When you look at fashion magazines, the airbrushed models are breathtakingly beautiful — their skin is taught and glowing, bodies are paper thin and buff, and muscles bulge in all the right places.

But that’s not reality! Real people have blemished, bumpy skin, baggy eyes, big bums, small breasts, large breasts, bigger on the bottom than on top.  That’s the way life really is.  Most people are somewhere between looking trim and fit and carrying extra weight in certain areas.

So, how can you dress in a way that accentuates your positive features and mitigates your flaws?

Here are 3 sure-fire ways to dress your shape in an attractive, balanced way:

Tip #1 – Create the illusion of a longer body shape with silhouette and color.

Your style aim is to create the illusion of proportional balance between your upper and lower half.  Where you are SHORT, optically lengthen, by wearing long, straight pants to lengthen your legs, or by wearing a longer top to lengthen your upper torso. Look how long her legs appear!  By layering pieces on top you’ll give the illusion of longer torso and legs. One monochromatic color is another way to elongate your body, and you don’t have to stick with the same, exact color, but rather mix and match with different tones of the same color.  Try a royal blue printed skirt with a chambray blue blouse and touches of sapphire accessories.

Tip #2 – Accentuate the best parts of your body.

Whether you have a small waist, delicate facial features, shapely thin legs, or gorgeous feet, every outfit should celebrate your best features.

The easiest way to call attention to a feature is by using a pop of color.  If you want to call attention to your face, wrap a beautiful, colorful scarf around your neck or wear a fabulously colorful necklace. Call attention to the smallest part of your body, such as your small waist, with a belt.  And adorn those gorgeous feet with bejeweled, strappy sandals!



Tip #3 – Divide your body into pleasing proportions.

Our bodies actually measure eight head lengths.  Really!  Take a tape measure and measure from the top of your head to your chin. That’s your head length.  You are three head lengths from the top of your head to your waist, and five head lengths from your waist to your feet.

A pleasing proportion to wear is 2:3, or 2 head lengths from shoulder to waist, and 3 head lengths from waist to knees.  A dress with a belted or tucked waist, or a blouse and skirt combination  follows this 2:3 proportion.  The dividing line of the outfit falls at the waist and draws attention there.

Generally, it is more attractive and interesting to wear outfits that divide your body into thirds, not in half.  See the example to the right.  You can use color, horizontal lines or different shapes to demarcate between sections.

Have fun trying different proportions.  The goal is to visually alter your body proportions and create an illusion of perfect proportions with your clothing.