Flattering Styles for Every Body Shape

Flattering Styles for Every Body Shape

When you try on a new garment, if it makes you look and feel great, it’s a keeper. If not, pass it by and look for something else that will make you feel fantastic. Here are a few tips to help you find styles that will flatter your beautiful body.


Pants come in all shapes, lengths, fabrics, and colors. Where do you start? Make sure you have the measurements for your current curves and inseam so that you will be trying on garments that are likely to fit and flatter you.

Straight Leg, Boot Cut, and Flare

Straight-leg pants give your outfits a more classic, streamlined look. They are versatile and can look great with footwear from sandals to flats to heels. Boot-cut pants flare out slightly toward the hem. This silhouette puts a bit of visual interest in your feet and can look especially nice if you like to wear big, comfy sweaters, tunics, blouses and blazers on top and booties on the bottom. Flare pants (what some of us used to call bell bottoms) add a playful vibe that is decidedly casual. This original 1960s silhouette always comes back in style because it is such a cool look.

A great idea is to try on different styles and see what works best for you. We have all had that experience of trying on just the right garment, and thinking, “Oh, that’s it!” When you find something that has that effect, note the cut of the garment, the weight of the fabric, and the clothing manufacturer. Chances are you will want to repeat that silhouette throughout your wardrobe. Every woman needs a pair of women’s jeans and at least one pair of neutral dress pants that can mix and match with her favorite tops.


As always, start with your measurements, so you will be trying on likely candidates to make you look and feel great. Do you have favorite tops already? What are the ones that brighten your day and get plenty of compliments? Look at the cut and color of those garments closely. You’ll want to have some wardrobe staples that follow that successful formula.


Long sleeves tend to look more conservative and “finished” than tops with shorter sleeves. With that said, if you like long sleeves but don’t always want to have fabric down to your wrists, consider trying some ¾-sleeve tops instead. It can create a graceful line (and be a bit cooler in warm weather). Sleeveless tops are a great choice if you plan to wear a women’s cardigan over them, and there is nothing more classic and casual than a short-sleeved T-shirt. Play around with different styles. Just because you have usually worn something in the past doesn’t mean you can’t change it up. When deciding whether to buy, do a quick twirl in front of a full-length mirror. If it fits and makes you look great, it’s a keeper. Otherwise, move on to another candidate. There is one that will be just right.

To Tuck or Not to Tuck?

Whether you prefer to tuck in your shirts depends upon several factors including the type of hem the shirt has, the difference in tucked or untucked silhouettes, how casual the outfit and the occasion are, and the type of waistband on your pants or skirt. If you prefer to go untucked (like so many of us do), make sure the hem of your top looks finished and will fall gracefully.

If you prefer to go tucked, you have several options. You can completely tuck your top into your pants or skirt for a more streamlined, traditional look, do a “French tuck” where you tuck in just the front and let the back and sides flow, or even tie up the hem on one side for a ruched look. Remember, there aren’t any fashion police out there. Experiment with different looks to see what looks and feels best for you.


The two major factors in women’s skirts are length and shape. You will want to find skirts that fit the criteria of making you look and feel great in both categories. The length of skirts can range from mini to knee-length to midi to maxi. When shopping for skirts, think about how casual or formal you want to go and what you will feel comfortable wearing. A skirt that falls just below the knee in a neutral color is a wardrobe staple that you can wear for years, but whether to choose a straight skirt, an A-line skirt, or a pencil skirt will depend upon which one works for you.

Straight skirts typically have fitted waists and are cut straight from the hip to the hem (often with a kick pleat in the back). This is what most of us think of as a suit skirt. Pencil skirts taper in a bit toward the hem and often fall just below the knee (either with a kick pleat or a stretchy fabric that doesn’t require one). A-line skirts usually have fitted waists and then flare out to the hem in the shape of an A. The graceful flow of an A-line skirt is a classic because women have loved them for decades. Play with different cuts and lengths, and make sure to get a 360-degree view with a full-length mirror.

The best style for your body is the one that makes you look and feel great!


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