“Fashion is an architecture; it is a matter of proportions,” quoted by none other than the meticulous fashion couturier herself, Coco Chanel.
When it comes to dressing yourself, it is important to remember to focus more on what to wear and what to avoid. There is no such thing as the “perfect body,” but unfortunately, in todays society we are surrounded but what is presumed to be the ideal figure: size two, tall and flawless. Luckily for the rest of us, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
It is not necessarily flattering to compare ourselves to pears or hourglasses, and although it may be painful to look in the mirror and determine our body shapes, it is a necessary step to create the illusion of a proportionate figure.
It is important to remember that when first determining your body type, size does not matter. It is all about proportions.
Here I will focus on the most common body types and how to better balance yourself when dressing.
The first body type, I will categorize as top heavy. This figure is more likely to have a heavier upper half, bigger breasts, broader shoulders, sometimes with a tummy, shorter waist and skinny legs. It is important for women with this figure to draw more attention to the bottom half. I do not recommend tight fitting tops. Shaped pieces will be more likely to balance your figure. Since women with this body type are more likely to have bigger breasts, a well fitting bra is vital. It is common and I have seen first hand amongst my friends, that many women wear the wrong bra size. Stores such as Victoria’s Secret offer fitting sessions for free. Thin straps, delicate fabrics or shirts with complicated hemlines are not flattering for this body type. I would also stay away from high waisted bottoms. Skirts and pants with flares are a great fit, and create a more proportionate illusion. Higher shoes with a slimmer heel will compliment your shapely legs. A fitted blazer with minimal buttons under the breasts will help define the curvy shape. Celebrities with this body type: Scarlett Johanson and Salma Hayek.
Next we have the bottom heavy body type which has a smaller top half, smaller waist, larger thighs, calves and legs that do not hold much definition. For this figure, we want to draw attention to the top half! As comfortable as loose shirts may be, some fabrics are incredibly too clingy and this is something that needs to be avoided. We also want to stay away from side pockets and super slim jeans. Vertical patterns and dark colors on bottom are very slimming. Boot cut pants create a nice lean look, and bottoms with a flat front are great for this body type. I recommend light colored tops with big lapels or embellishments along the neckline to even the look out. Cone heels are a great way to balance the lower half. I also recommend straight winter boots. Jennifer Lopez is a great example of a celebrity who is bottom heavy.
The top and bottom heavy body type is a combination of the first two. Think Kim Kardashian. This body has broader shoulders and bigger breasts, a small and defined waist that sits on top of bigger hips (love handles as some would say) and has a booty. Don’t hide behind baggy clothes, this is something to show off! Fitted clothes with v-necks and scoop necks are a must for this body type. Straight leg denim is the most flattering for this figure. I would avoid high waisted pieces and focus more on waist defining tops. Stay away from bulky material around the hips and tummy. And to top off this look, add a pair of wedges or peep toe heels!
Lastly, we have the no curves body type. By wearing draping dresses or patterned fabrics, you will be able to obtain that hour glass figure. Halter tops and skinny jeans also help create a defining look. With this body type, bra size also comes into play. Never over-pad. Also remember to always wear a bra, even under flimsy fabrics, it’s not a classy look. You also want to accessorize. Belts are a great add-on to help define the waist.
Two final things to always remember: black and darker colors recede and horizontal stripes make everything look wider.
Lauren DiCrecchio is a fifth-year student majoring in liberal studies with minors in journalism and Spanish. She can be reached at LD658004@wcupa.edu.