My new wardrobe - body type considerations

Following up on my last post about my fall/winter capsule wardrobe I want to take a moment and go a bit deeper into the "uniform" bit.
Like I said, I defined a uniform for myself, a style concept that was reoccurring in my current wardrobe and felt right to expand upon. That uniform is a top combined with a cardigan. Whether I will wear pants or skirts for bottoms, my go-to combination for dressing the upper half of my body is going to be based on this uniform. When I analyzed my current wardrobe staples, I found out that this is what I have been doing subconsciously for years now. And this is not a surprise to me. It all has to do with my body shape.

If you are currently rebuilding your wardrobe, do not just focus on the colors that flatter you the most, also take into consideration what type you are. There are three basic types I would say, apple-shaped, pear-shaped and triangle. If you want to learn more about body types, you can look here. For this post, I will figure on the apple shape.

You know you are an apple if you can find yourself in the following description:

- bigger on the torso, slim legs (i.e. there is a dress size difference between your tops and bottoms)
- larger bust
- poorly defined waist

I learned about my body type years ago, but when I read about that first point back then, it all made sense. There is - depending on the brand I am shopping - at least one dress size difference between my tops and bottoms. Some times even two. And when it comes to H&M sizing... oh, let's not even go there. It is all over the place.

So how does one dress an apple-shaped body? With one concept in mind, I say. Try to make it look leaner and longer! How? By doing this:

- V-neck to the rescue!
Go for V-neck shirts, tops, dresses. Sweetheart necklines will also work. NO turtlenecks, no boat necks, no crew. A V-neck elongates your upper body and creates the illusion of a smaller bust. Yes, I hear you: if you have it, you might as well flaunt it. True, but those puppies will look better if you give them space and a nice decollette while a turtleneck makes them appear to sit right under your chin.

- Layers! By combining my tops with cardigans, I create the effect of a vertical line (the sides of the open cardigan) the again seems to elongate my torso. By choosing V-neck cardigans, I also have the option to wear them closed and still sport that pretty cleavage. What's more, a cardigan also helps you cover up that extra pound or two that you may carry around.

- A-line skirts and dresses. These will help you create that hourglass effect. As much as I would want to have that vavavoooom-rocking bod, my waist could need some help. A-line skirts and dresses flare out just a bit but will help you balance out your body and create that hourglass effect we are after. Or, well, I am after. That being said, I also like to wear pencil skirts as they emphasize my legs and draw attention away from my torso. More on that in the next paragraph.

- Choose the right pants. Now, this is a point where things depend on your individual apple shape. If you have great legs, emphasize them! Go for more fitted pants, maybe even slightly skinny. But beware of wearing too narrow legs, as they will draw attention to the fact that most of your weight is at your torso, making you look like a stork. So have a look at how torso-centered you are, then try on both skinnier jeans and straight-cut models. You will be able to see which one balances your body out the best way.

- Heels. Oh well, we all heard it before, but wearing heels gives the illusion of longer legs and an overall longer and leaner body. BUT. If you are uncomfortable wearing them, this information will not help you much. Then again, we are not talking 10cm heels here. I own a couple of heels, from the more daring platforms to your everyday height, easy to walk on type. Here is the thing with heels. If you want to wear them all day, you better get good ones. Simple as that. I bought two pairs from Clark's (no, they are not paying me for mentioning them) and they are heavenly to walk in. Quality over quantity really is the way to go here. Invest in shoes that support your feet properly and you are more likely to wear them. And if you buy them on sale, the purchase is not going to make such a big dent in your budget. I snapped up my black pumps from Clarks for half the original price. Not bad at all.

There you have it, some simple guidelines to dress that apple-shaped body of ours to it's advantage. Have fun shopping!