Dressing for your shape

Why I don’t believe in dressing for my body type

This post has been on my to-do list for quite a while, but I’m finally writing it now, because of a conversation I overheard on the train yesterday.

I sat next to a group of girls, all of them 12, perhaps 13 years old. One of them wanted to buy a new pair of jeans and she talked about what kind she might want to get. “I don’t like high-waisted jeans but I have to wear them because I’m a pear shape. They are just so uncomfortable”, she said. “Just make sure you get black or dark blue ones to make your legs look smaller. And wear that with something white on top to balance it out”, said one of the other girls. “I wish I was an apple. That way I couldn’t wear tight tops, but at least I could wear dresses and short shorts. That’s good for the summer.” They all agreed.

That whole situation seems so absurd to me now, even though I remember when I was their age, I also already was very aware of my body type, my ‘flaws’ and ‘assets’. And that’s because for decades that idea of ‘dressing for your body shape’ has been everywhere. A staple in fashion magazines and books, that is so commonly accepted, even tiny 12-year-olds know ‘their type’.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll probably already know that I’m not a fan of the whole concept, for one simple reason:

The concept of dressing for your body type feeds into the idea that looking slim and attractive according to today’s societal ideals is much more important than wearing clothes you personally like, self-expression and having fun with fashion.

Dressing for your body shape is all about choosing clothes that flatter your body. And let’s be honest: “Flattering” is really just code for “makes you look thinner, taller, more curvy or less curvy”, whichever side your body falls on in comparison to what’s currently considered ‘ideal’.

The girls on the train did not for one second talk about which types of jeans they liked or wanted to wear, they talked about which types of jeans would make their legs seem smaller and which jeans they are ‘allowed’ to wear.

And that’s exactly what articles and how-to guides on various body shape typologies convey to women. That the first and foremost objective of clothes is to manipulate, hide or minimise their body.

Plus, they promote what most women already do way too much of: obsessing over and rating every little part of their bodies. For example, a typical recommendation for the ‘Pear shape’ could go something like this:

“find clothes that enhance your waist because that is your smallest part (smallest = best), and go for A-line cut skirts and dresses that skim over your wide hips and thighs (wide = must be minimised) to make your body seem more proportionate (as if a pear-shaped body, perhaps the most common female body type, is somehow dis-proportionate and must be altered to look ok)”.

It’s a strange kind of nitpicking of women’s bodies that I think is so absurd, totally outdated and a dangerous message to send.

Of course you should feel confident in whatever you are wearing! Definitely! But I believe that confidence should stem from the fact that you love your outfit because it expresses your personal style and is uniquely you, not because it makes you look 2lbs lighter or half an inch taller.

I also think that because of the concept of dressing for your body shape, we have all become a little brainwashed to believe the basic premise that has to be true for body shape typologies to make any sense at all, and that is the idea that only a small range of cuts and silhouettes doesn’t make us look terrible.

It’s lead us to overestimate the effect clothes have on the way our body looks.

Now, I’m not denying that perhaps a few more extreme cuts and silhouettes can visually alter your overall proportions somewhat, but really, that effect is going to be small at best and definitely not something worth compromising your personal style for. Your body is what it is, and clothes can’t magically change that.

I write a lot about finding your own personal style and building a great wardrobe here on the blog, and I try to cover as many techniques and concepts as possible, because we all have a different creative process and find different things helpful. But I’ve never written about body shape typologies before and I never will, because of all of the things above, but also for one very practical reason: If you are trying to cultivate a strong sense of style, you have to first go through that experimentation phase and try a ton of different cuts, colours, styles and materials, to figure out what you love and develop your own aesthetic. Trying to dress according to the typical guidelines for your body type at the same time would completely ruin that process, because it would make you dismiss a huge range of pieces and combinations, that could possibly have turned out to be essential to your style, right off the bat.

So, if I could send those girls from the train a message, it would be simple: Wear clothes that you like! Wear clothes that express your style and that feel good. And forget about all of the rest of the stuff, body shapes, what supposedly flatters you, all that. If you find high-waisted jeans uncomfortable, don’t wear them! Even if you are a pear shape and have been told your whole life that low-waisted cuts don’t work with your hips. If somebody tells you what you’re wearing doesn’t flatter you, ignore them. Because it’s not your job to wear something that makes you look as close as possible to whatever’s currently considered ideal.

Wear whatever you like. And let’s all just stop using the word ‘flattering’, ok?

How to Dress for Your Body Type

Just as we instinctively know to play up our strong suits in, say, an interview (shout-out to the neurotic detail-oriented type As), it makes sense to do the same when it comes to our closets. Let us explain: Are you a décolletage enthusiast? Take the plunge with a deep neckline. Legs as long as the workday? Keep the hemlines short. Can’t get enough of those curves? Neither can we. Once you know what works for you and what doesn’t and have a roster of trusty pieces to reach for, looking—and feeling—your best comes easy.

HOW TO DOWNPLAY YOUR UPPER ARMS

Don’t feel like, well, baring arms? Lean into pretty, pumped-up statement sleeves and let little nuances—a cinched waist here, a chopped-off hemline there—collect all the compliments.

  1. Roussia
    Blouse
    goop, $530 shop now
  2. G. Label
    Fox Miniskirt
    goop, $395 shop now
  3. G. Label
    Peri Tie-Neck Short-Sleeve Shirt
    goop, $325 shop now
  4. MOTHER
    Jeans
    goop, $218 shop now
  5. Roksanda
    Dress
    goop, $1,245 shop now

Wear it with:

  1. Emme Parsons
    Sandals
    goop, $415 shop now
  2. Tabitha Simmons
    Sandals
    goop, $645 shop now
  3. Victoria Beckham
    Sandals
    goop, $740 shop now

HOW TO PLAY UP A PETITE FRAME

An ankle-exposing crop (no trips to the tailor necessary) plus pointy heels, or really anything with a skyscraping waistline, has the magic effect of adding inches.

  1. G. Label
    Nate Rib Henley
    goop, $395 shop now
  2. Khaite
    Jeans
    goop, $340 shop now
  3. Wandler
    Bag
    goop, $850 shop now
  4. ATP Atelier
    Heels
    goop, $460 shop now
  5. Jennifer Fisher x goop
    Hoops
    goop, $200 shop now
  6. Tibi
    Jumpsuit
    goop, $695 shop now
  7. Veja
    Sneakers
    goop, $135 shop now

HOW TO SHOW SOME SHOULDER

Straps or no straps, the beauty of these low cuts is that they allow your décolletage to take center stage. Enhance the situation further with pinned-up hair and something sparkly in your ears.

  1. Tibi
    Dress
    goop, $1,195 shop now
  2. Mara Hoffman
    Dress
    goop, $425 shop now
  3. G. Label
    Thira Strapless Dress
    goop, $595 shop now
  1. STVDIO
    Hoops
    goop, $162 shop now
  2. Marlo Laz
    Earrings
    goop, $5,750 shop now
  3. Nak Armstrong
    Earrings
    goop, $14,500 shop now

HOW TO DOWNPLAY YOUR HIPS

First: Start with an anchor, like a flattering A-line skirt. Next: Focus your energy on the waist up, with a figure-hugging knit or something sexy and tailored. And finally: Rely on this foolproof formula anywhere and always.

  1. Toteme
    Top
    goop, $350 shop now
  2. Pari Desai
    Top
    goop, $265 shop now
  3. G. Label
    Carr Layered Pleated Skirt
    goop, $595 shop now
  4. ATP Atelier
    Flats
    goop, $390 shop now
  5. Sea
    Top
    goop, $275 shop now
  6. G. Label
    O’Neill Boy Button-Down
    goop, $295 shop now
  7. G. Label
    Danielson Midi Skirt
    goop, $495 shop now
  8. AGL
    sandals
    goop, $455 shop now

HOW TO COMPLEMENT YOUR CURVES

Whether you want to emphasize your curves or give off the illusion of curves, never underestimate the power of a nipped-in waist. Wraparound dresses (for the coverage queen) and bustier-like bodices (lift-off!) accentuate all the right places.

  1. Xirena
    Dress
    goop, $276 shop now
  2. G. Label
    Rosie Skinny-Strap Maxidress
    goop, $695 shop now
  3. G. Label
    Martindale Seamed Bustier Dress
    goop, $595 shop now
  1. State Property
    Earrings
    goop, $850 shop now
  2. Ariel Gordon
    Pendant
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  3. Eriness
    Earrings
    goop, $725 shop now
  4. KATKIM
    Ring
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HOW TO EMBRACE YOUR HEIGHT

Play with proportions that complement your stature, like a pretty midi dress that hits right at the shins or high-waisted trousers that just barely graze the ground (the longer, the better, in our opinion).

  1. Sophie Buhai
    Bracelet
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  2. G. Label
    Sheely Puff-Sleeve Midi Dress
    goop, $595 shop now
  3. Emme Parsons
    Sandals
    goop, $395 shop now
  4. goop x Rosie Assoulin
    Top
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  5. G. Label
    Patrick Wide-Cuff Pants
    goop, $495 shop now
  6. Victoria Beckham
    Tote
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  7. Veja
    Sneakers
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HOW TO HIGHLIGHT YOUR LEGS

Prefer something generously cut with room to breathe? Or maybe you fall into the fitted-and-tailored camp? Either way, playsuits, shirtdresses, and utility skirts are all viable options for putting the focus right where you want it: on those sexy gams.

  1. G. Label
    Agustina Flight Romper
    goop, $525 shop now
  2. G. Label
    Tracy Puff-Sleeve Button-Down
    goop, $375 shop now
  3. Matin
    Skirt
    goop, $240 shop now
  4. G. Label
    Roxanne Utility Boxy Shirtdress
    goop, $695 shop now
  1. La Californienne
    Watch
    goop, $6,500 shop now
  2. Staud
    Bag
    goop, $295 shop now
  3. Alexandre Birman
    Sandals
    goop, $595 shop now
  4. Veja
    Sneakers
    goop, $100 shop now

5 Fantastic Fashion Books Every Man Needs to Read

Blogs, magazines, and sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are a great source of style inspiration. They help you find out about the latest trends, best brands, and how to style your clothes. If you want to learn more about classic men’s fashion and clothing, a good old book is the way to go. To facilitate the process of finding the right book for you, we compiled a list of the best books on style and fashion for men. From timeless advice to style icons and accessories, these are the books you should add to your collection.

1. Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion by Bernhard Roetzel

Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion | Amazon

This a great style reference book that teaches you everything you need to know about menswear. Roetzel uses his expertise to present you with a truly unique view on the topic fully supported by beautiful images. In it, he addresses all men’s fashion issues from bespoke suits to dress shirts to grooming and much more. He sums up pretty much everything you need to be a well-dressed man.

2. Icons of Men’s Style by Josh Sims

Icons of Men’s Style | Amazon

Icons of Men’s Style examines different iconic pieces of men’s clothing and accessories from blue jeans to brogues. Aviators, tweed jackets, and the like are all featured. This collection of essays focuses on men’s fashion staples, exploring each garment by importance, popularity, origin, and history. Stories are also shared about pieces’ designs, the brands that started it all, and how each item impacted the way men dress today.

3. Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion by Alan Flusser

Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion | Amazon

This book is a how-to guide for guys that want to dress well and look stylish. It explains the rules of dressing and showcases history and clothing classification. The tutorials in the book include: what to look for when trying on clothes, how to tie a bow tie, pattern-on-pattern coordination, how to choose flattering clothing for your body type, and the true meaning of “business casual.” This is a must-have reference book for any man.

4. Handmade Shoes for Men by Laszlo Vass and Magda Molnar

Handmade Shoes for Men | Amazon

This is the perfect book for shoe lovers. In Handmade Shoes For Men, you’ll find a collection of specials essays that provide insights into the history of shoe fashion and the shoemaking craft. Every page has a beautiful photograph illustrating each stage in the making of these works of art in leather.

5. ABC of Men’s Fashion by Sir Hardy Amies

ABC of Men’s Fashion | Amazon

This book should be required reading for anyone wanting to up their style game. The guide was first published in 1964, and it was uniquely written as a dictionary of fashion terms. You can use it as a glossary when you want to know the most obscure of menswear names. Written with wit and expert knowledge, Amies guides you safely through style decisions on everything from shoes to blazers.

Nowadays online shopping is as easy as window-shopping. One can buy fast without worry or embarrassment with full confidence. It has enabled consumers to find diverse panaches sitting at home or resting in the bedroom. Visit a website, select a beautiful dress containing appealing design, Fabric, color & pattern. Find the perfect size effortlessly and move away. Isn’t it so easy to shop?

In fact, searching a dress sensibly made for you is all about knowing the perfect fit for your figure. Only then you will be able to celebrate the wow factor in you. Find and go for customized stitching option to prove this myth wrong “There’s No Perfect Size nor Perfect Body”. We suggest to love your body shape/figure instead of hating it. Be in relationship with your own body cause it is a precious gift from the Almighty.

You must understand your figure and realize the proper dressing style to appear fit and balanced. Don’t be shy and compare your shape with others. Face challenge and find best suitable dresses instead of following others. We can guide you with simple tips to help you hide imperfection by highlighting the best part of you to appear perfect.

The shape of body and style has a strong relationship. Both are the crucial part to keep in mind while choosing perfect Designer Indian Dresses for you. You can go with both Traditional and Modern Dressing style. It may be Indian Salwar Kameez Suit or Indo Western Dress. Even you can go with Traditional Indian Sarees Or Indo western Fusion Lehenga Choli. You can pick Ethnic Wear Long Floral Anarkali Suits or Latest Punjabi Suits Design.

Recognize Apple Shaped Body Structure:

Heavy on top and Slimmer at Lower Part is a pattern of women’s apple shape body.

Do’s and Don’t Do:

Colors:

  • Dark colored Top with light colored Bottom will make you appear a bit longer than you are.

Color Combination:

  • Color combination is one of the crucial factors to balance your look.
  • Go for the single matching color tone for both top and bottom.
  • Don’t go for a combination of light top and dark color bottom.

Top Fit:

Fitting is a most important one among all. Poor fitting will kill the beauty of expensive dress too. The perfect fit can uplift the charm of cheaper dress also.

  • Never think of Tight-fitting Top at waistline.
  • The much Loose fitted inflated top is the worst choice.

Best Fabrics:

Fabric plays a vital role to cover and display the desired part of the body. It adds up to the fall, Texture add richness of the dress.

  • Lightweight, soft, transparent and Flowing fabrics are best for you.
  • Thin and flowing fabrics will skim away The Apple From Apple shape.
  • Chiffon, Crepe, Duchesse Satin, Georgette, Rayon, Shantung, fabrics are best to choose from.
  • Avoid Taffeta, Velvet or Dupioni type heavy and Thick Fabrics.

Top Styles:

  • Drop-waist is the ultimate choice.
  • Pleats at the waistband
  • Off shoulder or cut shoulder will display your heavy shoulders.

Print Patterns:

  • Go for small patterns on top, above the belly. That will attract attention towards your chest and not towards your belly.
  • Keep away from bold patterns, large checks and light colors above your waist

Top shapes:

  • A-line dresses will elongate your body and draw attention towards the bust.
  • Long Empire waists can do dreamlike work for you.

Length of Top:

  • Top flowing around your bust will suit you most.

Cut:

  • Go with Long top with curved hems to hide the belly.

Sleeves:

  • Refrain from Full sleeves as it will enhance your bulky arms and make it appear bigger.

Necklines:

  • Plunging or V-neck are the best choices to drag attention towards your chest not towards shoulders.
  • Avoid Halter neck and puffy sleeved dresses.
  • Avoid Low cut or broader neckline like boat neck, usually showing too much through a split.
  • Avoid high neckline, it will emphasize your broad torso.

Jackets or Koti:

  • Button-less Open Koti, Sherwani, jacket or Shrug matching with a top is a good option.

Bottom Wear:

  • You are the blessed one with beautiful legs. You can show off your legs with a short pair of shorts.
  • Knee length Capris is another good option for you.
  • Don’t go for Pant-type salwar, flared Patiala Salwar, Bell shape bottom or Pant with wide Bottom.
  • Leggings or Tight jeans will display the look of the cutest part of your body.

Try:

  • Long flowing top that falls below your bust is a perfect choice.
  • Top with cuffed sleeves can do magic for your appearance.
  • Top with a lovely detailing of sequins, floral work at around shoulder.
  • The double-layered top will help you to look smart.
  • Hang scarf plumb splitting into binary stripes.

Must Try Following Indian Dresses:

Following Ethnic dresses for women are the flawless choice for apple shaped women. Modern women with apple shape can go for Modern Indo Western Outfits.

  • A Punjabi Salwar Suit with stylish dupatta can go well for Apple Body.
  • Indo Western Pant Dress Set is a fancy and trendy choice for Apple Shape.
  • Traditional Churidar Kurta Dresses are the best option for parties.
  • Palazzo pant dresses are quite a nice alternative for you.

Bonus Tips:

  • Long/high Flat or Pencil heels will add balance to your look.
  • Fit tight Belts around gut will create a fold. That will attract attention towards your ugly shape.

We hope that the above tips listed would assist you in finding the right dress for you. If we have missed out on something, then do let us know in the comments below.

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Apple, pear, and rectangle: How to dress for your body type

Want to accent your best features? Stylist Iva Grbesic teaches us tips for dressing to best suit our own body shape, including what types of clothes to wear and what items you should avoid.

Apple shapes: This refers to women with large busts, narrow hips and slim legs. Many women with apple shapes think that the best way to dress their large bust is to hide it under tops that come up right to the neck. In truth, these women should do the complete opposite and wear v- or scoop neck tops. This will draw our eyes up the neck to their beautiful faces. Women with this shape should wear clothing that highlights their great legs and cleavage.

What to wear:

  • V- or scoop neck tops which make you look in proportion
  • Solid coloured tops
  • Printed bottoms
  • Pants and skirts that are nipped in at the waist will give you an hour-glass shape
  • Thin layers: a thin sweater over a button-down shirt is a great cold weather option
  • Pencil skirts that show off your great legs
  • Wrap dresses that create a small waist

Need to avoid:

  • Tops that have a skinny strap. Apple-shaped women need to wear a good bra, and skinny straps don’t allow for proper support.
  • Large prints, ruffled tops and oversized tops. These exaggerate how large the bust is and adds weight on top. This is also true for tight tops.
  • Tight bottoms accentuate large busts
  • Pants that are too wide or skirts with too much fabric

Entire outfit including shoes from Tristan.

Pear shapes: The pear shape is the most common woman’s body shape. Your hips and backside are wider than your shoulders. Pear shapes also have a smaller bustline. You are blessed with a naturally small waist and that’s what you want to emphasize.

What to wear:

  • You can wear almost any fitted top you want, but avoid anything tight. This will over-accentuate the proportion difference between your chest and hips/bum.
  • A-line dresses, skirts and tops show off your upper body and small waist and are slimming around the hips. Full skirts are another option that achieves the same desired affect.
  • Wide pants balance a pear-shaped body.
  • Subtle prints on top keep the emphasis where your best features are.
  • Floaty shorts

What to avoid:

  • Cargo pants or funky pockets add weight and bulk on the bottom and need to be avoided.
  • Loud prints on skirts or pants
  • All-over tight skirts will make you look bottom heavy.
  • Oversized tops or bottoms will only add bulk to your frame.

Dress and coat from Le Chateau, shoes from Guilhermina

Rectangle shape, also called boy/athletic shape: This shape is characterized by the waist, hip and shoulders being similar and usually on the slim side. Slender rectangle shapes have an athletic look to them. Your best features are your arms and legs, and you don’t need to minimize any of your other features. What you do need to do is create curves.

What to wear:

  • Tops with collars, ruffles and detail to flatter your chest
  • Long jackets that create a lean silhouette
  • A good bra that will accentuate what you have
  • Dresses that have ruching because they will create a defined waist
  • You can wear any type of pants you want, have fun and be daring!

What to avoid:

  • Anything with too much embellishment or frills. This will overpower your frame.
  • Avoid bulky coats or tops, same reasoning as above.
  • Double-breasted blazers or coats, they will make you look boxy and too straight.

Outfit from White House Black Market, shoes from Guilhermina

For more fashion tips from Iva, watch the video below:

TAGS: family day, fashion, iva grbesic

The Art of Wearing Hijab Part 4: Evening Wear. An Apple Shaped Body

Where as dressing Apple shaped body comes down to dressing the top of the body in one of two ways: You can either strive to create a more emphatic waistline, or you can embrace the waist-less trend by wearing voluminous tops or/and dresses. Both looks are equally stylish when the correct variables are in place. The main idea is to flatter the waistline and draw attention away from the middle by so.

Apple shaped body should wear:
1- Wear V-neck tops and dresses
2- Empire waist and A-Line and Ruched for tops (tops that end below your widest part of the belly or longer)
3- Packed prints (with little negative space))
4- Pair tops with opened jacket nipped at the waist (tailored blazers and coats, opened cardigans or waistcoats, a duster coat that ends above the knee)
5- Tops that fall lower than hip bones
6- Tops with flare or cuff sleeves
7- Top with pretty shoulder, bust and neckline details (sequins or flowers)
9- Pants that are straight, flared, wide-legs, or boot cut
10- A-Line skirt, bias cut skirt, trumpet and hanky hem skirts too
11- Tunics and wrap dresses

Apple should avoid:

1- Outfit with a different pattern in the belly area 2- Thick belts 3- Clingy and loose tops, shirts or dresses 4- Low shorts or pants, high-cut shirts, or any fabric length that cuts off below or above your middle 5-Built in waistlines 6-Pants that have a lot of zippers in the front 7- Stiff fabric (linen, wool, denim) 8- Oversized bag and bags that sits at your waist

As for evening and prom dresses wear V-neck, A-line or empire dresses. These are perfect for Apple shaped body because they can camouflage the waist area and draw attention upward and cover the belly area. Packed prints are a good choice too as they hide details and make the over all look slimmer especially at the mid area.

Stay away from wearing details at the waist if you don’t intend to attract attention there