10/11/2011

Dressing for your shape (1): Hourglass

Right... let's get this party going. My very own "Dress for your shape" series! Just a word of caution, I'm no stylist, these are just my musings based on what I've observed and when I say something doesn't really work it's more that it doesn't flatter, noone wants to be in a clothes box so make sure you wear what you love!

Up first: Mademoiselle Hourglass...

Curves everywhere with a nicely defined waist, the hourglass is the most feminine body shape out there. If you don't believe me, check out art all the way from the paleolithic to the late 1990s, did they picture women as waifish bones everywhere creatures? Not really... so I don't understand what got into our heads so that all of a sudden we all decided that femininity only lived in the shape of a seven-year old boy. I am an hourglass, albeit a height-challenged one, and because of everything I see in magazines (hello 7-foot curveless Russian lolitas gracing fashion spreads everywhere!), it took me a long while to learn to love this, and I still have my hang-ups, like everyone else. But realistically this is quite an easy shape to style for, so long as you stick to feminine shapes!

What works?
- Anything that's cinched at the waist and enhances curves
- Dresses, dresses and more dresses
- Cigarette trousers, preferrably mid-rise or high-waisted
- V-neck tops
- Heels, ankle boots, ballerina flats

What doesn't?
- Androginous looks... leave those to the straight up and down girls
- Boxy jackets and coats
- Shift dresses (unless you belt them in)
- Wide-leg trousers can sometimes work, but not always
- Biker boots



Jeans: James Jeans Twiggy Skinny Jeans
Best stick with a high rise skinny made of strong fabric, to hold your hips and thighs in (it sounds uncomfortably girdle-like but really it isn't). I'v recently discovered these and they make my bum look pretty good, no photoshop required...

Evening dress: Libélula Millie Dress
Finding a shape that works for you is essential when it comes to evening attire: who wants to look like the two step-sisters when you could be Cinderella? For hourglass shapes I think it's essential to highlight the waist and skim over the hips, which this dress does beautifully. Also love the plunging neckline which draws the attention to another good area of va-va-voom girls.

Skirt: H&M Conscious collection skirt
Again try to bring attentin to your best bits... and in case you've never met a real hourglass (the furniture piece, not the girl), let me remind you that would be the waist, not the elbows, if you're wondering. A flared skirt with a belt-line sitting right on the waist, 1950s style, is absolutely perfect. But girl, if you go for this look, remember to wear heels! Flared skirts with flats are just too Sandra Dee for comfort.

Jacket: Nina Ricci Jacket
By now you hopefully get my thinking... in jackets as in everything else, highlighting the middle bit is fundamental... Avoid the boxy or double-breasted shapes and opt for a V collar. The fur trim on this one adds a bit of glam to a very classic cut.

Day dress: DVF Wrap Dress
The wrap dress is a must for any hourglass, and frankly if you choose well it will be with you for years and years, hence why you should buy the Diane Von Furstenberg quality one and not the £20 from your local market.

Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti Booties
You know the saying that heels are a girl's best-friend (I thought it was about heels, wasn'it it?)? Well it applies doubly for hourglass ladies, who benefit from the uplift and the elegant walk that one gets from heels. The higher, the better...

(Shape illustration borrowed from the Channel 4 website once again)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love it, thank you S! Will definitely be checking out James Jeans. It's always hard to buy jeans for this figure type as you need something tight around the waist but bigger in the butt area. Often size 12 for me means I need a very tight belt otherwise they keep falling down which is not very attractive. YT

LittleS said...

Definitely check out James Jeans... I had never tried them on before Donna handed me a pair last week and now I'm hooked! Nice and snug and no flashing of the hankypanky!