How to Strategically Dress Your Body Type: Pt 1

strategic dressing

"Does this make me look fat?"

Ahh, yes. The dreaded question. We've all been there. And no, I'm not fat shaming anyone; I'm not fat phobic. I don't even like the word "fat." But I'm trying to make a point. 

I think we all have preferences for how our body looks in clothes. And if you don't, this post probably isn't for you.

If you do have a preference for how your body looks in clothes, then welcome. This post is definitely for you. 

There is no one body type. There isn't one that's better than the other or one that's worse. I think clothes should celebrate your body shape—no matter what shape that may beso this post is all about doing just that

Getting dressed in the morning is so much easier when you have a general idea of what you can put on and feel good in. Like I've said before, if your clothes don't make you feel good, then you need to reevaluate your clothing situation.

The most important thing about about style is how it makes you feel. 

Have you ever put on something from your closet and thought, "Was I high when I bought this?"

Me too.

I'll be honest, not a great feeling. The goal of my Style 101 series is to teach you how to style yourself and closet with items that inspire you, that make you look your best, and that make you feel like a damn smoke show. 

This post (and others) may seem a little self-indulgent, but that's what I want to get through to you: IT'S OK. It's ok to take time for yourself, it's ok to take pride in your appearance, and it's OK to give a &%*# about what you look like. 

So onto what you all are waiting for. How to style your body ...

... If you're hourglass

If you're shaped like a Kardashian, then this is the category for you. Are your hips and shoulders approximately the same width? Do you have T & A? Are your thighs full but more narrow than your lower hips?

Check. Check. And check. I'm a modified hour glass so this applies to me, too. (I look like Kim minus the surgery.)

Though this body shape is very much en vogue at the moment, it's still not impossible to dress it poorly.

Do you ever seem Kim K and think, "Um. Is she preggers again?" No, silly, she had a surrogate; she just chooses trends over body consciousness sometimes. And that's fine. But when you see her in her signature curve-hugging looks, that's when you know Kimmy's figure hasn't changed. 

This body shape is known for its balanced bust to hip ratio and smaller waist. This is the most textbook evenly proportioned body type, but like I said: it's still easy to reach for styles that work against this body type than with it. 

If you're an hourglass, you want to accentuate your naturally smaller waist and complement your curves. 

I struggle so hard in winter because I have to style myself in sweater after sweater. I get compliments DAILY on how well sweaters fit me, but trust me: it's all about strategic dressing. 

(Read this post for more sweater tips.)

For this body type, you have to make sure you don't lose your waist. Because if your curves take over, you can look more like a clock than an hour glass. 

Styles to avoid: Pairing oversized cardigans with loose tops, tunics, shapeless sweater dresses, most maxi skirts, babydoll dresses, unflattering jeans, tops or bottoms with too much fabric. 

Styles to buy: Bodycon dresses, fitted tops + pencil skirts, skinny jeans + bodysuits, bell bottom jeans and tank tops, cropped tops + high waist bottoms, wrap dresses, fitted jackets and blazers.


... If you're apple

You might be an apple if your shoulders and hips are about even with each other and your waist is the same or wider than those areas. Your chest and waist measurements may be close, but your hips are significantly smaller than your chest. You also might have smaller limbs compared to the rest of your figure.

Sound like you? 

If you're this body shape, you're in good company because Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks, and Angelina Jolie are, too. Wowza!

To balance out your figure, you'll want to reach for clothing items that showcase your arms and legs and minimize your midsection. If you do draw attention to your middle, make sure it is the smallest part. This will help you fake a waist and elongate your torso. 

I would also recommend stocking up on solid tops that aren't form fitting because that will put less emphasis on what you're trying to balance. This goes for any body shape: whatever you're trying to play down always calls for a more simple style. 

Styles to avoid: Busy tops, bodycon dresses, tight sweaters, bodysuits, fitted tops in thin fabrics, super high-waisted jeans, too much neck jewelry. 

Styles to buy: Dresses and tops in firm fabrics (think tweed or linen), tunics, loose fitting tank tops, V-necks, belted trench coats, deep cut maxi dresses, basically any jean (especially bootcut, skinny, and cropped—show off those legs, girl!). 


Which body shape are you? Any style tips I didn't mention? Part two will be live next Friday, so stay tuned for the pear, inverted triangle, and rectangle body shape style guide! Want more posts like this? Tell me in the comments!