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Dress to Enhance Your Shape

It’s one thing to keep up with the whims of the catwalk, but the key to looking timelessly fabulous is to have an eye for the trends that suit your shape.

In general, most women fall into five key shapes: the pear, the stick, the apple, the lollipop and the hourglass. The first step is to identify which category you fall into. Are you big-breasted with a slender lower body and shoulders? You’re a lollipop. Small on top but carrying extra weight on your bottom and thighs? A pear. Apples tend to put weight on around the tummy area but have slender legs, while sticks have boyish, athletic cinemas and hourglasses have a small waist coupled with a curvaceous bottom and breasts.

The idea when dressing your shape is to accentuate the positive areas of your figure while drawing attention away from the areas you’re not so keen on. If you’re top heavy, for example, then find a well-fitting bra that moulds your bust and avoid tops with ruffles, high neck lines and poorly-fitting blazers. A v-neck line, or ruffles underneath the bust will draw the eye to your waist area, balancing your figure.

Pear shapes will be looking to do the opposite – taking the attention away from the bottom half towards the shoulders and the waist. Clothes to avoid include tapered trousers, pencil skirts and horizontal stripes worn on the bottom half, while vertical-patterned trousers or skirts and darker colours worn below will help balance out your shape. You can also create a more balanced silhouette by broadening out the shoulders with big lapels, lighter colours and an embellished neckline.

Apples and sticks should both be trying to create a classic hourglass shape, with well-fitting clothes and a cinched-in waist coupled with a full skirt or ruffles around the hips and short looks that show-off slim legs. For boyish figures, underwear is particularly important. Go for padded bras that add shape to your figure, and when buying swimwear look for padded bikinis.

Dress to enhance your shape 201x300 Dress to Enhance Your ShapeYellow spot swimwear: underwired padded bikini top

The key to looking great is to know your bodyshape, and learn to hide the parts you’re not so keen on while accentuating the bits you love.

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