Fashion No-Nos

Specific advice varies according to a woman's body type. But there are some fashion "don'ts" that most curvy women can use to their advantage.

  • Don't wear ill-fitting clothes. Anything that's too tight will draw too much attention to your curves. Wearing baggy clothes will make you look larger than you actually are.
  • Don't skimp on underwear. Whatever your bust size, make sure your bra fits properly.
  • Don't wear clothes that are too loud or outrageous. Use prints, patterns and accessories tastefully and in moderation. You don't always have to wear all black, or dress all in one color. But you do need to think about what goes where.

Dressing the Hourglass Figure

If you have an hourglass figure, you're the image of femininity, as portrayed in Renaissance art and in World War II pinup pictures. Make the most of your well-balanced curves and show them off in a tasteful way without drawing too much attention to them. You also should play up your slender, well-defined waist. You'll want to choose clothes that make your body look a little longer and that don't make you look dumpy.

Women with hourglass body types should:

  • Wear belts. Belted dresses and other outfits with belts can help draw attention to your lovely waist. Bright colors draw the eye, so you can make good use of distinctive, noticeable belts. Similarly, try wearing dresses with clearly defined, fitted waistlines.
  • Wear wrap dresses. They'll make the most of your slender waist.
  • Choose tops with open necks, V-necks and other low necklines to give length to your throat and upper body and draw attention to your face.
  • Try strapless dresses if your shoulders and upper arms aren't too large. Make sure the dress has a nice waistline.
  • If you wear separates, make them the same color. That will lengthen your look.
  • Remember that black and other dark colors are slimming.
  • Try A-line skirts to flatter your hips.
  • Consider shoes with heels. They can add length to your legs and make your hips look less full.

On the other hand, fashion "don'ts" for women with hourglass figures include:

  • High-necked tops or turtlenecks
  • Separates of distinctly different colors, or mix colors and prints. You might end up looking as though you've been cut in half at that narrow waist.
  • Short skirts. They make your hips look rounder.
  • Loose, baggy pants. They make your legs look big all the way down. Try ones with a bit of flare at the bottom of the legs instead.
  • Jackets that end at the widest part of your bottom. Go for waist-length tops or longer ones that hang below your hips.
  • Double-breasted jackets. They'll make your chest look too big.
  • High-waisted dresses or tops. They camouflage your slender waist and hide the best part of your body.