No matter how much money you have, if you don’t buy clothes that flatter your shape, you’ll end up looking like you don’t care about your appearance. It’s fine to splurge on a $300 pair of jeans, but if they make your rear end look like you’ve been spending too many nights alone with the Hé¤agen-Dazs, why bother?
Our advice: put away that credit card, give yourself a long, honest look in the mirror to determine your true body type, and then follow these tips to flaunt”not fight”your shape.
If you’re¦ pear-shaped or bottom-heavy
The goal: You’ve got luscious hips but a smaller chest, so you need clothes that will flatter your breasts and draw attention away from your bottom half. Think Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
Do: Go for boot cut or fuller leg pants to even out your look. Flared skirts will look fantastic on you. Try the old trick of a darker bottom and lighter top for balance “ it really does work. Wrap dresses will be very flattering for you, too.
Don’t: Wear tapered pants or clothes with side pockets “ these will only make you look wider. Strapless dresses are also a bad idea: they’ll give you an unflattering triangular shape. No empire waists, either – go for a defined waist to draw attention to your breasts. And never, ever wear pleats.
If you’re¦ Top-heavy
The goal: When you have large breasts but no hips, you want to wear clothes that skim, not hug, your figure. It’s fine to draw attention to your girls, but you also want to balance out your shape so you don’t look like you’re about to tip over. Think Scarlett Johansson or Salma Hayek.
Do: Wear a structured jacket (just make sure you can button it without the fabric straining over your breasts). Tulip skirts will look great on you, and these work well for balancing your figure. Accessorize with great earrings rather than a necklace, since you already have enough attention going on there, if you know what we mean.
Don’t: Wear tops with delicate features, such as tiny ruffles or spaghetti straps. The same goes for tops with a high neckline. Also try to avoid anything with a high or empire waist “ you’ll look even more top-heavy.
If you’re¦ Round or apple-shaped
The goal: If your body is very rounded, with small shoulders and more girth through your breasts, hips and stomach, you want clothes that aren’t too tight, but aren’t in the tent category either. The secret is not to camouflage your body, but compliment it! Think Jennifer Hudson or Kelly Osbourne.
Do: Try out v-neck cardigans to flatter your breasts, and pencil skirts to show off your legs. Tulip skirts will be very flattering on you. Single button jackets will show off your waist, and empire tops and dresses will skim your curves. Also go for fitted coats.
Don’t: Wear tight or wide cut pants, which will only make you look wider than you actually are. Forget the pleats, and don’t bother with high-waisted garments either.
If you’re¦ Straight up and down
The goal: If you are very thin or very athletic you want to wear clothes that will give you a little curve and femininity. Look to Keira Knightley and Hilary Duff.
Do: Go for chiffon dresses, which will give you a softer shape. Pair them with delicate heels to highlight your slim ankles. Waist-defining belts will work wonders for you, giving you a nice curve. Wear jackets with lots of feminine detail (beading, beautiful buttons) that nip in at the waist.
Don’t: Go braless, even if you don’t really need one. A well-fitting bra will give you a more flattering, feminine shape. Be careful of heavy, chunky accessories that might overwhelm your shape. Skinny jeans, leggings or jeggings are great (and you can pull them off), but don’t forget to add a top with a little shape “ look for small shoulder pads or a jacket with structure and detail. You don’t want to look like a stick.
If you’re¦ Very curvy
The goal: Are you shaped like an hourglass? Work those curves “ just look at Beyoncé© or Jessica Simpson. Learn to make the most of your great body.
Do: Draw attention to your fabulous curves with belts “ don’t be afraid to cinch in that waist and accentuate your figure. The wrap dress will look fantastic on you, and so will strapless dresses. Single-button jackets will also play up your curves.
Don’t: Accentuating one body part too much and throw off your perfect balance. Since you are curvy, the danger is that you can lean in one direction too much and end up giving yourself a bottom-heavy or top-heavy look. Balance color, fit and style while choosing your outfits. Wear clothes that are fitted but not too tight.