How To Dress To Suit Your Shape
How To Dress To Suit Your Shape

How To Dress To Suit Your Shape

Tall, hourglass, pear-shaped, voluptuous, petite… Bodies come in all shapes and sizes – and it’s important to feel comfortable and confident in yours. That’s why we asked shape expert Anna Berkeley for her advice on dressing to flatter yours.

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“When you’re trying to work out what body shape you have, it’s important to look at key markers. Are your shoulders broader than your hips? Do you take a different size on top and bottom? If you are fuller on the bottom half, you are likely to be a triangular shape and, if you are bigger on top, you are an inverted triangle or apple. If your waist is heavily defined and curvy, you could be a triangle or an hourglass; or if you are straighter all the way through, you’re a column or rectangle. It’s also important to bear in mind that shape changes as we age – an hourglass woman in her twenties is likely to become more rectangular as she matures.” 

“Try to balance the body so that the hips look roughly equal to the shoulders and the body looks roughly the same length as the legs. Taking selfies in your underwear in the mirror can help to see which horizontal parts of your body are more prominent.”

Skirts & Dresses

“Most shapes suit A-line skirts and dresses. They flatter a curvy or a straight-line figure. Using diagonal detail works for minimising any fuller parts of the body – be it a bust, a tummy or a thigh. This is why wrap shapes and tucking are so popular.”

The Suit

“Balancing your shape and proportions enables you to look your absolute best at all times. Think of it like a beautiful painting – the eye wants to see symmetry – that’s all that matters. As a caveat, trends rarely follow these rules so if you avidly follow them you need to let go of looking your best in your outfits.”

Subtle Prints

“The most common concern is around tummies. To try and conceal a tummy, use a pattern as it confuses the eye so it can’t focus on one spot. Clever tucking can help too. Try and create a diagonal line so you cut through the fullness of the belly area. Avoid clothes that are too tight or too loose – neither will help you!”

The Self-Tie Dress

“Tread carefully with belts – it’s an absolute fallacy that they create a waist by themselves; plus, they draw the eye in so you have to be sure they are in the right place. Better to use self-belts and tie them at the back to nip the waist in.”

Premium Brands

“Subscribe to the ‘buy less, buy better’ mantra. I like the premium brands that are known for their quality, make and longevity, such as Max Mara, Joseph, Theory, Harris Wharf, Navygrey, Vince and Victoria Beckham.”

The White T-Shirt

“Each piece needs to be chosen with flattery in mind. So, an easy white t-shirt needs to be in different fabrics depending on whether you’re curvy or straight. It also needs a different neckline depending on your neck length and bust size and a different fit depending on your torso.” 

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