“It’s not money that makes you well dressed, it’s understanding.”  Christian Dior

Have you ever wondered why certain styles look amazing on some people but do nothing for you?  What was the conclusion you came to?  That your body is “less than perfect”?  Or were the clothes to blame?  At times like these it’s hard not to criticize yourself, but the simple matter of understanding your body shape can make a huge difference in how you feel.  By understanding why certain styles don’t flatter it becomes more logical and less emotional. Better still, you will know what to avoid when shopping, have a less stressful time in the changing room, a less cluttered wardrobe and more money in your pocket!

Dressing to suit your shape is all about enhancing your best features and what you like about yourself while camouflaging, or drawing the attention away from, other areas.  With this in mind we’ve compiled our top ten tips on body shape to get you started:

  1. Be aware of your body’s proportions.  Where do you carry your weight?  Are your top and bottom halves balanced?  Do you have any unusual proportions e.g. very long arms.
  2. Curvy v. straight.  Most body shapes can be categorized as being more straight (or boyish), or more curvy and they need to be dressed differently.  Simply put, with curves it’s about using clothing to following the natural line of the body with softer, more fluid fabrics and with straighter body types, it’s more about creating shape and the illusion of curves with more structured pieces.
  3. Creating balance.  When choosing clothes the aim is create an hourglass silhouette.  This is not as difficult as you might think, for example, if you are a pear shape you need to wear styles that visually widen the shoulder line to balance out the hips.
  4. Draw the attention to your best features.  What do you get the most compliments on?  If it’s your legs, wear skirts; slim waist?  Accentuate with a belt.  Lighter and brighter colours will always draw the attention to those areas, the same goes for sparkle and bold accessories.
  5. Camouflage or draw the attention away from less-than-perfect areas.  This can be done by wearing darker, matt and plain fabrics.  Also clever ruching can disguise a tummy.
  6. Hemlines.  The golden rule is never finish any garment at the widest point of your body as this draws a line around it and highlights the area!
  7. Prints.  A small uniform print is generally more flattering than large, bold prints that can make a person appear larger.  Small allover designs keep the eye moving and are therefore good for camouflaging lumps and bumps.
  8. Fabric.  Which fabrics flatter your body the most?  Are they more structured?  Do they have stretch?  Are they soft and flowy?  Make a mental note of which fabrics work best for you and you will know what to look out for.  As a general rule, be wary of cheap jersey and similar “clingy” fabrics which can highlight every lump and bump!
  9. Fit.  The most flattering cuts are neither too tight nor too baggy but “skim” the body.  With that in mind buying the correct size is vital, a garment that is too tight will make you appear bigger.
  10. Undergarments.  If all that fails, the right support underwear is good to have on hand when you need that extra confidence boost and to create a lovely smooth line.  Dresses with lining are also a good idea for this reason!

We hope you enjoyed the tips.  You can let us know what you think by posting a comment and if you like this post please share it!

Martha and Jessica x

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