How to dress to fit your body shape

This month we are going to look at three different body shapes; Straight, Softened and Apple straight.

I will also include tips on; Large boobs, No boobs, Big tummies and How to deal with having no waistno waist!

Please refer to ‘The Psychology of Clothes’ and ‘Tricks of the Trade’ in past months to find your body shape.

First let us look at the Straight Body Shape

Your shoulder and hips are in line. Waist is not more than 15cm less than you hip, if you have a slightly more defined waist then you are a Softened Straight Shape and the same rules apply to you, you can be slim or an apple shape – you will have a flat bottom.

If you’re slim you will feel as if you have a very boyish figure, that has no curves and no interest- well you do have both curves and interest, they just need to be accentuated, and that will make you feel like a very perfect hourglass – keep reading to find out how.

Apple straights

Most of us Straight Shapes have the tendency to put weight on, predominantly around the tummy area and then the boobs and arms, but our legs, and hips stay beautifully thin and our bottom remains flat, but can at times look as if it’s disappeared – unfortunately this just brings attention to our waist area – recognize yourself? – I do, as it’s me!!!

Other reasons for being cautious with this body shape is that we are more prone to heart problems than shapes that put weight on, on the legs and bum. A good tip for that disappearing bum is to use jackets with two vents on the back, and have back pockets on trousers that are high up, so that the area can be broken up.

Whichever Straight Shape we are, we need to spend our life defining the waist that is there. When we accept that, it is really very easy to do. Whatever clothes you wear should have the waist shaped in for you to start with, this includes tops. Tee shirts. Shirts, jackets and dresses. When buying – hang them up in front of you to see if they come in’ on their own, if so, they could well work for you. All fitted/tailored clothes will look better on you, it will take pounds off your look giving you a much slimmer silhouette and you will feel far more stylish.

Remember that having hips and shoulders in balance is great, and if you put emphasis on one of them then you also need to add emphasis to the other – this in turn will make your waist look smaller! Just a bit of physics really!!!

So, if you have a Straight Body Shape, choose:

* Tightly woven fabrics
* Contour in at waist
* Straight darts on skirts and trousers
* Set-in sleeve

and you should avoid:

* Gathers on waist
* making too much of waist area

Softened Straight Shape

This body shape is similar to straight but with a more defined waist.
If you think this is you then choose:

* Tightly woven fabrics
* Belts – but hide the sides by having an open jacket or cardigan
* Sarong
* Fitted jackets

and you should avoid:

* Gathers on waist

For ladies with a straight shape with a flatter chest here are some tips.
If you have small boobs choose:

* High neck vest with cut-away sleeves
* Halter neck
* High neck a little see-through
* Plunging neckline down to navel
* Chunky polo neck
* V- Neck jumper with round-necked T-shirt underneath.

and try to avoid:

* low scoop neck
* corset
* empire line
* anything too fine and low

If you have larger boobs – please go to the end of article for tips!

Next we look at Apple Shapes that are carrying weight around the stomach and tummy area. Here are a few extra tips for you.

If you have no waist then you should choose:

* Navel-deep V’s
* Wrap tops
* Short zip-front
* Frocked coat
* Fitted dress

And you should avoid:

* Baggy sacks
* The trench
* Shift dress
* Double breasted

If you have a large tummy then you should choose:

* Clothes that skim rather than cling
* Empire line dresses and tops
* Ruched top
* Wrap tops
* Low-slung waist
* Low-waisted

And you should really try to avoid:

* Hipsters
* Gathered waist
* Cropped tight vests
* Clinging tops
* Belted coats

Some extra tips that help hide that larger tummy!

Wrap blouses and dresses are always a great way to hide the tummy, but make sure it does not stop at the waist.

Long and loose over the tummy – tucking in is going to put emphasis on your tummy area and make it look larger.

Make sure the top is not boxy and an empire top is great.

Wear a fitted jacket that nips in at the waist and is slightly shorter and has darts or is made of a fabric that skims the body.

Keep to single breasted jackets especially Apples with larger boobs!

Having a V caused by a long necklace with a heavy stone or bead that makes the necklace hang in a V – rather than a necklace that although long hangs in a U shape.

If you want to wear a belt then this is possible but not the easiest to do – you must wear an open shirt/cardigan or jacket over the top so that you cannot see that the waist is actually made wider just the illusion that the waist comes in, because the eye is just drawn to the buckle.

For the ladies who have a straight shape with larger boobs – here’s some tips;


* Wide-open neckline
* Tight around the waist and loosening on breast
* Corset shape with sleeves
* Very fitted, deep V with hem cut to hip and small lapel
* Sweetheart neckline, empire line and three-quarter-length sleeves
* Wrap dress
* Wrap cardigan
* Tight waist with narrow lapel and full skirt

And avoid:

* High neck and sleeveless
* Unfitted, sleeveless shell top
* Boxy, short-waisted jackets
* Halter neck
* Chunky knit
* Funnel neck

With all the body shapes that we have mentioned so far – it is prudent to remember that, at times, we might find the information contradictory. If there is advice for shorter legs and it’s not the same for e.g. inverted triangle of which we are both – we need to look at which imbalance is the greatest and put that as the priority. If we always correct our greatest imbalance the others are never as noticeable, but if for some reason we cannot correct our major imbalance then we should concentrate on getting all the others sorted.

Next month we look at the Hourglass figure that can become round if too much weight piled on!

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