Women are constantly told by fashion magazines and ‘celebrity stylists’ that their body type fits into a certain category: apple, pear, asparagus, carrot, butternut pumpkin (also known as the hourglass), etc. Has anyone else noticed that clothes shopping now feels like a trip to the local green grocer? All I want is to buy a sundress, not the ingredients for a low-self-esteem fruit salad.
I firmly believe that no matter what size you are, or what sort of fresh produce your silhouette most resembles, you can and should love your body. Everyone has the ability to look as good as they feel. It’s just a matter of knowing how to identify and flaunt your assets.
Apple figures can be hard to dress due to the positioning of weight in the belly and bust. Luckily for you though, you’ve got killer cleavage and slimmer legs. The key to highlighting these assets is body control underwear. I know it sounds like a kind of ‘old-lady’ idea, but it will work wonders to sculpt your silhouette by drawing you in at the waist and giving you smoother curves. Now you’re less like an apple and more like an apple core (yay!). Once you’ve got that sorted, it’s time to work on the clothes:
-Open up your neckline. V-neck t-shirts or leaving a single button undone on your work blouse doesn’t make you a hussy.
-Vertical stripes act to elongate the body and have a slimming effect.
-Drop earrings help to elongate the face and draw attention to the jawline and cheekbones. Lengthening the facial features can help balance out the rounded figure.
-A-Line skirts make the waist look slimmer and can be worn with tights to highlight your legs in winter.
-There is no excuse for granny-jeans. Structured, straight-leg jeans and knee length boots will draw the eye down to your gorgeous legs.
-Fitted blazers add shape to the torso and add what I can ‘points of attention’ as the deep V made by the lapels encourages the eyes to move downwards rather than across the body.
Pear shaped ladies should flaunt their bust and graceful shoulders. The trouble with this figure is the fear that yes, perhaps your bum does look big in that outfit. Invest in a good quality padded bra. A little extra oomph upstairs can balance out your hips and butt.
-Strapless dresses should be a staple in your wardrobe! Your ideal summer outfit is a strapless maxi with a thick belt to cinch in your waist and show off your gorgeous feminie curves.
-Shoulder-pads are not just for 80s disco parties. A structured shoulder in military jackets and blazers lengthens the horizontal line of your shoulders, allowing them to meet the line of your hips.
-Embellished tops have a similar effect and when paired with simple jeans or slacks keep the attention on your face and…er, ‘assets.’
Asparagus shaped women are straight up and down and have what if often referred to as a ‘boyish’ figure. The major upside of this shape is that there are no critical danger zones in your fashion world. The downside is that we asparagus girls don’t have a classically feminine figure. Invest in a Wonder-Bra. Or three.
-Avoid scoop necklines which show your obvious anti-cleavage. Even with a push-up bra, scoop necks won’t flatter you. Empire waistlines emphasise the lines of your bust and give the illusion of volume. Similarly, dresses and blouses that tie up at the back will flatter even the smallest of A-cups.
-Your legs are your best friend. Short dresses and skirts will compliment your shapely legs.
-A-Line skirts and belts will add definition to your waist and give your more distinct curves.
-Embellishment and detail on dresses and tops gives the illusion of a bigger bust as it can create a three-dimensional effect.
-For those who aren’t into florals but still want to feel feminine, opt for softer fabrics that gently fall over your natural figure while acting to soften the appearance of harder lines.
Carrots, you tall, elegant beauties. You are the Elle MacPhersons and Liz Hurleys the rest of us wish we could be. What advice can I possibly give you?
-Pale jeans and dark knee high boots will flatter your long legs.
-Cropped blazers and Bolero jackets will give you that effortlessly cool look. Selecting block colours will also add definition to your torso and flatter your waist.
-Soft materials and draping styles that fall elegantly over your frame will add an added degree of class. Trapeze jackets and cowl-neck jumpers will look gorgeous.
-Emphasise your bust with scoop neck tops and chunky statement necklaces.
-Thick horizontal stripes made by belts or sashes etc. cut 5cm off your height and help to balance your stature with your natural horizontals.
Butternut pumpkin girls have got the Golden Trifecta. Nice bust, thin waist and a booty worthy of a Beyoncé song. Unfortunately though, not all styles can flatter everything at once. When in doubt, remember you are the modern Marilyn Monroe. The 1950s is never out of style so while everyone else is looking stupid in galaxy leggings, you simply ooze timeless elegance.
-Peplums are a fantastic way to add detail to your waist to balance it with your hips and bust, giving the illusion of a straighter silhouette.
-Darker wash jeans slim the hips and smooth your thighs so you get a cleaner line down the leg.
-The magical pencil skirt sits on, and thus emphasises, your beautiful waist, flatters the hips and draws the eyes upwards to bust and face.
-Rockabilly is a cool style on your figure, too. High-waisted shorts in summer act to lengthen the legs and give the appearance of slimmer hips and thighs.
-Don’t overdo the embellishments on tops. Block colours are best, but clean, smaller prints will define the bust without adding the illusion of extra bulk.
Some things to keep in mind no matter what shape you are:
-Skinny leg jeans do not make your legs skinny! Unfortunately not everyone is blessed with supermodel pins and that’s perfectly fine, but bootcut or retro flares will sit better and look better in the long run.
-I don’t care who you are, tights are NOT pants.
-Leggings are best worn with tunics or under long blouses. Camel toes are not a good accessory.
-Beware of clingy materials. Bodycon dresses and tight tops can look absolutely stunning on figures with smooth curves, but can also go disastrously wrong. If you find that the material is tucking into your body at all, you’re better off going a size up than risking looking like Kirstey Alley on a bad day.
Finally, just remember: everyone has got something to brag about. Happy dressing, ladies!
– by Blaire Gillies