Throwing some shapes: How should you be dressing your body type? Part One

If you’re thinking about updating your wardrobe for the new season and investing in a few different looks, there are a number of things to consider.

As well as what trend you’re going to wear, you also need to think about the colour and overall style. However, the most important thing to bear in mind is how you should be dressing your body type.

There’s no point in shelling out for an amazing outfit if it isn’t right for your body shape. This is why it is important to try outfits on but to also have an understanding of what body shape you have and how it should be dressed.

In part one off this guide, we’ll help you work out if you have an hourglass or pear-shaped body and give you a few hints and tips on how best to dress.

Hourglass

A lot of people think of the hourglass figure as being the ideal, as it is all about equal proportions and feminine curves. While we think all body shapes are gorgeous, we have to admit that an hourglass figure can be a bit easier to dress.

This shape is characterised by hips and shoulders that are similarly proportioned and a small waist – creating an hourglass shape; hence the name.

With such killer curves, when it comes to dressing, you want to show them off. However, you don’t want to overdo it as it can leave your curves looking over-exaggerated, which can make you look larger than you are.

This means you want to stay away from clothes that are too tight. Instead, choose outfits that are fitted well but are still comfortable to wear. Your clothing should follow your natural lines perfectly in order to feature them in the right way. This will show off your curves but keep them looking natural and flattering.

In order to get this effect, you may find that your size changes in different shops and when it comes to different styles. This isn’t because you are losing or gaining weight, it is simply because of the cut of the clothes. When in doubt, go for a larger size as you can always alter an outfit to better fit your body.

You also want to steer clear of loose-fitting clothing, as it will swamp your figure, making you lose definition and add to your size. Ideally, you always want to highlight your waist in some way some way – as this is the key to your figure – and wearing baggy clothing stops you from doing this.

Things like belts, crop tops, high-waisted jeans or skirts, and pencil or skater skirts are fantastic for showing off your small waist and accentuating your curves in a flattering way. All of these looks are also on-trend for SS15, making them great additions to your wardrobe.

Pear

Pear-shaped bodies are a bit more difficult to dress, as you need to balance out your shape. Pear-shaped bodies are characterised by the lower half of your body being bigger than the top half, which can create an out of proportion look.

Generally, pear shapes have hips that are wider than their shoulders but still have a defined waist. This means that you need to dress in a way that brings your body into balance and stops you looking bottom-heavy.

To do this, you want to minimise the focus on your lower half and instead, draw the eye to your top half. This will create the impression of an equal hourglass figure. In order to achieve this look, you need to steer away from clothing that shows off your hips and bum, including printed skirts or trousers, fitted skirts or baggy trousers.

Luckily, the 1970s look is on-trend this season, which is ideal for those with a pear-shaped body. Skirts and trousers that have wide hems can help to make your hips look smaller, this means you should definitely invest in a pair of this season’s flared jeans!

Team these styles with something that will draw the eye to your top half, in order to remove even more attention from your bottom half. Square necklines or tops with a cowl neckline are great as they will make your shoulders appear broader, which will balance with items that make your hips look smaller.

When it comes to dresses, sweetheart necklines, strapless designs or styles with slim straps are all must-haves, especially when they also have flowing skirts. You can further the illusion even more with cropped jackets, printed tops and details like ruffles.

If you don’t have an hourglass or pear-shaped figure, keep an eye out for part two of this guide to find out how to dress your shape.

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