Dressing For Your Body Shape Made Simple

Dressing for your body shape is not as difficult as you may think. If you can identify with any of the following questions I would love to help you.

  • Are you frustrated when you shop and can't find clothes that fit?
  • Are some extra pounds making a difference in your clothing choices?
  • When dressing for your body shape do you know the rules for properly fit clothing?

Before we go any further I would like you to go to body type fashion advice. Here you will have the opportunity to self analyze yourself with regard to determining your body shape.

A very important part of dressing for your body shape has to do with using camouflage tips. In addition to knowing the style of clothing you now need to consider the following:

Camouflage Tips For All Body Shapes

  • Narrow or Sloped Shoulders - Your aim is to create width at the shoulder. Use shoulder pads to create some balance between the shoulders and the hips. Your clothes will hang straighter when the shoulder has a little more shape. It is important however to get the sizing right. Too much shoulder is just as bad as too little. Experiment until you find the ones that give you the best fit.

    I personally have a "collection" of pads, and depending on the garment I am wearing, I choose the pad that will give just the right amount of lift. Check to make sure the pad is not visible through lighter weight tops and blouses. A softer shoulder is currently a very fashionable look but sometimes when shoulders are too narrow or sloped the look doesn't work well.
  • I also recommend avoiding jackets without a set-in sleeve (a set-in sleeve is a seam at the edge of the shoulder that continues close around the armhole, so as not to bring attention to the sloping of the shoulder
  • Avoid a jewel neckline which hugs the neckline too high. Open necklines such as boat necks have a shallow boat shape that runs from one shoulder to the other and is the same depth front and back, creating a horizontal line to widen the shoulders.
  • Wearing jackets and coats with wider lapels also creates width.

Broad Shoulders

  • Avoid wide necklines
  • Scoop and v-necklines are good
  • Avoid details on shoulders such as puffy sleeves or epaulets

Long Neck

  • Long necks generally are a great asset. The only area that I can see that might give concern is hairstyle. Wear hair around the neck to soften. You have great flexibility with turtlenecks, jewelry, scarves and collars. Enjoy!

Short Neck

  • Open collars, cowl necklines, v-necklines or scoop; avoid turtlenecks
  • Short hair is better than long hair - avoid bulky jewelry at neckline and wear shorter earrings

Heavy Calves and Ankles

  • Slacks, long skirts, tall boots
  • No pants or skirts that end at the calf

Short Legs

  • No cuffs on pants
  • Shorter jackets
  • High-waist styles give the illusion of longer legs
  • Avoid ankle strap shoes
  • Skirts are better than pants at hiding length of legs

Heavy Arms

  • No tight sleeves
  • Avoid sleeves that are too full at the wrist
  • High armholes on jackets give sleeves a sleek shape(a high armhole is where opening of the armhole is up tight to the underarm instead of hanging lower toward the waist

Small Bust

  • Padded bras can enhance a small bust
  • Blouses with detailing at the bust line
  • bulkier textures

Large Bust

  • Set-in sleeves - no round shoulders or dolman sleeves (dolman sleeves have a large armhole and tighter cuffs
  • no clingy tops.
  • Avoid sleeve lengths ending at the bust.
  • Avoid horizontal lines at bust level and details of any kind. keep details on collars or pockets
  • Keep belts narrow and avoid garments with a high waist.
  • Wear collars open and v-necklines with lapels.
  • 3-button jackets work best, especially when the top button closes just below the bust line.
  • Balance chest with a pant or jean that is a little tapered at the knee, flares out at the ankle, and is long enough. Add a pointy shoe or boot.

Short Waist

  • Create vertical lines with necklines and jewelry
  • Wear tops over waistband.
  • If you tuck in, wear pants with lower waistbands.

Larger on Top

  • If your torso is larger than your bottom half, create balance by not wearing tapered pants and skirts and adding a bit of fullness from the waist on down.
  • No above-the-knee skirts.
  • Larger torso also does better when choosing to wear darker colors on top with a slightly lighter color on the bottom.

More on Dressing For Your Body Shape

Scale is another very important element to be considered when dressing for your body shape. Scale is a system of proportion and I am referring to the size of the garment and accessories.

Think about all the details that pull an outfit together such as prints, purses, shoes, scarves, hats, jewelry and details on the garment such as trims, lapels, pockets. For the most part, you will want to keep the scale of these items in tune with your overall size. Larger women need a larger scale and smaller women need a smaller scale.

In a nutshell, keep garment details and accessories in proportion to body size.

Dressing for your body shape as you will see is not as difficult as you might have imagined and your results will be rewarding.

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