The Body Shape Masterclass – Dress To Enhance Your Best Features

Dressing For Your Body Shape

Mastering the art of dressing for your body shape is a transformative skill that can revamp your wardrobe and boost your self-esteem. By understanding how to accentuate your best features and complement your unique figure, you can feel like a whole new person when you step out in an outfit that fits you perfectly. Some styles and designs can flatter your figure and make you feel more confident and beautiful, whether you’re an apple, a pear, an hourglass, or a violin.

With simple tips and tricks, you can learn to love and showcase your body in the most stylish and flattering way possible. So, don’t settle for ill-fitting clothes that don’t do justice to your curves or shape. Take control of your wardrobe and self-image by exploring different cuts, fabrics, and styles that work best for your body shape and size.

Happy woman of an apple body shape in a yellow dress on a pink background

Your Height And Bust Measurements

First, you need to take accurate measurements to determine your body type. The first two measurements you’ll need are your height and bust.

Remove your shoes and any bulky clothing that could affect your measurements. Stand against the wall with your back straight and your heels together. Place the tape measure on the floor, making sure it’s flush against the wall, and then use a pencil to mark the spot on the wall level with the top of your head. Measure the distance from the floor to the mark on the wall to determine your height. Getting somebody else to take this measurement for accuracy is best.

Next, use a flexible measuring tape to measure your bust measurement accurately. You should wear a non-padded or no bra to get the most accurate measurement.

Begin by standing straight with your arms relaxed. Wrap the measuring tape snugly around the fullest part of your bust, ensuring it’s straight and parallel to the ground. The measuring tape should sit comfortably against your skin without being too tight or loose.

Note the measurement in either inches or centimetres, rounding up to the nearest half-inch or centimetre. Again, as you have to have your arms straight, it is best if you are measured by somebody else. Many department stores and lingerie shops will offer this service. 

Once you have your bust measurement, you can find the perfect bra size and ensure your clothing fits properly. In addition, remember to measure your bust regularly, as it can change due to weight fluctuations or hormonal changes.

woman taking bust measurement for her body shape analysis

The Waist And Hip Measurements

Next, we need your waist and hip measurements. First, find the narrowest part of your waist. This is the area between your ribcage and your hips, usually the smallest part of your torso. To locate it, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend to one side. The crease that forms is your natural waistline. You can also try placing your hands on your hips and then tilting to one side—the area between your fingertips is usually your waist.

Again, a flexible measuring tape is the best tool for this task. The tape should be at least 60 inches or 150 centimetres long and about 1/4 inch or 0.5 centimetres wide. If you don’t have a measuring tape, use a string or a ribbon and then measure it with a ruler.

Take the measuring tape and wrap it around your waist just above your belly button. Ensure the tape is snug but not too tight and parallel to the floor. It should fit comfortably around your waist without digging into your skin.

Once you have the tape in place, note the measurement where the tape measure meets itself. Read the measurement in inches or centimetres and record it accurately to the nearest quarter inch or half a centimetre.

Finally, we need your hip measurement. Find the fullest part of your hips, which is usually around your buttocks, and place the measuring tape around that area. Ensure the measuring tape is parallel to the ground and snug but not too tight. You should be able to fit a finger between the tape and your skin. Depending on your measuring tape, take note of the measurement in inches or centimetres.

Measuring the fullest part of your hips rather than at your hip bones is essential, as this will give you a more accurate measurement for assessing your clothing size and body shape. Additionally, it’s a good idea to measure your hips periodically, as changes in body shape can occur due to factors such as weight loss or gain, pregnancy, or ageing. By keeping track of your hip measurements, you can ensure that you always choose the right clothing size and dress and enhance your body shape.

a woman choosing between two outfits on a yellow background for her body shape

Creating Balance With Colour And Fabrics

Use your measurements to determine which body shape you are. This post will help you ascertain which body shape you are closest to. Alternatively, book a consultation with me to discuss it in person.

When dressing for your body shape, colour can be a powerful tool to accentuate your best features and create a balanced look. This will help you understand which areas you want to highlight and which you want to downplay.

Once you know your body shape, consider your best features and choose colours to highlight them. For example, if you have a small waist, wear a belt in a bright or light colour to draw attention to it.

Use dark colours to slim down your look. Dark colours like black, navy, and dark grey can create a slimming effect. Use these colours on areas you are less confident about.

Use bright or light colours to draw attention: Bright colours like red, yellow, and orange or light colours like white, cream, or pastels can add attention to areas you want to draw the eye towards.

Colour blocking is a great way to create a balanced look. So essentially, use dark colours to downplay areas and bright colours to highlight areas.

However, you should always wear colours that make you feel confident and comfortable. For colour advice, check out this post or my Complete Colour Analysis Book.  Alternatively, for one-on-one help, book a discovery call where we can chat about how you can learn more about which colours will work for you. 

Alongside the use of colour, the choice of fabric can significantly affect how your clothes look and feel on your body. By selecting fabrics that complement your body shape, you can enhance your overall appearance and feel confident in your clothes. A few examples are below;

Hourglass: If you have an hourglass figure, fabrics that hug your figure, such as silk, satin, and jersey, can accentuate your natural curves and create a smooth silhouette. These fabrics have a natural sheen and a flattering fit that highlights your waistline.

Apple: For an apple-shaped body, fabrics with a relaxed and flowy fit, such as cotton, linen, and chiffon, can make you look and feel comfortable. These fabrics drape over your midsection and create an illusion of a slimmer waist. They are breathable and lightweight, making them ideal for casual wear. However, be careful not to add too much fabric, thereby adding unnecessary bulk. 

Pear: With a pear-shaped body, lightweight and drapey fabrics such as silk, chiffon, and georgette can balance the proportions on your top half. These fabrics draw attention to your upper body and create a flattering silhouette. Their soft texture adds a touch of elegance to your outfits. Choose tailored fabrics with a woven structure in trousers or skirts. 

Column: If you have a column body shape, fabrics that add volume and create dimensions, such as wool, tweed, and denim, can give your body a more feminine silhouette. These fabrics add curves to your figure and create the illusion of a more defined waistline. They are perfect for creating a polished and sophisticated look. Add puff sleeves or an A-line or flared skirt to create shape.

Experiment with different textures, patterns, and styles to find what works best for you. Combining your style with fabrics that enhance your body shape allows you to create a wardrobe that makes you look and feel your best.

Think About The Details

Accessories are a versatile and creative way to enhance your body shape and add extra detailing to your outfit. With the right accessories, you can draw attention to your best features and create a flattering silhouette highlighting your unique look.

Belts are a popular accessory used to cinch in your waist and create an hourglass figure. Whether you choose a simple belt that matches your outfit or a statement belt that adds some extra flair, it’s essential to find one that fits well and flatters your body shape.

Jewellery is another great accessory that adds sparkle and shine to your outfit. Statement necklaces and earrings can create a focal point for your outfit and draw attention to your face, while long necklaces can elongate your torso and create the illusion of a longer silhouette.

Scarves are versatile accessories that can be worn in various ways to add extra colour and texture to your outfit. Whether you tie a scarf around your neck, drape it over your shoulders, or use it to create a unique look, scarves can help you create a signature style that flatters your body shape and draws attention away from areas you might be unhappy with.

Shoes are essential accessories that can help elongate your legs and create a more flattering silhouette. Whether you opt for shoes with a pointed toe or a heel, it’s important to find shoes that fit well, are comfortable and reflect your body type.

In summary, using accessories to enhance your body shape is all about finding the right pieces that flatter your figure and draw attention to your best features. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different accessories until you find the perfect combination that makes you feel confident and happy.

Three happy women polaroid
three happy women

Get Professional Help From A Personal Stylist For Your Body Shape

A personal stylist is your go-to solution if you’re still struggling to figure out your body shape and want to look your best. With my expertise, I can analyse your measurements and proportions to determine your body shape. This information is critical to dressing in a way that flatters your figure and emphasizes your best features.

In addition, learning which styles work for your shape helps you make intentional purchases, saving you time and money when creating a capsule wardrobe that works. On top of that, as your stylist, I can help you curate a wardrobe that suits your body shape and personal style, making it easier for you to pick out outfits that make you feel confident and fabulous.

Say goodbye to fashion dilemmas and hello to looking and feeling your best. Book a discovery call today. I would love to meet and chat with you!

What Next?

The information given in the post is the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. If you are embarking on anything new get professional advice if required.

If you enjoyed this post and wish to create a capsule wardrobe, I can help you create one quickly and easily. Get started immediately with one of my personal styling services or book in for a complimentary consultation

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  • A personalised Colour Analysis, a Body Shape Analysis And Style Guide, a Live Wardrobe Edit
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  • The Capsule Closet Stylist Colour Analysis looks at the natural colouring in your hair, eyes and skin tone and shows how you can complement your natural colouring in your clothes. The Body Shape Style Guide teaches you how to make the most of your best assets, hide what you do not like, find clothes that complement your shape, and choose the perfect fit.

Still Not Sure?

Book a discovery call with me where we can discuss colour, style, decluttering, body shapes and much, much more.  I can identify where you most need help and point you in the right direction. 

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I joined Michelle's facebook "capsule wardrobe challenge" in June 2020. I loved her approach of starting off with a concept of what colours and styles you were attracted to, followed by what your lifestyle required functionally. It helped me assess my existing wardrobe with a checklist in mind instead of feeling overwhelmed and indecisive. I found the video format and weekly check-ins easy to follow and explained each stage of building a capsule well. She has been quick to answer any queries I have and to offer her professional stylist's opinion with a gentle manner. I am most grateful for Michelle's overarching aim to help her clients "find their happy place". This membership is about being comfortable in your own skin, not about being super fashionable, and that is exactly what I needed. Thank you for helping me find my confidence again. 😊
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