Dress For Your Figure

By Lynn Lopez
Coming up with the perfect outfit to match our figure can be difficult at times. Not all women are built alike, so what may look good on someone else may not look good on us, especially when the other woman's body type is different from us. Also, it is not always good to rely on the fashions displayed by runway models on the catwalk. Let's face it: designers generally love stick-thin women, and runway models are several sizes smaller than the average woman.

But whether we have the body that makes for a walking mannequin or not, there is no rule out there that says that we cannot wear clothes that flatter our figures and remain fashionable. After all, it is us ordinary women that make fashion designers rich. All we have to do is to choose carefully the clothes we wear so that they enhance our assets and play down our liabilities.

How should we dress to flatter our figures? It depends on what type of figure we actually have, and there are basically six types of figures.

The skinny type. The skinny type is, well, skinny. Skinny women are those whose bodies are thin, angular, and yes, with very little fat in them. What skinny women would want is to create the illusion of curves, and this illusion of curves is achieved by creating bulk through layering clothes vests over tops or dresses over trousers. Aside from layering, wearing clothes with extra details like ruffles, pleats and gathers also add bulk to the body and make it seem curvier.

The top-heavy type. Top-heavy women are women who have bulkier upper bodies and busts that are bigger than their hips. What they would want is to create a balance by playing down the upper body. This can be done by wearing dark tops, or tops that have monochromatic prints, and then pairing them with light-colored pants or skirts. Wearing necklines that give the illusion of length, such as V-necks, will also help tone down the bulky torso.

The bottom-heavy type. Bottom-heavy women are those who have hips that are bigger than their upper bodies. Women with these body types ought to draw the attention away from their hips by wearing light-colored tops that enhance the cleavage and pairing them with sober, dark-colored skirts or pants. The eyes can be further drawn to the torso through the use of chunky necklaces, dangling earrings or long chains around the neck.

The long and lanky type. Women with long and lanky bodies have more flesh than the skinny ones; they are also generally taller. But they have the same concern: how to create the curves that they do not have. The layered look also works for women with this body type. Wide skirts or pants with wide legs in light colors will also work, but never pair them with tops with a low cut.

The petite type. Petite women are those whose bodies are short, lean and thin, but straight. They are small-breasted and do not have waists. These women would need to create the illusion of a waist by wearing a bold belt that greatly contrasts with their tops or their dresses, or full skirts.

The curvy type. Women who have curves should feel good no matter what the sizes of those curves are. Curves are beautiful, and they should be enhanced by clothes that skim the body, like wraparound dresses or blouses, or clothes with fabrics that drape the body. Baggy clothes should be avoided because they only add unwanted bulk.

Everyday Fashion Pitfalls

By Anna Lynn C. Sibal ©2006
Smart dressing is very important if only because what clothes we wear and how we actually wear them tells a lot about the kind of people we are. They say that clothes make the man, or woman, as in our case, and it is indeed true.

We do not have to be fashion gurus or runway models to be able to look the part of the smart dresser. Most of the time, all it takes is to be neat, clean and presentable, and to be presentable, you have to use a bit of common sense and to avoid these everyday fashion pitfalls. You may find some of them funny, but woe to you if you are found guilty of such errors. Read on, learn and enjoy.

The everyday fashion pitfalls that you should avoid include:

Wearing outfits that are see-through. We always hear that less is more, and that adage is definitely applicable here. The less skin seen on you is oftentimes a lot better than baring it all. A touch of modesty does not hurt. Besides, wearing see-through clothes make you look on the slutty side, so it is best to shy away from them altogether.

Carrying a belly bulge. Even the slimmest women can be ruined by wearing pants or skirts that are too tight at the waist. A waistband that is too tight pushes up the flesh of the abdomen, and it is quite ugly to look at. How can you breathe when your pants or skirt is too tight, anyway? Make sure that the waist of your bottom garment fits just right not too tight, and not even snug.

Sporting an underarm cleavage. If the flesh on that part of your breast which meets the underarm bulges up, it means that the sleeve holes of your top are too tight and that your bra does not fit you snuggly. It also means that you should get a bra that is just the right size for your breasts. A right-fitting brassiere has cups that are just low enough to easily rest against your breasts.

Dragging hemlines for pants. Do the hems of your pant legs get caught in your shoes when you are walking? The solution to this problem is to have the legs of your pants sewn in such a way that when you are wearing mules and such footwear, they are long enough not to get caught in.

Squeezing in the sleeves. It is the autumn season and winter is fast approaching. Because it is cold, sweaters have become a necessity. Now, there are nice, warm sweaters out there that have really bulky sleeves. If you are going to wear a jacket or a coat over them, make sure that the sleeves of this jacket or coat are wide enough to accommodate those bulky sleeves.

Showing sweat stains. Sweat stains are very unsightly. If your clothes have them on the underarms and they would not come out with washing, consider wearing these clothes for doing heavy chores like yard work instead. If you have a problem with your sweating, use a deodorant and consult a doctor.

Unsightly panties. If you think panty lines are horrible, you should look upon bunched up panties with even more horror. If your panties are too old and too stretched out already, give them a rest and throw them away. Neither should you wear panties the straps of which show outside the waistband of your pants. It is so dumb and so unneat.