Creating the illusion of an hourglass shape is the biggest step you can take in obtaining your most attractive look. This is achieved by keeping your top and bottom in proportion and having clothes cinched in, at least slightly, at the waist. Rather than wearing loose, shapeless clothes, look for tops and blouses with seams, darts or pin tucks that will provide you with some shape. Do not assume these styles will be uncomfortable. As long as they are not too tight, they should work well even for the most active woman. An easy suggestion – hold your top or blouse up on the hanger – if it is perfectly square, it is not going to provide your most flattering look. However, a top with some shape built in, will be a great choice! A small amount of lycra or spandex in the material provides structure, which can be a plus. Avoid thin material, as it tends to be clingy and can emphasize those places you don’t want noticed.
If you want to appear thinner, consider wearing clothes which will elongate the neckline. These include tops and dresses that show some skin at the neck; for instance, V-necks, scooped out necklines and blouses with several of the top buttons left open. Avoid turtlenecks and tops that come up close to the neckline -these tend to cut the neck in half and can make you appear heavier than you are. Also, to elongate the neckline, avoid short and choker style necklaces -opt for ones with a little more length.
When putting together an outfit, concentrate on creating ONE focal point. Whatever the eye is drawn to will be a focal point – such as shiny material, bright colors, large print and even bold pieces of jewelry. You do not want to put one of these focal points on your least favorite feature, for obvious reasons. Since a color change anywhere on your body will draw attention, do not have these changes meet at your largest area. A different colored top and bottom should meet either slightly above or below that point.
Too many focal points create a distraction and end up competing against one another. Keep this in mind when it comes to your accessories as well. If you are wearing a striking piece of jewelry, it is best to downplay the other pieces you are wearing. Be sure and keep your accessories like belts, purses and jewelry in proportion with your size. A larger woman can carry off larger bags and bolder jewelry, whereas, a small framed, petite woman may look overwhelmed with accessories that are too large for her.
Remember, the lines, colors, textures and patterns of all your clothes create an illusion. Strive to use these illusions to your best interest…sending out the impressions YOU choose to send!
About Karen Boggs
Helping women determine the best styles for their shape and size is the goal of style consultant, Karen Boggs. Founder of Renew You, LLC, Boggs works with clients through one-on-one shopping sessions and closet consultations. Along with corporate training on professional dress in the workplace, she enjoys speaking to various women’s groups. Boggs has contributed to a variety of publications including Indianapolis Woman and Enjoy! For more information please visit www.renewyoustyle.com.