Last week we explored the idea of adding a narrative to your style but keeping it practical to suit your everyday life. But before you even think about stepping foot into a retailer, you have to understand "The Fit."
You can buy the exact same outfit that looks effortless and stylish on someone else, and if it doesn't fit you and your body type - well you've just wasted a whole lot of money.
Today we're going to narrow down how to get the proper fit in all the right places!
We'll start with general rules for EVERY body type
Use Seams as a Guide:
Seams are there for a reason, ladies! The shoulder seam of your shirt, blouse or blazer should line up with your shoulder pretty precisely. If it's near your collar bone, your shirt may be too tight! If it's able to fall backward, the shirt is definitely too loose.
Hem Lines Matter:
I can't stress enough how quickly you can go from FRUMP to FAB by understanding how much where your clothing falls effects your overall look! There are exceptions to every rule, but generally I follow these rules :
The hem of your shirt should fall just at or below the front pocket line.
The sleeves of a long-sleeved shirt should fall just past your wrist.
The back of your shirt shouldn't look like an un-calm sea! Waves and ripples aren't attractive from behind. My trick to combat any "bulging" from bra lines and the like is a cami under my blouses - it makes for smooth lines!
The hem of your straight jeans should fall at the ankle, no lower or higher unless it's style specific to the respective pants. Tailored pants should fall just above the ground with shoes on. If your pants appear to be "smiling" in the hip area, they're too tight - and on the flip side, frowning means they're too big!
Listen to your Body!:
Dear busty sisters, I feel your pain. But buttoned tops and blouses should not look like they're trying to run away. I myself have committed the fashion offense of a top so tight across my chest that it looked as though my lady lumps might rocket right out. Those photos make me cringe. No matter how cute the shirt is, the bulge isn't. Put it down and listen to your body!
Feminine cuts are most flattering on these figures - if you want to really wow, go for shapes that draw all eyes to your waistline. It pulls together the entirety of your figure. Be mindful though, this body shape is already "va-va," too much "voom" is not necessary. If I had to define my body, I'd say I fall into this category, with my bust and hips being about equal. It makes modesty a bit difficult, but it can be done.
With that said, Hourglass women do best in skirts that fall at or just above the knee. Anything shorter quickly looks risque. As an hourglass girl myself, I go for straight leg pants that fall at the ankle. It plays down my curves but maintains the integrity of my figure perfectly.
Tops should be "less is more". Anything overly patterned can draw too much attention and look far too busy. Tailored fits, however, accentuate the natural curves and contour of your body just fine. Peplum cuts are definitely your friend as they also flow with the natural curve of your body in a slightly exaggerated way.
Women with a triangle body shape have a slim upper body and larger hips and thighs. This body shape can easily look unbalanced in the right ensemble, so it's important to understand what will counteract the disproportion.
Layering is a Triangle woman's best friend. As opposed to the hourglass, more is more when it comes to your top section. Cardigans and shrugs help balance out your bass line. Cropped jackets are also a fashionable solution to creating harmony in your overall appearance.
When it comes to bottoms, go for lines that will elongate your lower half and spread the love so to speak. Darker washes of jeans and pants are also your friend. A line skirts and dresses are also preferable for a triangle body shape.
I may never have been "round" (other than being pregnant) but I have a knack for aesthetics; I can tell you what looks good and what's wrong, wrong, wrong.
Round women tend to try to hide their bodies. We here at ABD won't be pushing that agenda. Every body is beautiful. The WORST thing a round woman can do is try to hide her body under tent like dresses and shapeless clothing.
With all of that said, a rounder body means less structure from a visual standpoint. Blazers work wonders in this area, especially a more structured modern design. Also, though it may seem counter intuitive, drawing lines across your body with asymmetrical designs and wrap around garments goes the extra mile in drawing a figure. Patterns and geometric shapes also look amazing on a round body.
When it comes to bottoms, show a little leg. Midi skirts, especially more structures flowy skirts that hit the knee to mid calf area, are gorgeous on a round body type. Heels help to further elongate the figure and draw the eyes to the assets in your lower body. If you're more comfy in pants, go for a boot cut in a darker wash, which is a little more slimming.
If you didn't see your body type today, just hang on! Next week in part two, we'll be covering diamond, rectangle and inverted triangle body shapes, and adding more general "fit" tips. Leave any specific questions in the comments!