out and find that best look for you this season, and have fun with it.
Take care of yourselves,