Making the most of our body type with style

Aug 14, 2023
Knowing how to dress to your body shape is a game changer. Source: Supplied

My legs are too short or too plump. My hips are too wide. My breasts are too big, or too small. I’m too skinny. I’m too plump. I don’t feel like dressing up because I don’t feel attractive in anything!

These are just some of the issues women struggle with. Then there are those pesky current trends. Not so long ago, boyish figures were in vogue. Then women with fuller figures started coming into their own. Many designers now focus on plus-size models, and some petite women struggle to find the right fit as the fashion focused on them is often too Barbie-like!

Whatever the trends and immaterial of what our body types are, we need to stop body-shaming and judging others – and ourselves. By feeling positive about our friends’ dress sizes as well as our own, we become part of that unique, fabulous tribe of Women Supporting Women. I’d like to add another division to that all-embracing club: Women Who Support Their Own Wellbeing.

Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s find our best physical features and enhance them. Feeling good starts with us.

Unless we have an illness that causes havoc with our bodies, we have the power to eat healthier, cut excessive carbs, sugar, and alcohol, and get some exercise. We don’t have to run a marathon or join a gym. Just get into a regular walking routine, even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day. Drink more water, and go slow on fizzy drinks. Dance in the lounge like a ya-ya sister, like nobody’s watching. 

How do you use clothes to accentuate your body shape?

By experimenting with colours and textures, it’s not difficult to find a style that will enhance your body shape.

For example, if you are short but you have long legs, accentuate those legs, wear straight-leg pants or if you prefer wide-leg or flared pants, opt for the high-waisted styles as that will elongate your legs even further.

Not many of us are wearing short dresses over sixty, but if you have good legs, why not! A slim-fitting skirt that reaches just below the knee, complemented by a slight or high heel shoe, or ankle boots in winter, will work well to show off those legs.

It’s all about texture

If you don’t wish to draw attention to your chest size, hip size, or legs, focus on the features you know do you proud. Chat with your besties, have discussions, and be honest – but never cruel. Make it a team effort to have some girlie fun! We did that when we were teens, why stop now?

Textures play a huge part in body enhancement; therefore I always suggest wearing a lighter colour in a silky fabric to highlight your favourite body part – something colourful, or shimmery will draw attention away from the parts of the body we wish to keep under the radar. To deflect attention from those areas we are not comfortable with, wear darker, matte fabrics that are loose-fitting.

Most importantly, find your reigning queen feature. Great arms? Show them in summer, and wear fitted sleeves in winter. Sexy hips? Tuck your shirts and knitwear in at the waist to draw attention to those gorgeous hips, you can even add a belt to further accentuate them.

By investing in a few basic items, fabrics and styles that will keep our budgets safe and improve our appearance, we create a mindset with a clear view of what works on our bodies.

A plus-size but you have lovely ankles? Show them! Wear cropped pants and midi skirts. Pretty feet? Wear pretty shoes! A youthful neck? Show it, celebrate it, and wear a necklace to draw attention to it! On the flip side, if you’re self-conscious of your neck, wear fabulous scarves to cover up during any season. Everyone will be complimenting you on your taste in scarves, especially if it’s in colours that suit your complexion.

However, most of all, by focusing on our fabulous features, we’ll instantly feel better about ourselves, and that equals a positive attitude. A daily morning mantra also works, so repeat after me: “I am woman. I am fabulous. And I will wear whatever makes me feel even more amazing. I dress for me!”

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