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Learn the best fash­ions for your body type

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME // INSIDE TODAY - BY Sarah Barnes

RE­GARD­LESS of what you have read in fash­ion mag­a­zines, there is no cookie-cut­ter ap­proach to style. Dress­ing for your body shape is about pro­por­tion, and fash­ion is all about best dress­ing those pro­por­tions. Don’t fo­cus on height or weight, fo­cus on shape, it’s about ac­cen­tu­at­ing and en­hanc­ing what you have so you feel un­sur­passed in ev­ery out­fit you own. Our body shapes have been uni­ver­sally de­fined by dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories and even by mea­sure­ments of fruit. Once you’ve de­ter­mined whether you are hour­glass, a rect­an­gle, ap­ple or pear, here is a lit­tle guide to the best styles and sil­hou­ettes for dress­ing the new-year-new-you.


Are you the hour­glass? The fig­ure of old Hol­ly­wood movie star­lets, all curvy with a small waist, you should do noth­ing but high­light and ac­cen­tu­ate your curves. Try on belted jumpers that tie at the back to pull in your waist, pair this with wide leg trousers that lengthen and balance your pro­por­tions. Dress­ing up in a V-necked wrap dress will cap­ture your bust and high­light those curves be­tween your waist and hips. Af­ter a daily uni­form? A high-waisted pen­cil skirt and cropped top cuts in at the small­est part of your fig­ure, ac­cen­tu­at­ing your curves and smooth­ing over your thighs. All of the above flat­ter your stream­lined sil­hou­ette, mak­ing you feel wom­anly.


Are you the ap­ple? With a slim­mer lower body you can balance out your mid­sec­tion by high­light­ing your shoul­ders and shapely legs. Elon­gate these by wear­ing cir­cle skirts that hit the small­est part of your torso and flare out over your stom­ach. Avoid gath­ered or ruched ma­te­ri­als, A-line or em­pire hemmed dresses are your sta­ple sil­hou­ettes. If go­ing to work, pants that sit low on the hips and fall straight can be paired with low-necked tops to cre­ate lines and show off your decol­letage. Top with a swing coat that hangs from your shoul­ders and cre­ates move­ment when you walk. It’s not about chang­ing what you’ve got – it’s just a bal­anc­ing game.


Per­haps you are the rect­an­gle? You shoul­ders, waist and hips are all of a sim­i­lar shape. By ex­ten­u­at­ing your arms and legs you can cre­ate slen­der curves and build di­men­sion. Wear sweet­heart or scooped neck­lines to give your bust shape and use tops with tex­ture to form flat­ter­ing in­ter­est around your chest. Defin­ing your waist will cre­ate a shape­lier fig­ure. This can be achieved by ac­ces­soris­ing with belts, wear­ing dresses with cut-outs or cherry-pick­ing cropped jack­ets with a banded bot­tom that snug­gly mold to your waist. Slit skirts and ta­pered trousers will elon­gate legs and give the il­lu­sion of pro­por­tion­ate hips. Just never fear to ex­per­i­ment with colour and pat­tern, you are much more than a clotheshor­se.


Are you the pear? The widest part of your body is your hips, and by ac­cen­tu­at­ing your top half and length­en­ing your legs you can ap­pear taller in pro­por­tion. A struc­tured jacket will add vol­ume to your up­per body, mak­ing your hips look smaller in com­par­i­son. Pretty off the shoul­der dresses will bring del­i­cate at­ten­tion to your col­lar­bones and A-Line or high-low skirts will tuck in at your waist and float over your hips. Be on trend with boot­leg trousers with de­tailed hems that will balance out your fig­ure and if tucked into pointy shoes, your legs will look longer. Such gar­ments will draw at­ten­tion away from your hips to other stylist de­tails.

This new year, use these clever styling tricks to best show off the body you have. Jan­uary is no longer a time for di­et­ing, pro­tein pow­ders or pun­ish­ing your­self on a tread­mill.

Em­brace what your mother gave you, ev­ery shape is beau­ti­ful and fem­i­nine – it’s in your “jeans”.



What­ever body type you are, there's a style that will flat­ter your form.

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