How to Dress For Your Body Type: The Hourglass
The goal when styling any client is to create a proportional, hourglass shape with clothing. Less than 10 percent of women have this body type — the bust and hip measurements are the same and the waistline measurements have an 8″ differential from the bust and hips . Using our style expertise, we create this ideal silhouette of an hourglass shape flowing into long legs. We draw the eye to features that already play this role and distract the eye from those that do not. We always emphasize the positive!
Now, one would think that since the hourglass is the ideal shape, it would be the easiest shape to dress, right? Wrong! I recently worked with a client with a true hourglass silhouette and she felt like no matter what styles she tried, her clothes were either too boxy or too “Jessica Rabbit.” Stylist to the rescue! During her Closet Audit we got rid of those pieces that just didn’t work for her and I gave her style tips and showed her which pieces work best for her shape so she never says she “feels bulky” or “too sexy for work”.
Whittle the Waist
First and foremost you want to highlight the waist! Look for fitted, tailored pieces. Everything from casual t-shirts to button-down blouses should curve slightly in at the waist. Look for soft fabrics like knits and silk blends because these materials gently drape over natural curves.
Consider a wrap dress. We styled our client in a wrap dress because of how it pulls the fabric in at the smallest part of her waist, highlighting it without adding any extra volume to her bust.
Solid colors work best! Stick with a single, solid color – like Blake Lively’s look – to elongate the silhouette and keep it balanced. Also, wearing prints that are a uniform scale on top and bottom keeps proportions in check.
Stick with mid-rise or high-rise pants. Avoid low-rise, since these make hips appear wider and legs shorter. Avoid bottoms with too many details at the hip. Trousers should have flat fronts and pockets without flaps. Opt for classic skirt and dress cuts. Pencil and a-line skirts and dresses are universally flattering and work well for hourglass figures because they hug curves and keep the silhouette streamlined.
Balance, Balance, Balance
Make sure you don’t draw too much attention in one direction — up or down. For example, when our client asked us if this dress worked for her, we loved that it highlighted her narrow waist. However, the dark stripes along the bottom were drawing a little too much attention down, adding too much volume below the waist. This threw off her balanced, hourglass proportions. We added the statement necklace to draw some attention up above her waist to strategically balance her silhouette.
Create a Vee
Look for v-necks, scoop necks or sweetheart necklines. Narrow necklines – like Scarlett’s – slim the bust and draw eye in toward a narrow waist.
To book appointments with DC Style Factory Stylist Marisa Gonzalez, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.