How Will You Shape Up?

The thing about the warmer weather is the clothes. They’re brighter and prettier and well,  summery, but they’re also skimpier, less forgiving and involve rather more exposure than your average coat and boots ensemble. Now I’m not the type to whip out the hot pants as soon as the sun appears in April (in Battersea alone I’ve already spotted flip flops, shorts, wife-beater tops and a sundress) but I do like to be prepared and so I am thinking about, if not actively doing anything about, body scrub and gradual tanner to get me off the starting blocks.

With all the tiny playsuits, billowing maxi dresses and knee length gladiators around, it’s an idea to whittle the summer 2015 offering down by working out what suits your shape and what doesn’t. This season there are a lot of contrasting styles in the shops – skinnies versus wide leg trousers, peasant tops versus cropped ones, huge statement platform sandals versus pretty little flatties – the answer is always what works with your body so that you feel comfortable, gorgeous and above all confident.

It’s easy when you know how and ultimately it makes shopping far less time consuming when you can zone in what works for you and ignore all the rest. We all have parts of ourselves we’d rather cover up but there is always a part you can show off, even if it is the miniscule area just below your collar bone or your thin ankles sweedie (sic)*.

For inspiration and a little reassurance that even rich, beautiful and advantaged women get it wrong sometimes (or a lot in some cases), look no further than these ladies. All very definite body types, all very different and all with either the services of a stylist to hand or an open door policy to designer boutiques all over the world.

Pear shapes

Kim Kardashian - too much bulk on her bottom half

Kim Kardashian – too much bulk on her bottom half

Kim Kardashian - smooth and so much better

Kim Kardashian – smooth and so much better

Although there’s no denying Kim Kardashian likes to show off her voluptuous body, by wearing a ruched skirt with fabric draped like festoon blinds over her hips, she is making her hips rather than her bottom look HUGE. This is all very well but by adding a flattening, flesh coloured, high necked top, she looks very pear shaped, not to mention topless.

Petite shapes

Kylie being swallowed whole by a pair of flares

Kylie being swallowed whole by a pair of flares

Kylie Minogue is lucky that she can get away with a lot of shape5looks many women her age could only dream of getting away with. She is tiny but also has a boyish figure meaning she can wear high necks, double breasted jackets and floaty styles. To create the illusion of more curves she should avoid being swamped by too much volume. These jeans are all wrong for such a petite frame and by wearing a boxy jacket she’s making the silhouette even bigger.

Triangle shapes

Rebecca Adlington - AAAGGGHH!

Rebecca Adlington – AAAGGGHH!

Athletic shaped bodies are the opposite side of the coin to the

And breathe... phew, this is soo much better

And breathe… phew, this is soo much better

pear shaped. Broad shouldered and with narrow hips and shapely legs, halter or strappy styles should be avoided while a little extra bulk on the hips will give a more balanced look. Rebecca Adlington’s choice of bodycon dress with wide open neckline is about as wrong as she could get making her top half look ginormous while the bottom half disappears into a point a bit like a genie coming out of a bottle. The long sleeved, more covered up evening dress however looks gorgeous and elegant and your eye is drawn to her fabulous legs rather than her shoulders.

Hourglass shapes

Kelly Brooke - too much fabric, too many patterns, too much

Kelly Brook – too much fabric, too many patterns, too much

Enviable yes, but not without its pitfalls, the hourglass shape

The dress she was born to wear!

The dress she was born to wear!

looks best in fitted styles that don’t suffocate the bust and show off the waist. Polo necks and double breasted tops are a no-no while scoop and v-necklines work are ideal. Extra bulk at the bust or hips is simply not needed with an hourglass shape like Kelly Brook, so the circular skirt and baggy t-shirt makes her look way bigger than she is. A belted dress that hugs the curves and leaves the neckline open is much more flattering.

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About aftercarrie

I help people refine their wardrobe to suit their shape, colouring and lifestyle. I am a style consultant, personal shopper and colour analyst working in London. Be the loveliest possible you. My first book SHOPPED was released on 5th July 2016 (September Publishing). www.emilystott.net
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