Dress to Impress: Making the Most of Your Shapely Assets

By on May 8, 2012

By Jodi Lawler –

It’s the basic tenet of any stylish woman but many of us still feel a little lost when it comes to dressing our body shapes. With the new season fast approaching there’s no better time to gen up on your staple sartorial know-how; knowing how to dress your body makes the difference between frumpy and fab, classy and classless and shabby and show stopping. So, if you thought strawberries, apples and pears were just something you’d find atop Carmen Miranda’s head, read on…

Apple shaped ladies are in proportion and tend to carry their weight around the middle. Apples tend not to have a defined waist but often have a fantastic bust or legs. Find your best bit and work to highlight this with your clothes:

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  • Empire line dresses are perfect for hiding your mid section. Bias-cut dresses have the same effect.
  • The wrap dress was made for your lovely apple shape. Highlighting your legs and disguising your tummy, it’ll emphasize all your good bits and leave you feeling a million dollars.
  • Stick to trousers and jeans that are flared or bootleg to balance out the proportions of your body.
  • Tops with V-necks, embellishment around the neckline and detail at the sleeves will draw attention away from your problem area.
  • Statement jewelry is perfect for you – big necklaces and earrings are great for adding a focal point to an outfit.

Pear- If you are a pear-shaped woman you will be bottom-heavy and bigger around your hips and thighs with a flat tummy and a small or average-sized bust. Highlight your little waist and show off that round bottom of yours:

  • A-line dresses work wonders to skim the hips and bottom and will make you look tiny by highlighting your waist.
  • Flares and wide leg trousers in a mid rise are ideal on a pear shape. Stick to muted tones and avoid any detail, pockets or embellishment around the hips.
  • Use color and statement necklines to your advantage and costume jewelry to highlight your tiny upper body.
  • Maxi skirts and skirts with lots of volume are great if you’re feeling a little self conscious of your lower half.

Strawberry shaped ladies are top-heavy with broad shoulders or a big bust and smaller hips. Streamline your silhouette with the following tricks:

  • Bright jeans and trousers are perfect for you. See in the new season with pastels or zingy bright cigarette or tailored trousers.
  • Full and A-line skirts and wide legged trousers add bulk to your lower half and helps create softer lines and a clean silhouette.
  • Shop for dresses that tie at the waist, or pop on a waist-cinching belt to highlight your waist and avoid the dreaded ‘tent’ look.
  • Chunky bangles, rings and stacked bracelets are brilliant for drawing the eye down and are totally on trend for spring.
  • Cardigans help draw attention to your middle and soften your shape.
  • Avoid overly tight or clingy trousers or skirts as they may make you look overly top heavy.

Hourglass- If you’re in possession of a gorgeous hourglass figure – lucky you! Make the most of your itty waist and womanly curves:

  • Wrap dresses are your New Best Fashion Friend and will highlight your figure in all the right places. Wear with opaque pantyhose when the temperature drops.
  • Pencil dresses and skirts ooze sass and womanly allure. Team with high heels and red lipstick for a lovely retro feel.
  • Always highlight your enviable waist with a waist belt.
  • ‘Fit and flare’ styles or A-line shapes look divine on your curves and cling to all the right places.
  • Get the right support under your clothing with good fitting underwear. Get professional measured for a bra and hunt down spanx or control pants for days when you feel a little bloated.

Rectangle- Do you have a long and lean body that would make a supermodel weep? Dress your shape with these tips:

  • Create the illusion of curves by cinching everything in with a waist belt – dresses, skirts, tops, cardigans and coats.
  • Shift dresses look amazing on your slender shape and hang beautifully.
  • Skinny jeans and cigarette pants were made especially for your petite curves and are totally on-trend all year round.
  • Pick tops or jumpers with frills, ruffles and embellishment to add focus to your look.
  • A-line skirts look perfect on your proportions. Team with a slash neck or strap top for a summery look that’s ideal for your body shape.


Jodi Lawler is a fashion writer at Cafe La Moda, the social space for beauty and fashion tips. Visit the website www.cafelamoda.co.uk for more inspirational ideas to leave you looking and feeling fabulous.

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Dress to Impress: Making the Most of Your Shapely Assets