Summer can be fraught with difficulties for us plus sized ladies. There’s the ignominious trip to the beach for starters, with the ever present question: ‘To bikini or not bikini?’
Then there’s the added trauma of what to wear during the day. Do we opt for a maxi dress to cover a multitude of sins, or should we be loud and proud and let it all hang out?
Well ladies, as always, there is an answer, and it is all about maximising your best attributes and disguising the features you are not so happy with.
Stylists use shapes to define women’s figures, these are APPLE, PEAR and RECTANGLE. You can be a mixture of two shapes, which is why you should always try on clothes before you buy them.
Here are our definitions for the basic women’s shapes:
APPLE SHAPES – Women with an apple shape tend to carry most of their weight in their stomach and top half of their body. They have a large chest, big tummy and slim legs.
How to dress as an Apple Shape – The key for apple shapes is to create a waist or draw attention away from a large stomach.
GOOD for Apple shapes
- Pick an empire line or bias cut to disguise your tummy.
- Wrap and maxi dresses really flatter an apple figure.
- Show off your cleavage with a low neckline to keep the eye away from your middle.
BAD for Apple shapes
- Straight tunic or shift dresses only emphasis the apple shape, steer clear.
- If you absolutely have no waist at all, do not try to create one with belts or other waist details, disguise instead.
- Don’t choose fabrics that cling to the figure, you want the material to flow.
PEAR SHAPES – Pear shapes are thicker on the bottom half than the top. They tend to have wider hips, thicker thighs and legs, with a smaller defined waist and narrow shoulders.
How to dress as a Pear Shape – The goal for pear shapes is to get the balance back with the top and bottom half of the body.
GOOD for Pear shapes
- Correct the in-balance by placing the emphasis firmly on your top area.
- Wear brightly coloured or highly patterned tops, or dresses with bold print on the top half.
- Keep the eyes on the top half with large lapels, embellishments or extra detailing.
BAD for Pear shapes
- Tight fitting bottoms will only highlight the larger areas.
- Steer clear of pencil, tube and fishtail skirts, or dresses that have tight-fitting bottom halves.
- If you have larger thighs and legs, stay away from skinny or stiletto jeans.
RECTANGLE SHAPES – Rectangle shapes are as they sound, an undefined waist, straight up and down bust and hips. This is quite an athletic look.
How to dress as a Rectangle Shape – Rectangles need to create shaping and curves, to combat the straight up and down figure.
GOOD for Rectangle shapes
- Silhouette dresses that add the illusion of curves are good for rectangles.
- Asymmetrical shaping distorts the eye from the up and down nature of the figure.
- Any dress with shaping, such as tulip skirts, tiered styles, pleats or handkerchief skirts suit this shape. Or pick ruffles and extras embellishments.
BAD for Rectangle shapes
- Dresses with no shaping that have no waist and sit as a tunic style are bad for rectangles.
- Jeans that are skinny at the bottom are a no go, opt for flares or boot cut to create angles.
- Maxi dresses with no discernible waist should be avoided.