Pear, apple, hourglass, carrot, rectangle. The list goes on of the array of body shapes women are categorised by (anywhere between five to eleven, depending on the source). A frustrating minefield to navigate at times – particularly given the wave of new trends, silhouettes and general sartorial must-have-this-now hitting stores constantly – we’ve taken the guesswork out of it and compiled our top three best buys for each and every body type, with a few added tips and tricks to bear in mind just for good measure (you’re welcome). Read on for the classics and newbies worth every cent.
For a more in-depth guide to dressing for your body type, pick up a copy of ‘Rescu Me!’ here.
For the Pear (small bust, long waist, wide hips, curvy legs)
Our Pear beauties are often blessed with a petite upper half, which is your key focal point to highlight.
1. Halter & Off The Shoulder Necklines
Sleeves and exposed shoulders balance out curvy hips, so for you it’s a case of party up the top, business down below. Balancing your silhouette is key, so steer towards lighter colours up top with darker tones (longer line skirts or indigo denim, for example) on your bottom half.
Country Road embroidered smock shirt, $159
Witchery eyelet dress, $179.95
2. Nude Heels
Elongation is essential to stretching out your figure (work association: elongation = slimming), so a nude shoe creates a lithe silhouette from the toe upwards.
Tony Bianco Lovinia heels, $159.95
Gianvito Rossi patent leather pumps, $616, net-a-porter
3. Strapless Dresses
For night, draw attention to those lithe arms and back in a strapless dress – think tailored around the torso with a little volume (a little – don’t swamp yourself) from the waist down to skim over curvaceous hips.
Halston Heritage strapless crepe dress, $273, The Outnet
For the Hourglass (ample bust, smaller waist, curvy hips and legs)
Make the most of a small midsection and cinch, cinch, cinch! Embrace your femininity and make the most of your curves.
1. Wrap & Belted Dresses
Your little waist is something to be celebrated, so give it the ultimate spotlight in both wrap and self-belting styles (just to note, this applies to your coats as well).
Country Road embroidered midi dress, $229
2. A-Line Skirts
Whilst the pencil is a given, A-Line skirts play up those figure eight curves. Make sure it sits right on the waist, and tuck in your separates (think lightweight knits and shirting) to keep your silhouette in check.
Zara skirt, $49.95, (02) 9376 7600
3. Collarless Jackets
An ample bust is amplified tenfold with a large collar in tow. Think clean lines when it comes to layering your separates – minimal lapels and small to nil collars work in your favour.
David Lawrence Dawn linen blend jacket, $279
For the Apple (wide torso, full bust, broad shoulders)
Whilst it may be your natural inclination to gravitate towards baggier silhouettes, think along the lines of the Hourglass – it’s all about creating a waist rather than swamping your shape.
1. Waist Belts
Meet your new sartorial partner-in-crime – again, cinching to create a waist is key. Dresses, coats, knits, you name it – belt it.
David Lawrence Sadie belt, $59
Forever New Lilianna hexagonal buckle belt, $19.99
2. Wide-leg Trousers
Flat fronted, wide leg trousers with a broad waistband are heavenly on an Apple shape – it’s a fast track to an Hourglass silhouette. Look for an invisible zip (preferably on the side, rather than the front) to streamline even further.
David Lawrence Maya wide-leg linen pants, $179
Topshop Wide Leg Trousers by Love £28.00
3. Shift Dresses
Your figure adores structure, so a shift dress nips and tucks in all the right places. Creating a vertical line from shoulders to hem whilst cleverly highlighting the waist is a simple, no-fuss solution for day to night.
H&M sleeveless dress, $24.95
David Lawrence wool blend dress, $279
For the Rectangle (narrow shoulders and hips, wider torso and waistline)
Your figure is straight and slender, yet with a little clever styling you can create curves visually in a snap.
1. Fluted & Bell Sleeves
Curves need not always be created at the waistline – a little volume on a sleeve goes a long way. Pair it with a sleek and simple pencil skirt for instant shape.
Ellery Sigmund top, $840, David Jones
H&M lace top, $34.95
Combine this silhouette with a v-neck with a nipped-in waist and you’re nipping at the hem of an Hourglass. Make the most of those pins in a skinny-leg style.
Country Road utility jumpsuit, $199
Zara jumpsuit, $49.95, (02) 9376 7600
3. Asymmetrical Stripes & Silhouettes
Styling trickery at its finest – asymmetrical stripes and clever patterns create shape without having to lift more than a zipper. Keep your accessories simple so as not to distract from your (minimal) styling handiwork.
Witchery asymmetric skirt, $149.95
Seed stripe scoop skirt, $69.95
For the Carrot (broad shoulders, fuller bust, small waist, narrow hips)
Your athletic figure may seem slightly on the tomboy side of the fence, but those angles work beautifully to create a feminine physique.
1. Flared Skirts & Trousers
Contrary to the Pear, it’s a party down below for you – flared skirts and voluminous trousers seamlessly balance your shape. Keep up top simple in a scoop or v-neck (no high necks or boatnecks – they’ll widen your torso).
Seed crepe edge tube skirt, $149.95
H&M wide suit trousers, $59.95
Baggy, oversized pieces hang off your frame – stick to pieces cut sharply to your silhouette (just skip the shoulder pads).
Topshop Wrap Front Blazer Dress, £65.00
Witchery sateen pants, $99.95
For moments when your mood is a little softer, try draping – it adds a sense of curve and shape to your figure without adding bulk.
Witchery wrap front skirt, $99.95
Zimmermann silk drape long dress, $520
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