If this is your body, you know who you are — you’re fuller below the waist than you are in the upper body. You’ve probably read fashion mag’s that described your body type as the beautifully-curved fruit – the pear. Or maybe a “triangle” (personally, I prefer geometrics over fruit labels when it comes to my body), a “spoon,” “bell,” or perhaps the more scientific term “endormorph.” Either way, you’re in a shrinking minority group. Oh, you thought this article was about the actual shape, shrinking? Sorry.
A study by North Carolina State University examined 6,000 women’s bodies and found that just over 20% were the ever-popularly-named “pear” shape. That number is likely to grow smaller, though, as waistlines continue to expand (increasing the rectangle and “apple,” or oval, population), and bust lines continue to be surgically enhanced (increasing the inverted triangle camp).
Here’s the upside: no matter the size of the female demographic that sports the triangle shape, there’s no shortage of fashion options to play it up, or down, as your fancy dictates.
If you’re in the mood to de-emphasize your curvy parts these are for you:
- Peplums. This body-friendly design feature treats most figures well. Whether the skirted hemline is at the lower edge of a top, or added to a dress, it camouflages the width of the hips beneath it.
- Halter style necklines. That throat-framing, shoulder-baring neckline style brings attention to the width of your shoulders, visually broadening them. The result is a perception of balance between the hips and shoulders, in essence, causing the hip/thigh area to appear smaller than it actually is.
- Diagonal design lines. They tend to confuse the eye by breaking up space, visually. So when the diagonal design is used around the hip and thigh area, it has this magical effect of making the zone appear slimmer.
- Fit & Flare dresses. A torso-hugging number that unfurls below the waist is a no-fail method to highlight your small torso and conceal a fuller hip-and-thigh zone. It’s an on-trend style that can carry you from office-to-party, to an afternoon tea, or an “after five” engagement when chosen in an elegant or high-glam fabric.
- Elevated touches. Accents around the face keep attention up there, instead of at the lower body. A statement necklace does the trick. So does an eye-catching scarf around the neck, or interesting details at the neckline of a top or dress.
Simple, clean bottoms. Pants, skirts, and shorts that are free of embellishments at the hip are your friends if the intent is to downplay bulk. Things to avoid: cargo pockets, horizontal zippers, pleats and draped fabric (i.e. harem pants).
- The alternative: Embrace your unique body particulars to full-on celebrate those natural curves. Here’s how to show ‘em off:
Wear form-fitting skinny jeans with close-to-the-ankle hems. The skinnier the bottom edge, the wider the hip zone appears. Contrasting opposites always command attention.
And in defiance of #6, above, choose hip-zone details that amplify fullness. It goes against common advice, but if highlighting is your game, it helps to know the rules.
Body-type trivia: That widely-coveted hourglass figure you’ve been taught to mimic? It’s only possessed by 8% of real-life women. There. Now you can relax and embrace the body nature gave YOU.
Patty Buccellato is a certified image coach and founder of Refined Images. Her specialty is bringing women out of the closet with a personal style that suits their body, psyche, and circumstances.To get your FREE copy of her ebook “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact her.