My friend Nancy has an incredible closet and knack for dressing herself. She is always beautifully put together head to toe, and a little over a year ago launched her own business, Inside Out Wardrobe Rehab so that she could share her talent with others. I was proud to be one of her first clients and I wrote about my wonderful experience here.
I am dead serious when I tell you that working with Nancy was one of the very best things I have ever done for myself. My closet was a mess of clothes. I had work, pre-pregnancy, maternity, post-pregnancy, old stuff that just needed to go and a bunch of separates that I had no idea how to put together. Nancy helped sort out all of dressing woes.
I have asked Nancy to share some of her best tips for dressing for your body shape here and will cover them in two posts, running today and tomorrow. Ladies, this is invaluable information!
Cardinal rules of dressing:
- Balance is key to dressing proportionate to your body.
- Always dress for what your body type is NOW. Do not think or shop for what is to come – weight loss or gain.
- Get a proper bra fitting.
- Make your outfit pop (not scream) with a key piece that stands out – jewelry, bag, shoes, a print, etc.
- Find an affordable tailor.
There are six common body shapes and knowing which one you are will make getting dressed a lot easier!
1. Inverted Triangle (heavy on top):
- Look for more structure in your clothing.
- Jackets that have a high stance (button hits below the bust line) cinch at the smallest part of your bust line and give you a higher curve to the torso.
- Three button jackets are a large busted womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best friend because they hold in the girls but still provide you with a narrower silhouette.
- Pin-stripes or something that adds a visual interest are great choices for big-breasted women.
- Jean jackets in a dark wash are also a good choice. A bit more boxier but perfect for downplaying the chest.
- Tops and blouses should be V-neck or scoop neck, in order to elongate the neck and create space between your face and chest.
- Balance out larger tops with a streamlined look by adding volume (not bulk) to your lower half.
- A-line skirt and pencil skirts also work well and should hit at or about the knee.
- Wide leg trouser cut are a good choice when it comes to jeans. A lighter wash if you want to distract from the chest area can create a nice balance.
- Petites should choose pointy toe shoes to help elongate the leg and offer the illusion of height.
2. Triangle or Pear-Shaped:
- Most women try to cover their tush; this is not a great idea because you are shortening your legs in the process.
- Look for tops/jackets that have structure and give you a waistline, and sit above the hip. Also, use a lot of color up top to draw attention to your upper body. You can also take advantage of shirts with prominent collars.
- Skirts and pants should go straight down from your hip. A-line skirts in soft drapy fabrics are also a good way to create more balance.
- A high-waisted, slightly wide straight leg trouser with a belt can create a shorter torso and a longer leg line.
- Jeans are important – dark wash, mid-rise trouser jean with a little stretch in it (avoid boot-cut).
- Layering with a structured jacket will balance both halves. Jacket should hit mid-hip.
- Wear accessories that draw attention to your face
3. Apple-Shaped (weight is carried in your midsection):
- Avoid skinny jeans.
- Structured top and bottoms with a bit of volume will help proportionate your midsection.
- Empire waistlines are a great option. Dresses in particular.
- Jackets should hit no lower than the top of the hips.
- Fit the bigger part of you first when shopping for pants and jeans, which should sit on your natural waistline.
- Shoulders should fit squarely on the edge of a jacket.
Tomorrow, I’ll share the remaining three body types: Hour Glass, Extra Curvy and Boy-shaped, so stay tuned…
In the meantime, if you live in Southern California and are interested in booking a consultation with Nancy or have a fashion-related question, please contact her at Nancy@insideoutwardroberehab.com, visit her website or follow her on Pinterest.com/nancchapman.
Photo credit: Andrew Morrell Photography