Health & Wellness Articles

Clothes That Flatter Every Body

How to Choose the Best Fashions for You

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Fashion comes and goes, but style is timeless. The best way to always look your stylish best is to learn which silhouettes flatter your body type. When you highlight your assets, you'll feel more confident and your beauty will radiate from within. So whether you've recently lost weight or just want to update your wardrobe for a fresh, new look, read on for some shopping rules that will make your trip to the mall fun and successful.
How to Figure Out Your Body Type
To figure out what type of body you have, stand in front of a full-length mirror. Imagine drawing a line around yourself on the glass. What shape is left behind? Most women are one of 4 common body types: pear, apple, hourglass or rectangle.
Your Body Type: Pear Shape
If you have a smaller bust and arms, a well-defined waist and tend to carry weight in your hips, butt and thighs, you're probably a pear shape. This body type is the most common, so it should be easier for you to find clothing that flatters your figure! When dressing for a pear-shaped body, you should try adding a bit more volume up top by choosing pieces that minimize your bottom half to help balance everything out.
What to Wear: Draw attention away from your extra-curvy lower body by highlighting what you've got from the waist, up. You can do this by choosing jeans and trousers that are darker in color, and pants with lower, thicker waistbands to help minimize your bottom. In order to visually add more weight to your bust, shoulders and arms, look for tops that are slightly A-line with details like stripes, polka dots and other eye-catching embellishments. A sweetheart neckline is also a good bet because it will enhance your bust, drawing the eye upward. Low-slung tunic tops are also great for pear shapes! These trendy tops minimize the look of wider hips. Scarves and belts are also good accessories for you, but make sure you wear them just below your natural waistline in order to create a look of more weight on top as well.  
What not to Wear: Pear shapes should avoid faded jeans as they bring more attention to the hips, waist and butt. Tops that cling to your body tightly may sound like a good idea since they accentuate your smaller top half, but they'll also make your bottom half look even bulkier--so skip them! You should also minimize any attention-grabbing details on your pants, like extra pockets and big prints. Pockets and busy patterns create the look of additional weight, which will result in your body looking disproportional.  
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About The Author

Natalie Nichols Natalie Nichols
Natalie lost nearly 30 pounds the SparkPeople way before becoming a health and beauty contributor to the site. A self-proclaimed "girly girl," Natalie couldn't bear to break a sweat when she was younger, but now can't imagine living a life without exercise. In her spare time she practices yoga, enjoys cooking and stays involved in her community. Leading by example, she hopes to inspire others to live healthier and happier lifestyles, too.

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Member Comments

  • I was a pear shape in my younger heavy years. The apple shape started coming on 20 years ago I guess. But the straght pants leg advise bugs me because my legs have ALWAYS been my heaviest part even as a teenager - I never had pretty and thin legs or ankles or calves even when I lost weight as a teenager. They are not my "asset" as far as window-shopping (in other words, the guys didn't come a-running because they thought my legs looked good.). Soooo plus there's the comfort factor because most straight legs are cut real close to the leg, and when I sit down etc, then I feel like I'm in a sausage casing. These days I'm enjoying the new pull on long skirts (especially the ones that are not slit up the sides.) - 5/1/2016 1:56:50 AM
    This is great advice! A lot of women don't like fashion or shopping, I know I was in the same boat. It can be hard finding clothes that compliment your figure sometimes, but I actually started taking some clothes of mine to a tailor. Having them adjusted makes a world of difference! Clothes that fit right feel much better, too. - 10/20/2015 9:26:36 AM
    Renee, you can achieve a similar result to a v neck (which is really just to balance your shape) by wearing a long necklace with a higher neck shirt. - 9/22/2015 6:54:35 AM
  • I'm an apple shape and I am so tired of hearing v-necked tops are great. I look absolutely terrible in a v-neck unless it's a blouse with a collar. Forget sweaters and knit tops with v-necks. When are people going to realize that it's not a "one size/style fits all. I have enough trouble shopping for clothes without having that kind of advice thrown up in my face. - 5/22/2015 12:57:18 PM
  • So all but the apple shape say "well-defined waist"...I don't have a well-defined waist because I'm trying to lose weight, but I think I have big hips so am I a pear shape? I still can't figure out my body type. - 5/21/2015 9:04:48 PM
  • Is it better for a apple shape to wear dresses or skirts and tops? - 5/21/2015 3:46:12 PM
  • How to choose the best fashions for you, non-body-shaming edition: Find clothes that you like and are comfortable in. Wear them, and ignore the haters. - 5/21/2015 2:37:31 PM
    This is also a great resource to help you find the perfect clothes for your body,
    k4eu - 10/28/2014 11:03:01 AM

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