Body Shape

Ever tried to re create a celebrity red carpet look or even a friend’s great outfit and ended up disappointed? This may come down to having a completely different body shape from that person. Don’t worry! You can adapt the look for you by understanding your body shape and what suits it.

I have an eternal love of the slim line and elegant shift dress but have over the years come to understand that nine times out of ten, most cuts of this type of dress just don’t suit my pear shape. Here’s a brief guide to some common body shapes and some key recommendations on how to dress each one to best effect.

Pear – Narrow bust, narrow waist, wide hips, bottom and thighs.

Best Features: Waist and lower legs

Styles that work:

  • Dresses that nip in at the waist and skim over thigh area (full skirts or tunic shapes)
  • Trousers with pocket features on the back which zip at the side (no side pockets)
  • Patterned tops or tops that are detailed around the bust

Top Tip – Use accessories such as neck scarves, coloured belts and fab shoes to draw the eye to your best features

Strawberry – Wider bust with narrow waist and hips

Best Features: Waist and legs

Styles that work:

  • Skinny jeans/trousers in bright colours
  • Mid fit T shirts in draped jersey or silk
  • V neck dresses with narrow waist and flared skirt finishing above the knee

Top Tip: Don’t be tempted to hide behind loose clothing top to toe. Balance your shape and show off your best bits by combining a tunic style top belted at the waist with fitted trousers.

Hourglass – Wider bust and hips, narrow waist

Best Features: Bust and waist

Styles that work:

  • Fitted dresses which narrow at the waist
  • Halter Necks
  • Pencil skirts
  • High waisted trousers

Top Tip: Don’t try to hide your curves, highlight them by wearing figure hugging outfits that accentuate your waist, and a neckline which shows some of your décolletage or has interesting detail. Think a fine knit cashmere/wool v neck jumper and a pencil skirt.

Boyish/Athletic – Slight build with similar width bust waist and hips

Best Features: Waist and legs

Styles that work:

  • Structured shift dresses with detailing such as bandage style dresses
  • Cigarette pants in a patterned or textured material
  • Blouses with pussy bows or similar detail in flowing materials like silk
  • Chunky jumpers worn with a belt as dresses

Top Tip: Create the illusion of curves with a peplum top or dress