Posts filed under 'Figure Flattery Guide'

Figure Flattery Guide: The Best Shorts to Flatter Your Figure


Pictured: (1) Dip Dye Shorties | $39.50 at American Eagle, (2) Cadrian Short | $48 at Urban Outfitters, (3) 9" Chino Short | $42 at J Crew, (4) Matelot Linen Shorts | $18.90 at Forever 21, (5) Skinny Denim Bermuda Shorts | $39.50 at American Eagle, (6) Urban Renewal Linen Paper Bag Short | $48 at Urban Outfitters.

Picking out a flattering pair of summer shorts can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be.  We have the information you need in order to find a pair of shorts that works with your personal architecture.  Presenting Omiru’s guide to picking the most flattering pair of shorts for your figure:

For petite figures, a shorter style of shorts is most flattering.  Short styles that hit at mid-thigh or at just above the knee tend to work well, especially in slimmer cuts.  Avoid clamdigger styles, which visually cut your legs, making you look shorter.  

If you’re blessed with height and a slim figure, you can rock short shorts to show off your long legs.  You can also manage to wear shorts with cargo pockets and other embellishments, should you choose.  Another chic option is the knee-length short - which looks dashing with a tee and blazer.  While shorter women would need to top off this look with heels, you can get away with gladiator sandals.  

If you have a boyish figure, you can create the illusion of a waist with a short with a gathered waistline.  Shorts featuring dawstring waists work, as do shorts with belts.  Alternatively, you can opt for low-rise shorts that hit closer to your hip than your natural waist.

If you have a bit of a tummy, look for shorts with a clean finish across the middle.  Flat front styles with no fancy closures or ornamention will work the best.  Skip styles with gathers and pleats.

Bottom Heavy
To best flatter a pear shaped figure, you’ll want to look for shorts in lightweight fabrics for better drape.  To complement wide hips, choose a short with a wider hem to balance out your silhouette, and steer clear of shorts that are too tight in fit.  Further counterbalance your bottom half with a loosely fitting top.

1 comment May 21st, 2010

Q&A: What to Wear to Flatter a Small Bust and Larger Middle

Q: I have recently lost 40 lbs and my bust is considerably smaller than it was before.  My stomach still has a ways to shrink, which leads to gapping and looseness across the top.  Any suggestions for what to wear for a small bust and a somewhat bigger middle?

Feeling the love for this outfit?  Here’s more information about it.

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

A: Congratulations on losing 40 pounds!  We encourage you to celebrate with some brand new clothes to fit your new body!  You deserve a treat–and the encouragement to keep the weight off.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your body:

Add visual volume at the bust.  Pleating, shirring, or ruching will help to add visual volume to your bust.  With your body shape, you’re going to look great in empire waist tops.  A shirred empire waistline will add some extra volume in the bust, and the fabric will drape nicely over your middle.  Try empire waist dresses as well–the empire waist creates a nice long leg line.

Draw attention up to your face or down towards your legs.  Redirect attention towards your face with jewelry or special detailing at the neckline.  Or direct attention towards your legs with a great looking skirt.

Define your waistline.  You can flatter your middle by defining your waistline as best you can.  The right undergarments are a great first step.  Wear Spanx or other bodyshaping garments in order to create the longest, leanest line possible.  Choose tops and jackets with distinct waists so as to suggest an hourglass shape.

While you wait for your stomach to shrink, you may want to consider tailoring to adjust your tops.  The proportions of your body aren’t going to fit most "off the rack" clothing.  Fit is absolutely essential to making you look your best.  So if you cannot find clothes that fit you perfectly, do consider paying a visit to your tailor so that your clothes fit you not only at the bust, but also at the shoulder and the waistline.  Believe me, it’s worth the expense to feel and look great!

Have a great tip about what to wear to flatter a small bust and a larger middle? Share it with us in the comments!

2 comments August 12th, 2008

Figure Flattery Guide: What to Wear to Flatter a Large Bust

How do you best dress to flatter your bustline?  Elongate your upper body, both your torso and your neck, while subtly showing your curves.  You can help balance a large bustline by wearing wide trousers or skirts that flare at the hem.  To tastefully show off your curves while elongating your torso, look for open neck tops, soft styles that drape over your curves, and tops with subtle vertical lines.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your bustline:

Single Button BlazerJackets & Coats

Single breasted styles
Semifitted styles
Styles that button right under the bustline
Jackets without pocket detailing
Single breasted boxy jackets

The boxiness of this single breasted blazer adds to the tailored feel, while the low stance complements a large bust.
Pictured: Single Button Jacket | $42.99 (sale) at Gap

Slub Cotton Tunic TopTops
Styles that subtly reveal cleavage
Simple styles without much embellishment
Open-neck tops, such as v-necklines and scoop necklines, and sweetheart necklines.
Wrap styles
Long sleeves that flare below the elbow
Long, vertical, and narrow collars

This tunic features an open neckline, vertical detailing, and sleeves–all flattering for women with a large bust.
Pictured: Slub Cotton Tunic Top | $50 at J Crew.

Silk Wrap DressSkirts & Dresses
Semifitted styles with open necklines
Wrap dresses
Dropped waist dresses
Narrow skirts that flare at the hem

The open neckline subtly shows off your curves, while the silk drapes over your body.  The flared skirt helps to counterbalance your upper body.
Pictured: Silk Wrap Dress | $130 at Banana Republic.

27 comments July 3rd, 2008

Figure Flattery Guide: What to Wear to Flatter Your Tummy

How do you best dress to flatter your tummy?  Direct attention away from your middle, and create the illusion of a long vertical line.   To create that long vertical line, look for drapey fabrics, open (especially v-neck) necklines, vertical detailing, and monochromatic and tonal outfits, and stay away from clingy fabrics and fabrics that are excessively stiff.  To direct attention away from your middle, avoid highly defined waistlines, cinched waists, and belts.  Here’s what to look for to flatter your tummy:

Pinstripe Two Button JacketJackets & Coats

Single breasted styles
Semi-fitted styles
Straight-cut styles
Jackets that reach below the derriere
Deep V-necklines
Tailored styles
Subtle A-line styles
High armholes and natural shoulders for a leaner look
Biker jackets

Look at the tailored shape, the single breasted style with a deep v-neckline, and the the high armholes.
Pictured: Pinstripe Two Button Jacket | $198 at Ann Taylor

Solid Jessie BlouseTops
Long tops
Empire-waist styles
Untucked shirts

The empire waist style, the v-neckline, and the flowy nature of this long top are going to flatter your tummy.
Pictured: Solid Jessie Blouse | $78 at J Crew.

City Fit Buttery Twill TrouserPants & Jeans
Pants without waistbands are preferable
If you wear a waistband, wear one 1" wide or smaller
Pants that sit slightly lower than your natural waist
Flat-front or side zip bottoms
Pants without pockets

These pants are soft, drapey, and their flat-front silhouette is especially flattering for those of us with a tummy.
Pictured: City Fit Buttery Twill Trouser | $69.50 at J Crew.

Brushstroke Print Sydney DressSkirts & Dresses
Styles without waistbands (or narrow waistbands)
Flat front skirts
Dresses that obscure the waistline
Coat dresses
Subtle A-line shapes
Empire-waist styles
Semifitted shift dresses

This patterned dress not only obscures your tummy, but the fitted bodice and the a-line shape is incredibly flattering.
Pictured: Brushstroke Print Sydney Dress | $165 at J Crew.

6 comments June 27th, 2008

Q&A: What to Wear to Flatter Heavy Arms and a Tummy

Q: Help! My mom is very uncomfortable with her upper arms and tummy and avoids shopping because of that. She’s 5′4, about 135 pounds, has long legs but also has a skin condition that makes it hard for her to expose much of her chest. What kind of outfits would look good on her?

by Colleen Geary, fashion stylist and image consultant

Petite Twist Front DressA: Time’s winged chariot does catch up with all of us.  Our bodies and upper arms droop a little and the tummy may slacken in middle age, but that should never prevent one from making the most of their looks. In fact, now is the time for your mom to invest a little more effort and time in shopping to keep herself updated and fresh–or the fun of dressing will fade too quickly. 

As she is 5′4" and not heavy, she would do well in the petites department of a classic store like Ann Taylor.  If she has not shopped in some time, she should be sure to buy some fresh basics (such as a dress, casual pants, tops, and some skirts) to keep her look updated and pretty.  I realize that she has no patience for shopping–but all she needs to do is set aside one day each season - only 4 times a year–to keep her wardrobe up to date.

Petite Cotton Optic Leaf ShirtBecause she’s uncomfortable with her upper arms, she’d be best served looking for sleeved tops and dresses. 3/4 sleeves are especially feminine and flattering.  If she has a large chest, however, she may not want to buy any blouses with sleeves that end at her breast line, as this would emphasize the size of her chest.

To minimize her tummy, supportive bras and shapewear (like Spanx) will help her clothes drape more gracefully.  Structured tops are going to look better than drapey tops (which can cling to all the wrong places), and details like shirring will help minimize the appearance of her tummy.

So as to not expose too much of her chest, she should look for higher necklines.  Boatneck styles are elegant without being revealing–and they look especially fetching with 3/4 sleeves.

Petite Abstract Balloons Printed Knit DressAs for bottoms, skirts that hit at or right above the knee are attractive–and make the most of a feature that she is happy with.  Long pants are also going to be flattering, though she should steer clear of capri pants.  They hit at an awkward length and have a shortening effect, unflattering on all but the very tall.

Petite Twist Front Dress | $98 at Banana Republic, Petite Cotton Optic Leaf Shirt | $58 at Ann Taylor, and Petite Abstract Balloons Printed Knit Dress | $138 at Ann Taylor.

Have a great tip about what to wear to flatter heavy upper arms and a tummy? Share it with us in the comments!

2 comments June 24th, 2008

Q&A: The Best Dresses for Extremely Curvy Petites

Q:  At 5′1, 110 pounds, and a size 32DD, I cannot find a dress that fits me correctly. Strapless dresses are impossible.  I really need a dress that I can wear a bra with and that doesn’t show off too much cleavage.

For maximum figure flattery, we’d recommend a scoopnecked or v-necked dress that hits at knee-length.  The neckline will allow you to wear a bra (and won’t show too much cleavage), and the knee length hemline will be especially flattering on your petite frame.  Here’s Omiru’s top picks for figure flattering dresses for extremely curvy petites:

Our $$$ Picks:

Maggy London Cascade Front Chiffon Dress
Maggy London Cascade Front Chiffon Dress | $158 at Nordstrom
Isn’t this color simply gorgeous?  The flowy fabric will drape nicely over your curves, though the hemline may need to be raised to knee length for maximum figure flattery.

Adrianna Papell Empire Waist Charmeuse Dress
Adrianna Papell Empire Waist Charmeuse Dress | $138 at Nordstrom
The color is great, as is the neckline.  What we don’t like is the full blouson sleeves–which may be too much for your petite frame.

Our $$ Picks:
Calvin Klein Voile Party Dress
Calvin Klein Voile Party Dress | $118 at Nordstrom
This dress is great for a summery occasion, and the scoop neckline will work well for your figure.

Maggy London Silk Chiffon Halter Dress
Maggy London Silk Chiffon Halter Dress | $98 at Nordstrom
The halter neckline and the knee-length skirt are excellent for figure flattery.

Our $ Picks:
Lush Bubble Dress
Lush Bubble Dress | $22.80 at Forever 21
The bubble skirt may help you balance out your figure…plus we love the gorgeous Jade color.

Ella Dress
Ella Dress | $22.80 at Forever 21
Thanks to the cutout, this dress reveals ever-so-subtly.  And the belted shape will help you naturally play up your curves.

Have a great tip about dresses for extremely curvy petite women? Share it with us in the comments!

10 comments May 2nd, 2008

Top 5: Unflattering Pieces for Women with Curves

Curves. All women have ones they want to emphasize and others they’d prefer to downplay. But how do you know you’re not downplaying the good curves and highlighting the bad ones?

While most people won’t tell you if you’ve made an unflattering choice, we here at Omiru know that a good friend never lies. Unless you’re a six-foot tall model with a washboard stomach and legs for days, we suggest you stay away from the following:

#1. Expectant mother tops. We know a tall, slender woman who got asked if she was expecting…when she wasn’t. The culprit? You guessed it–the awful Expectant Mother Top. Stay away from pieces that tent out under the bust, especially those with extraneous, bulky fabric.

(Photo Credit: Active Endeavors)

#2. Shants, gauchos and culottes. They hit at the widest part of the calf, making your legs look shorter and fatter.

 (Photo Credit: Blush)

#3. Overly tight microfiber or spandex. We don’t think this looks flattering, ever–even on a slender bod. We do, however, think it looks slutty.

(Photo Credit: Arden B.)

#4. Crop tops. They spotlight the "pooch" above the groin, especially when sitting down (like the model below).

(Photo Credit: Victoria’s Secret)

#5. Tea-length skirts. Refer to #2. Instead, try to aim for a longer skirt, or try our favorite length: just below the knee.

(Photo Credit: J. Crew)

2 comments February 15th, 2006

Women’s Figure Flattery Guide: Flat Bottom

Create the illusion of a curvier bottom.

Look for…
  • Pants with contoured yokes.
  • Medium wide contoured belts.
  • Rear pockets add curves.
  • Rear detailing.
  • Full skirts.
Run from…
  • Bottoms made of clingy fabrics.
  • Bias cut bottoms.
  • Very low rise pants.
  • Baggy styles.
  • Jeans without rear pockets.
  • Severe pencil skirts.

1 comment May 19th, 2005

Women’s Figure Flattery Guide: Bottom Heavy

Elongate your figure while visually balancing your hips and shoulders. Subtly show your curves.

Look for…
  • Drapey fabrics.
  • Diagonal lines.
  • Dark colored bottoms.
  • Tonal outfits with darker shades on the bottom.
  • Outfits that skim over your curves.
  • Jackets & Coats
    • Long coats: three-fourths and seven-eighths lengths lengths.
    • Vertical detailing above the waist.
    • Nipped-waist, tailored jackets that hit at hipbone length.
    • A-line styles.
    • Loose, straight cuts.
    • Coats that flare at the waist.
    • Slender lapels.
    • Set-in sleeves.
    • Slight shoulder padding.
    • Slanted pockets minimize hips.
    • Snug jean jackets.
    • Biker jackets.
    • Boxy jackets.
  • Tops
    • Fitted tops that float over your hips and bottom.
    • Empire-waist styles.
    • Wrap styles.
    • Deep V-necklines.
    • Wide necklines.
  • Pants & Jeans
    • Dark colored bottoms.
    • Slightly lower-waisted bottoms.
    • Bottoms with smooth tops, without waistbands.
    • If you wear a waistband, it should be no longer than 1” high.
    • Straight-legged, flat-front pants.
    • Well-tailored pants with wider legs.
    • Slight flare (boot cut shape) at ankle is flattering.
    • Remove side pockets from pants for a leaner look.
    • Jeans with a slightly lower rise.
    • Dark denim is more flattering.
    • Back pockets on jeans.
  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Skirts with smooth tops, without waistbands.
    • Moderate A-line shapes.
    • Wrap styles.
    • Draped styles.
    • Tapered knee-length skirts.
    • Vertical detailing.
    • Empire-waist styles.
    • Matching dress and jacket sets.
    • Show skin: shoulders, cleavage, or arms.
    • Horizontal detailing on top.
    • Open necklines.
    • Dresses with plain bottom halves.
    • Vertical detailing.
  • Dark colored bottoms, especially when contrasted with a lighter top.
  • Embellishment above the waistline to draw the eye upwards.
Run from…
  • Stiff fabrics.
  • Oversized prints.
  • Horizontal patterns.
  • Shiny fabrics or thick textures.
  • Jackets & Coats
    • Styles that hit at the widest part of the hips.
    • Double breasted styles.
    • Bulky flap and patch pockets.
    • Narrow-belted styles.
    • Bomber jackets.
  • Tops
    • Tops that don’t cover the hips.
    • Styles that hit at the widest part of the hips.
    • Boxy shapes.
    • Cinched waists.
    • Detailing at the shirt hem.
  • Pants & Jeans
    • Bottoms with lots of detailing: pleats, gathers, back details, back pockets, prints, etc.
    • Extremely high-waisted styles.
    • Extremely low-waisted styles.
    • Wide-legged pants.
    • Bell bottoms.
    • Drawstring pants.
    • Tapered styles.
    • Cropped pants.
    • Tight legs.
    • Small back pockets.
    • Widely spaced back pockets.
  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Pockets: slanted, flap, or patch.
    • Pleated skirts.
    • Bias cut fabrics.
    • Hem detailing.
    • Severe flared skirts.
    • Horizontal detailing.
    • Dresses that cinch the waist.
    • Bunching at waist.
    • Stiff fabrics.
    • Detailing below the waistline.
    • Severely voluminous skirts.
  • Bottoms that are too small.
  • Skirted suits that end at your widest part.

1 comment May 18th, 2005

Women’s Figure Flattery Guide: Short Waisted

Visually lower your waistline and re-direct attention towards your face or legs.

Look for…
  • Monochromatic and tonal outfits.
  • Vertical lines above the waist.
  • Narrow belts at the hipline.
  • Narrow belts that match the color of your top.
  • Jackets & Coats
    • Long jackets: hipbone, below the hips, three-quarters, and seven-eighths styles.
    • Single breasted styles.
    • High armholes.
    • Narrow lapels tapering to the waist.
    • Some shoulder padding.
    • One or two button closures.
    • Deep V necklines.
    • Jean jackets that hit at the top of the hips.
    • Biker jackets.
  • Tops
    • Long tops that end below your natural waistline.
    • Vertical detailing.
    • Deep V necklines.
    • High armholes.
    • Princess seams.
    • Tabbed collars.
  • Pants & Jeans
    • Wear pants slightly long and with a heel for added leg length.
    • Low-waisted bottoms.
    • Flat front styles.
    • Jeans with a longer rise.
  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Straight shapes with a dropped waistline.
    • Styles without waistbands.
    • Fluid fabrics.
    • Empire waist styles.
    • Straight sheaths.
    • Coat dresses.
    • Deep V-necklines.
    • Verticals on the torso.
  • Suits
    • Long jackets, which should reach below the waist or longer.
    • Fluid fabrics.
    • Narrow pants.
    • Short skirts.
  • Swimsuits
    • Two piece suits with bottoms that hit below your natural waistline.
    • Strong verticals on the torso.
    • High necklines.
    • Darker side panels.
Run from…
  • Belts at the waistline or above.
  • Wide waistbands or belts.
  • Any horizontal lines at the waist.
  • Jackets & Coats
    • Double breasted styles.
    • Flap or patch pockets.
    • Wide collars.
    • High round necklines.
    • Belted styles.
    • Bomber jackets.
  • Tops
    • Overembellished styles.
    • Anything cinched at the waist.
    • High-waisted styles.
    • Cropped styles.
    • Waistbands, especially those that sit at your natural waist.
    • Off-the-shoulder styles.
  • Pants & Jeans
    • High-waisted bottoms.
    • Cropped pants.
  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Dresses with waistline details.
    • Wide waistbands.
    • High-waisted styles.
    • Contrast color belts.
    • Horizontal lines at natural waistline or above.
    • Stiff fabrics.
  • Suits
    • Cropped jacket tops.
  • Swimsuits
    • High waisted bikini bottoms.
    • Horizontal detailing on the torso.

22 comments May 17th, 2005

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