The main idea of dressing to flatter your shape is to accentuate your attributes and camouflage your non-favorables. It’s that simple! But the simplicity of that idea doesn’t mean that it’s easy. We’re attached to our bodies, so we take every little flaw personally. Be gentle on yourself. No one is perfect. No one.
We all have things we feel insecure about. If you ask any beautiful woman what she doesn’t like about her body, she’d have plenty to say, believe me. I’ve posed the questions in this book to hundreds of women. These questions are also part of my in-person Color, Style, and Wardrobe Consultation. Some of the women I work with are knockouts. You’d never guess they could find anything unfavorable about their looks. And yet we all have things we wish were different. Have you ever met a curly-haired woman who didn’t wish her hair was straight? And vice versa?
We can change some things about our bodies. Like weight, for instance. Most of the women I’ve worked with would love to weigh between five and thirty-five pounds less. Losing weight is difficult, but not impossible. You have to want it bad enough to make some major changes in eating and exercise habits.
Other things about our bodies can’t be changed. We can’t change our height, underlying skin tone, shape of our legs (except to firm them up with more exercise), size of our shoulders, or length of our necks. But there is beauty in our uniqueness.
And, here’s the really great news – we can change our appearance by highlighting our attributes. We can use the basic design principles of color, shape, line, texture, contrast, and focus to vary and alter the appearance of our physical bodies, head to toe.
Straight up and down figures without much definition at the waist fall into the rectangle category. You can work some balancing magic to create an hourglass shape. Here are some tricks:
- Choose dresses, jackets, and tops that taper at the waist to make you look curvier.
- Try to visually widen the shoulders and hips by wearing V-necks, wide collars, and gathered sleeves.
- Wear pencil skirts and pants with wide back pockets.
- Pull in your waistline with a belt, sash, darts, or side panels in a dark color.
- Look for tapered waistlines on everything you wear; all tops, dresses, and even coats.
- Find jackets and cardigans with a fitted shape, hopefully even a peplum flaring out from the waist.
- Try high-waisted pants that will add curves to your shape. Curves are good!
- Accessorize with scarves and jewelry that you love.
- Wear boxy tops like men’s T-shirts or square, cropped jackets. If a piece of clothing is shaped like a box, it will make you look like a box. (Remember, curves are good!)
- Let rolls show through thin fabric; wear a sturdy camisole under tops. (See section on body slimmers in Chapter Nine.)
- Feel that there’s no hope. If you look more feminine, you will feel more feminine.
Marian Rothschild is a certified personal image consultant serving the Denver and Boulder areas, speaker, and author of Look Good Now and Always. Marian teaches successful professionals to have polished presence and confident leadership skills with exquisite intention. Marian coaches on appearance, body language, and communication. Call for a free 20 min. consultation: 720-933-9247.
An excerpt from my forthcoming book, Look Good Now and Always; A do-it-yourself style makeover for busy women, due out on Nov. 18th on Amazon.com. Mark your calendar now, to go on-line and get your copy of this sure-to-be best-seller!
From Chapter 3: Secrets of Shape, Line, and Body Type (Copyright 2014)