Author: Troi J. Cluse | maisondestroi.com
Finding trendy plus size women’s fashion, that hugs your curves just right, can be challenging. Hold on…Let me be real here and rephrase that a bit…It can be challenging, but for me it’s f**king frustrating–just saying. This doesn’t fit right, this is too tight right here, it’s too flappy right there, and the oh-so famous question, “Does this make me look big?” I use to spend hours in one store, just trying stuff on in the dressing room, and would walk out with NOTHING to show for it! At one point, going to the mall or any clothing store was nightmare for me. “This doesn’t look right. Why won’t this fit me the way it fit’s on her?” I’d get so disappointed and down on myself when I’d try on a look that someone I knew had tried. After some much needed research and reality checking, I had an epiphany…It’s my Body Shape. Yes, the clothing may be cut a certain way, and yes, the brand may be exclusive to a particular consumer, but the key to styling success and understanding why is your Body Shape.
I know, right? Took me forever and a day to figure it out. Let’s go further into details, Shall We?
Body Shape & Style Guidelines
The five (5) major Body Shapes: Apple, Pear, Inverted-Triangle, Rectangle and Hourglass, are the key to understand how to dress and properly style our bodies. There are variations in size/shape, but these five are our foundation of understanding. But before we get into the details, first things first, you need to take your measurements ladies. By measuring the Bust, Waist & Hips, you’ll be able to get a clearer indication on your Body Shape. Just take a few minutes, grab a measuring, and jot the measurements down on a sheet of paper to keep them in mind when going through the next part of this article…
Got your measurements?
Ok, good! NOW we can get into details.
Here are the different traits and styling guidelines for each Body Shape:
The Enchanting Apple
-Body Fat tends to collect more in the Abdomen
-Medium to Large sized Bust
-Shoulders & Hips are closely similar in measurement
-Waist measurement is wider than the Shoulders and Hips
The goal here is to define and create the illusion of a smaller waistline. By doing this, it enhances your best features (Bust & Legs) and draws the viewer’s eyes towards them. Here are some clothing options that will beautify your curves:
-V-Neck Shirts and Blouses: The V-Neck gives the illusion of slightly broader Shoulders and draws the eyes down and inward, making the waist appear narrower (These are my favourite! I’m always wearing a v-neck top. 😉 )
-High-waisted Ball gown/A-Line Skirts: Cinches the waist in and draws the eyes down to you your lovely Legs
–High-waisted Jeans, Pants & Shorts: Same effect as the High-waisted Ball gown/A-Line Skirts
-Avoid Big and bulky tops, or tops that are gathered/cinched at the neckline. This will give a top heavy appearance.
-Avoid Hip-Huggers or any item of clothing that fits snuggly below the waistline or under the belly. Shapewear (Spanx, Corsets, Waist Clinchers, Hosiery with “Tummy Tuck” panels)
-Wide Waist Belts: This will cinch in the waistline over any outfit
-Empire Waist Dresses, Tunics or Blouses: These are great for emphasizing the Bust
-Tunic Tops: They’re Straight and loose fitting. This will gently cover your waistline and give a seamless appearance
The Elegant Pear
-Body Fat tends to collect in the rear, hips & legs
-Small Sized Bust
-Thick/Heavy, Shorter Legs
-Shoulder measurements are narrow compared to Hips
-Waist measurements are similar or narrower than the Shoulders, and is elongated with a more defined waist.
Hi there my Elegant Pears! Ok, so your goal here is to minimize them voluptuous hips, legs and rear. Unless you like emphasizing those features, then Girl, you do yo thang!
-Shapewear (Spanx. These things are just AMAZING! I use them for everything)
-Skinny Jeans are a big No, No. Unless you wear them with an A-Line top to bring the attention to your torso instead of your lower half.
-Shoulder pads in any top or Jacket are great for broadening the shoulders
-Create the illusion of long legs by wearing a long Top/Dress and a short Jacket
-Avoid wearing pants that are too bright. This will emphasize the Lower Area
–Accessories are your friend! Wear scarves and Necklaces to draw attention to your upper body
-Waist Belts work wonders for accentuating the waist
-Girl, rock that A-Line dress!
The Powerful Inverted-Triangle
-Body Fat tends to collect more in the Upper Torso
-Large Sized Bust
-Shapely/Lean Legs & Narrow Hips
-Shoulders are broader/wider than the Hips
-Abdominal measurement is slightly wider than Hips, but narrower than the shoulders
Ladies, you have more of an Athletic physique. With your broad shoulders taking all the attention, we’ll want to draw those eyes to your lower body to balance things nicely:
-V-Necks will accentuate the waistline.
-Vertical stripes designs are always best. Wearing anything horizontal will give a wider appearance
-Stay away from heavy looking Blouses/Tops or with lots of layers. This will make your tome half look larger
-You know how they say, “Black is Slimming?” Well, It’s very true. Wearing dark colors on top, will narrow those shoulders and bust down.
-Wear brighter colors below the waist to draw eyes and emphasize
-Waist Belt…Waist Belts are just great for every body type, I’ll just get that out the way.
-Always make sure that whatever bottoms you wear, that the waist hem fits nicely to accentuate that waistline.
-Bold & Bright shoes emphasizes the lower half
The Statuesque Rectangle
-Body Fat tends to collect evenly through the body
-Average/Medium sized Bust
-Shoulders & Hips are similar in measurement
My Statuesque woman, you usually have the easiest time dressing and finding clothing, BUT because you are evenly proportioned, there will be challenges when trying to create that feminine silhouette. There are a few things you can do to enhance your features:
-A-Line Skirts look AMAZING on you ladies
-Bright, bold colours will bring out your curves
-Wearing a Bustier, Corset or push-up Bra, will enhance your bust
-This is probably the only case where I wouldn’t recommend a Waist Belt. Especially if your waist isn’t defined. It’ll only draw attention to your waist.
-Wear shirts and Blouses with high necklines if you have a smaller Bust size. This will create the illusion of a wider Bust.
-Wearing fitted clothing accentuates your clothes.
The Alluring Hourglass
-Body Fat tends to collect evenly throughout the body or primarily in the lower and upper areas of the body.
-Medium to Large sized Bust
-Usually Thick/Heavy Hips, Thighs and legs
-Shoulders & Hips are similar in measurement
-Waist is extremely defined, producing the Hourglass Silhouette
Now ladies, you know you got it goin’ on! That Silhouette figure is to die for. And yet, there are just a few things to keep in mind when styling your curves:
Try not to wear anything that has too much draping fabric. It’ll hide those lovely curves.
-V-necks of course accentuate that waist, but it’s also good for ladies with a larger bust, by drawing the eyes from your chest to your waist.
-Pencil Skirts, High waist pants enhance those curves.
Great Links to Check Out
See any of these that fit or come close to your Body Shape? Awesome! Knowledge is Power! And now that you have that knowledge, go forth into the great, vast abyss of Plus size Fashion and Shoppeth till you Droppeth! 😛
Here are some great links that will help you determine what your Body Shape is, and provide some more great info on this topic.
- Shop Your Shape: Body Shape Calculator
- Who What Where: The Foolproof Way to Find Out Your Real Body Type
- Wedding Services Kenya: How to Determine Your Body Type