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Fashion is not just about dressing to impress; it’s dressing smart and being savvy enough to know which designers and garments best accentuate your body type. For women, knowing the five most common shapes that define our silhouettes is the real key to developing a more fashionable figure.


The Hourglass is a definitive shape that most women long to have: a curvaceous figure with big bust, small waist and wide hips. If this sounds like you, go for fitted looks, like pencil skirts and v-neck tops. Conversely, loose-fitted clothing and tops that conceal your goods might make you look older and plump.

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The Inverted Triangle (or Apple) defines women who are top-heavy but have small hips and thighs. The assets that most women with apple shapes should enhance are their calves, ankles and  cleavage. One mistake that most Apples make is over layering and wearing front-buttoned pants. Instead, shop for jeans with zippers or buttons to the side to draw attention away from the tummy and opt for solid colors and A-line dresses. And, since being an Apple means you likely were blessed with slimmer legs, also try to incorporate more knee-length skirts and formal tops into your wardrobe to show off what you’ve got.

Rectangles have an athletic figure with weight typically distributed evenly throughout the body. Because you have fewer curves, go for dresses and patterns which add dimensions to your figure. Blouses with ruffles and extreme designs also help to break the straight line of your shape.

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Triangle (or Pear) shapes are bottom-heavy with plump thighs and petite breasts. Wearing bareback dresses and flowing skirts with high-heeled boots can camouflage full thighs and draw attention away from less flattering areas. Another trick is to don boot-cut pants with longer tops to move the eye toward the upper area of the body.

Petite shapes are women who are short and have small frames, but that short stature also means clothes need to fit well as not to overwhelm the frame. Vertical lines will elongate the body, and you can also embellish the neckline with U or V-shaped tops. It’s recommended that petite women wear lighter fabrics and avoid wearing short skirts. Since short skirts are best used for women with longer legs, petite ladies should wear knee-length skirts instead.

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Whichever shape best describes your figure, take light in knowing that simple add-ons can do wonders for whatever your mama gave you. Whether it’s through accessories or simple tailoring, it’s the details that can take you from ho-hum to hot in no time.

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