Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shopping For An Apple, Pear, Hourglass or Columnar Figure

By Tessa W. Adachi

It can be a real challenge to find clothes which provide you with a perfect fit. This problem is compounded if you happen to be plus size. A lot of clothing companies produce plus sizes by just adding a few inches to the styles they already have, not really being concerned about exactly how well they will fit.

In recent years though, clothing companies have been making clothes with the four basic body types in mind. These basic body shapes are apple, pear, column and hourglass. These four styles work for women who are between the sizes of 10 and 30.

The first thing to do is to determine which of these four body types you fit into. If you have wide hips and a smaller upper body, then you are pear-shaped. The apple type is characterized by a small waist and larger upper body. The hourglass figure consists of a small waist and a curvy upper and lower body, while the column (or athletic) shape is straight up and down with fewer well defined curves.

Naturally, not every clothing style works equally well for people of each body type. When looking for clothes which will flatter your figure, here are some tips to help you find the perfect fit for you.

People who have an apple shape should deemphasize the waist, and in some cases minimize broad shoulders. People who have this shape should look for tops with a V-neck. This creates an elongated look and draws the eyes upward. Jackets that have a nipped or belted waist will help to give the illusion of a smaller waist.

A pear shape calls for balancing out the lower and upper body. What you should look for is clothes which will make your shoulders appear wider while deemphasizing your hips and thighs. Look for clothes with wide necklines - cowl necks, bateau and square neck tops work well here. You can also use fabrics with eye catching textures and patterns to draw attention to the upper body. You can make your upper and lower body appear more balanced by wearing dark coloured pants or skirts with brightly coloured (or at least lightly coloured) tops.

Those who have the column body shape should work to create the illusion of more curves by wearing scoop or V-neck tops, and look for jackets that have a more defined waist or that flare out from the waist. Look for dresses that break up a columnar silhouette with prints, patterns, and dimensional details like tailored designs.

If you happen to have an hourglass shape, you can choose either to show off those curves or to de-emphasize them to create a longer silhouette. If you decide to flaunt your figure then belted or cinched waists can show off your hips. If you'd rather create a more elongated look, then choose v-necks to draw the eye to your upper body instead. Flared jeans can also help in creating this more balanced look.

Every woman can look amazing with the right clothes. The important thing is to know what you're looking for so that you can make the right choices when shopping for clothes. Once you know what to look for, you can put together a wardrobe which will make you look and feel terrific. - 16651

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