Knowing the right clothes for your body type is an important aspect of good dressing. Not all trends will look good on all body shapes and regardless of how fashionable a garment is, if it does not flatter your figure it just makes no sense purchasing it.
So ladies please stop starving yourself to get into your closet the newest trend in town without first asking yourself the fundamental question; how will that look on me?
For those who have not yet thought about their body type, here are two main reasons why you should.
One, there is a part of your body that you love and you want to accentuate. (If not please work on your self-confidence and wearing the right clothes will help you with that). On the flip side, and this is an unfortunate fact, almost every body type has a typical characteristics that its bearers are not too crazy about and are not quite happy with clothes that exaggerate that characteristic.
For instance most African women are well endowed on the bottom half of their bodies (read bum) and may have encountered the challenge of choosing well-fitting office wear especially, to look chic and respectable at the same time. So some may opt to hide under unflattering garments in the name of decency which need not be the case.
Knowing your body proportions helps you determine how to dress all the parts to achieve a balanced silhouette – with curves in all the right places!
Women’s body shapes usually will fall under four categories that most people are familiar with; the apple, the pear, the hourglass and the banana.
Isn’t it cute how they chose to call them fruit names to make sure you aren’t in the least bit offended? Except the hour-glass of course because, well, it is the hour glass… Anyway I digress.
Basically these names were coined to illustrate the distinct characteristics of each body type. So, with the current fashion trends and your body shape in mind, let’s talk about the easiest trends to adopt and, those to, not necessarily absolutely avoid, but tread their territory with stylish care.
These tips will help you know your figure and flatter it with the trendiest and most appropriate clothing for this age, without hiding your fabulousness.
Today we will talk about the busty apple and the curvy pear. In the next issue we will discuss the evasive hourglass and the athletic banana.
THE APPLE SHAPE
Having an apple shape means that your upper body is ‘heavier’ in comparison to the lower part. So you are definitely endowed bust-wise which is great because many women will break their backs to buy your bust, and your shoulders are also pretty wide.
You may tend to gain weight around your stomach which does not necessarily mean all apple shapes have a tummy (if you exercise).
Your fashion mission is to keep it simple with the top because you have so much to do with the bottom. Also you have beautiful slender legs which you should definitely consider showing off.
1. Short A-line/Skater Dresses and Skirts- Show off your great legs by wearing short skater dresses that are slightly above the knee or knee-length depending on the occasion. Those with their waistline just below your bust are your best friend for everyday wear. Skater skirts with bold print are great trendy addition paired with neutral colored tops.
2. Peplum dresses and tops- In non-clingy fabrics for cocktails and party wear to define your waist and create a balance to your outfit. For tops, choose plain colored higher cut tops with a black stripe on either side. They give a slimming effect to your torso.
3. Wrap dresses are a good choice for evening wear because they work really well with your larger bust. Because of their low V-cut cleavage characteristic, they will allow you to flaunt your bust while drawing attention from your waist. They will also help give your silhouette a balance by creating a waist illusion.
4. Boyfriend Blazers– When choosing blazers buy longer ones that rest way below your waist. That way they will not have the hanging effect that could emphasize your larger torso and make you look like Jonny Bravo. Instead they will give the illusion of a shapely waist especially when worn open.
5. Distressed boyfriend Jeans – Gone are the days of being told to wear flared jeans if you are an apple. Those are so last century. Luckily the new trend of boyfriend jeans is ideal for you because you’re slimmer at the hips and bum, and have leaner thighs.
To keep with the trend, wear straight jeans that fit well on your thighs and hips. If you like them distressed ensure it is done horizontally. The fact that the jean’s cut does not change downwards means they will not cling to your legs so your body balance is intact. Fold them up for a more stylish look and pair them with a statement t-shirt.
6. Hand Jewelry – Hand jewelry is big right now and it includes the midi-rings, hand chains, bracelets, bangles and the boyfriend watch. They will add an exciting touch to your outfit without compromising the balance.
Be wary of…
1. Body-con Dresses – They are a little tricky for this body shape especially if you are not well-toned. If you do decide to wear one, don’t go for block colors. Instead try one with a darker color on top and lighter on the bottom to make your bust look less heavy and give some shape around the waist. Also opt for long-sleeves.
2. Crop Jackets- These are best avoided because they make you seem even top heavier which does nothing for the rest of your great body.
3. Statement necklaces- They are too large and heavy for your torso. Instead wear smaller classy jewelry like a shiny pendant on a thin chain.
THE PEAR SHAPE
Most African women have this body shape. Your lower body is quite curvy; you have a larger bum than most but your chest is not that visible. Also you tend to gain weight more around your thighs than your waist.
Your body may be hard to dress because usually you don’t wear the same size of top as the bottom so when buying dresses often you have to have them redone at your local tailor to fit well.
If you identify with those challenges, your fashion mission is to keep it simple with the bottoms because you have so much to do with the tops.
1. Trapeze or A-line crop tops – A small waist is one great asset that most pear shapes have so flaunt it and don’t let your smaller bust hinder you from enjoying the crop-top trend. Wearing A-line crop tops as opposed to body-con ones will accentuate your waist without bringing attention to your bust. Pair it with a high-waist skirt pencil skirt or jeans for a balanced look.
2. Detailed tops –Having a smaller bust and a heavier bottom means that you can experiment with upper body accessories all you like. Therefore go wild with patterns and bold print, wear bows, ruffled sleeves, ties, chunky knitwear and bright colored scarves.
3. Trumpet skirts – Flaunting your curves is a great idea. The trumpet skirt with its mermaid style will accentuate them while making you appear tall as well. For those with lines stick to vertical lines because horizontal lines will make you appear shorter. Also if you really have to wear prints or patterns at the bottom, wear smaller prints in neutral colors.
4. Print or lace midi body-con dresses – Midi works better for you than knee length when it comes to tight-fitting dresses, because most pear shaped women have not-so-slender legs. If your tight dress hits the knee it will make your legs appear even thicker and shorter.
On the over hand a midi dress gives the illusion of continuation for your legs making them appear longer and skinnier. That’s why Kim Kardashian looks so good in midi-dresses. The print or lace detail works to make the eye focus on your great body as a whole not concentrating on the smaller versus bigger parts.
5. High-waist jeans – Having a smaller waist and shapely hips means you can comfortably rock this trend. Remember to pair them with an A-line crop top for a chic non-exaggerated look. Also go for a straighter cut as opposed to super skinny for a balanced silhouette.
6. Statement neck-laces – Your best accessory. Love it because not every girl is lucky to rock this style with abandon.
Be wary of…
1. Distressed jeans- If you really want to wear them, keep the distress minimal so as not to make your lower body seem too busy and thus even heavier.
2. Peplum tops and dresses – Be cautious of the length and shape of your peplum top. Too wide can hide your shapely hips. If too short you risk ‘cutting’ off your torso and hiding your fabulous thin waist. If you have to wear the peplum style go for a longer not too wide cut that will follow the natural shape of your hips.
3. Chunky ankle buckled shoes – Yes they are the in thing. Yes they are fashionable. Unfortunately they are just not made for you dear curvy lady. Most pear shaped girls have not-so-thin legs. So wearing shoes that have a huge buckle reduces your legs’ already struggling height and make you look shorter. If you have to wear ankle straps keep them really thin.