May 30th, 2015

Personal Styling Case Study: Dressing for a Fuller-Around-the-Middle Body Type

Earlier this month I shopped and put together looks for one of my favorite long-time clients. Before we got started this time, she informed me that she had gained a bit of weight due to a hectic work travel schedule and long hours. That weight had settled in her midsection and she wanted to address that up front during our work together. So we got to work employing one of my tried-and-true mantras: dress for where you and your body are at.

If your body type is fuller around the middle, there are a few ways to layer, accessorize, employ print and more that will draw attention away from your midsection and to features you do want to highlight.


1.) Layer a shorter cardigan or jacket over a longer blouse. The longer blouse over the curve-hugging pencil skirt does a great job of giving my client room around the middle. However, it threw her proportions off, making her torso look disproportionately longer than her legs. The shorter cardigan and necklace help draw that attention back up, balancing her silhouette.

2.) Try a dress that shows off your legs as opposed to pushing an hourglass silhouette. My client has fantastic legs so I got her this  ASOS cocoon dress. She was worried that the shape of the dress looked maternity so we accessorized with a long pendant necklace to elongate her neckline.

3.) Do a partial tuck with your top/denim look.  If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of white blazers AND the casual tuck. Boyfriend jeans with a form-fitting top would have made my client feel uncomfortably exposed. A blousier top, half tucked felt both roomier and flattering.

4.) Try a pencil skirt with small print. A high-waist pencil skirt in a solid color would have emphasized her midsection. A pencil skirt with a small print will distract the eye. We bloused her top as well to  draw attention away from/balance her waistline.

5.) I  wanted  to get my client a really feminine dress that flattered her curves. This gorgeous jade green Hobbs fit-and-flare dress does cinch around the waistline,  but the key is it skims instead of clings.

6.)  A blousy wrap top will work wonders. This one is a great layering piece. It also draws attention up to her face and gives her room around the middle.

If you have put on a few extra pounds and some of what you wore before no longer works, never fret. Just a few style tweaks and you’re back in business!

This post is by Rosana Vollmerhausen, chief stylist and owner of DC Style Factory.  Read more about Rosana here. Follow her styling adventures on Facebook and Instagram (@dcstylefactory)! 



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