Dressing for your body shape…

You wouldn’t put a round tablecloth on a square table or vice versa, so why do so many women do this to themselves. Our bodies come in all different shapes and sizes and its learning to accentuate the positive that will make you look beautiful and feel amazing.

However, we become all too bogged down with the size issue. It’s about how you look and feel that really counts. Dressing for your shape rather than focusing on size is much more important.

Although eating a healthy diet and exercising is important to stay in shape, it won’t change where the weight is distributed on your body. The real answer lies in our genetics and that is what ultimately determines our body shape.

The good news is that you don’t need to resort to plastic surgery to look good. You simply need to make the best of what you have and chose the right clothes for your body. Forget about trying to look like Beyonce or Victoria Beckham and focus on being the best you can be.

Depending on your body shape, you might carry more weight on a certain area of the body. There is no right or wrong body shape. Here are the four basic body shapes and a little information about each one.

Body Shapes

The apple.

Body traits: The full or apple shape has a round tummy area and there is no waist definition.

Best feature: Your legs.

Your goals: Elongate the torso, show off your legs and downplay your mid-section weight.

If you have an apple shaped body like Lena Dunham:

  • DON’T bring attention to your waist.
  • DO go for v-neck tops. They create the illusion of a longer torso.
  • DO look for v-neck wrap-style tops with cinching on the sides.
  • DO wear low-rise jeans and pants in a straight leg.
  • DO wear shorter skirts to show off your legs. This takes attention away from and disguises the midsection.

The pear.

Body traits: The lower body is larger than the upper, the hip width exceeds shoulder width, and hips and butt are rounded with a defined waist.

Best feature: Shoulders, torso and flat stomach.

Your goals: Add shape to your upper body and down play wide hips to heighten the upper body.

If your body is pear-shaped like Kim Kardashian’s:

  • DON’T wear clothing that draws attention to hips and thighs.
  • DO look for boat neck tops, square and cowl necklines.
  • DO wear strapless dresses. They show off arms and even out proportions.
  • DO experiment with light-coloured tops and dark-coloured bottoms for contrast.
  • DO rock a pair of straight leg jeans.

The hourglass:

Body traits: The upper and lower body have similar proportions, while the waist remains narrow. Any extra weight in the hourglass figure usually lies in the hips, thighs and chest area.

Best feature: Curves, curves and more curves.

Your goals: Show off your curves, find a way to balance your weight and compliment your curves.

If your body is hourglass-shaped like Kelly Brooks:

  • DON’T hide your curves.
  • DO wear fitted dresses.
  • DO wear a belt at the waist to enhance your hourglass shape.
  • DON’T wear baggy clothing.
  • DO wear skinny or straight leg jeans.

The rectangle:

Body traits: The waist, hip and shoulder widths are similar to each other, usually on the slim side.

Best feature: Your arms and legs. Because you don’t need to minimize any body features, you have more freedom than the other body shapes to experiment with different trends and styles.

Your goals: Create curves, show off slender legs and arms.

If your body is rectangular-shaped like Gwyneth Paltrows:

  • DO wear scoop neck and sweetheart tops. It helps create curves.
  • DO wear long jackets to create a lean look.
  • DO wear skinny, low-rise jeans.
  • DO wear tops with collars, ruffles and details to flatter your chest.
  • DO layer It gives your rectangle figure more dimensions.
  • DO wear dresses with ruching. Cinches on sides are ideal.

These are all just guidelines and it is so important to remember that everyone’s body shape is different. You should always try clothes on before you buy them and don’t worry what the size is on the tag. It is all about feeling comfortable and confident in your body.

Happy shopping!

Lisa x

Tip = to find out your actual body shape you need to look in a mirror wearing the minimal amount of clothing. Stand straight, make markings on the mirror with lipstick of the widest and narrowest parts of your body and from this you will clearly be able to define your body shape.

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Coffee Morning at Paperdolls Boutique

I recently took part in the first coffee morning in Paperdolls boutique. It was a real honour to be asked to host their first coffee morning and give a talk on personal styling. I explained to the group a little about colour, how to determine individual colouring and body shapes. It was good fun and I hope the guests enjoyed it as much as I did. Aishling also had coffee, tea and some sweet treats courtesy of Sweet Serendipity which were amazing. Paperdolls are hosting a series of coffee mornings over the next few weeks; make sure to pop into Aishling on Drawbridge Street for more information on their upcoming events.

Here are a few pics from the morning…

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Spot on style

Lisa x