6 May 2012

Styling Tips: For Girls with Curves

Figuring out how to find clothes that flatter your body type is a daunting task.  For years and years I had struggled with this myself, being short and curvy with small shoulders and big boobs (seriously, I'm not bragging, it's just a fact:  they are big!).  I used to spend hours upon hours going through the racks at clothing stores to find something that would fit me and flatter me, but to no avail.  I remember many times feeling very discouraged because I didn't seem to fit the mold of what was out there.  It wasn't a good feeling - I honestly felt my body was letting me down.  It was only when a friend said to me "woman, you need to make clothes work for you, not the other way around!" that a lightbulb came on.

From then on, the task was and still is to find pieces that flatter my small frame, big bust and curvy figure.  Thankfully, there are some great options out there now that retailers have figured out that not everyone is a 5'8, 120lb woman with no hips and that they aren't going to make any money ignoring this fact.  After years of research (aka shopping!), I've found some "style rules" to flatter my curves and help me feel put-together and confident about what I look like.  I also have a Pinterest board called For Girls with Curves that will hopefully inspire to dress your best with confidence but also some pictures of what to avoid.

Miss M's Tips for Styling a Curvy Frame:

1.  When you find something that fits well and is a wardrobe staple, buy multiples.  Similarly, record the style and fit so you can go back to the same store if you need to replace those items.  For example, I know the fit and length of pants at Ann Taylor and Banana Republic are great options for me, so I usually buy a couple pairs when I need to refresh my work wardrobe.  And while I might look elsewhere for other options, I don't waste my time hunting for the same fit somewhere else.  Once you know that something works for you, stick with it.

2.  Cinch that waist!  Belts have been huge over the last few years and here's why: cinch your waist with one and it instantly creates curves or if you have curves, flatters them.

Imagine this outfit without the belt: the ruching at the top of the skirt would create unnecessary bulk.
The belt brings everything in to flatter the waist.

3.  Balance your proportions - too tight and you will look hootchie, too loose and you will look bigger than you actually are.  For example, if you are going to wear a loose blouse, balance things out with skinny jeans.  Or, if you're going to wear wide leg jeans or pants, wear a top that is a bit more fitted.

Balance proportions - i.e.: skinny jeans with a looser top.
(Notice how this top is still cinched at the waist?)

4.  Find what works for you, that you feel comfortable and confident in.  Show off what you like about your body, and what you don't, find something that flatters that part not hides it.  For me, I wish my stomach was more like Britney Spears from 2006, but it's not.  So, I don't wear anything too tight in the midsection but instead try wear things that draw the eye upward (i.e.: to the girls...but in a classy way!).

A crossover dress is universally flattering but especially so when you aren't 100% in love with your midsection.

5.  Don't forget about your face!  It's great that you want your body to look great, but remember that your pretty eyes, fabulous smile or gorgeous hair are probably what people will see first when they look at you.  So, stop obsessing that you don't have Britney's 2006 abs, and smile for goodness sake!  People will notice when you are happy and that's what they will remember too.

6.  Last but not least:  Work it!  There are tons of gorgeous women in history that are curvaceous and proud of it.  Find a style role model who has curves like Kate Winslet, Christina Hendricks, Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayak, Jennifer Lopez....even Jessica Simpson if you are desperate...and use their confidence in their bodies to boost your own.  Tons of women out there wish they had a bit more curve to fill out their jeans or bras, so be happy that you aren't lacking in that department!


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