Do you know your shape? Women often write to me to ask for tips on what to wear and describe themselves as short and chubby. But what is your shape? Are you heavier on the top, the middle or below the waist? When you know these answers, you can start thinking about how to dress to balance your body visually.
To balance my inverted triangle shaped figure, I wore lighter color Palazzo pants and a more fitted black top with a scoop neckline. Pear-shaped women could wear similar dark color high waist full leg pants and a lighter color or print top. The fuller the leg of the pants, the longer they should be so Palazzo pants should almost touch the floor. High waist dark pants that fit nicely without pulling or draping too much are best for pear-shapes. Proportion is very important. Maxi dresses, long skirts or full leg pants should always include a top that is shorter and more fitted. Slim leg pants or jeggings require a longer top and shoes that are more neutral. Never wear black shoes with anything but black pants or black hose unless you want to make your legs look shorter and wider.
The correct proportions in your clothing choices can help you look taller and more slender if that is your goal. For example, imagine a woman who is 5’1″ tall and weighs more than she would like, wearing a boxy long dark color top over white cropped pants with dark shoes. The length of the top cuts her body in half right below her bottom making her appear to be much shorter and wider. A less boxy V-neck top that stops at the hipline worn with pants in a similar color that fit well and end at the top of the same color shoes will help her to appear much taller and more slender.
Horizontal lines make you appear wider. So, if you have a pear-shape, the neckline should include a horizontal line such as a boat-neck or a sweetheart neckline because the shoulders will appear wider. Any bust enhancing top or ones with an embellished neckline, print tops or ones with other details will serve you well because they draw the eyes up to the face and your slim upper body. Keep in mind that extra fabric will always make you look larger than you are, so a fitted top with full wide sleeves can work wonders to balance the pear-shaped figure.
A good bra is imperative. Get the girls up where they belong with the nipple being centered midway between your shoulder and your elbow. I am wearing a black back smoothing bra and body shaper, it is the Ultimate Shaper by Shapeez.
Do not wear bulky eye-catching bracelets. They will draw attention to your hip area. A statement necklace or long colorful earrings work wonders for drawing the eyes up to your face. If you wear a belt, choose a slim one close to the color of your top. This will elongate your torso and emphasize a smaller waistline.
The hair length would need to be the best one for your face shape but not too narrow and tight. A smooth little bob would not give you enough volume and would make your hips look larger. The widest point of the style should be at eyebrow level. Ask for a ‘rounded layer cut’ which means the shape is fuller high up and narrower in the length.
The correct handbag can draw attention away from your widest part but the wrong handbag can make it appear to be much larger than it is. Consider the woman with large hips who carries a bulky shoulder bag that rests on her hip. She has visually added that much width to her hips. A much better option would be a bag that rests at her waistline or one which is carried by a top handle in her hand. A large clutch bag tucked under her arm at the waistline is also a good choice. Handbag colors are a purely personal choice. They can match your shoes, your top or your pants. The bag can also provide a pop of color that doesn’t match any part of your look. A small scarf in the same colors as your clothing tied to the handle of your bag can make the look more cohesive.
A pointed toe shoe is always more lengthening than a rounded toe. The point can even be at the top of the shoe such as with the flats I am wearing. A point visually adds length because it leads the eye to continue on. A nude pair of shoes with a pointed toe worn with a dress can add as much as two inches to your legs visually. Never wear high heels with Palazzo pants because it is too easy to get a heel caught in the fabric.
The top I am wearing is the three-quarter sleeve basic top in black from my shop here. It is available in brown, black, navy and red. Even though I have a bit of a tummy, wearing a top at this length is most attractive because it draws less attention to it than a longer one. I find that a longer top often hugs under and pulls across the tummy drawing more attention to it.