Guide to dressing your hourglass figure

If you have a well-defined waistline with curvy hips and a full bust, you will love our guide to dressing your hourglass figure. We’ll help you find styles and outfits that show off your personality and enhance your ladylike features.

Do wear scoop or V-neck tops

Draw attention to your bust and shoulders with tops that have a V or scoop neck. Wrap shirts and dresses are also another great way to enhance your bust line and complement your well-defined waist.

Do wear fabrics that hug your body

Some women with hourglass figures feel they should wear fabrics that are loose-fitting and hide their bodies. Hourglass figures are considered classic, much envied and should be celebrated, not hidden away behind baggy clothing. Why not love your curves and buy clothing in fabrics that hug your body instead? Choose knits or cotton fabrics that conform to your body shape but are not too tight. If you choose more structured fabrics for items like skirt suits or coats, be sure to add a belt or have a tailor take the garment in so that it properly fits your body by hugging your bust, waist and hips.

Do wear vertical stripes

Many women are afraid to wear stripes. While horizontal stripes may make you appear wider than you are, vertical stripes do just the opposite. This pattern is slimming and classy. Pair it with some straight-legged trousers and heels and you’re good to go!

Do wear belts

Belts aren’t just for keeping your pants from falling down. Women with hourglass figures can use belts to embellish any outfit and bring out their curves. Not only will a belt make you look slimmer by drawing attention to your waist, it will also enhance your bust and hips, giving you a classic silhouette that many women envy and men adore. You can add a belt to a sweater or top and even use one to cinch a dress or coat. Make sure to wear it at your natural waist, right around where your ribcage starts.

Do show some leg

It can be easy to focus on dressing to show your full hips and bust and forget about your legs. A pencil skirt will accentuate your waist while slimming your legs. Wear heels and you’ll look and feel tall and slim.

Striped Suit

Do try a peplum top

With your well-defined waist and ample bust, a peplum top is a perfect choice. Try one in a solid color like red or black or even in vertical stripes. Pair it with a pencil skirt and kitten heels for a perfect office to after-hours outfit.

Peplum top

Go all out with denim!

Denim is one material that will never go out of style. It’s flattering, easy to care for and can be worn to work, date nights, outings with friends and more. For that reason, it’s a good idea to have a few stylish denim pieces in your wardrobe. From jeans to jackets and everything in between, check out these denim essentials every curvy woman should have:

Dapper Denim Trench

Jeans are one of the most versatile clothing items anyone can have. For women, they come in many different shapes and sizes, but there are four styles in particular that plus-sized ladies may want in their wardrobe:

  • Trouser jeans: Flattering on every body type, wide-leg styles should fit close to the hips and begin flaring just above the knees.
  • Straight-leg jeans: Perfect middle ground, they slim your butt and thighs and are perfect for wearing with heels.
  • Slim-fit jeans: This style looks nice on almost everyone. Look for stretchy mid-rise jeans that hold their shape well.
  • Boot-cut jeans: These create a visual balance between the thigh and lower leg for a proportionate body shape.

Fit

They should fit your curves and make you look and feel slimmer.

  • Find a pair that sits at the waist. Low-rise jeans contribute to muffin tops. Make sure the jeans are snug enough to not slide down when you bend over. Nor should they be so tight to create an overflow above the waistband.
  • Some women want to accentuate their butt by wearing skinny jeans. Others may feel more confident in a boot-cut pair. A good rule of thumb is to look for balance between the width of the bottom of your pants and the widest point of your body. If you have wide hips, try jeans that flare out to the same width as your hips.
  • Jeans should be stretchy enough to be slimming but not feel as if you were wearing spandex workout pants. Look for jeans made of a heavier fabric that is a little stiff when you first try them on. These will last longer and keep their shape. Pick a pair with 2 percent lycra or spandex. This will allow you just enough give to move about but won’t cause the pants to wear out easily.

Color

Darker colors for slimming work and going out; patterned or printed to add some flair to your office wardrobe. You can even wear dark purple or burgundy for some unexpected color. Avoid fading pattern on the thighs: this draws attention to an area you may be trying to cover up.

Embellishments

Pockets: For women with a curvy butt and thighs, large pockets help to minimize your bottom. Larger pockets that end below where your curve starts also lengthen your legs. For flat bottoms, higher-placed detailed pockets make the wearer’s butt seem rounded.

Try multiple sizes 

Order a pair that is bigger than what size you think you are, one smaller and one that is the size you think you are. This will help you find the right fit and learn what looks best on your body. Return the pairs that don’t fit.

During the warmer months, beat the heat and look stylish by switching out your jeans with a cute denim skirt. Go for a knee-length pencil skirt with a darker wash so you’ll be able to pair it with anything from nice blouses to casual T-shirts.

Woman in blue-multi top, denim skirt and blue ankle strap wedges

A chambray top

Denim button-up shirts, also known as chambray, look cute in any season and there are many options for creating great outfits with them. Wear them with black pants, colored pants or skirts, or layer one under a comfortable sweater during the colder months.

Every woman should have a modern denim jacket to wear over the spring and summer. Whether the jacket is colored, white or classic blue, it’ll look casual and sophisticated when paired with everything from a summery dress to a blouse and trousers. Find a fitted style that hits right at your hips for the most versatility.

Bright pants

Wearing brightly colored denim pants is a quick way to jazz up an outfit, no matter what time of year. Similar to slim-fit jeans, consider choosing a denim-spandex blend for brightly colored pants.

Women in several colors of stretch button-leg capris
Stretch Button-Leg Capris from Monroe and Main

Brenda Kulow-King

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