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Taming those Curves

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ShwetaThe dynamic sisters Shweta and Ruchi Bhatia have one thing in common for sure; their love for fashion. Shweta, a self professed shopaholic also happens to be the Fashion & Beauty Editor at Femina Middle East while Ruchi works in finance.

We get tons of questions about how to dress for the plus size. Dressing for your shape takes patience and involves trying on a lot of clothes. Most people think they are limited when it comes to dressing for your body type but that’s just not true. Identifying and understanding your shape is about knowing what works for the largest and smallest parts of your body. Think of shape identification as a guideline for your best looks.

The most common shapes in women are apple, pear, hourglass, and rectangle. Depending on your height and weight, you can be a blend of two shapes. This is why trying on clothes when shopping is important. Most apple shaped women have large chests, but there are some apple shaped women with small chests and high waists, which can blend in with the pear shape. To help make shopping a little more fun and less strenuous, I’ve decided to do a mini shop for your shape post. I’ve listed the most common characteristics of each of the most common shapes, your style goal and what to buy.

Key Point- Once again, let me say that you can be a blend of two shapes, so it’s not always set in stone that you are 100% an apple shape ora pear shape, but the goal is to get you to see what works for your body based on the shape characteristics. The following are the different body types:

1. AppleApple

The most common characteristics of an apple shape are slim legs, large chest, and you carry most of your weight in your tummy and the top half of your body.

Style Goal – For most apple shapes, creating or defining a waist is key. Since you carry most of your weight in your upper body, it’s important to try and create an illusion of an hourglass shape with your clothes. Show off your narrow hips and slim legs, while drawing attention away from your full tummy. You can create an hourglass figure by placing a belt at the smallest part of your waist, which is under your bust.

What to Buy – Pencil skirts that hit knee length and above the knee, skinny and straight leg jeans, wrap dresses, single breasted jackets that are hip length, printed bottoms, drop waist tops, A-line cuts, and v-necks. Since apple shapes have slim legs shorts work well for your body type. You also want to look for structured and tailored pieces. Belts are your best friend for creating and defining a waist.

2. Pear

PearThe common characteristic of a pear shape is wide hips, thick thighs and legs, small-defined waist, and narrow shoulders. Pear shapes are considered to be the most common on women today.

Note: Some pear shapes can also look like they’re bordering hourglass.

Style Goal – If you’re a pear, your focus is going to be on balancing out your upper body with your lower half. Often pear shapes have a hard time finding bottoms that fit their ample hips and small waist, so a tailor should be on your speed dial.

What to Buy – Flared bottoms, printed & detailed tops, Flat front pants, high-waisted, A-line cuts, long jackets and blazers, bootcut jeans, belts will aid you in showcasing your small waist.

3. HourglassHourglass

This is probably the most coveted shape of them all due to a wellbalanced proportionate body. Common characteristics of an hourglass are large chest, defined waist, and a round, full bottom.

Style Goal – Hourglass shapes, much like the apple, tend to have a large chest. Your goal is to find clothes that fit and flatter your curves. Hourglass shapes also tend to look great in classic cuts and styles.

What to Buy – Hourglass figures can honestly wear just about everything under the sun with the exception of billowy loose tops and dresses. Your figure can get lost in it if you don’t choose the right piece. Your best styles are classic silhouettes like a shift dress, pencil skirts, and peplum. Clothes should be more structured and on the tailored side.

4. Rectangle

RectangleThe main characteristics of a rectangle shape are an undefined waist, same size bust and hips. Women with rectangular shapes can look a little boxy and boyish.

Style Goal – To find clothes that create a curvier shape.

What to Buy – Since the rectangle shape is proportionate you can go for bold prints, ruffled tops, asymmetrical cuts like tulip skirts, tiered styles, heavy knits, peplum, and wide leg pants/jeans.