How to dress for the Hourglass Figure

Sally wants to take away the idea that clothes and fashion are frivolous, to encourage the idea that clothes and our attitude to them and our body has an awful lot to do with our mental health. And that having an organised wardrobe gives us space in our lives to live as we should.

“Clothes are a major part of our life 7 days a week and for some of us 24 hours a day as well if you wear pyjamas/nightie so it’s no wonder we spend a lot of money and time trying to get it right. We have so much to take into account – what’s available, the climate and the suitability of attire to allow us to do what we need, and also allows us to ‘fit in‘ with what everyone else is wearing. ”

“Our family upbringing and home life, our religion and even what sports we play all contribute to our style of clothing and on top of all that we have a personality that we want to show through our clothes.”

“I want to make sure that we all dress to our best and dress with confidence, regardless of all of the factors we have to take into account!”

Welcome to the next part of ‘Tricks of the Trade’

This month we are going to look at THE HOURGLASS FIGURE

If you are unsure of your shape, please refer to ‘The Psychology of Clothes’ and ‘Tricks of the Trade’ in past months to find your body shape.

If you have an hourgalss figure you are the envy of many of your friends and you have the shape that men most like to admire.

Your hips and shoulders are in proportion and you have a small waist. From the front and the sides you see curves, soft shoulder line, defined waist and rounded hips and your bottom and bust are evident, but not necessarily large.

So ladies it’s time to show off that waist and not hide it away. Everything you wear should accentuate that defined waist which is about 10 inches (25cm) smaller than your hips – straight darts or restricted waists will make you look frumpy and larger than you are. The idea is to keep the shoulders and the hips in proportion, so if there is detail on the shoulders of an outfit, then you need to match the hips, whilst still highlighting your main attraction of a small waist.

If you are and hourglass with large boobs then you should be cautious of loose baggy tops which will not enhance your figure. Soft designs such as floral, dots and soft abstracts are more flattering than stripes or checks.

To make the best of your figure you should choose:

Image courtesy of Wilipedia, reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

Image courtesy of Wilipedia, reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

* Round lapels
* Accentuate the waist
* Soft designs
* V-neck tops
* Fitted cropped jackets that nip in at waist.
* Heels to elongate your legs and lift bottom
* Hipster jeans
* Boot-cut styles
* Darker colour on bottom half


And you should avoid:

* Set-in sleeves
* Sharp lapels
* Straight darts at waistline
* Restricted waistline
* Loose, baggy tops
* Stripes or plaids
* Empire waistlines or drop waists

Original photograph by brava_67 on flickr reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

Celebrities with your body shape include:

Kim Cattral
Megan Fox
Halle Berry
Kate Winslet
Scarlet Johansson
Original photograph by brava_67 on flickr reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

If you are carrying extra weight then hourglass may become a Round Body Shape.

The rules about this shape have changed over the years and it used to be that loose flowing clothes that draped over the larger part of your body was the order of the day, but more recently we have realized this doesn’t show off our curves to the fullest and no matter what we should try and create a waist.

So now we try to dress our size slim with these following tips:

* Make sure the detail is on the slimmest part of your body, whether that be texture pattern or the use of accessories.

* Always wear fitted clothes on the largest part of your body. Our instinct and old advice is to cover up under loose, baggy clothing – but this only serves to make us look bigger.

* Use accessories to divert attention away from the worst bits – If you don’t like the size of your hips – never put a belt there! But accentuate something on your top half with chunky necklaces or tops with lots of detail. Slim scarves can also draw the eye down the centre of the body, which elongates the figure to create a slimmer silhouette.

* What every your body shape, always try to create a waist., Even if you carry extra weight around your tummy area, doing this will give you a more curvaceous figure and avoid you looking like a wide solid block.

* Wearing well-tailored clothes will give your body shape – tailoring doesn’t mean a suit it just means clothes that give you shape as opposed to loose, floating items that simply follow your outline.

* Wear darker colours on the biggest part of your body -this doesn’t mean black (especially if it doesn’t suit you, you will just look old and drawn) but a darker shade of whatever your wearing elsewhere. The darker the colour, the more light it absorbs and the slimmer you will appear.

* Neck lines can make a big difference. V- Necks are fantastic for large boobs as the break up the area and bring your eye down to the centre of your body. So the opposite is – don’t where high neck lines if you have large boobs as they will appear even larger and as if they come up to your chin!!!

* A bold pattern can be slimming if evenly distributed over an outfit as it confuses the eye; this is especially true on dresses.

* Layering a fitted t-shirt underneath a floaty kaftans or cardigan will give you a slimmer silhouette, layering is a fantastic tool for hiding imperfection – it takes some practice and you should start off with layers very tight and thin material and build up.

* Heel’s – I know they’re not always practical or comfy, but even an inch or 2 can make you look much taller and slimmer.

* Where possible, opt for pointy shoes with no embellishment on the front as this will help elongate your legs, thus slimming down proportions!

Next month we talk about accessories and how we can be confident which ones to wear, where and how much!!

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