A spotlight on shape

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Panache Lingerie

Pear Shape

A ‘pear’ body shape is a classically feminine shape; you fall into the ‘pear’ category if you have a small bust and slim shoulders, and your hips, thighs or bum are bigger than your top half. You may tend to put on weight on your lower half, and may feel self-conscious about these parts of your body – but there’s really no need. With a few quick fashion fixes you can highlight your best bits, and minimise those you’re not so crazy about, so you can look and feel at your most fabulous.

Show off yourtop half and highlight your gorgeous arms, shoulders and décolletage with strapless tops and dresses. Team with a strapless bra like the Evie Strapless Bra, which will also be useful under embellished strappy tops – another great look for the pear shape. For colder days, opt for a jacket with shoulder pads as a cover up, this will help balance out your hips; be sure that jackets cut off above the hip line for the most flattering look.

To create a sexy silhouette, emphasise your small waist by accessorising with a thin belt across your slimmest part. Dresses which nip you in at the waist are also incredibly flattering – look for dresses with circle or A-line skirts which will skim over your hips and streamline your shape so you can unleash your inner femme fatale. Wearing block colours on your bottom half will elongate your legs and balance out your hips, creating a sophisticated look no matter what the occasion.

Investing in the right underwear will also help you feel fabulous and create a smooth base underneath your clothes, meaning they will fall properly and comfortably. A padded or push-up bra like the Amor Sweetheart Moulded Bra will give you a boost of confidence and help you show off your best assets.

Hourglass Shape

Less than 10% of women have an hourglass figure, and yet it is the most envied and sought after body shape – with many tutorials showing you how you can dress to give the illusion of the feminine, hourglass shape. However, although they may have the ‘dream’ figure, hourglass women may find it frustrating and difficult to find clothes which flatter them, as so much of the high street and high fashion is tailored to less curvy shapes.

You have an ‘hourglass’ shape if you have a curvy bust and hips, and a defined, slimmer waist. Classic styles will suit you best, emphasising your enviable curves, but if you want to add a fashion twist, it’s best to do this using colour, fabric and accessories. Keep your clothing simple and avoid ruffles, bows and other frills which can add bulk where it’s unwanted. Fitted pieces will help you flaunt your best bits, but make sure they’re not too tight; if you don’t want your clothes to pull at you, consider sizing up – it’s what it looks like on rather than the number on the label that counts after all!

An A-Line skirt with a fitted top will mirror your fabulous shape, but pencil skirts are the most flattering for you; team with a simple shirt tucked in for sophisticated style. Ideal tops for your shape are scooped or V-necked as this will accentuate your bust. Wrap tops and dresses are a classic cut which flatter any woman but look particularly good on hourglass women as the tie highlights your slender waistline and skims over your curves. For a more casual look, opt for a boot cut jean in darker denim to balance your curves.

Make like Marilyn Monroe and emphasise your beautiful figure, and you’ll never be stuck for what to wear again!

Apple Shape

Women with an ‘apple’ shape will have an ample bust, rounded stomach and slimmer hips. Many apple shapes will find it difficult to find clothing to fit them, as fashion tends to cater to more ‘up-and-down’ body shapes, with the high street following closely behind them. However, it is possible to pick up some flattering gems out of the range of clothing available to you – you just need to know what to look for. The trick is to use clothing to highlight your favourite bits, whether that is your cleavage, your legs, slim arms, a great bum or whatever it is that you love the most about yourself!

First things first, a well-fitting, supportive bra will do wonders for your figure, and for your confidence. Creating a good base with underwear will mean your clothes hang properly – so make sure you are fitted regularly and replace any worn out bras which are lurking in your wardrobe. If you want to show off your impressive cleavage, open up your neckline with V-necks and scoop-neck tops and dresses.

Don’t hide yourself away in baggy clothing – structured clothing will give definition to your upper body and help you show off your best bits. Try single-breasted, tailored jackets and boot-cut trousers with a flat front and a wide waistband. Fuller skirts, such as A-line or circle skirts will also give the impression of a smaller waistline.

Wrap dresses are flattering on pretty much all body shapes, but particularly on the apple shape where the tie waist will nip in your waist and the fabric will fit well over a fuller bust. A wrap dress can also be dressed up for work or play – try drop earrings to draw attention to your face and jawline, and chunky bangles to show off slim wrists.

Last but not least – don’t be afraid of colours and patterns. Strong block colours and vibrant patterns can help you accentuate your best bits and draw attention from areas you’d rather hide away. This season is all about monochrome, but adding a pop of colour will lift your look and make you smile!

Athletic Shape

Also known as ‘boyish’ and ‘straight up and down’, the athletic body shape is the envy of many; women with this figure normally have hips and shoulders of the same width, long arms and legs and few curves, meaning that they can wear pretty much anything. However, women with an athletic shape may struggle with feeling unfeminine due to their slightly androgynous shape – but as we know, dressing to flatter your shape can work wonders and help you feel confident and sexy!

Show off your shape in short, fitted dresses – your slender frame and long legs were born to be flaunted in figure-hugging clothing and there’s no need to hide away if you’re off on a night out. For a daytime look, why not go for an A-Line skirt? This shape will add definition to your middle; look out for styles with a flat waistband to add a little bit extra structure. Alternatively, give yourself a waist with a wide belt cinched in around your middle. A trench-coat with a waist tie is a sophisticated look for outerwear and has the same effect.

When it comes to tops – avoid round or plunging necklines and opt for an empire-line instead. Asymmetric necklines are also fun and flattering – a great way to play around with shapes and add interest to an outfit. Good underwear can also work in your favour – a padded or gel bra will boost your cleavage, and you can create the impression of more curves with frills and ribbons.

Keep an eye out for any clothing with feminine detailing to soften your shape and put a spring in your step. Ruffles, pleating, ruching and draping will all create the illusion of more curves. Soft fabrics will also add a feminine touch – particularly soft knitwear made from cashmere and cashmere blends. You can also carry off a variety of prints – so let yourself go wild and pick up some leopard print, or get in the mood for spring with a busy floral pattern.


A spotlight on shape