Dressing for your body type

Do you get frustrated when dress after dress doesn’t seem to look good on your body but it seems to look good on everyone else? When you shop for a new wardrobe do you feel like you are faced with new and interesting challenges? How you learn to dress to accommodate different body parts will help you learn to be happier with your wardrobe. Whether it is big hips, flabby arms or a large chest there are ways of making accommodations that camouflage or change perception.

Believe it or not dress manufacturers do not produce items only for Miss Twiggy. According to today’s fashion styles manufacturers are making clothing for females who are moderately tall with a body that is balanced vertically and an hourglass figure. For males the current ideal is a balanced body with broad shoulders, chest and tapered to a medium waist and hips. Approximately 2% of the population has a perfect figure so the goal of dressing is to create the illusion of the perfect body in the perfect proportions.

By choosing clothing that accentuates strengths and minimizes weaknesses many men and women are able to create the illusion of a longer, leaner body. The objective is to dress in a manner that makes you feel best about yourself which encourages feelings of self-confidence and power. Once we understand our current shape we are able to accurately choose clothing that will make us look our best.

For this reason all the clothing must be customized to the individual. However, it can be painful to stare at yourself in the mirror and decide what flaws you really have and what type of clothing would be best for you. This is a necessary step and you should remember that no one has a “perfect” body. Your body shape has nothing to do with your size but rather to do with your proportions. These proportions have to do with where the majority of your weight is carried on your body.

For instance, some women are top-heavy and have large breasts with short waists and long skinny legs or are heavy and square on top with the big stomach and broad back sitting on slender legs. A bell shaped woman has small shoulders and a large bottom or a pear shaped woman may be small on top with a tiny waist and big thighs and calves. In all of these circumstances a woman’s proportions will not change no matter how much weight she loses. She may be smaller in the hips overall but if they are normally larger than her top they will remain larger than her top even if she gets to a size 6.

Here are some tips to help you identify your body type. Women who are top-heavy have a bust line that is three or more inches larger than their hips. 46% of women have a rectangular body where their waist is about the same as their hips and they appear more like cylinder than an hourglass. Pear-shaped women are bottom heavy and approximately 20% of women have this shape. In this instance their hips are significantly larger than their bust line. Only 8% of women have an hourglass shape where their hips and bust lines are equal in measure.

Women who are top-heavy may want to emphasize their smaller legs and draw attention away from the waist and arms by wearing long sleeves and V-neck tops. Women with this body type should also steer clear of tops that have large prints and dress in monochromatic colors.

Women who have a straight or rectangular body can pinch in their waists and exaggerate their curves by using belts and texture in volume. This body type can easily look boyish and so women should steer clear of baggy jeans or sweat clothes. Wearing a straight dress that eliminates the waistline will skim the body and create the illusion of a smaller waist.

Women who have a pear-shape must use clothing to decrease the size of their hips. Dresses which are fitted at the top and flow away from the body are a great choice, as well as fitted pants with an over blouse that flows away and hits at the hip.

Women who have a smaller bust line can add more volume by looking for dresses or tops that have an embellishment or fullness on the bust line. Things like ruffles or frills can add fullness when the rest of the garment defines the waist and accentuates the upper body.

Women who do not want to show off their legs can use a longer skirt that comes to mid-calf. Paired with heels, this can disguise larger calf with thicker ankles. While women who are uncomfortable with their upper arms can choose dresses and tops which are three-quarter length sleeves and have little cutouts in the arm. This keeps an element or an embellishment that detracts from making the outfit look matronly.

Women who have an hourglass figure are some of the lucky few who have a waistline that can be accentuated and curves which make others envious.

Look carefully and objectively at your own figure. You may be surprised that what you first perceived as a negative trait can easily be used to create your perfect figure.

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