House of French

November 5, 2008

Horizontal Body Shape

Filed under: Finding Your Figure — xfrenchx @ 6:39 pm

Women of all shapes and sizes always have something that they don’t like about their figure. In fashion, the idea is to use clothing to create an hourglass shape. The hourglass is the ideal shape because it is a balanced silhouette, with the shoulder line matching up to the hip line, with a contoured waist. Many people make the mistake of thinking that if your measurements are 34-26-34 that you are an hourglass shape. Your bust size however, does not determine your shape, it’s your shoulder width, hip width and waistline that make your overall figure, and even many fashion stylists and designers think the bust-waist-hip measurement works. It may work in most cases, but can something really almost work? The shoulder-waist-hip analysis determines the shape right every time. So, aside from your initial silhouette, there are other factors that determine your “shape”. These other factors include whether you are short, long or normal waisted, your height and weight and even your reach. Properly fitted clothing must tailor to all these body needs. Since it would be impossible for designers to create clothing that suits every unique aspect of each person’s body, there are four major body types instead. After you have obtained clothing to suit your overall body type, it is up to you to have those articles tailored to fit your body flawlessly.

Hourglass Shape:

Hourglass figures can be any size; it’s the shape that determines the hourglass figure type. Women who have hourglass figures always have a defined waistline and are equally balanced top and bottom. If you have an hourglass figure, you basically hit the jackpot! Since this is the ideal body shape, you have very little work to do in balancing out your shape. The thing you need to worry about is making the most of your figure, and avoiding clothing that will ruin your beautiful curves. Although you are lucky for having this shape, the downfall of your curves is that a lot of silhouettes will not work for you at all. Since the average woman is actually either a triangle or rectangle figure, clothing tends to be cut to fit these shapes better. Curvy girls tend to get stuck wearing basic pieces, and have less luck looking good in all the fun clothing! With the information you need however, you should have no problem finding at least a few statement pieces to mix in with those classics that are practically made for you! Celebrities with your shape: Drew Barrymore, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet, Tyra Banks

The Do’s:

– Buy anything that has wrap detailing (such as wrap dresses or tops), which will make the absolute most of your curves. Besides, the wrap style is a classic and a good investment piece should last your entire life

-Look for fitted clothing at all times. Never buy anything that is straight and shapeless

– Consider seperates for a dressy look as opposed to dresses. You will get a perfect fit buying seperates, but a lot of dresses will fit you in one area and not in another area

– If you are like me and you just love dresses too much, find one that fits you in the biggest areas and then have the waistline tailored to your trim tummy

– Wear v-neck tops; they are great at making your curves look lean instead of stumpy

– Wear monochromatic schemes in dark, flattering hues, this will make the most of your curves

– Look for clothing with princess seaming, which will hug your curves wonderfully

– Try high waisted pants and skirts – but avoid anything in a bulky fabric

The Don’ts:

– Buy clothing that hides your curves. I know this poses a major problem because the main silhouettes in fashion right now are traingles and cocoons, but steer clear of these trendy pieces. They will look horrible!

– Buy tops with a lot of detailing near the top, which will only widen your shoulders and ruin the balance.

– Wear stiff or bulky fabrics, they have less shape so they won’t compliment your body.

– Buy anything that ends or begins at the widest part of your hip.

– Choose high necklines, unless you are an hourglass with a small bust.

Rectangle Shape

One of the most common body shapes, this shape is not only found in thin girls, as many believe. Just because a rectangle is long and thin when you draw it, doesn’t mean all women with this shape are actual rectangles! Every shape consists of women of all sizes. You have a rectangle silhouette if your top and bottom are relatively the same width, and your waist has little or no definition (in other words, your waist is just about the same width as your shoulders and hips). Your body is often refered to as “boyish”. Your arms and legs are slim in proportion to your body, and you most likely have a smaller bust. Your vertical body shape is probably balanced, or you are short waisted, with long legs. It’s likely that your bum has little definition or is flat. Your main goal is to define your waist, and exaggerate your hips and shoulders.

The Do’s:

– Wear semi-fitted clothing

– If you don’t mind exposing your arms, short sleeves and sleevelss tops do wonders for your body

– Get a lot of A-Line skirts!

– Medium to high necklines

– Look for tops and jackets that have slight shoulder padding. Before you get intimidated by that statement, it’s important to know that shoulder pads are not what they used to be. You should find a small, fitted shoulder pad that is not visible on the outside. No one should even know that they are there.

– Any shirts or dress that flow through the midsection – wrap styles are your best friend when it comes to defining your waistline, and will help create curves

– Straight and bootcut pants are your best option – look for flat front trousers with a slight flare

– Wearing belts at your waistline is a great way of faking curves, especially when done with a fitted top and an A-Line skirt, just avoid belts that are too big or bulky

– Strapless dresses help to create and enhance curves

The Don’ts:

– Stay away from clingy fabrics and fitted clothing

– Anything too baggy is out of the question – it will only shrink your figure even more

– Don’t wear straight, narrow skirts

– Low necklines are off limits – they will only elongate your body, making you leaner

Triangle Shape – Most commonly referred to as the Pear shape, you have narrow shoulders, a well defined waist and full hips. Your vertical body is most likely either well balanced or long waisted with shorter legs. Most women with this shape have full thighs and a round bum, paired with a small to medium sized bust. You are also one of the more lucky body types, since you already have the full hips and defined waist, which puts you two steps ahead in achieving that ideal hourglass shape. Your main goal is to find clothing that widens your shoulders, which will balance your body.

The Do’s:

– Wear bootleg, flared and straight pant styles with little detailing on the pockets

– Wear short sleeved tops, and batwing, dolman and puff sleeves are great choices

– Empire waists and babydoll tops/dresses are very flattering for you

– Try shoulder pads in your tops. Forgo the huge 80’s shoulders and embrace the new, refined styles

– Stock up on accessories that will bring the eye upward

– Choose medium to high necklines

– Prints and detailing on blouses and other tops is crucial

– Wear skirts and dresses that are slightly flared, as well as the universally flattering A-Line

– Look for jeans with a slight low rise (always avoid extremely low rised pants!), which will avoid gaping at the back as well as visually minimize your curves on the bottom

– Find garments that define your waist well. Foolproof items include belts worn at the waist and wrap style tops and dresses

The Don’ts:

– Steer clear of tapered skirts and pants, and anything too fitted on the bottom

– Avoid anything baggy

– Beware of any shirt that has a hemline that hits at the hip

– Stay away from stiff, bulky fabrics, especially in the hip area

– Avoid any type of detailing or design lines in the hip area

– Don’t wear pants or skirts with open pleats

– Never wear a plain top with a more interesting bottom, you will bring the attantion to the hips

Inverted Triangle – Also known as the “V” women with this body shape have broad shoulders, a slightly defined waistline and narrow hips. You most likely have a short waist and long legs, and probably have a flat bum and big chest. This is one of the hardest body types to dress, since there are less options available for creating big hips, as opposed to all the options available for balancing shoulders. Your goal is to minimize your shoulders as much as possible, and combine that illusion with clothing that enhances your hips, for an overall balance.

The Do’s:

– Tops and dresses that flow through the waist (always consider a wrap style)

– Wear flowing fabrics

– Wear three-quarter length sleeves

– Try medium and low necklines

– A Line skirts or any skirts with flares at the hem

– Flared and wide leg pants

– You should look for a low-rise in bottoms, but avoid anything that’s so low that you can’t sit down without showing your underwear

– Wear belts on your waistline, which will create a bigger curve in your hip

– Get a well fitted bra since your bust is a focal point on your body

– Halter tops and dresses will visually narrow the look of your shoulders

– Bubble dresses are great for enhancing your hips

The Don’ts:

– Avoid any tops that have details or emphasis on the shoulders

– Don’t wear high necklines and big collars

– Stay away from stiff, bulky fabrics

– Steer clear of tapered skirts and pants

– Never wear double-breasted jackets or coats

Apple (Diamond and Oval Shapes) – The apple shape includes two different types of body, that are basically the same, just with one difference each. The Apple shape body is round, with no definition in the waist. The difference between the two types is that Diamond shaped women have a high stomach, and oval shaped women have low stomachs. The style guidelines for both these bodies are the same. Your main goal is to create the illusion of a longer, leaner body, and to draw the eye upward.

The Do’s:

– Tops and dresses that flow through the waistline – the more you hide it, the bigger it will look!

– Wear jewelry near your face to draw the eye upwards, giving a leaner appearance

– Semi fitted clothing, slightly loose fitted clothing works well for your body

– Shoulder pads will help even and balance your lower torso

– Try monochromatic schemes

– Low necklines (unless you have larger than a C-cup bust)

– Straight, flat front pants in soft, flowing fabrics

– Straight and slightly flared skirts – but stay away from too tight versions

– Get a good fitting, well adjusted bra which will help visually take pounds off your figure

–  Seamless, well supported undergarments hide bulges

The Don’ts:

– Avoid high necklines

– Clingy fabrics expose imperfections

– Fabric with large patterns will only make you look larger

– Pleats are very bad for making your the body appear wider

– Large lapels, which will only make you look wider

– Belts aren’t a very good friend of yours – unless it is hidden well

– Tucked in tops will only reveal or create bulges

– Stay away from narrow or tapered skirtsand pants

– Fitted clothing will only show bulges, or even create bulges


1 Comment »

  1. Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
    it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my
    blog shine. Please let me know where you got your theme. Thanks a

    Comment by Lawyer Family — May 17, 2014 @ 3:31 am

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