Apple, Pear, Pencil? Which body shape are you? We all come in different shapes and sizes: And, according to stylist and Belfast FASHIONWEEK director Cathy Martin, knowing your shape is the first step in finding out how to make the most of your body. Once you know how what to highlight and what to hide, you can hit the shops with confidence. And best of all, with the right clothing know-how, you’ll even be able to turn an apple into an hour glass or a petite princess into a leggy lovely.
Cathy’s first piece of advice - self love. “Take a long, hard and very honest look at yourself in the mirror. Naked if possible. These days we all have way too much self-loathing for my liking, and we will likely be drawn to things we don’t like first, but as you look over the bits you dislike - be they a wobbly tummy or a big behind - try to focus also on bits that you do like - including facial attributes like eyes and smile. And then remember that fashion can be a tool - a weapon even - in your armoury of the day to give you confidence, add height, strike off inches and much more. It takes practice to know what works for you. For me, I avoid busy prints and stick to solid colours in hues that suit my skin tone. I streamline my (apple) silhouette & add height and length where I can. I hope my tips can help others.” Read on to find out more.
YOU’RE A PENCIL BODY SHAPE IF:
•You have similar measurements for your boobs, waste & hips.
•Your legs are longer than your torso.
•Your legs and arms tend to be slender.
AT-A-GLANCE CLOTHING GUIDE
•Bright shift dresses highlight your slender frame. Try necklines that widen your upper half, as this will shrink your hips and bottom.
•Belts transform your pencil into an hour glass.
•Dresses that cling to every curve give great shape. A little cardigan or jacket adds oomph up top.
•Structured jackets, shirts and coats that nip in at the waste are great for you.
•Brightly coloured tops with slim black trousers give you endless legs and a curvy top half.
YOU’RE A PETITE BODY SHAPE IF:
•You’re 5ft 3in or under.
•You have short legs.
•You have a short torso.
•You have a slim waist.
•You have narrow hips
AT-A-GLANCE CLOTHING GUIDE – PETITE
•Dresses in simple shapes and bold colours make you appear taller. Pile your hair up high and get into hats.
•High-waisted flares give you the illusion of longer legs. With denim, go for a snug fit as baggy jeans can drown you.
•Heels are a must. Shoes the same colour as your legs or tights give the illusion of longer legs. Platforms when you’re in trousers or jeans are perfect.
•For a really luxurious look go for a satin blouse and pencil skirt, some heels and fishnets!
YOU’RE AN HOUR GLASS BODY SHAPE IF:
•Your boobs are the same measurement as your hips.
•Your waist is much smaller than your hips.
•You have shapely, broad shoulders.
•You have shapely legs that end with neat little ankles.
AT-A-GLANCE CLOTHING GUIDE – HOURGLASS
•Dark denim will slim your hips and bum. The darker your jeans or trousers the smaller you’ll seem. Big back pockets will make your bum look even smaller.
•A V-neck will elongate your neck, perk up your boobs and show off your cleavage.
•Fitted waistcoats or other waist-cinched tops will emphasise your waist.
•Height will always flatter your figure so heels are great for you.
•Pull your hair into a ponytail and accessorise with big dangly earrings to highlight your shoulders & draw attention upwards
•Belts with every outfit will highlight your tiny waist.
YOU’RE A TALL AND LONG BODY SHAPE IF:
•You’re more than 5ft 8in.
•You have long slender legs and a long upper body.
•Your arms are long and slim.
•Your shoulders are narrow.
AT-A-GLANCE CLOTHING GUIDE – TALL AND LONG
•A maxi dress is the ultimate style for the tall and long girl. Wear a bright colour and flaunt your sexy shoulders.
•A belted funnel-neck coat with a waist cinching belt gives gorgeous curves. A frill-edge coat adds femininity.
•Knee-length boots give shape to the calves.
YOU’RE A PEAR BODY SHAPE IF:
•You have small, pert breasts.
•You have a long waist.
•You have a flattish tummy.
•Your shoulders are narrower than your hips.
•You’re a size larger on the bottom than you are on top.
•You have largish thighs and shortish legs.
AT-A-GLANCE CLOTHING GUIDE – PEAR
•Bootcut jeans and trousers will balance out your hips and thighs.
•Straight leg, high-waisted trousers elongate your bottom half. Look for lengths that hit the floor and team with heels for a sexy, powerful shape.
•Dresses with a belt accentuate your waist. Structured shift dresses highlight your waist whilst gently skimming your hips and bum.
•Hats take attention away from your hips. A beret adds a shot of Parisian chic, whereas a funky trilby is a cheeky ‘look-at-me’ accessory.
YOU’RE AN APPLE BODY SHAPE IF:
•Your hips and bum are slightly smaller in width than your chest and tummy.
•You have a rounded tummy.
•Your arms are slim and long.
•You have well-shaped, slender legs.
•You have large boobs.
AT-A-GLANCE CLOTHING GUIDE – APPLE.
•Leggings and skinny jeans streamline your legs and, teamed with a loose fitting A-line or trapeze dress, trick the eye into thinking your entire body is long and thin.
•High-waisted pencil skirts with big wide belts hold you in and give you an hourglass waist.
•Short loose dresses or tunics show off your legs and arms while concealing your stomach.
•A-line or swing coats are a great way to look shapely and stylish in cold weather.
•Strappy high heels make your lovely legs look even leggier.
This article first appeared in the @BelTel newspaper in February 2017