steer clear of these style mistakes this summer
Summer clothing can bring make you self-conscious because the clothes get a lot smaller, and you feel, quite literally, exposed. Vulnerable. Naked. In the colder months you wear a lot more clothing. But in summer, not only is there less fabric covering you it’s thinner, sheerer, clingier, and much more revealing, and that can tempt you to find other ways to hide.
Guess what. You don’t need to hide! Your body is perfect just the way it is, and there are better ways to highlight your best assets so you look and feel your best every day. Last week we discussed how to feel more confident in summer outfits, and today let’s talk about the top two summer style mistakes you’re making for your body shape.
This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us Wednesdays at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.
Pears mistakenly believe their hips and thighs need to be covered, when really those glorious curves are some of their best assets. Covering your bottom in a long, oversized shirt doesn’t hide it, ruffles don’t hide your hips in a swimsuit, they add width to them. Women with small busts wear ruffled swim tops to give the illusion of a larger bust, so how would wearing ruffles on your hips diminish your hips?
And on the opposite side, because you tend to have a proportionally narrower torso, some pear-shaped women tend to wear very fitted tops to show off their slimmest half. But, this only accentuates the proportional difference between your two halves and allows your fabulous curves to steal the spotlight. Instead, choose a top that ends before the widest part of your hips and skims your shape.
Let’s look at how these mistakes can affect how you dress your pear-shaped body. Before we look at these examples, I want to be clear that this is not about shaming anyone. Every one of these women are beautiful and lovely, and we’re just using these to demonstrate how difference the details can make.
In the first photo, Jennifer Love Hewitt is wearing a long oversized top, and it’s doing her figure no justice. It draws the spotlight down toward her hips instead of allowing all of her to shine. The next picture shows her wearing a top that skims and follows her shape without being oversized.
In the third picture, she’s wearing a very fitted top that shows her fabulous torso, but it does accentuate the contrast between her upper and lower half and again allows her hips to steal the spotlight. The fourth picture shows Jennifer Lopez wearing a flowy blouse that fits, adds volume to her upper half, but isn’t super tight. She’s accentuating her waist and she looks very balanced in this.
With a rectangle body shape, you have perfectly balanced shoulders and hips. When you wear an item that visually or literally widens one or the other, you throw your natural balance off. If you add visual or literal volume to your hips or shoulders, add it to the other as well, and make sure your waist is defined.
Rectangle body shapes are enviably easy to dress because more clothes are cut for your straight, balanced shape. It’s tempting to wear body-skimming clothes from head to toe, which you may love! And if you do, that’s perfect for you. But if you want to create a curvier silhouette, then adding some volume at the hips and shoulders while defining the waistline will do that for you.
Here we have the lovely Queen Letizia of Spain. In the first picture her outfit is pretty shapeless from top to bottom and we can’t really see her shape. The second picture has added a little volume at the shoulders and the hips, and it’s created a curvy silhouette. None of her clothing is super tight.
In the third picture she has visually added volume to the bottom without adding it to the top, and she’s also wearing a tighter top that isn’t giving any illusion of curve to her waistline. The fourth picture shows that she’s added visual volume to both her upper and lower halves. Her clothes have a little room to them, and she’s accentuated her waist to create a curvy look. Again, she looks beautiful in all of these outfits and this is all about figuring out what will make you feel best in your summer outfits.
Inverted triangle body shapes tend to have a naturally athletic, toned look, and fabulously strong shoulders. They are perfect for tops to drape from, which is why so many models have your body shape. Because it can be a challenge to fit your shoulders and your proportionally slimmer waist, you are tempted by the incredible knit tops and tees that stretch to follow your shape. But that highlights the dramatic taper of your torso and allows your shoulders to steal the spotlight. Take advantage of the comfort and ease of knits but choose one with more volume through the rigs and accentuate your waist.
Your naturally toned, athletic legs are enviable, so wearing tight shorts, pants, or skirts seems like the best option. But this accentuates the proportional difference between your two halves and allows your amazing shoulders to steal the spotlight. Make sure there is some volume in your bottoms to add some width to your hips and balance your shape.
In the first picture, Amal Clooney is wearing a slim fit on her lower half which highlights the dramatic taper of her torso and her shoulders steal the spotlight. If she had accentuated her waist, that would have made all the difference. The outfit in the second picture shows her top draping off her shoulders beautifully and her bottoms have volume that balance her shape.
For the third picture we have Wendy Williams. She is wearing a skimming fitted dress, and it’s accentuating her shape. What you want to accentuate is all up to you, and I’ve noticed that Wendy Williams likes to accentuate her shape like this. If she loves it, girl do it! It’s all personal preference and these are just suggestions. In the last picture she has balanced her shape with the aline skirt that flares away, and her waistline is accentuated with the wrap top details.
One of the best features of an apple-shaped body is your seriously gorgeous legs. They tend to be toned and shapely from hip to ankle. The best way to shine the spotlight there is not by wearing tight and tiny shorts, but by wearing bottoms that have some volume in the legs.
A mistake many women with an apple body shape make is wearing large, oversized tops to disguise your midsection, but that only adds volume. Instead, wear a skimming top that hangs straight.
Most of the time, Reese Witherspoon is not an apple. The apple body shape is the only one that can morph from one to another, but there have been times in her life where she is an apple. In the first picture she’s wearing an oversized top and she’s added a lot of volume to her upper body. Her tight pants spotlight the proportional differences between her torso and that’s where the eye is drawn. In the next picture she’s wearing a skimming top and pants that have some volume in the bottom. She is much more balanced and we see her as a whole instead of just a part of her.
In the next picture, her shorts and top are tightly fitted. Instead of shining the spotlight at her gorgeous legs, her torso steals the spotlight. In the fourth picture her shorts and top have more volume to them and her legs look fantastic, the spotlight is balanced.
When you develop curves at a young age, that unfortunately comes with a lot of unwanted attention and shame from those around you who are uncomfortable. As a result, you may have taken to wearing baggy, shapeless, oversized tops to cover your large bust and curvy hips. Rather than disguising your ample curves, it increases them. Wearing clothes that skim, but don’t grab, will keep everything balanced.
With an hourglass body shape, you have perfectly balanced shoulders, waist, and hips. When you wear an item that visually or literally widens your shoulders or hips or you hide your waistline and it throws your natural balance off. If you add visual or literal volume to your hips or shoulders, add it to the other as well, and make sure your waist is always defined.
In the first two pictures you can see Salma Hayek. On the left she’s wearing a loose top. Her waist is not defined and it actually increases the volume of her bust and her torso. In the next one she’s wearing a skimming outfit that follows her shape and it narrows her bustline. You can see her fabulous waistline and her naturally balanced proportions.
The last two pictures show Halle Berry. On the left she’s added a lot of volume to her lower half and she’s tipped the scales of her naturally balanced figure. The outfit in the picture on the right doesn’t have any additional volume to the top or bottom. She’s followed her curves nicely and you can see her balanced silhouette.
Learn More About Your Beautiful Shape
In the summer if can be even more essential to know which clothes are perfect for you and which ones aren’t so you can look and feel your best, and I have a post for each body shape to help you learn how you can start directing the spotlight.