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A style guide for every shape
by Gina |  Oct 9, 2013

Knowing which styles flatter your figure can save some serious stress in the dressing room, and can also help you to shop smarter.

You know those jeans you couldn't resist that are still sitting in your closet? Or that dress you won't touch until you've lost ten pounds? Instead of trying to fit into something that simply doesn't complement your natural curvature (or lack thereof), do your body a favor and follow this guide for a better fit:

Hourglass
With a va-va voom body like yours, you'll want to select silhouettes that flaunt curves without blowing them out of proportion - or hiding them. Bridgette Raes, author of "Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want," told Real Simple magazine that shapeless tunics, oversized sweaters and boxy dresses just won't do anything for you - in fact, they'll make you appear larger. Alternatively, opt for high-waisted skinny jeans and pencil skirts, which flatter your hips by creating a smooth line. Tack on a belt to blouses, cardigans and frocks that aren't fitted in the mid-section.

What you wear underneath can also have a major impact on your look. She Knows stressed the importance of a good bra with the right amount of support. Oh, and meet your new best friend: the spanx bootsie-yay! comfy corset, which emphasizes your tiny waist.

Pear
This shape is similar to an hourglass, but with wider hips and a more voluptuous bottom. The objective is to show off your small waist and try to amp up your shoulders to create some balance with your lower body. She Knows suggested that you opt for apparel that draws the eye upward. Skirts and pants with busy prints are not ideal, since they'll attract attention in the wrong direction. However, blouses with ruffles and fun patterns on top can help to even things out.

Since you have slender arms and narrow shoulders, wear tops that show them off. A structured jacket with voluminous shoulders balances a curvy bottom. Also, She Knows noted that wide leg pants and A-line skirts tone down curves by creating harmony between your hips and legs.

Rectangle
If your body is straight and narrow, there are plenty of ways to enhance your athletic shape. Avoid extreme styles that are ultra form-fitting or have no shape at all, both of which only make your figure look boyish. Instead, go for garments that play up your top and bottom while hugging your mid section to achieve the illusion of curves. Isaac Mizrahi, creative director of Liz Claiborne, told Real Simple magazine that a jacket that inverts at the waist can make your hips look shapely. Additionally, flounces on sleeves and at the bust of a top or dress make your torso look less linear.

Apple
While your limbs are consistently slender, you tend to be wider in the mid-section. You'll want to focus on flaunting your arms and legs while elongating your upper body - so don't be afraid of sleeveless tops and miniskirts, but do stay away from pieces with a high waist or no structure at the torso. She Knows noted that bootcut jeans promote a balanced look, and monochromatic ensembles are always a safe bet.

For extra help camouflaging your tummy, slip on the shape & slim sculpt activ'wear corrective body slip, which smooths bulges and bumps while slimming you down with a fabric blend that actually facilitates fat burning.

Wedge
A broad chest and shoulders are a key indicator of this body type, which looks like an inverted triangle. According to Real Simple magazine, skinny pants, clinging skirts and bulky, shapeless sweaters are major dont's. However, brightly colored pants, full skirts and wide leg trousers can make your physique look more proportionate.

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