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Different shapes require different styles.
Choosing the one standard dress for a group of bridesmaids with different body shapes isn’t an ideal situation for any bride before her wedding day.
Rather than shortening hems, using an unlimited amount of double-sided tape, or getting a dress tailor-made, choose from a gown which is sure to suit all the girls in your bridal party.
Stick to a figure-hugging dress which doesn’t come with layer-upon-layer of fabric along the front, back, or sides. This could only look overwhelming on a petite frame, and it’s actually best to keep the silhouette simple.
Choose a dress which cinches in at the middle, since it creates the illusion of a slim waistline. Pleated gowns look amazing on this figure, since they hug the hips, and accentuate key areas without feeling too overwhelming.
Create the illusion of curves with a dress which highlights your waistline, and is filled with lots of tulle and layers on the lower half. A peplum style is perfect for creating a curvy waistline and hips.
Enhance your chest with a gown that draws particular attention to the neckline. A halter-neck dress is fantastic because it keeps everything in place, and won’t feel like it’s loose on your body.
Also known as an hourglass body shape, there are many different ways to comfortably flatter your body as a bridesmaid. Choose a strapless, sweetheart dress which is tailored around the bust, and fits like a glove around your waist. A corset is another flattering design which suits a pear-shape, since it draws attention to the upper-half of the body.
Image via Allure Brides, Etsy, Style Kadin, The CW, SGFD, London Fashion
Want to make your next bikini or bathing suit really pop? Sometimes it can all come down to picking the shape, style and colour which flatters your assets the most. Since there are so many styles out there to choose from, read-up on our guide to choose the best one for you and your body shape.
A typical hourglass shape is defined by a cinched waist and more shapely hips and legs. Why not try a string bikini? The style will flatter both the top and lower part of your body by drawing attention to the stomach, back and legs. The strings work to elongate the legs and give the illusion of a slimmer and taller physique. Stay away from boy-shorts or larger bottoms since these will only make an hourglass look wider.
With other famous pears such as Jennifer Lopez and Eva Mendes, this body shape is widely recognised by a small chest and tiny waist which is often smaller than the hips. The key is to draw attention to the upper body by wearing embellished pieces or patterns. For bottoms, choose full briefs equipped with a string at the waist which are darker, since they will balance out your shape. Stay away from halter-neck tops which will only make the bust and upper body look smaller and less proportioned to the bottom half.
Apples are known for their full bust, undefined waist and often slimmer legs. All the weight is usually carried on the upper part of the body, mostly in the bust. Tankini’s are a great option for hiding any insecurities such as a troublesome middle section or an undefined waist. They are basically long shirts with a spaghetti-strap or a halter neck which flatters a large bust. As for a bikini bottom, choose a style with ruffles or extra material since this will draw attention to the lower half of the body such as slimmer legs. Stay away from bandeau styles which will only make the bust look more pronounced.
This body shape is often very petite all over, and with little or no curves. Signature characteristics include a small bust, hips, legs and waist. The interesting part about the ruler is that they can wear almost any bikini or bathing suit and it will flatter their body. If you do wish to create the illusion of a curvier figure, choose a style with specific details or high-waisted bottoms which will automatically become the focal point of the entire look.
The full figure
Finally, the full figure mostly consists of a bigger bust, curvy hips with round legs and thighs. Very similar to the hourglass, although does not have quite a defined or tiny waist. Halter-neck or V-neck one pieces are a great option since they are designed to flatter a fuller figure, offer support to the bust and give the illusion of a smaller waist. Stay away from boy-shorts, and detailing such as ruffles and patterns since this will only emphasise the hips more than any other body part.
Image via Fit Sugar
Probably one of the most difficult factors to accept about yourself is realising your true body shape, then buying clothes which reflect this sentiment. Makeover queens Trinny and Susannah compiled a list of common body shapes which all women could identify with. These include 12 distinct shapes which act as the very foundation for selecting the best clothes to have you looking your best.
The apple is defined by a round tummy which acts as the focal point for the entire body. This is generally the largest part of the body, which is usually accompanied by a flat chest and is the most difficult area to find flattering clothes for. Rather than sticking to oversized tops and dresses to drape over your entire body, look for clothes which highlight the chest but drape over the middle section. Keep away from anything bulky such as puffy jackets, leather and coats which could backfire.
This body shape is usually defined as having non-existent hips and a barely-there waist. Rather than choosing baggy clothes which highlight this boxy shape even more, choose clothes which are made to emphasise or create a sexy waist. If you seem to have a complex about your tummy area, choose tops which slightly drape over the middle section, but aren’t overwhelming or too long. Feminine shoes will also add a sophisticated element to your look.
Probably known as a classic tomboy shape, the goblet is easily identified by it’s broad shoulders and straight hips. The plus side is that this body shape usually has legs for days, and playing up these feminine features is a great way to make this shape work. Invest in fitted jackets which cut off at the waist, giveaway any baggy pants and buy an assortment of body hugging skirts.
Think Marilyn Monroe with lots of feminine curves in all the right places and a tiny waist as well. Although a large chest and hips could turn sour if you’re unable to find flattering clothes. Accentuate your curves with fitted dresses and pencil skirts, while it’s best to avoid anything that’s loose fitting.
This body shape is basically the same as an hourglass which we previously mentioned, although on a taller frame. The vase will usually carry a larger chest area so it’s best to downplay this and keep it simple and classy. Show off hips by wearing pencil skirts, straight-legged jeans and fitted shirts which compliment the chest area. Avoid sleeveless tops as this could make the look quite frumpy.
Most similar to the goblet body shape, but working with a curvier waist. It’s easy for a cello shape to wear pleated skirts since they work well with their sensuous curves, but often a hassle to find a great pair of jeans. Instead choose wide legged trousers which give the illusion of longer and leaner legs.
This classic shape is what most women seem to identify themselves with; a small bust, emphasised hips and rounder thighs. Pears have great shoulders so it’s always best to find shirts and jackets which are tailored to compliment this feature. Long A-line skirts work like magic against a pear-shaped body, but try to avoid pencil skirts at all cost.
Quite similar to a pear-shape, the skittle focuses on a smaller bottom although carrying rounder thighs. This shape is a little easier to work with since the top is in good proportion to the bottom half of the body. If you’re feeling self-conscious about your legs, try to draw attention to the top half by wearing interesting patterns and colours. Avoid short jackets that cut off above the bottom.
The bell is defined as having small shoulders, a petite waist and a larger bottom half. To make this body shape work like a charm, try to balance out the top and bottom halves, instead of simply covering up areas which you dislike. For the top half, try feminine styles such as a slight V-neck top and cowl neck jumper. As for the bottom, work with classic patterns and monochrome colours which aren’t too overwhelming or distracting on the eye.
Another popular body shape, the column seems to have shoulders which are the same size as hips, a tiny waist with lean legs. Try to introduce some shape with your choice of clothing and keep away from shapeless outfits. Peplum tops, cropped trousers and statement accessories all give the illusion of a curvier figure. Avoid wearing body-con dresses or crop tops which will only make you look shapeless.
Prominent on petite women, the lollipop figure is well known for it’s long legs, large bust and slim hips. The best way to make this figure work is to balance proportions and emphasise the bust in a subtle way. Invest in detailed skirts with colours and patterns, avoid chunky knitwear and ideally wear dresses which are cinched in under the bust.
Lastly the cornet is a primarily boyish figure which has long legs, broad shoulders and a smaller bust. Fitted clothes will be your new best friend, and will create a defined waist. Look out for wrapped knitwear or tops that cinch in at the waist. Avoid anything that drapes across the entire body, and anything with shoulder pads.
Image via akamommagazine.com
By Felicia Sapountzis
Does anyone actually enjoy shopping for swimwear? The unflattering changing room mirrors, the images of bikini-bearing supermodels planted on the walls of every swimwear store and the bright shop lights that highlight every lump and bump have an uncanny ability to make us want to run away from the shops and wear last year’s unflattering cossie.
Katherine Hancock, founder and designer of popular swimwear brand Ebony Louise, says “every woman can look beautiful and feel great with the right swimwear”, so follow her tips on how to choose the right swimwear for your body shape.
Women with pear-shaped bodies exhibit hips significantly wider than both their waist and bust. Draw attention away from a bottom-heavy figure with an empire-line swimsuit or a two-piece with a printed top half and generous block colour bottoms. “This will slim the bottom half of your body and create interest around the top half,” says Katherine.
Women who have apple-shaped bodies will have a waist substantially wider than their hips, and equal to or nearly as wide as their bust. “Skip the skimpy bikini and opt for a flattering one piece,” said Katherine. A one piece swimsuit will balance everything out, especially if it’s a single block colour.
An hourglass shape refers to those women that have a waist smaller than both their bust and hips. If you are one of these lucky women, you can pretty much wear anything and it will look flattering! “A sexy bikini will show off and accentuate your curves”.
Straight shaped women have bodies that are essentially the same width from the chest to hips, with minimal curve. It is recommended that women with straight body shapes opt for swimsuits with lots of detail such as pretty patterns, ruffles or ties. “Patterns and added features like ruffles create the illusion of curves,” Katherine says.
Of course, you should wear the swimsuit that you feel most comfortable in. Katherine’s mantra is: “Confidence goes a long way – if a woman is confident in her swimwear, she will always look flawless.”
Bikini? One-piece? Tankini? What’s your favourite swimwear style?