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Shopping isn't always the most enjoyable activity, especially when you are not shopping for the right clothes. Until you figure out which styles flatter your body shape, the whole process can be daunting. Although body shapes vary, most women fall under four main categories: hourglass, rectangle, pear and triangle. Once you learn to avoid certain styles in favor of garments that flatter your particular silhouette, shopping will become a breeze. When picking out clothes, account for your height, weight, build and skin tone.
Women with an hourglass figure will have the least difficulty when it comes to dressing. This is the standard body shape that many designers use when constructing garments. By definition, a woman with an hourglass shape has a full bust, narrow waist, and is generally proportional from any angle. Women with this shape should embrace their curves rather than hide them in shapeless or boxy styles. Billowy tunics, oversized sweaters and unshapely dresses add bulk to a small waist. Pencil skirts and high-waisted pants showcase a narrow waist and take some emphasis off the lower half. Women who are a bit heavier all around should wear comfortable wrap dresses that gently hug their bust and hips.
Tall and Thin
Women who are both tall and thin often have less waist definition. Depending on their weight, they may be top heavy with large chests and thin legs or they may have a shorter neck and longer torso. To eliminate the appearance of a boyish frame, tall and thin women should look for clothes that fit slimly around the waist, and pick skirts or pants that are less constricting on the lower body. Cropped pants, fitted blazers, flared skirts and feminine tops are all flattering garments for this body shape. To eliminate added bulk at the waist area, tall and thin would want to avoid tops that bunch at the waist and steer clear of dresses that are tight all around or have no shape at all.
Women with pear-shaped bodies have narrow shoulders, a small chest, and a wide hip and thigh area. Look for form-fitting tops that hit right at the waist, which will work to flatter the female form. Tops that fall below the waist draw the eye to a larger lower half. A-line skirts and wraps are less constricting than tight styles, which end up highlighting a woman's trouble areas. Choosing dresses and shirts with added embellishments like ruffles help draw the eye away from the lower half and back up to the arms and waist. Dark colors are naturally slimming so leave the bold hues for shirts or jackets. Boot cut and straight leg jeans are two styles that flatter a pear shape.
Triangle-shaped women have wider hips than they do shoulders and torso. Avoid anything shapeless like over-sized sweaters and billowy blouses. Skinny jeans and curve-hugging skirts are other items to avoid. Boat-neck shirts and blouses widen the appearance of the shoulders and pair well with a dark rinse jean to make the legs look long and slim. A work-appropriate outfit would include an A-line skirt. The opposite of this body type is the inverted triangle in which there is a wider distance between the two shoulders than the hips. Women with this shape should away from halter tops, shirts with puffy sleeves and strappy dresses, which exaggerate shoulder width. A simple belt worn at the waist helps create curves.