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How To Dress Your Body Shape

One thing that I’m always, always emphasizing is how important it is know your body type and be familiar with what will best compliment your unique shape.  Knowing how to “accentuate the positive” will make you feel much differently about your body, shop more efficiently, and put your best foot forward.  There really is no “perfect” body–it’s ALL smoke and mirrors.  Here are some tips and tricks to finding what will look best on YOU and I have volunteered my own body to show you difference dressing for your shape makes.

In the comments a few weeks ago, Jessica asked the following:

How do I figure out what to wear for my shape? I get confused. I need rules!

If it’s rules you want, it’s rules you’ll get.

Exhibit A: My {Pear} Body Shape

This is just to add a little visual element and show you the difference that dressing for your body shape can make.  I gots no shame.  I’ve always been a pear shape and will always be one, no amount of diet or exercise will change that–which I am totally cool with.  I’m pretty sure last time I was measured that my hip measurement is at least 10″ bigger than my bust.   You gotta work with what you’ve got.

My pear shape, no push-up bra, shapewear, or tricks.
My pear shape (side view), no push-up bra, shapewear, or tricks.

Exhibit B: My Pear Body Shape + figure flattery

This is just a little example, I really wouldn’t wear this exact outfit out of the house without a cardigan or something.  My upper half is trying to take the attention away from the lower (or just find equal ground).

My pear shape plus push-up bra & tricks to draw the eye up.

How can you learn how to dress YOUR shape?

There are lots of books, magazine articles, and websites devoted to teaching you about dressing your body shape but my personal favorite is Joy Wilson’s Shape Guide because it gets right to point and covers every article of clothing (and ways to cheat and get around the typical “body type” rules).  If you are unsure of your body type, there is a quiz.

Tim Gunn also has some great advice:

More Tips:

  • Take notes from the website and video and keep them on your smartphone, in your closet, and near computer (if you’re an online shopper).
  • Break the rules. Maybe your favorite item of clothing is on the “don’t” list–who cares.  Wear whatever makes you feel best.  Personally, sometimes I like emphasizing my hips and butt in pencil skirt.
  • Modify clothes to make them work for you.
  • Be inspired. When you see outfits you want to recreate, tweak them to fit your style and shape.

So, there you have it.

Do you dress for your body type?  Will you start?  Do you have any body shape tips to share?  Let me know in the comments!

Valerie Rowekamp

Valerie Rowekamp

Valerie Rowekamp desires to live a stylish, soulful, charmed life while inspiring you to do the same. She's exceptionally resourceful, creative, passionate, and has been known to bust a move in the aisle of the grocery store.
Valerie Rowekamp

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8 Responses to How To Dress Your Body Shape

  1. I, too have a pear shaped body, which I recently found out while wedding dress shopping. Because I’m also short (5’2″)with a long torso, I’m always in heels. This help elongate my legs and kind-of thin out my hips/butt. I try to embrace the ass… if you will, lol. I wear pencil skirts to work with a skinny belt, and skinny jeans with a cardigan contently. It usually works!

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