Dress for your shape!
Forgive my horrible drawing skills, but I have created a few sketches below to illustrate different plus size body types and clothing/ styles that suit each body. I fall somewhere between hourglass and apple. I have a big bust, a narrower waist, a larger tummy and skinny legs. We all are a little different and don't conform to a box, but these are merely guidlines.
* Tip, find yourself a good tailor. I often find shirts that fit perfectly in the bust and waist but are too long in the arms and I have to have the arms taken in.
Hour glass shapes:
For women with this body type, the bust and hip are roughly the same size, and the waist is narrow. Your curves are deadly. When dressing your hourglass figure, you want to purchase pieces that accent your narrow waist. Buy yourself some great belts. Anything you can use to draw attention to your narrow waist.
Wrap dresses, belted trench coats, short jackets that stop just above the hip line. Consider your necklines, V-necks look best, turtlenecks draw attention away from your waist and are a total no no. Avoid ruffles or frills around the bust you don't need to draw more attention up and put your appearance off balance. Let your body speak for itself. Avoid thick bulky fabrics, instead choose lightweight fabrics that will skim over your body and hug your curves. When searching for pants balance your hips with bootleg cuts. If you want to accentuate your curves, try a shirt with a peplum and a pencil skirt. Pencil skirts are the bomb for your figure.
You can also wear vintage inspired dresses with an A-line cut. They will look stunning on you.
If you have an apple-shaped body, then your body is "top heavy," meaning you have a wide torso, broad shoulders, and a full bust, waist, and upper back. Avoid wearing anything that will draw attention to your middle. Avoid covering your thicker middle with loud patterns. Keep that middle area plain.
If you are an apple shape you have a great bust line. Think about trying dresses that have an empire waist, babydoll style shirts, T-shirt dresses, A-line dresses also look great on this body type. Deep V necks and plunging necklines help to elognate your torso. Say yes to strapless, scoop, or tops with narrow bodices. No to halter tops or off-the shoulder styles that will make shoulders look broader. Below is a suit jacket I wear for special occasions, it probably breaks a few rules, but the peplum detail creates the illusion of waist line (which I honestly don't have) The shoulders in this jacket aren't padded but are well constructed and, balance out my hips and hide my round shape. The hem of the jacket falls below my widest middle area. This jacket also looks great open with a black v neck shell underneath. Well structured garments are going to be your friend. I balanced this look with a boot cut pant, again I want to balance my bottom to my top, and high heels. I've also worn this with a short pencil skirt...
If you have an apple shape you have great legs. Avoid anything that will make your legs look squat. Short skirts look great. Avoid those capri jeans/shorts that stop mid-calf ( I think they are hideous anyway)... clunky boots and tights. Highrise jeans help to avoid the dreaded muffin top. Bootcut jeans will also show off your narrower hip. Try to purchase jeans in a darker wash, the darker the jean, the longer and thinner your legs will look. Dark jeans work great for casual days and also pass in the office.
When buying shirts, don't buy clingy fabrics, think light and fluttery. I bought a beautiful babydoll top the other day that fits quite snug under the bust, and was layered with a lemon chiffon. Gorgerous. Also, don't pick items that look like a bag, it will make you shapeless and larger then you are. Again we want to make you look long, create that length..tops should fall below the hip area. Tunics will look amazing on you.
Shoes: Add height, think about medium to high heels or platforms. Ugg boots....flats, kitten heels...no...
This shape is sometimes called the Carrot shape.
You may have a more atheletic build with broader sholders. Your hips are narrower then your shoulders, aside from your shoulders you have less defined curves. Best feature, narrow hips and great legs. You'll find your top and bottoms are completely different sizes. Good news, clothes hang great on you.
Deep V-necks are very flattering, as they narrow the shoulders. Create a V effect with open buttoned shirts, or jewelry. I would avoid square boat necks that would make shoulders appear wider. Avoid any suit jackets or shirts with shoulder pads, oversize collars, shirts with shoulder adornments are also a no. I would also avoid anything with a spagetti strap, go for a wider strap. Princess lines will create curves, A line dresses will also be flattering. Empire waist dresses, fit and flare dresses and wrap dresses will also look fantastic on this body type.
Accentuate the waist. Belts... go nuts!
When It comes to skirts, you can wear ruffles, patterns.. You want to balance the bottom half of your body with fuller skirts. Circle skirts, gathered skirts...aline skirts. Pencil skirts don't really work well for a carrot. When shopping for pants, think wide leg styles that will balance your shoulders, I would avoid skinny jeans. Avoid those damn capri pants that seem to be in every department store...they will shorten your legs and make your torso seem huge.
Wear kickass bright shoes. Bright shoes have a great way of balancing the body. Dark on top, bright on the bottom, draw the eyes down.
Your ultimate look would be a pair of wide leg pants, a tunic and awesome shoes.
Dressing a rectangle shape.
You have this shape if your hips are even in width with your shoulders and you have no defined waist. Your bust is small to average.
Opt for dresses that will give you the illusion of curves. Straight cut garments will do you no favours. Opt for dresses and shirts that have a defined waist, tailored suit jackets will look fantasic on you. I would choose and A-line skirt for this shape. For creating more dimension along the body, think about a shift dress. Acessorize the hell out of it with necklaces to draw everyone's attention up. Wear curve-defining empire bodices, tops with bust frills, ruching, front panel details and pleating.
Define your curves and wear fuller, bias, or pencil skirts. Harmonize your silhouette by wearing narrow, straight or slightly flared leg pants. And don’t be afraid to add some color to your bottoms.
You have that classic womanly figure!
You'll want to extend your neck line with V-necks, scoop necks and sweetheart neck lines. To balance out your bust area, you can opt for pleats ruffles and other extra details. fitted bodices and tops also look very pretty on this shape. Shirts that draw attention to the face are welcome. Look for buttons or ties at the neck that will draw eyes upwards. Blazers will work as long as they don't hit your body at your widest part. Try to find one that ends around the waist.
Skirts, you can go huge with a skirt, fulls skirts look best on this shape in my opinion. You can also define your waist with belts and cinchers. Also great choices: wrap dresses, flared skirts and A-line dresses. Make your legs appear longer with wide leg trousers or flared jeans. Stay away from Capri pants or tapered pants. Lengthen your legs with a pair of chunky heeled shoes (not stilettos) this will balance out your calves. Avoid shoes with ankle straps, it will make your lower legs look weighty.
What did we all learn from this blog post...Capri pants are heinous....on pretty much everyone. Can you you feel how much I despise them? lol