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The Shopping Guide

Body Variations

If you have: Look for: Avoid:
Broad Shoulders raglan sleeves; dolman sleeves; V-neck; drop shoulders padded shoulders; boat necks; puff sleeves
Narrow Shoulders halter top; small collars; padded shoulders; diagonal lines from shoulder to waist turtlenecks; bulky fabrics
Round or Sloping Shoulders Stand up! Shoulder pads under everything. If shoulders are uneven, you can use two different thicknesses. If they’re more rounded, shift pads slightly towards back.
Long Waist high-waisted slack; skirt lengths just below the knee; wide belt; layered look; wide waistbands or belts; tops with horizontal necklines; detail or patterns; waist length or high-hipbone length jackets, tops. Long, full skirts must be paired with short, cropped jackets only. hip-hugger pants; low-slung belts; vertical stripes on upper body
Short Waist pants which ride low on waistline; low-slung belts; overblouses falling to inseam. Stand tall! Narrow belts in colours that match tops; vertical, long lines; dropped waist dresses. Try Jr. and Petite sizes for better fit. wide belts, short jackets or blouses, belted overblouses; wide belts; cropped jackets; high waisted pants and skirts.
Thick Waist vests; loose waistlines; hip-slung belts; dolman sleeves; chemise dresses; long tunic over skirt; long, narrow lightweight tops; sweaters to “skim” over waistline; loose belts draped at angles or dropped waist dresses (if hips are slim); vertical stripes; easy-fitting, narrow jackets and tops; blouson style tops, dresses wide belts; pleated or gathered skirts; fitted waist styles; clingy tops; wide belts; horizontal patterns; tight waistbands; sweatpants
Small Waist belts any kind/style; waist accents unbelted dresses
Full Bust loose fitting tops; long-sleeved blouses; choker necklaces; V-necks; open necks; scoop necks; narrow sleeves; a well-fitted minimiser bra that lifts and smooths! Stand straight, don’t round or slump shoulders. tube tops; tight ribbed knits; patch pockets on shirts; puffy sleeves; wide waistbands; belts; cling tops; strapless styles; low, drapey necklines; dolman sleeves; ruffly necklines; halter tops; high collar blouses and horizontal prints
Small Bust flowing blouses; brightly coloured blouses; horizontal yokes; padded shoulders; add volume above waist with bulky fabrics; detailing like patch pockets, rucks; ruffles (if suitable); padded bras; full or gathered sleeves; bold or horizontal patterns tight shirts; clingy, knit tops
Short Neck V-necks; open collars; scoop necks; hanging pendants, open necklines, long accessories (necklaces, scarves), shorter hairstyles. turtlenecks; cowl necks; layered look, collars that are ruffled, large, too high, or high and closed. Short necklaces
Long Neck turtlenecks; cowl necks; layered look; boat neck; scarves and jewelry at neck; one-shouldered dresses, high collars, short necklaces, longer hairstyles if desired peter pan collars; scoop necks
Small Body simple linear designs; pleated skirts (linear lines); slacks; one colour head-to-toe; long sleeves; medium width belts; vertical stripes large, busy patterns; horizontal stripes; pegged pants; bulky fabrics; many colours at one time
Thin Arms long sleeves, cuffed (but narrow) short sleeves sleeveless or wide cut, short sleeves that make arm look “lost”.
Heavy Arms looser sleeves in at least 3/4 length, or classic shirt sleeves. No sheer, short or tight sleeves anything that adds fullness or puffiness, like dolman sleeves or full, gathered, billowy styles. Tight or bulky sweaters
Short Legs vertical stripes; solid colours; mid-calf length skirts and dresses; high-heeled shoes; vertical lines from the waist down; pleats; seams; rows of button; creases; one-colour schemes from waist to toe. Also see guidelines for long waist pegged pants; hip hugging pants; busy prints or plaids
Heavy Legs straight-leg slacks; boots; just below the knee skirts and dresses; high-heel shoes; dark coloured shoes and stockings short skirts; tight pants; shoes with straps
Very Thin Legs longer skirts and pants; detail on pants (pockets, etc.); textured tights; straight leg pants. Note: jeans look better on you than anybody! very full, flouncy skirts that make legs look “lost”; full, cuffed shorts.
Large Calves or Thick Ankles experiment with hemlines to see best placement and adhere to it! Dark toned hose or one colour from waist to shoes; neutral, solid colour plain shoe styles; low-to-medium heels flats; ankle straps; short boots; chunky or high spiked heels; bright coloured shoes; textured hose; cropped pants
Small Hips pleated, gathered skirts; chemise dresses; overblouses tight skirts; hip-hugging pants
Large hips or Thighs, Saddlebags dark coloured skirts and dresses; dark coloured hose/shoes; single coloured outfits; long tunic over skirt; full or softly gathered pants with generous ease through thigh, vertical lines on bottoms, horizontal lines on top for balance large, busy patterns on skirts/pants; horizontal stripes on skirts/pants; brightly coloured or plaid skirts or pants; gathered skirts; pants with back pockets; snug, man-pleated or pencil thin skirts and pants
Protruding Tummy softly bloused tops, dresses, tunics, overblouses; vertical lines/styles on top; dropped waist styles; wrap skirts; straight skirts with gentle gathers for “ease”; sweater sets; shoulder pads; darker tones on bottom. Make a habit of looking at yourself SIDEWAYS in a mirror to determine if your garment flatters or accentuates this problem. tight belts or waistlines; full gathers or accordion pleated skirts; blouson styles; peplums; clingy knits; sweatpants; ANYTHING too tight. Note: skirts are usually more flattering than pants.
Protruding Derriere or Swayback You can sometimes use this to your advantage, provided you add proportionate width to your hips. In any case, stand up and tuck in your pelvis (practice this!); tops should end just ABOVE or just BELOW widest part of hips (NEVER in the middle); can blouse softly to lessen swayback. Alter clothes to take in gap at back. Make a habit of looking at yourself SIDEWAYS in a mirror to determine if your garment flatters or accentuates this problem. Skirts are usually more flattering than pants. clingy fabrics/styles; too-tight panties that leave horizontal lines under your clothes; bikini underwear; belted dresses; ANYTHING too tight.
Flat Derriere if slim, add fullness to skirts and pants with pleats or gathers. Alter to get better fit at crotch level. Skirts can be more flattering than pants. Detail (patch pockets, etc.) on back of pants or long, narrow sweaters that taper in below derriere. Consider hip pads or enhancers or a corset to improve the fit of women’s skirts and pants. clingy styles/fabrics.

Remember, these are guidelines only. What may not be listed here for your body type may be perfect for the type of look you want to achieve. As you experiment, you’ll become more confident. And, most importantly, confidence is the real key to any successful fashion look.

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