Flattering Styles for Every Shape

Style expert Jacqui Stafford identifies the best “wow fits” for your body type

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Jacqui Stafford breaks down your body type and teaches you how to dress in her new book, The Wow Factor: Insider Secrets for Every Body.

 

Are you shaped like sunglasses, a fragrance bottle, a heart pendant, a cocktail ring or lipstick? Click next to find out and learn about the dresses, swimsuits and coats that fit you best.
 

Click here to buy The Wow Factor

You're Sunglasses If...

  • You have fairly balanced shoulders and hips
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  • You like to show off your waist
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  • You have shapely legs
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  • You wear the same size top and bottom

 

Sunglasses generally have balanced curves on top and bottom. Click NEXT to see which items suit you best

Weekend: Belted Dress

It’s hard to find something more flattering than a belted dress to showcase your hourglass figure, as it makes you look pulled together and polished all in one go. (In winter, add kneehigh boots and slip on a waist-nipping jacket.) Look for V-necks that allow for a supportive bra and hint at your bust without overexposing it. A belt around the middle will draw attention to your curvaceous waist without clinging to it.

Evening: Form-Fitting Dress

Even though you’re in perfect proportion, exposing less flesh is far sexier than giving it all away at first glance. A fuller-coverage, figure-hugging dress with a hint of stretch will skim over your curves without revealing your boobs and bum. Keep the length of the dress just at the knee—any shorter with this silhouette and you run the risk of looking trashy. Avoid boring black: everyone else will be wearing it. Yawn.

Swimsuit: Curve-Hugging Bikini

Go for enough coverage on the top half to contain your bust (spillage = unsexy) and look for bottoms with a slightly higher cut leg to make you look longer and leaner.

Coat: Belted Trench

A fitted, belted style in a lighter-weight fabric is key to highlighting the curve of your figure,and a plunging V-neck points to the narrowness
of your waistline. Go for a slightly flared style that mimics your classic hourglass, and keep away from oversized, boxy coats that hide your shape. A bold collar adds drama, places the focus on your upper half, and makes your waist look teeny tiny in comparison.

You're a Fragrance Bottle If...

  • You think you look “bottom-heavy”
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  • You find pants that fit your hips but gape at the waist
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  • You need a whole size bigger on your bum
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  • You have a flat tummy and slim waist

 

Fragrances bottles are generally smaller on top and bigger on the bottom. Click NEXT to see which items suit you best

Weekend: Patterned Tunic Top with Dark Wash Jeans

Find a pair of dark-colored, polished-looking jeans, and partner them with a boldly printed top that covers your butt. When it comes to jeans (and other casual pants), look for cuts that fit snugly through the hips and thighs, and then have a subtle flare below the knee to balance your bottom half.

Evening: Strapless Dress with a Wide, Flared Bottom

Don’t you love how that fancy flare completely conceals hips and thighs? (For all people know, you have a tiny, pert little bum hidden under
there!) Your best evening look is a cocktail dress that cinches you in at the waistline, then falls gently away from the body. A strapless or broad neckline will make your hips and thighs look smaller in comparison.

Swimsuit: Bold and Embellished Top with a Simple Bottom

Distract from your lower half with an eyecatching neckline, like a deep V or a one-shoulder style. Look for straps that sit at the widest part of your shoulders to create the illusion of a V-shape for an instantly slimmer looking bottom half. Bikini separates featuring bold prints and colors, detailing and embellishment on the top, paired with a solid, simple bottom will downplay wide hips.

Coat: Knee-Length with an Oversized Collar

An exaggerated collar helps add welcome width to your top half, and will divert attention from your heavier lower half. Go for a longerlength
style that hits the knee, and look for one with a slight A-line flare from the waistline to help balance fuller hips and create an hourglass silhouette.

You're a Heart Pendant If...

  • You find that shirts often struggle to contain your boobs
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  • You have shapely, slender legs
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  • You feel you’ve got broad shoulders
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  • You have no defined waistline
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Heart pendants are generally bigger on top and smaller on the bottom. Click NEXT to see which items suit you best

Weekend: A Slender, Long Cardigan with a Stiffer-Fabric Skirt

This is one of the best looks to downplay a larger bust. A fine knit, slim-line V-neck cardigan in a solid shade (worn with a supportive bra) will  downplay larger boobs, and a structured, flared skirt will draw all eyes to the lower part of your body and show off those spectacular legs.

Evening: V-Neck Dress with Wide Straps, Fitted Bodice and Fuller Flared Hem

The idea here is to show a hint of skin without revealing too much boobage. I know it’s tempting to flaunt your cleavage at night, but showing too much can make you look heavy when you’re not (trust me). Look for styles that help carve out a waist (like this fitted bodice), have wider straps (to conceal a supportive bra), and dresses with folds of fabric below the waist to balance you out and create an hourglass shape.

Swimsuit: Underwire Bikini Top and Full Coverage Bottoms

The key is to look for full coverage tops with hidden structural details like underwire or built-in mesh compression liners that help to give you lift, shape, and support. Stay away from high necklines that overemphasize your bust. Go for bra-sized bikini separates that allow you to choose your cup size, and always look for wide, adjustable straps that prevent painful pinching and bouncing.

Coat: Embellished and Streamlined Coat

Tailored coat styles that have embellishment or detailing around the hemline will move the focus away from your bustline. Look for coats with a covered placket (that central strip of fabric where the buttons lie) to help ensure that gaping buttons don’t show.

You're a Cocktail Ring If...

  • You struggle to find clothes that give you a waistline
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  • You're always afraid to tuck anything in
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  • You get compliments on your shapely legs
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  • You believe that baggier is better

 

Cocktail Rings generally have a little more in the middle. Click NEXT to see which items suit you best

Weekend: Ruched Sweater and Wider-Leg Pants

So here it’s all about the art of camouflage. A brilliant wrap sweater works in a myriad of ways—you can wear it open just like you would a cardigan, but also cross-wrapped around the body to shave inches off your tummy. Wider-leg pants help extend the line of your body and create a long, lean silhouette.

Evening: Ruched Dress That Skims Over Curves

Ruching, gathering, and artful color blocking, my darling, are your stylish best friends. Anything that is ingeniously draped across your torso will magically melt away a heavier midsection and give the illusion of a slim waistline.

Swimsuit: Sexy Striped One-Piece

The key is to raise the bustline to stretch out your torso, and camouflage your tum with strategically placed ruching, shirring, or diago- nal chevron stripes. Look for waist-minimizing fabrics like stretchy spandex that hold you in. If you want to try a bikini, look for high-rise bottoms that hit just below the navel for their tummy-toning effect. Strapless or asymmetri- cal tops will bring the focus up toward sexy shoulders and deĢcolletage.

Coat: Daring Animal-Print Trench

Don’t shy away from anything belted. Instead, create a shapelier middle by going for a classic belted trench: its narrow, bulk-free silhouette and belt create the illusion of a trimmer waistline. And forget boring black; embrace bolder prints instead.

You're Lipstick If...

You feel you look too “boyish”

 

You have no defined waistline

 

You want to add womanly curves

 

You need to boost your bust

 

Lipsticks are fairly straight up and down. Click NEXT to see which items suit you best

Weekend: Horizontal-Striped Sweater and Lighter-Wash Jeans with Pockets

The key is in the bold, horizontal stripes that add welcome width to straight shapes. (They lead the eye across instead of up and down.) And pants in a lighter wash help amplify, too; look for jeans with defined, embellished back pockets that create the look of a fuller butt.

Evening: A Dress with Sheen

If you have a straighter figure you can pull off a sparkly little number in a wildly glamorous fabric without looking like you’re off to Vegas. The great thing about metallics is that they help reflect the light (creating Kardashian-like curves), and all that shimmer and shine will giveyour slender body far more dimension. Find something with ruffles or layers and you’ll create the illusion of more va-voom than you know what to do with.

Swimsuit: Flirty Push-Up Bikini

Padded, corset like push-ups and details like ruffles and bows work wonders to create a curvaceous shape. Go for prints with curves of their own to give more volume to your bustline. Adjustable necklines or straps let you produce a more dramatic push-up effect. But you can also go sporty—color-blocked one- pieces that divide the body with bold panels of color is another way to add shape.

Coat: Ruffled and Striped Coat

Any extra detailing on the fabric, ruffles, or exaggerated seaming will add more dimension. Look for belted coats that help carve out a defined waistline, or go for embellishments like pleating around the booty. Double- breasted panels and wide stripes add even more welcome shape.

 

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First Published Tue, 2013-02-05 15:11

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