The Complete Guide to Dressing for Your Body Type

Thanks to the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr, body inclusivity and a broadening definition of beauty has been on the forefront of fashion and more importantly the wider conversation within society. Finally, people are beginning to realise that regardless of a woman’s shape: tall, short, petite or full figured, she is just another shade on the beautiful spectrum and deserve to feel confident regardless of what body she is in. And nothing compliments confidence better than a great outfit, below are the best ways to dress for your particular body type.

Full figured

I’m sick and tired of people trying to get fuller figured women to hide their bodies in unflattering blacks and shapeless dresses, as if they should be ashamed of their bodies. Well no more hiding, it is time to flaunt and nothing says flaunting louder and with more confidently than a DVF inspired wrap dress. The V-neck is ultra-flattering to your bust, and the wrap detail highlights the curve between your waist and hips. For fuller figures, draping and structure is key to harnessing the real potential of your frame. Also ensure that hemlines always fall just below the knees to create an elongated effect that further tightens the frame. If dresses aren’t necessarily your thing, try flared trousers to create an even line from your shoulders down and a blouse with intricate detailing to still achieve that wow factor.

Icons: Oprah Winfrey, Melisa McCarthy and Ashley Graham

Oprah Winfrey

Ashley Graham

Melissa McCarthy

Athletic

Being muscular should not be mistaken for being masculine, on the contrary, an athletic physic can really compliment a female form and bring to light its best assets, especially when adorned with the right outfit. The main rule in this department is always look to refine and accentuate the waist for a truly feminine aesthetic, so aim for dresses that clinch naturally or add a belt to your waist to really deliver that curvaceous zest to a frame. While most athletic woman would seek to hide their arms, which are generally toned, it would be better to lead with the arms and always leave them uncovered. For an extra verse of femininity, go for ruffles and frills to add texture and volume to your outfit and to ensure heads are always turning in your direction.

Icons: Milla Jojovich and Serena Williams

Milla Jovovich Serena Williams

Curvy 

With the likes of Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Nicki Minaj, just how size 0 was in Vogue in the era of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, a curvier frame is certainly the ideal everyone seems to be aspiring to now. However, to effectively get the most out of this body shape you should be looking for clothing that emphasizes the hour glass figure. Why not try the drop dead gorgeous combination of a crop top and pencil skirt? Nipping the waist, firmly caressing the hips and then cascading loosely down the thighs, the skirt in particular gives your outfit a distinctive voluptuous verve. To add extra sexy firepower to your look, think tactical slit down the leg to really bring onlookers hot under the collar.

Icons: Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Iskra Lawrence

Iskra Lawrence  Kim Kardashian Jennifer Lopez

Petite

All great things come in a small package, and nothing makes the statement more true than when that small package is wrapped in a show stopping outfit. However sometimes it can be difficult for a dainty frame to look distinctly feminine, but that concern should be quickly cast to the wind. Say hello to curves, when you add a belt to your midriff to accentuate your figure. If not belts, you can opt for a peplum with pleats or ruffles to deliver a similar look. When you’re petite, you want to elongate the frame, so look for a skirt that falls mid calf or just below the knee. Choosing an empire waistline should also become a priority because a dropped waistline only serves to make the frame shorter.

In terms of cleavage, wearing a v-neck with a strategic application of foundation can instantly give the appearance of an extra cup size or two. When you have a smaller frame it’s better to swerve away from loud prints schemes and outlandish patterns, encase you end up getting lost amongst the bright colours. Instead lean towards a slicker and more tailored look, with a real emphasis on material and texture; velvet and silk are materials that are far to neglect in many wardrobes, which is a shame when you consider that they can add so much richness and refinement to an outfit.

Icons: Emilia Clark, Adriana Grande and Alicia Vikander

Alicia Vikander Emilia Clarke Ariana Grande

Tall

I hate the word Amazonian, I prefer elegant and graceful and all taller woman have that in their repertoire and more. For a taller frame, as you’d expect, the exact opposite effects are required from clothing when compared to the petite frame.  You want a lower waistline and high hemline to add less emphasis to your length. Also a taller frame just means you have the perfect opportunity to experiment with colour, but when going for brighter hues always keep the outfit light of anything that might weigh down your look, you want it to be as slick and streamline as possible.

Icons:  Hailey Baldwin and Kendall Jenner

kendall Jenner Hailey Baldwin