When choosing clothes, your aim is to create the illusion of having a balanced body. This is a neat hourglass figure with, shoulders and hips in line, a defined bust, a waist even with a softly curved tummy and a curved bottom.
Whether you are a petite or have a fuller figure, the cut of the clothes that will flatter you the best will depend on your basic body shape.
There are seven basic women’s body shapes:
The Neat Hourglass – is characterised by:
A defined bust, a defined waist, a neat bottom and neat hips.
Your golden rule is show off your body by wearing clothes that define your waist enhance your bust and highlight your hips and bottom. Avoid wearing clothes that hide your body line or you risk looking an extra three to four kilos heavier than you are!
The Full Hourglass – is characterised by:
A full bust, a small waist, a rounded bottom and rounded hips.
Your golden rule is it is important that you wear clothes that follow your body line as opposed to those that constrict you. Avoid heavy or stiff materials or you’ll end up with tops and jackets that are two to three sizes bigger that you need just to accommodate your curves. Choose fabrics carefully!
The Triangle – is characterised by:
Full hips or thighs, a defined waist, shoulders that may slope and are narrower than your hips and a top half that appears small.
Your golden rule is that your jackets and tops need to finish either above or below the widest point of your hips and bottom. Layering on your top half creates visual interest and draws the eye upwards. Buy jackets or tops that fit your shoulders rather than your hips – you can always leave the bottom button undone!
The Inverted Triangle – is characterised by:
Straight and squared shoulder line, little definition between waist/hips, flat hips and bottom and a bottom half that seems smaller than your top half.
Your golden rule is that you will need to ensure there is minimum detail on your shoulder line; keep this area as simple as possible. Your clothing line needs to be straight and clean. Your silhouette should be uncluttered.
The Lean Column – is characterised by:
Narrow shoulders, flat chest or small bust, small and non-defined waist, narrow hips and a flat bottom.
Your golden rules are highlight your hips and bottom, and enhance your bust line with details. Your clothing line needs to be straight, with emphasis on the waist. Make use of texture and layering.
The Rectangle – is characterised by:
Straight shoulder line, straight hips and bottom, Very little waist definition, Straight ribcage.
Your golden rule is use details on your hips and bottom to create shape. Avoid details at the waist, such as noticeable waistbands or belts. Keep your clothing line straight and go for the uncluttered look.
The Round shape– is characterised by:
Rounded shoulder line, curved back, fullness around the middle and a flattish bottom
Your golden rule is to make sure your clothes hang from your shoulders. Clothing lines need to be straight, and fabrics soft to avoid any unnecessary volume or bulkiness. Keep any detail above the bust line and below the hip line. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!