Flatter yourself: Finding your perfect fit to achieve that breath-taking look
When it comes to cultivating a chic and sophisticated image and looking the best you can in your clothes, it’s all about dressing for your body type. No matter how stylish that new designer garment happens to be, or how luxurious the fabric, if it isn’t cut to flatter your figure then the results when you look in the mirror might leave you feeling a little flat.
Body types are all about proportion; a well-dressed and fashionable individual is not necessarily someone who has a wardrobe filled with all the latest clothes from London Fashion Week, but somebody who knows how to dress the proportions they have. Many think that body types are about weight and height – however, this is not the case.
Rather, it takes into account the measurements of your waist, bust and hips, and the ratios between them. A slender person can have the same body type as someone who is larger framed, and a short person might have a similar shape to that of a taller person – it’s all about where those curves are, and figuring out your individual shape could be the best thing you ever do for your confidence.
To help you get started, we’re bringing you the lowdown on the five most common body types for women – and how best to dress them to achieve a breath-taking look that is certain to impress.
1. The pear shape
In a pear-shaped body type, the hips are wider than the bust. You might also have wider thighs and a fuller bottom, whilst remaining petite on your top half. The trick here is to emphasise your waist and arms and opt for garments that maximise your shoulders. Always try and keep the hems of your skirts and trousers loose to avoid drawing too much attention to your hips. Take advantage of light coloured tops and neutral-toned bottoms to add contrast to your outfits, drawing the attention upwards and away from your widest curve to add balance to your figure.
2. Wedge / the inverted triangle
Featuring large shoulders in proportion to the waist and hips, the greatest asset of this body type are your legs. Choose clothes that will draw attention to the lower body and soften the shoulders and upper torso. Think brightly-coloured bottoms and wide hemmed trousers that will highlight your waistline and create the illusion of a narrower middle, whilst avoiding spaghetti tops and boat neckline tops, which may emphasise larger arms. There are many styles you will find at Old Navy to complement your figure from jeans to dresses and tops to trousers so you will never need to worry about finding stylish clothes to suit.
A similar width at the waist, shoulders and hips, those with rectangular body types should dress to create the illusion of curves. It’s likely that if this is you, then you have great pairs of arms and legs – and the good news is, that there is no one feature you should try to minimize. Try adding a thin belt at the waist to create that nipped in look and be sure to invest in a well-fitting bra to provide lift and support whilst enhancing your bust. Try ruching, ruffles and fringing to add volume where you’d like it and opt for plunging necklines, statement necklaces or a pair of long silver earrings to add interest and draw the eye upwards.
If you have an apple body shape, then you’re likely to be top heavy, with a wide torso, broad shoulders and a full bust, waist and upper back. Apple-shaped bodies also tend to have thinner arms, legs and tips, and often carry weight around their waistlines.
When dressing this body type, the aim of the game is to draw attention away from your middle, so avoid low-cut shorts and trousers and high-cut tops. Direct attention elsewhere by creating interest elsewhere; try emphasizing your bust by wearing empire necklines or opt for shorter dresses that draw the eye down to your legs.
5. The hourglass body type
The most coveted body type of them all, few women are a true hourglass – so if you’re one of the minority then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. With shoulders and hips that are well in proportion, this shape is all about showing off your figure. Opt for soft fabrics that will fit seamlessly around your natural curves, add a belt to your natural waist to achieved that cinched in look and choose fitted garments to avoid swamping yourself, which can make you look bigger than you are.
As they say, knowledge is power, and getting to grips with your body type has the power to transform the way you look forever. Bear it in mind when shopping for that next luxury must have, and you’ll invest in quality pieces that will see you through every type of occasion in show-stopping fashion. Know your best features, and always look for ways to emphasise them; once you get the hang of it, dressing to impress will become second nature, and your confidence levels will soar higher than ever before.