Dressing for Your Body Type

Written by: Beth Britton
Freelance fashion journalist and lifestyle writer. She searches for the best in vintage and bargain shopping for high fashion.

Anyone is capable of looking their best at any time, in any piece of clothing, if they simply understand a few simple rules.

  1. Know your shape Whether tall, thin, short, or curvy, once you recognize your own shape and take ownership and pride in your proportions, THEN can you take the next step in looking and feeling your best.
  2. Know your measurements I really can't emphasize this enough in my articles. Just because a department store brand may say you are a size 14, you may truly be a 12 or 10! How much better would that be? When you know your measurements and know what can be done to tailor your clothing you can then make your clothing work for you!
  3. Black is slimming But, you know what else is? Navy! Dark grey! and  thin pin-striped lines!
  4. Houndstooth can be your friend or your worst nightmare. An appropriate print on the bottom half of your body, when paired with a solid above your body can help smooth out unwanted belly buldge and give the illusion of a flatter midsection and waist. But! Too big or too loud of a print and you may end up looking like the side of a taxi cab! Pay attention to the cut and style of the garment.
  5. Ruching or pleating in the front or middle of a shirt can also hide tummy troubles as well as give a nice shape to your waist.
  6. Horizontal stripes are just not typically a good idea for any body type, soooo....let's just forget I brought it up.
  7. Straight cut, boot cut, or flare Each of these can really bring a different dynamic to your legs. When trying on jeans, take advantage of the sales clerk and get him/her to run through all the different styles for you to try on. That's their job. Use the three way mirrors for a 180 view. And don't forget to see what they look like on you while sitting and squatting. Not everyone wants to see your fairy or butterfly.
  8. Pencil skirt This is a no fail - the straight lines, the curve to your back side, and the flattering length. This classic piece should be found in every woman's wardrobe.
  9. A heel I had never been much of a "shoe girl" until I tried on the perfect heel! It made my short legs look longer and pushed up my calf to make my legs look muscular and my ankles tiny! Find one that fits and is comfortable (they do exist!) and you will be stunning!
  10. Confidence I say never, never, never leave home without it. If you are confident in what you are wearing and love it, then you will come across like a million bucks!

*quick story* Recently I was in East Nashville shopping. I stopped in at a Vintage Clothes "yard sale". There, I found a not very old H&M slouch dress. It was a soft, comfortable fabric, long slits in the side under the arms and a wide open kneck. I had ideas of how I wanted it to be worn, and what I may wear under it etc., but having not tried it on, all these ideas mulled in my mind as I continued my errands around town. Soon, like typical September days in Tennessee have a notion to do, it became very very hot outside. My velvet brown jacket had to be shed off and so my t-shirt with leggings would no longer look so flattering. So knowing that I had this slouch dress in the back seat, I pulled into a parking garage in downtown and did a quick change. I grabbed the H&M slouch dress and pulled it down over my leggings. I quickly walked out of the parking garage arranging and fidgeting with my new-to-me garment, with out being able to fully see what it looked like on me nor if I was even wearing it "right". As I passed people on the street I feared they may think I had just rolled out of bed, or questioned what caveman I pulled this toga off of. But I knew that if I threw my chin up and walked with confidence I could sell any look. By the time I got back to the Parking Garage, I had recieved countless compliments from complete strangers on my dress/top/toga. I worked it with confidence!

So now that you have the tools, ready to do some shopping? A reader on my blog (www.haute4momma.blogspot.com) told me about the site myshape.com. Once you determine your body shape, which you should already know...right?......then you can shop for a variety of clothing that should fit you as if it were made just for you, giving you that added bit of confidence to face the busy holiday shopping days ahead of you!

And remember, make fashion fun!~