Dress to Flatter Your Figure

Real Simple

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Andrew Southam

Your Type: Apple shape (you tend to carry weight around the midsection)

The Strategy: Create contrast by using angular lines to counteract the roundness and softness.

Look for:
• Wrap tops, which will give the illusion of a smaller waist
• Seaming on blouses and anything with a corset-style structure
• Pleating and gathering under the bust that draws the eye vertically down the tummy
• Deep v-necks and scoop necks
• Drapey empire styles, provided they're not too voluminous (that'll only make the area look bigger)
• Straight-leg-rather than skinny-bottoms build a sense of proportion with your upper half
• Higher-waisted pants and pants with a bit of stretch; these have a girdle-like effect and hold your stomach in

Avoid:
• Extreme A-lines, or anything too blousy that lacks shape
• Busy details like pocketing on your top half, patterns that don't match your overall size (larger frames can carry off bigger prints, and vice versa)

Your Secret Weapon: Wear a stretchy tank top underneath your garments to create a smooth, seamless base.

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Carter Berg

Your Type: Pear shape (smaller on top, heavier on the bottom)

The Strategy: Achieve balance by adding a bit of volume to your upper body and minimizing your lower half.

Look for:
• Darker colored pants that have a stiffer fabric or some stretch, which will have a slenderizing effect (A leg that falls straight down from the widest part of you is best.)
• Seams that run down the front of the leg, which create a leaner leg by "bisecting" it
• Fluted skirts that flare out a bit at the bottom
• Lower and thicker waistbands that help minimize the bottom
• Tops that are slightly A-line with a bit of blouse to them
• Low-slung tunic tops (wear the belt below your natural waistline) and ¾-length jackets and tops that stop around the knee or mid-thigh

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Avoid:
• Any fading or whiskering on your denim, which will only highlight trouble areas
• Too-tight tops, which will accentuate the difference between your upper and lower halves
• Attention-grabbing pocket details on the hips and thighs

Your Secret Weapon: Have the pocket fabric removed from the inside of your pants, which will minimize bulk.

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Olivia Graham

Your Type: Hourglass shape (curvy around the bust and hips, with a smaller waistline)

The Strategy: It's all about exaggerating your silhouette, not fighting it.

Look for:
• Simple, solid shapes that will highlight your waist
• Thick belts, pencil skirts, a little volume around the shoulder to make the waist appear even smaller
• Wrap tops, scooped and boatneck necklines. Pants should be bootcut or flares that fill well in the thigh.

Avoid: Ruffles, frills, lapels, busy patterns; any straight, boxy shapes

Your Secret Weapon: A fitted vest that flares out at the waist

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Ditte Isager

Your Type: Athletic/boy shape (straight up and down)

The Strategy: Use clothing to create curves where they don't exist naturally.

Look for:
• Details at the bust such as ruffles, wraps and rouching-these add fullness up top
• Sleeveless tops and halters; they show off toned arms
• High-waisted skirts; they should begin at the smallest part of your waist, just underneath the bust
• Bootcut pants and jeans, with a lower rise for maximum curviness

Avoid: Menswear-inspired styles, straight cuts, "boyfriend" jeans

Your Secret Weapon: A ruffled blouse tucked into a high-waisted skirt

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