How to dress and accessorise for your figure

The age old problem of how to match clothes that suit your shape plagues us all. Thankfully, Helen Venables has some tips on the dos and don’ts of stayin…

dress for your shape

When you are dressing for your individual figure, the most important things to bear in mind are your body architecture and your style personality.  For example, if an asymmetric hem doesn’t suit your body shape and style personality then it will always look wrong, no matter how gorgeous the dress or skirt might look on another person.

Dressing for your shape is all in the detail.  We all suit different hemlines, necklines, trouser lengths, lapels and sleeves, not to mention of course colours, fabrics, structure, patterns and details.


Accessories are also key to dressing for your figure because the right sized jewellery, handbags, belts and shoes can help draw attention to all the right areas.

If you suit classic, dramatic, sporty or natural clothing, then choose items to fill your capsule wardrobe along those lines. For example, tailoring continues to gain momentum offering the ultimate smart casual look particularly for classic and gamine style personalities.  Natural style personalities should choose relaxed skirts with movement.  Structured or asymmetric outfits can add edginess for the dramatics amongst us.

Mature woman reading book at home

Reading in the comfort of your home

It may seem obvious but wear clothes that fit you. Very baggy shirts or jumpers may look slouchy and un-kempt. In the same way, overly tight-fitting dresses, skirts and shirts rarely gives you style kudos.  Did you know that if your clothes really fit you, you should hardly know you are wearing them?

Love your body and shape. Know what your best parts are and draw attention to those areas whether that means cinching in your waist or elongating a shorter mid-section for example., If you carry a bit of weight around your middle, but have shapely legs show them off in both your trouser and skirt choices.

Accessorise with scarves to take emphasis away from hips.

If the widest part of your body is your hips, you can bring balance by focussing detail to your top half.  The extra detail could be adding pattern or ruffles or lovely statement jewellery on your top half.

hourglass figure

Women with an hourglass figure often try to hide their curves with shapeless styles and forget they have a smaller waist. To compliment your killer curves, avoid bulky and boxy styles, choose cuts of clothes and fabrics which follow your curves, and accentuate your narrower waist.

Beautiful middle aged woman smiling, relaxing.

Relaxing in style

An athletic figure looks best when they’re drawing attention to their toned physique, with clothes that skim the surface of their silhouette rather than high tailoring or very structured looks.

Don’t sabotage your look by getting your style right but wearing colours that don’t suit you. The colours that suit us are determined by the pigments in our skin and eye colour. We all fall into one of the four seasonal categories which have an array of gorgeous colours that look amazing on you and some of these will be your wow colours.  The only colour we can all wear is primary red.

For more tips and common sense pointers on style for real women, vist

Last modified: June 10, 2021

Written by 2:27 pm Fashion, Fashion & Beauty