23 August 2013

Style It. Dressing for your shape

It can certainly be tricky trying to find the right clothes for your body, so when it comes to dressing for individual body shapes it is all about balance. Clothes can greatly influence our appearance by enhancing our favourite features or drawing attention away from certain areas. There are many different body types but I've have narrowed it down to the four basic shapes – the pear, the apple, the hourglass and the yardstick.

Take a leaf out of Lady Gaga's book and read my guide for 'making the most outta what chu got' because baby, you were born this way.

Pear shaped bodies are fuller around the hips and thighs, but smaller around the chest and shoulders. If a pear gains weight, most of it will go to their lower half. The pear shape has many redeeming qualities in the upper body including slender arms, and average size breasts, making you perfect for fashion tops.

As a pear shape you will want to show off your upper half! Try drawing focus with patterned or brightly coloured tops, opulent necklaces (this one from J.Crew is perfect!) or large collars. Medium length jackets are great for you as well. On your bottom half, go for straight cut pants or skirts in solid colours – you can’t go wrong with black!

Avoid wide, pleated and patterned skirts as they will draw attention to your lower half. Also, steer clear of high-waisted pants as they only tend to make your bottom look bigger than it is, and we certainly don't want that!

Apples are at their fullest around the middle with a bigger tummy, shapely breasts and broad shoulders. If an apple gains weight, most of it will go to their waistline but apples can be redesigned with the right clothes!

If you are an apple go for simple cuts. Straight cut blouses are great, as are flowing fabrics and longer-length jackets and cardigans that come to the top of your thighs. Long necklaces and flowing scarves will work wonders for this shape.

Stay away from ‘tent’ like tops, you want a straight cut. Straight-leg pants are great, but tight pants and skirts should be avoided. Steer clear of horizontal block stripes, try vertical lines instead as they draw the eye up and down the body rather than across it.

According to research, the hourglass is the most desirable body shape among women, however it can be challenging to dress a body that is curvy at the bust as well as the hips. If an hourglass was to gain weight it would distribute evenly across your curves. Marilyn Monroe was an hourglass and was the sexiest woman in Hollywood, so don't cover yourself up if you're this body shape!

Balance is key with the hourglass. Clothing that brings out your waistline is great such as tops that are drawn in or waisted belts. Sleek shapes and soft materials work well, as do wrap styles including dresses, blouses or skirts (here's a great style). When it comes to jackets, choose one that has a sleek waistline like this one.

Stay away from clothes that are too wide, you may be trying to camouflage some areas but you will end up looking larger than you are. But, in saying that, also stay away from clothes that are too tight. Avoid stiff materials and high round necklines.

The lucky yardsticks among us can wear just about anything. Yardsticks have a slender, straight frame from top to toe. This body shape is generally lean and athletic. If a yardstick gained weight it would distribute evenly around their frame. When it comes to yardsticks the aim is to add dimension to the body.

Blouses and flowing tops look great on yardsticks, especially if striped or patterned; especially when combined with skinny high-waisted jeans and pants. Also try pleated box skirts, short blazers (here's a neon one) and A-line dresses!

Nothing looks terrible on a yardstick but to help create a shapely and fashion-savvy silhouette, avoid tops and dresses that are plain and skin tight, instead try something like this.