Monday, April 21, 2008

How To Dress For Body Type

Styling Rules are hardly generic! As a matter of fact, they should always be customized to the individual! Since everyone comes in different body size and shape, it's important to learn what to wear and what to avoid in order to best flatter our body type. Being compared to an object like an Hourglass or a Pear is not always Body Typesflattering, especially when carrying a few extra pounds that we are trying to lose. It can be hurtful to stand in front of a mirror and examine each flaw in order to determine our body type, but it is a necessary step.
Remember: no one has the "perfect" body!
I have met numerous women who are ready to reveal exactly what they don't like about their bodies, including models and celebrities!
It is extremely important to determine the body type - first and foremost- as it helps to visualize a certain shape; then, we choose what to wear to best suit our body type, to create the illusion of a well balanced figure.

"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. "

Coco Chanel

The most important thing to analyze first is the body type we currently have (not the one we want): keep in mind that it has nothing to do with size, it's all about proportions.
All body types come in a mix of fuller and slimmer shapes. The most flattering body shape on a woman is the hourglass, so that is the ideal goal we should try to achieve through clothing, regardless of our current body type. It consists of: Larger shoulders, smaller well-defined waist and, a curvy bottom.
Let's determine firstly, the most common body types, then subdivide them (decide where you fit in best) and finally follow the simple styling steps to better balance the body type.


The LOLLIPOP body type: Big breasts, not too broad shoulders, short waist and long skinny legs.

The GOBLET body type: Heavy and square on the top, large breasts, a big tummy and broad back sitting on slender legs.


The SKITTLE body type: top half is long and slim and widens at the bottom with saddlebags and a big bum on short legs.

The BELL body type: petite woman with small shoulders and breasts and a large bottom and waist.

The PEAR body type: small at the top with small shoulders and breasts, tiny waist, big thighs (saddlebags), and the calves and ankles don't have much definition.


The APPLE body type: is all round; small shoulders, big breasts and waist, big hips and buttocks and no definition in the calves and ankles.

HourGlass body typeThe HOURGLASS body type: Big shoulders and breasts, small short waist, big hips (bottom half and top half are equal in size).

The VASE body type: It's a stretched Hourglass, more length and a flatter bottom.
The CELLO body type: broad shoulders, large breasts, very big buttocks, hips and thighs (bigger than the top).


The BRICK body type: it's a masculine shape, broad shoulders, flat buttocks, no waist line, straight up and down short legs.

The CONE body type: triangular shape, it's an athletic build with broad shoulders, little breast, no waist line, small hips and buttocks.

The COLUMN body type: very tall, statuesque build. No curves, the top half and bottom half are equal in size.


TOP Heavy body types:

Top heavy body typeGoal: Pick pieces that are shaped but not tight. Bring attention to the bottom half of the body.

Purchase a well fitting bra first -more than 85% of North American women (regardless of their body type or bust size) wear the wrong size bra! Most stores offer a fitting session and service for free. Get it right, it makes the world of a difference in how the clothes fit.

Don't wear tops with: ruffles or pastel shades, thin spaghetti straps, delicate camisole tops or complicated necklines. Avoid high neck lines, opt instead for wide v-neck halves, not in a bulky material. Dresses should have strategic gathers under the breast to direct all eyes to your waist. Skirts should be fitted at the top and flaring at the hemline (to balance the top and the bottom), a cute tulip skirt works here. Avoid high waisted "anythings" at all cost! Bell bottom trousers balance out the breasts so you look less top heavy. Shoes should be high and a medium to slim heel to complement the shapely legs. Structured jackets, with one or two buttons under the breast, work well for a bigger bust, make sure the jacket can be buttoned; if a size bigger is necessary, then bring the jacket to the tailor and get both sides (at the waist) taken in, so to achieve an hourglass shape!

Don't Wear: A lot of women who have larger busts try to camouflage it with boxy blazers. A blazer hides a double-D bust, but it makes a waist and the rest of the body look much bigger as well. Remember we are trying to achieve an hourglass body type (not a brick!).

Do Wear: A fitted, single-breasted fitted blazer, making sure it defines the waist but is roomy enough in the bust so that it doesn't pull. The overall effect is slimming and shape-defining.

BOTTOM Heavy body types:

Goal: bring attention to the top half of the body and away from problem areas.

Clingy skirts and tapered pants are a no-no as they highlight the hip, so trow them out of the closet; fuller leg trousers and flared skirts hide bulges. Wear any vertical pattern on the bottom half (to slim the appearance) even if it is in the seaming. Darker colors recede, so go dark on the bottom half of the body (no shiny fabrics) and wear lighter colors on top. To broaden shoulders and bring the attention up to the top half, wear big lapels, color and embellishment on the neckline, even a small shoulder pad will bring balance to a wider bottom.

Avoid side pockets, opt instead for a flat-front trouser. Super-slim jeans and pencil skirts are not a good choice. A defined waist, full skirt and strapless cut dress will bring all the focus to the smaller upper half. High-waisted, belted skirts draw attention to a slimmer waist line (hem it just above the knee), but wear them only if you have smaller breasts. Avoid Empire waist dresses that hide the waistline, choose instead a defined waist and an A-line skirt (wrap dress) to accentuate the upper half. Buy a full, pleated Knee-length skirt to conceal a wide hip. Full, wide-leg gauchos drape without clinging and are a fashionable choice. Avoid tapered cut pants that emphasize a wide middle area, try a boot-cut pant and jeans to create a straight, lean line. Pleats are dangerous and so are too-high waist lines on pants, a flat front trouser on a medium rise (1 inch below belly button) is more flattering on this body type.

A funnel shaped coat (buttons on the top half) is very flattering, also a coat with belt will bring attention to the waist, like a classy trench coat. In the summer wear a thigh-skimming Craftan over the bathing suit, it's a classy and fashionable way to cover up and balance a wider hip.

Cone heels on a dressy shoe will help balance out the bottom half of the body. Straight winter boots will look fashionable and also help cover shapeless calves and ankles. Don't do ankle straps, they brake the line of the leg.

Don't Wear: A straight button-dress that hugs the curves at the hips, making them appear larger, not to mention the pull on the buttons in curvy areas can draw unwanted attention.

Do Wear: A wrap dress to emphasize the smallest part of the body (the upper half), allowing the bottom to A-line over the rest, camouflaging large hips and thighs. A print, especially over a darker background is slimming and will diffuse the attention on the pattern, not on the curves.

"Highlight the positive and delete the negative." Donna Karan

TOP and BOTTOM Heavy body types:

Goal:Top and bottom heavy body type The secret is not to hide any part of the body, but to show it off, nobody looks good in a straight oversized tent dress. The clothes must be fitted (not tight) and curve hugging.

Wear V-neck fitted cardigans, scooped necks and pencil skirts. Skirts should be fastened on the side and flat-fronted, to avoid extra bulk. Sewn down paneling on the top half of a bottom-pleated skirt holds the tummy at the front and cuts the buttocks in half. Asymmetric pleats on a tulip skirt will lift and bring out the bottom. Wear jackets with a single button (which will emphasize the narrowest area of the body). Traditional jeans don't always work, so choose a tailored, wide legged denim trouser. Avoid tight, wide-cut pants, which can make the bottom look wider; a straighter leg style (full but not flared), that doesn't pull at the hips, is more flattering. Avoid pleats around the hips and belly (they add bulk) or anything high-waisted. Wear waist defining pieces and empire-waist dresses. A fitted trench with belt is great as a coat. Pick chiffon dresses, with a corset. As for shoes, avoid stilettos, curvy girls need curvy shoes! Choose a small, shaped wedge sandal, and a rounded or peep toe shoe.

No CURVES body types: No curves/Athletic body type

Goal: Create curves and an ideal hourglass shape.

Draping dresses with patterns will create curves in all the right places (size the pattern to the body- small frame= small pattern, and vice versa). Don't assume any bra with padding will work; it must fit so the seams and padding can't be seen (P.S. Avoid deep Vee shirts with padded bras). Never go bra-less under flimsy fabrics, no matter how small the breast, it's not classy.

A feminine chiffon dress will soften the shape. Halter tops create soft curves. Gathering and pleating on a shirt (at the sleeves and waist) creates curves. Skinny jeans will hug the skinny shapeless hips, giving them more definition. Choose delicate heels to highlight slim ankles. Accessorize, to keep you looking very stylish and feminine (use lace, beads and other feminine detailing). Invest in some cute waist-defining belts to wear over shirts, cardigans, coats, etc.

"Accentuate your best features and disguise what you are not so happy with. Choose outfits that fit and make you look comfortable rather than those that are up-to-the-minute."

Giorgio Armani

Now that you know what to wear, a few last minute tid-bits of advice: Practice the art of camouflage. A well known fashion truth: darker colors minimize, while lighter or shiny ones highlight. To play down a large chest, avoid wearing bright metallic tops. Have a thicker waist? A dark brown belt is better than a white one. Horizontal stripes make anything look wider. To look taller and leaner wear monocromatic tops and bottoms (match shoes to trousers for a longer leg line). To do color safely, accessorize!

Everyone needs a Tailor: it's unrealistic to expect every size 12 dress to fit every size 12 woman in the bust, waist and hips perfectly. That means find a reliable tailor so that the clothes fit your body. Good tailoring can make a cheaper item look expensive.
Styling Dos and Don'ts have nothing to do with size. These days, flattering choices abound for women of all shapes. Love your body, be stylish and confident, it shows that you appreciate and respect yourself.
Bigger on top: Scarlett Johansson, Salma Hayek, Lindsay Lohan, Carmen Electra, Nikki Blonsky.
Bigger on bottom: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shakira, Rihanna.
Hourglass: Jordin Sparks, Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, America Ferrera, Tyra Banks.

Apple type: Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Osbourne, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears.

No curves: Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Hilary Duff, Pink, Keira Knightley.

For the best swimsuit to flatter your body type, read the latest article!

Be fabulous,


Personal beauty, fashion trends, style, glamour like celebrities.
(most)Body types by: TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannahtype Constantine.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

How to Care for Fabrics and Jewelry

Crocodile Manolo Shoe When we purchase an expensive item, whether it's a jacket in a fancy fabric or a precious piece of jewelry, we want to keep them new and clean as long as possible. Here is a guide to how to care for these special items.

Suede: The best way to take care of suede is to spray it (when first purchased and then at least once a month with a protective spray). Yes, it's the spray that the sales' person is pushing you to buy... consider it like a scotch-guard for your jacket against the skin's natural oils. Make sure to spray the collar and the sleeves (on the wrists too) on a jacket. Then brush the suede piece after each wearing using a wire-bristled suede brush. This will keep the finish looking bright and clean.

Leather: Anything in leather (shoes, purses, jackets, etc.) can be a costly item and deserves careful attention. Take care of precious leather pieces by polishing them at least once a month. To maintain fine leather suppleness and shine, Meltonian Cream is recommended; it hides scuff marks and it will shine better than spay-on polishes. For hard-wearing leathers like boots and winter shoes, a wax polish is better (highly water resistant). For water resistance, mink oil works too, however be careful, since the oil darkens the look of the leather a few shades, as it gets absorbed. Before polishing any shoes, clean all dirt using a soft brush and a flannel cloth to dust them . Lightly sponge marks on metallic -or lightly colored- leather, with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water. Let the spots dry naturally (if shoes-preferably on a shoe tree), then work a small amount of cream polish in circular motion. To ensure an even distribution use a shoe tree or your hand inside the leather piece. After the polish, bring up the best shine rubbing a genuine chamois cloth on it.
Shoes- Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row; they need a day to dry and air out. During the winter season, shoes and boots absorb a lot of moisture from the feet; keep them smelling fresh by wiping the inside using a cloth dipped in warm water and a few drops of Ammonia. Never, ever, place any leather or suede items near a radiator to dry, they will crack!

Crocodile and Lizard: these skins are tough and need very little care and maintanance, however they should be carefully dusted with a flannel cloth after each use. Never polish Lizard skin (shoes or purses), just wipe the item with a damp cloth when dirty. Crocodile requires an application of neutral cream occasionally.

Wool and Knits: Dry clean all items sporting a dry cleaning tag! Simple enough (right??) however, many people attempt a time/money-saving at-home care treatment, ruining their expensive item in the end. Trust the label, it will ensure the longevity of the wools and knits, especially Cashmere.
Do not Dry Clean any wool/knit gloves, scarves, socks, hats and shawls; the chemicals used to dry clean can actually weaken the fibers of these items, wearing them out prematurely. Hand Wash these wool and knits in cold water, then press the item between two clean towels to absorb most water. Never wring the water out, as it will stretch the fabric out of shape. Place the item on a dry towel - away from a heat source- and let air dry.

Pantyhose: Always wash pantyhose by hand and in a delicate soap and water solution. Rinse well and hang to dry; wringing the water out of the pantyhose will stretch the delicate material and ruin its shape. If a snag appears, use some clear nail polish to stop the run, and let dry; re-use the snagged pantyhose under a pair of pants or a long skirt.

Eyeglasses: Just like jewelry, eyeglasses can be an long time investment, if properly cared for.
Wash glasses at least once a day in some mild soap and water. wipe the glasses using with a microfiber cloth, or linen towel (reserved specifically for the glasses). On some oily skin, the glasses can get a little greasy by the end of the day, spray the glasses with an ammonia-based cleaner before washing them in soapy water. Always carry the glasses in a hard case to avoid minor shocks and scratches. Take care of the little maintanance, like tightening the screws, to make the glasses more comfortable and last longer.

Pearls: Real pearls are precious and therefore costly; it's impotant to take really good care of this piece of jewelry. Genuine pearls feel cooler to the touch than fake ones, to test their authenticity, rub a pearl over your teeth, if it grates, it's real, while if it's smooth, it's imitation.
Some of the best imitations out there are "Majorica" pearls.
Leave real, cultured pearls out to "breathe" when you are not wearing them. Airing the pearls will deepen the lustre. Pearls are porous, so they will absorb the skin's natural oils, making them grow more lustrous with every wear. Absolutely never spray perfume on the pearls, it will dull the surface.

Gold: Gold is a very popular precious metal (the higher the Karat the more pure it is and therefore softer), and with proper care it can last a long time. Always remove gold jewelry before exercising or prior to any kind of physical work. Polish the gold jewelry often using a jeweler's cloth (chemically treated especially for that purpose), which is available at most jewelry shops or craft stores. Store gold jewelry in a cotton-lined box or in a flannel bag to prevent it from tarnishing.

Silver: To keep the silver jewelry looking its brightest, care for it by polishing each piece often with silver polish and a flannel cloth (or a jeweler's cloth). Never use an abradant cleanser on silver jewelry, or it will scratch and dull the surface.

Be fabulous,


Picture: 'Green Crocodile' shoe designed for the Winter 1995 collection. © Manolo Blahnik.

Personal beauty, fashion trends, style, glamour like celebrities