AKG

Posts Tagged ‘body shape’

On Dressing Hourglass Legs (Part 4)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 26, 2012 at 3:39 am

You could forget everything else as long as you remember these few rules:

  1. It’s important to CINCH and/or HIGHLIGHT the waist.
  2. For pants, and skirts, and dress bottoms – remember the goal, after waist definition, is to LENGTHEN. Wear heels to lengthen, or wear washes, prints, or pinstripe pants to lengthen. There are numerous ways.
  3. Streamline your silhouette, especially with fabric just flowing over to help the eye move up & down vertically.
  4. BALANCE is key. Not only do you want to balance your top and bottom, you want to make sure your pants are neither  baggy, nor “painted-on”. If you wear volume in one place, balance it off with a slimmer-fitting pieces.
  5. Dark shades and washes will help you look leaner. They minimize the lower half. Avoid versions that are bleached on the thighs.

Pants/Jeans/Trousers Styling

  • I love bootcut pants – trousers and denim. Not only is this style universally flattering, it accentuates the skinniness of an hourglass waist while simultaneously balancing top volume with the subtle flair it creates around the feet. Pairing heeled pumps, or booties with it will take off a few more visual pounds.
  • Mid-rise jeans are very flattering, while high-cut vs. low-cut circle in and out through fashion. Low-rise jeans may make hips look wider/legs shorter – so style with caution there. Add an attractive belt, especially with high-waist trousers to draw attention to the waist. Make sure the waistline is fitted to avoid the gaping waist problem.
  • Straight jeans will accentuate wide hips more. Whether that’s a look you prefer, relative to your upper half dressing is a personal style choice.
  • Tapered leg cut jeans are flattering when you want the eyes drawn to shapely hips, to accentuate curviness. They are also preferable for the petite hourglass, while the wide leg/flared (more than the bootcut) styles are better for taller hourglass figures.
  • Try skinny jeans tucked into knee-high boots (especially if the  boots have heels) – your legs will look longer, and this will balance your hips.
  • DO NOT wear denim without stretch. Make sure you can sit, jump, stand, hop, walk, run in the jeans before you commit.
  • Fabric in thick wools or bulky denim can widen the hourglass frame. LIKE fabrics that are drape-y – they should glide down the widest part of our hips. Clingy, spandex-cotton blend fabrics can also help for extra fitting.
Bottoms for the Petite & Hourglass

Bottoms for the petite & hourglass – take inspiration from what these petite and tall hourglass figures are wearing

Skirts/Dress Bottoms – use the rules above + these:

  • A line and pencil skirts are your best friends!! (See Scarlett Johansson)
  • Voluminous tulip and full circle cuts, especially when high waisted are great styles – just make sure that you’re balancing volume on bottom with fit on top. Dita Von Teese ^ does this beautifully.
  • Softer fabrics will love you. Stiff = boxy = non-flattering.

and you thought this was going to be hard..

AKG

‘Tops’ for the Petite & Hourglass (Part 3)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Shopping, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The hourglass figure is what many stylists and women aim to emulate. While this is true, hourglass figures can quickly end up looking askew – top-heavy, shapeless, or bottom-heavy – if the clothing is not chosen correctly.

You wear ‘tops’ & blouses with jeans, skirts, shorts, pants, leggings, and more. Let’s look at the attributes of the blouses that will be sexiest or most slimming for an hourglass figure. All of these qualities are based on these ideas:

  1. The top should not have elements over-emphasize your bust or shoulders. Remember, you want to dress so that your top and bottom are balanced – not top-heavy.
  2. It should elongate your neckline as much as possible.
  3. It should end above the widest part of your hips. You gain a few pounds when the top ends at your hips because you lose your waist. Tops and jackets that come to the top of your hip bone are the most flattering for the hourglass body type.From “On Nine Rules  – ‘Tops’ for the Inverted Triangle”, the rules are similar except for Rule #8. Because hourglass shapes have curvy hips, tops that extend past the hips will not slim hourglass shapes down the way they will an inverted triangle. Shorter blouses are actually preferred to better define the waist. Petites, shorter tops will also lengthen your legs. 
  4. It shouldn’t be too loose, that you look shapeless. It should flow with your natural shape. Baggier is not better.
  5. Make sure your waist is defined. Define your waist. Define your waist. I cannot stress this enough. Consider this: without waist definition, you look heavier than you actually are. And who wants that?
  6. Fabrics with a finer gauge are less bulky, especially for curvier hourglass figures. However, thicker fabrics camouflage problem areas where clingy knits emphasize. Generally, favor fabrics with body – no flimsy fabrics. Whether the fabric is fine or thick, balance your top & bottom.
Tops & blouses for the petite & hourglass

Tops & blouses for the petite & hourglass – look for the rules in what these petite and tall hourglass figures are wearing

Based on the rules, AVOID these features.

  • Do not – I repeat – Do NOT wear tops with gaps open between buttons or tops that cling to any lumps/bumps (most of us have them, if not all). Make this a pledge, and also pledge to wear fitted tops that allow you to move freely.
  • Large ruffles
  • Puffy sleeves
  • Thick shoulder pads (think 40s and 80s) – think subtle Balmain-style slightly extended shoulders, if anything.
  • Over-emphasized cowl necklines (a little bit is alright)
  • Straight-shapeless cuts
  • Length ending at the widest part of your hips
  • If sleeveless, no spaghetti straps if you’re busty – they will make your shoulders look wider.
  • Large prints
  • Baby doll styling
  • Sleeves that widen below the elbow will add inches to your midsection.
  • Steer away from turtlenecks as much as possible.

LIKE these features in blouses:

  • V-necklines show off your collarbone = sexy. (Layer a tee or camisole underneath if busty and cleavage is inappropriate)
  • U-necklines
  • Scoop necklines
  • Sweetheart necklines
  • Surplice construction
  • Wrap styling
  • Semi-fitted/Close-fitted styling (looks especially great with a fitted waist and full skirt)
  • Small prints
  • Solid color
  • Princess Seaming (will accentuate your waist)
  • If sleeveless or one-shoulder, choose straps that are proportionate to your size. Also, choose this sleeveless-ness based on personal preference, cultural reference, tonal quality of your upper arms and the climate.
  • Nipped in the waist
  • 3/4 sleeves are less bulky than full length sleeves.
  • Full empire waists are definitely a bad idea – but empire waist tops that hug your chest and flare out over your torso will look good if you replicate a kind of A-line skirt under the bust seam.

All that being said, look for pieces in your wardrobe, and then add pieces into your wardrobe. Check for oxford shirts, basic tees, camisoles, sweaters (v-necks), bowed blouses. and then more. Most importantly, have some fun!

AKG

On Rules for the Petite & Hourglass (Part 2)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

The rule-breakers in fashion are the ones that are often the most stylish. Wearing white after Labor Day. Wearing black to weddings. Wearing fun flattering clothes. Getting cute accessories, bags, and shoes that are stylish in solid, good-looking materials other than leather. All of these are rules we no longer have to worry about thanks to stylish women who decided to break them.

That being said, nobody knows the rules better than the stylish women, and they know exactly why and how they are breaking them. Let’s look at the rules for the hourglass body type!

1) A waist is a terrible thing to waste. And hourglass figures must make sure that their waist is always the focal point. Belt it, cinch it, wrap it, corset it – do whatever you have to do to showcase your waist.

2) Especially true for curvy hourglass figures, Do Not Go Baggy. Big shapes will only make you look bigger. Boxy shapes must be balanced with something drapey – otherwise, you will look bulkier than you are. If only I understood this in high school…

3) Choose figure flattering fabrics. Drapey, soft fabrics with a bit of stretch really accentuate and flow with your curves. Also, take into account the weather. It doesn’t matter how great you look if you’re going to be uncomfortable all day.

Meha Bhargava says, “Delhi weather cant do without Cottons and Linens.”

4) The art of camouflage. This actually helps in dressing in a fun way too. Strategically wear darker colors in the parts of your body you want to minimize. Use lighter, shinier ones to highlight.

5) V-necks. You need this slimming neckline, especially if you’re busty.

6) Keep details balanced in the upper and lower garments – you need to make the most of your curves without overemphasizing them.

Specifically, here are rules that the petite must be especially aware of.

1) Look taller and you’ll look thinner. Heels spread your weight out over a longer frame – making you look taller. Always own a pair of comfortable nude pumps perfectly matched to your skin.

“Being short, heels are my pseudo height. I swear by them and proudly own a massive closet full of shoes!”

~Meha Bhargava

2) Elongate the figure with vertical lines.

3) Oversized tops, too-long skirts that hit you mid-calf – Say Never!

4) Make monochromatic dressing fun by adding prints and varying shades of the same hue/tone. It will flatter you, make you look taller, and showcase your style & personality.

5) Small prints are always better for petite figures. Leave the large prints for your upholstery and bedding.

Now that you knows these basic rules, go have some fun! =)

Rules for the petite & hourglass

Rules for the petite & hourglass

AKG

On the Petite Hourglass (Part 1)

In On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on August 16, 2012 at 2:39 am

Petite is not size 0. Petite is not skinny, nor is petite equivalent to small-boned.

“Petite” means shorter than 5’4″ because petite designs are made for women of that stature. Wearing petite clothing (if you are petite) means no more baggy dress tops, jeans and pants that aren’t dragging past your heels without hemming – clothes fit much better when the length is taken into account. It is also important for people who are taller than the standard height (5’4″) to take into account that they may have a petite torso or petite legs.

The basic petite figure types are similar to the body shapes listed in On the Inverted Triangle (Part 1), only shorter. There are petite inverted triangles, triangles, rectangles, pears, apples, and more.

Meha’s like a shorter Kate Winslet or legendary Marilyn Monroe. Many famous celebrities today are ‘petite’: Salma Hayek, Rachael Ray, Dolly Parton, Eva Longoria, the Olsen twins, and even Kim Kardashian!

Specifically, Meha Bhargava has a petite hourglass figure, which women often try to emulate with clothing.

Here’s a checklist for you – are you an hourglass figure? It’s the same checklist, whether you’re petite or not.

  • The hourglass shape is equally balanced on top and bottom.
  • Most people assume they should measure their hips and bust, and forget to take their shoulder-width into account.
  • Hourglass figures gain or lose weight equally throughout their body. Lucky lucky.
  • Typically, the difference between the hip and waist measurement is more than 8″.
  • Relatively curvy hips and thighs.
  • A naturally defined waist, however long or short it may be.
  • There’s a huge misconception that you must have a large bust to be an hourglass figure. There are skinny, average, and curvy hourglass figures — it’s all about the relative size of your bust and waist.
Petite Hourglass Body Type

The Petite Hourglass Body Type

With a curvy petite hourglass figures, it becomes even more important to give definition to the waist – something Meha does fabulously. We’ll learn more from her in the upcoming posts.

AKG

On Accessories for the Inverted Triangle (Part 5)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 30, 2012 at 3:55 am

A general rule of thumb for the petite inverted triangle? Anything huge will overwhelm your frame – mostly, stick to medium and small sized accessories. Larger handbags, like enormous prints, will tend to overwhelm your frame. Your investment pieces will be small to medium handbags if you’re petite, and large if you’re tall. Cross-body bags are an easy look and have a definite younger appeal – for an investment piece, I recommend a bag that is both a carry-able with handles, and has a strap that can either be attached or tucked in. Or a classic tote. I would suggest getting this bag in good quality leather, because it will last you. A unique bag with interesting details (whether they’re in the shape, handle, print, gathering, or closing mechanism) in a staple color will make for a great investment piece. Buy this in quality material.

When choosing jewelry, remember that bigger features demand bigger jewelry. Have smaller features? Make the jewelry smaller and finer. Neck pieces look best on the inverted triangle when they’re long and layered, especially if you have been gifted with an ample bust or have stronger shoulders than hips. Miss Parker has small to medium sized features, as do I. The chunky anything trend must be worn only after much consideration.

My wise muse recognizes this, of course: “I prefer slightly bigger earrings (not the BIG BIG ones – my face is too tiny to carry those off, but more medium sized). I love the pure silver pieces, as well as those with semi precious stones in them; these give me a colour to play with, to either match or contrast.” She’s absolutely right.

The cocktail ring is a trend that has a timeless quality, and can be an investment piece. These rings will add an artsy, unique flair to every hand they adorn. So choose wisely. Any rings, bracelets, and watches must be bought keeping in mind the size of your wrists and hands. A cocktail ring that covers three fingers of your already small hand makes not for an attractive style. That being said, I have a weakness and preference for men’s watches. Nina Garcia, and many other stylists share my love. I’m a huge huge fan of Michael Kors, of course. He has a divine way with them.

Inverted triangles, especially petite, should avoid piling on layers of thick garments one on top of the other. This only drags your frame downward and expands your width. Petite women have less space to work with. Unless it’s an exception to the rule, keeping your outfit simple and placing a few accessories strategically will help. A little will go a long way, both in size and number. Avoiding distraction will help you look lean. When you layer, and you must layer, try chic cardigans and sweaters – as seen in both, Forever 21 and J Crew.

Belts also, will work wonders, especially to cinch your waist and create/define the smallest part of you. Alternatively, for more oomph, wrapping the belt snugly will create a flare at the bottom of the garment and create curves. Belts wrapped around a loose top with dolman sleeves will also look very stylish.

You may also add a pair of bright colored shoes or anything eye-catching to fully draw the eye downward. Soumya Parker and I have a beautiful love affair with shoes – this love will get its own post, soon.

I left sunglasses last, because these are tricky. They are a piece that you must try and figure out according to your face shape. Don’t leave these out, however. They really will pull together your look on sunny days.

Sunglasses

Disclaimer: not mine, but a very interesting infographic about sunglasses. Find what style is best for you!

Sunglasses by Movie

Or find a style by your favorite movie. (Although I really don't recommend basing it entirely on that)

AKG

On Nine Rules – ‘Tops’ for the Inverted Triangle (Part 4)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 28, 2012 at 8:38 pm

They say every gift comes with a curse. While the inverted triangle is often gifted with long legs and an ample bust, the inverted triangle (especially the petite) is “cursed” with a short torso and a lack of curve at the hips. So Rule #1? An inverted triangle must define the waist. This is key for ‘tops’ – by which I mean pieces for the upper body: blouses, shirts, dresses, sweaters, and jackets. Examples are: flare hems; nipped and waist paneled styles; belted outerwear; vertically pleated styles; wrap styles such as wrap cardigans and sweaters. Waist-defining pieces will also add curves to your hips.

Indian Kurtas, as Soumya Parker correctly notes, are a very forgiving choice of clothing. A kurta is typically a loose tunic shirt worn in India – it may be collarless, or with collar. Worn at a hip to knee length and form-fitted, kurtas soften the shoulders and nip in at the waist to create a cleanly defined waist. This leads us to Rule #2. Kurtas and Western knitwear made out of cotton fabrics, linen fabrics, and/or silk fabrics with a fine gauge will be better because thick knits will add bulk to your upper body.

Rule #3. Widening necklines bad. U-neck, V-neck, and scoop necklines are good. Especially compared to the wide scoop, square, and other widening necklines, they will slim down and elongate your torso. Keeping the top relatively simple and smooth will help you avoid drawing attention to your upper body. Wider necklines must be accessorized with something slim and vertical down your chest. Try a long pendant necklace or a simply styled scarf. Rule #4. Showing more of your skin, as with a deeper neckline, will elongate your frame. There’s less contrast to visually cut you up. Conservatively, try wearing clothing similar to your skin tone or wearing a fitted camisole (also similar to your skin tone) underneath; these will give you the same long and lean look.

Rule #5: soft and drapey fabrics will soften the shoulders. Raglan, dolman, dropped shoulder point, shoulder slit and cutout sleeves will all minimize your shoulders. Try to stay away from shoulder pads and strong shoulder details, unless it’s for costume. In a professional setting, make sure your sleeves aren’t even half an inch shorter than your arms. It’ll distort the length of your arms visually to make them appear shorter. Showing off some skin makes you look longer and leaner, but not when the extra skin is your wrist in what is supposed to be a long-sleeved blouse.

Have you ever noticed that thin straps make your shoulders and upper body look relatively wider? So for sleeveless, Rule #6 – try wide or large straps, or even multiple thin straps. You could layer a few tanks in complimentary colors one on top of the other to achieve this look.

Strategically work with prints, shapes and details to make the eye go up and down. Trust me; vertical details are your best friends. And that’s rule #7. This means: Zip fronts, cable knit patterns, pleats, visible vertical stitches.

Soumya Parker mentions, “I always wear long tops or layer with a long camisole. Other wise, my torso looks too short; this, at least adds an illusion of length.” She is absolutely right. Rule # 8. When these ‘tops’ extend past your hip-line, they balance out your wide shoulders by drawing attention away from that area, as well as elongating your torso. She’s also right about putting short tops on her list of things that don’t work that well for her, unless worn with high waist jeans as a look. There are better alternate options that would balance Soumya’s body type because these both would deter from elongating the torso. Her two lists, as mentioned in On the Two Lists, already look pretty sound.

Of course. Last but not least. Rule #9. Simplicity is key. Less is more. You’ll look taller without too much fuss. This matches Soumya’s personality and style anyway – classic, simple, and fuss free.

Celebrity styles to inspire the Inverted Triangle Body Type

Celebrity styles to inspire the Inverted Triangle Body Type: try to observe the nine rules here.

AKG

On Bottoms for the Inverted Triangle (Part 3)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Inverted Triangles are lucky, that pants and jeans are primed for narrow hips and thighs. ALL, All kinds of bottoms look good on you, and there is so much space for experimentation. So you must experiment to find what you like, Miss Parker! The goal, again, is to build up your bottom to balance the upper part of your body.

Bootcut, flared, and wide leg jeans, pants, and trousers will do this for you. For more styled and in-the-moment looks, paper-bag waist, gauchos, harem pants, cargo pants, and cuffed jeans will also work.

Bottom Styles for the Inverted Triangle

Bottom Styles for the Inverted Triangle - notice how ALL styles are perfect for the inverted triangle, and how each style's length and width influence the way the body shape looks & balances.
Disclaimer: Image from a Google Search - not mine

Nina Ricci recommends tucking a floral blouse (and I know my muse likes printed shirts) into paper-bag-waist trousers and maybe adding a creative thin belt to the look. Finish with heels. This way you have emphasized your waist-line, added curve to your hips, and added height with those heels. Paper-bag trousers that are tapered or are wide-leg (that will go down to cover half of your heel) will also contribute to vertical length.

Tip: If you like wearing skinny jeans, jeggings, or anything that is slim-fitted, make sure you work on minimizing your shoulders. This is because you want to avoid a toppled look. Try straight and cigarette style pants instead for events that aren’t casual – they will balance out your body shape better than skinny’s do.

AKG

On Skirts for the Inverted Triangle (Part 2)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 22, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I really love skirts – they’re such a great element of style. The same skirt can be worn to a casual lunch, to work, for shopping, or to a formal dinner, depending on the blouse, styling, accessories, shoes, and makeup. Inverted triangles often, and especially Miss Soumya Parker, have great legs. Great legs? Must wear skirts.

The first thing you should know about skirts: All types of skirts that flare from your hips, or add any visual width to your hips are best for the inverted triangle body type (Examples: Full Circle, Tulip, Peplum, Bias Cut, Tiered Skirts, snug Pencil Skirts).

Skirt Styles for the Inverted Triangle

Skirt Styles for the Inverted Triangle Body Type: Bias Cut, Peplum, Tiered, Tulip, Snug Pencil Skirt

1) As discussed in “On P for Peplum”, the peplum creates curves around your bottom. It balances your upper body and gives you great style.
2) Tulip skirts, by definition, are fuller at the hips, and narrower at the hem. They are a perfect for the petite inverted triangle, worn as a separate, or as part of a dress.
3) Maxi skirts work well for inverted triangles, but beware if you are petite. Petite girls can look like they are drowning in excessive volume in the wrong maxi or full circle skirt.
4) The length and the flounce are key here – and minimalistic is the way to go for body types like Soumya’s. When wearing a tiered or ruffled skirt, please ensure that the tiers are not too full. An interesting print or colored tulle underneath will look stylish. Also, as is commonly known, skirts that fall beyond the knee will cut you off at an awkward length and shorten you – this is something petite girls especially should stay away from. Too much fluff will also drown you.
5) For my Muse: Just make sure the flounce is controlled and a length above or just at the knee. With so many skirt options today, only go the tailored route if you must – however, if you find the absolutely perfect skirt and need to get it hemmed to make it the right length, a little tailoring never hurt anyone.
6) Basic Pencil skirts that fit snugly will make you look curvier too, especially when they are textured or patterned. Jcrew’s recent collection is full of beautiful, creative details in its pencil skirts.

Tip: Pencil Skirts with side seams that drop straight from the waist down are also a better choice – they give you curve rather than emphasizing the narrow quality of the pencil skirt. A long A-line top will also fake curvier hips.

All kinds of prints, and textures will work really well for the inverted triangle. Textures with lace, applique details, ruffles, tiers, horizontal stripes and prints, pockets, pleats, or even denim skirts will work wonders. A great trend to try wearing is the nautical trend. Kate Spade and BCBG Maxazria, both, have presented a range of styles that are perfect.

Another note for petite inverted triangles: Vertical stripes are great for the upper body. However, beware of vertical strips on the bottom half. They will make your lower half look even slimmer. While it is true that vertical stripes visually lengthen, it is better for you to lengthen by wearing a monochromatic look, or to lengthen via fit. So, definitely beware of pinstripe suiting.

Textures, Colors, and Prints for Inverted Triangles

Textures, Colors, and Prints for the Inverted Triangle Body Type

Stay tuned to learn about the bottoms, which I recognize usually come first. But I feel that skirts are a must-have investment for inverted triangles – whether they are worn with or without tights. These “rules” also apply to the dresses (their bottom halfs). Once you experiment with these “rules” and see them work for yourselves, you will intuitively start to realize what works and what doesn’t. For now, knowing about these rules will help you understand why certain pieces of clothing don’t fit as perfectly as others. And they’re a time saver.

Until next time,

AKG

On the Inverted Triangle (Part 1)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Recently, there has been an increasing awareness about body shapes and dressing for your body type. With the large amount of information in the media today, it is becoming easier to avoid falling prey to fashion. Simultaneously however, we have been bombarded with imagery telling us what is “ideal perfection”, and it becomes a process to learn to accept that you are beautiful, exactly the way you are.

Let me tell you an important not-so-unknown-secret for dressing better; if the blouse, or dress isn’t fitting right, it isn’t right for you. You don’t need to alter something about yourself; you just need to find something that is perfect for you.

And that’s where stylists, image consultants, and/or shoppers come in. They will admit to you that though very few people are a particular model body shape, everyone has characteristics of common body shapes. The trick is to be able to objectively decipher yours, and build your wardrobe accordingly.

Professionals argue there are 6 body shapes: the triangle (also known as the pear), inverted triangle, lean column, rectangle, apple, and hourglass (neat and full). Others claim there are 8, or 12. Whatever the number of shapes there may be, I am inspired by my muse, Soumya Parker, to discuss the inverted triangle body type. (The other body types will be discussed in posts later this year.) While Soumya may not be a Perfect Inverted Triangle, I believe that she is most similar to the inverted triangle.

Body Shape Chart from Your New Image

Sample Body Shape Chart from Your New Image

Here is the checklist to think about whether you are also similar to an inverted triangle. (Please consider these objectively.) There is no right or wrong here, or better or worse. What is wrong is dressing an apple body type with clothes meant for a rectangle shape.

1) Do you have strong looking shoulders?
2) Are said shoulders wider than your hips?
3) Do you often get compliments about your great legs?
4) Do you have less obvious waist definition?
5) Do you feel/look like you don’t have, or have a very small butt?
6) Do your hips look straight, because your shoulders are broad, or your upper body is fuller?

Often, inverted triangles may have a wide chest and a full midriff – you may need some styling tricks from the apple shape, or you may have curves that make you lean towards the hourglass shape. Whatever it may be, great styling is all about wearing the right clothes for your body type – to play up your best assets, and minimize the rest. Like the stars do. Notice how they balance their upper and lower body.

Popular inverted triangles in the media

Popular celebrities who are inverted triangles- I'd argue you're in good company.

Soumya Parker, in particular, is a petite inverted triangle. Roughly speaking, the goals are: to elongate the torso, define the waist, balance the upper and lower body, and to add shape/curve to the bottom. Once we accept these, it’s time to go have some fun.

AKG

On P for Peplum

In On 80s Fashion, On Fashion, On Fashion History, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style on March 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I could be slightly jealous of Soumya Parker for her runway model body type; it is especially perfect for this season. Peplum is back, and the Guardian called it the third installment in the trilogy of the hourglass silhouette – “The Waist” (in 2007), “Here Comes the Shoulder” (in 2009) and now “The Revenge of the Hips” (in 2012). Peplum is one of the classic styles that you should incorporate into your wardrobe forever.

To be exact, a peplum is a a short flared, gathered or pleated strip of fabric that is attached at the waist of a jacket, dress, or blouse – it actually started out as a short overskirt attached to jackets back in the 40s. Because Carrie Bradshaw’s body shape is similar to the inverted triangle that Soumya Parker’s is, Carrie was often seen in variations of the peplum style (See image below). Fast forward to this season and the red carpet, peplum is everywhere.

The peplum still forms a flounce over the hips, but it’s no longer in its classic form. Some designers have taken inspiration from the 80s, complete with bold polka dots, color and super-structured shape; others have played with spacey, modern, sci-fi and contemporary designs to create elegant and/or geometric looks. It can be worn soft, with ruffles, or dramatic, with crinoline. The style is excellent – it simultaneously accentuates the bust and tiny waist, while adding curve to the hip.

Peplum is back this spring 2012!

The variety in peplum styles

How to wear peplum:

1) Cinch your waist. Because the peplum style puts a lot of emphasis on the hip area, you must cinch the waist to avoid looking dowdy.
2) Fitted vs. flared peplum. A fitted peplum with emphasis on the cinched waist doesn’t hide curves but instead accentuates them nicely. The fitted peplum is actually more figure flattering than is the flared peplum, since it tends to deemphasize the hips. A flared peplum will create a fuller hourglass figure (it will make the hips look larger), while a fitted peplum uses less fabric and cinches at the waist.
3) Try going monochromatic. If the peplum silhouette makes you shy, consider a dark monochromatic style for optimal fabulousness and flattery. (See above – Blake Lively)
4) Boldly colored peplum styles can add style to this classic silhouette, especially with combined with a standout belt to highlight the waist. (See above – Rihanna) Perhaps liven up the peplum dress with a bright print. (See above – Leighton Meester)

Enjoy experimenting with this classic style! However, a few of caution when wearing peplum:

1) Often, women with larger figures attempt to hide their extra curves with extra fabric; counterintuitively, this only adds bulk. Do not do this with peplum, please.
2) The peplum should ideally start at the waist – when it starts at the hips, it will exxagerate the hips, often unflatteringly so.
3) If you are colorblocking with peplum, make sure the top and bottom balance themselves – neutrals with neutrals, brights with brights. (Emma Stone does this beautifully – see above)
4) Over-accessorizing is generally always a no-no, unless it’s specifically event-appropriate. When wearing peplum, simplicity is especially key.
5) For most body types, a fitted peplum is more flattering than a flared one, since it tends to draw attention away from the hips. Please consider your own body type and experiment with a few different peplum styles before settling in on a specific style.

To my muse: Soumya P., especially for a formal or semi-formal western style, you must try the peplum style. The peplum will add curves that will balance your body type perfectly, and your body type is ideal for every kind of peplum. The cinched waist in the fitted peplum is great for accentuating curves. To create the illusion of a larger hip, flared peplums are your calling – they will project an hourglass figure. Peplum dresses and jackets are intuitive; as ideas for separates, a peplum top can be paired with a pencil skirt to look slick and slim – a peplum belt can be added to a shift dress to take it from work-wear to evening wear.

Be sure to have fun with it. This style was practically made for you.

AKG

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