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Body Shape Style Boards

Chelsea Dix

Dressing for your body's shape is not a new concept in the fashion world.  Most women take this as mission to cover every "flaw".  By the time they're finished, there is hardly a recognizable silhouette.  If you've ever been in our flagship store in Scotts Valley, California or visited our new store in downtown Los Gatosand worked with one of our stylists, you know that our philosophy is different.  We want to take what you love most about your body, and emphasize those features.  Forget about the things you don't like. Every woman, every age, every size has criticisms of themselves so why get stuck there?  If you're struggling to focus on the positives, you're not alone. We are here to help you.  We've come up with style boards based on typical, standard figure types as a guideline.  Your body may be a combination of these, so just use them as a suggestion, not the rule.

Apple shape styleboard for plus size women

The bust of the apple shape is generally the same size as the hip, and smaller than the waist.  Fit and flare such as our beloved Cowboy Cut Dress anything is a great profile for the apple shape.  Flowy on top and fitted on the bottom achieves balance, but, again, the flowy part has to graze the body.  Things that are cut on the bias are also great for this shape because it creates a garment that takes girth from where you don't need it, and puts it where you do without looking clingy or feeling tight.  If you choose to wear a tunic, make sure it's cut higher in the center and hits above your knee.  If it hits your knee or below, it's a dress, wear it without pants underneath.Triangle shape styleboard for plus size women

The triangle shape generally has narrow shoulders.  The bust measurement is smaller than the waist measurement, and the waist measurement is smaller than the hip measurement.  Generally speaking with this figure, the key is balance.  Opening up the neckline draws the eye upward, elongating the body. Wearing things with an empire waist is another great way to lengthen and balance a triangle.   A long vest with fitted pants like our Jeggings can achieve the desired look.  Drapey garments should graze the figure of this woman instead of standing away from the body.  When clothing doesn't touch the shape, you can end up missing all of the great features of this figure.

The best way to tell if your shape is an hourglass is to take your measurements.  If your bust and hip measurement are the same or close to the same, and your waist is smaller, these tips will work for you.  First, anything that wraps or ties around your waist is a must.  When you wear something more fitted at the waist, we get to see a silhouette.  Shape is good.  If you prefer something on the flowy side, make sure that it tapers in at the waist, such as out new fringe dress or the convertible dress, so that we can still see shape.  Another rule about wearing something flowy, not just for hourglass, but, for every shape is: if it's flowy on the top, then it needs to be fitted on the bottom and vice versa.  Flowy + flowy = tent.  Don't do that to yourself, let us see you!

Inverted triangle shape styleboard for plus size women

The inverted triangle shape is broadest at the shoulder.  The hips are narrower than the waist, and the waist is narrower than the bust.  Like the triangle, balance is the key.  Fitted on the top and flowy on the bottom brings balance to a wider shoulder line.  A garment that flares from the empire line brings length to the overall silhouette.  Palazzo pants and flared skirts, (either maxi, midi or skater), are a must have for this figure.  Again, opening up the neckline draws the eye all the way up to the face elongating the body. Steer clear of A-line with a strong shoulder because it can hide your overall shape.

Rectangle shape body style board for plus size women

The rectangular body has similar bust, waist and hip measurements.  The key to this shape is creating distinct top and bottom halves using separates.  Tops that are fitted at the waist will give the illusion of a smaller waistline.  Wearing items that tie, such as out five way wrap jacket  in combination with the four way convertible dress allows you to create different shapes on a rectangle and can draw the eye to emphasize your favorite features.  Flowy bottoms that are fitted at the waist create balance as well.  Use color and pattern to help divide the body into two segments.  The top segment should equal 1/3 of the overall length and the bottom component should be the remaining 2/3 so adjust your waistline accordingly.


Again remember these are guidelines only.  Sticking to basic principles is meant to help you get started, but, by all means try everything on!  Clothing is three dimensional art that needs a body to bring it to life. Without a body inside, it may as well be a bed sheet, flat and two dimensional.  The bottom line is you should wear what makes you feel spectacular!  As we always say in the flagship store, "if you don't love it here, you won't like it more when you get home."

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