Do you want to know what styles of clothing to wear (and what to avoid) to flatter your body shape? If so, where better to turn for advice than the master stylist himself Mr Gok Wan?
As part of Gok Wan’s Body Shape Masterclass on the Channel 4 website, he offered a number of brilliant tips to help women everywhere dress for their figures and to embrace their body types. He starts by identifying the main body types, which are as follows:
• Apple – an ample bust, rounded stomach and slimmer hips
• Pear - a small bust and narrow shoulders with larger hips, thighs or bottom
• Hourglass – a curvy bust and hips with a slimmer waist
• Boyish – slender and athletic with few curves
• Inverted triangle – top heavy with shoulders broader than hips
If you can identify your body shape from these types (apparently around 44 per cent of women don’t know which body type they have), you now need to know how best to dress it.
Follow these tips, courtesy of Gok Wan himself:
1. If you have an apple or boyish body type, a waist cinching belt is the perfect way to define or create the appearance of a waist.
2. If you have a naturally large bust or have had breast enhancement surgery, you should avoid wearing anything shapeless. Instead, show off your best assets in a waist-highlighting dress, or balance out your bust with detailed pieces on your bottom half, such as pleats around the hips.
3. Top-heavy ladies or those with broad shoulders should also consider wearing wide-legged trousers to balance out their proportions.
4. Hourglass figures best suit structured jackets and peplum skirts, both of which define the waist even more whilst skimming the hips.
5. If you have broad shoulders, you should steer clear of both strapless and halterneck dresses. These styles will only make your shoulders look bigger. However, if you are pear shaped, you should aim to balance out your larger bottom half by using these styles to draw more attention to your shoulders.
6. If you have shorter legs than you’d like, you can make them look longer by wearing matching coloured shoes and tights.
7. Those with athletic, boyish frames should be looking to create some feminine curves for themselves by choosing pieces with pleated details, sweetheart necklines and asymmetric lines.
8. Those with bigger busts can dress their figure best with plunging necklines, to show off their best assets. If you are top-heavy and you don’t want to draw too much attention to the fact, you don’t need a breast reduction. Instead, you can balance out your frame with a modest V-neck, which lengthens your upper body as well as giving your bust a little more coverage.