How to Pick the Silhouette That Works Best for You

by Mother Huddle Staff
How to Pick the Silhouette That Works Best for You

Fashion trends change often and quickly. What’s in vogue now might no longer be considered trendy next season. And though many in today’s fashion world have been vocal about celebrating everyone’s unique and beautiful bodies, adapting to the latest trends and feeling great in them will always be another story. It may still be a challenge for women to buy clothes and shop tights that they feel and look great in.

While fashion is about wearing what you feel comfortable in, knowing which garments work best for you can help you arrive at that sense of comfort even faster. It can also empower you greatly to highlight the parts of your body that you feel most confident about.

If you want to get a good head start at finding clothes that fit your body and match your personal style, consider looking for the silhouette that works best for you. Here are some tips for doing so:

Know the Different Body Shapes

The first step is to get to know your body and the features that it make it beautifully and wonderfully yours. Traditionally, style experts define bodies through shapes based on one’s body proportions. Terms like a triangle, an inverted triangle, an hourglass, and athletic body shapes are used.

A triangle body shape is described as having fuller hips that are wider than one’s shoulders, while an inverted triangle body is the opposite. Generally, individuals with a body shape resembling a triangle are well-proportioned. The main difference is that their shoulders look broader than their hips.

If your shoulders and hips appear to have the same width and your waist isn’t very small or well-defined, you most likely have an athletic body type. Your body shape is best described as hourglass-like if it’s curvy, with a well-defined waist and bust and hip measurements that are roughly even.

Which of these body types applies best to yours? Take this into consideration when shopping for clothes of a particular silhouette, as doing so can broaden your perspective and leave you with more good clothing options than you initially expect.

Get to Know Your Features

A more body-neutral way to settle on clothes of a particular silhouette is to take note of your body’s defining features. You can do this by observing yourself in front of the mirror or asking for a friend’s help. Some questions that will prove helpful are:

  • How do you appear in terms of your height? Do you describe yourself as petite, tall, or moderate in height? This description doesn’t necessarily have to relate to your actual height, as it’s possible to look shorter or taller than you really are.
  • How would you describe your body’s curves? The answer to this question can include definitions like full curves, soft curves, angular curves, or straight lines.
  • Does your body appear balanced, or do you have striking features—for example, broad shoulders or narrow hips? Take note of any parts of your body that may need some extra consideration whenever you’re choosing clothes that come in particular patterns and shapes.

Your answers to these kinds of questions will give you a much better idea of what your body’s like and how you perceive it. From there, you can experiment with different outfits and silhouette types that help you look and feel your best.

Play with Harmony and Contrast

Finding clothes that work in harmony or contrast with your body proportions and features will open the door for further experimentation with different silhouettes. Any pieces that work in harmony are those that create silhouettes that complement your body shape, while those that work in contrast highlight your body’s dominant traits.

For example, if you present yourself as petite, clothes with shorter cuts are naturally in harmony with your body, while clothes with longer cuts contrast your features. Why not see what happens when you combine clothes with both shorter and longer cuts?

Another example of playing with harmony is by wearing garments with volume or that sport solid angles if your body appears straight. If you want to experiment with contrasting pieces, on the other hand, try wearing clothes that add definition to your waist. Put them together and you’ll have outfits that flatter your silhouette in refreshing new ways.

When you want to play up your body’s dominant features, the concepts of harmony and contrast work well, too. Someone with broad shoulders can wear tops with fitted shoulders to highlight them. Wearing garments with angular cuts or those with shoulder pads can provide contrast, bringing attention to these features like the chic blazers and jackets of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Using what’s in harmony with or in contrast to your body features will open up a lot of flattering clothing options for you. The principles are also easier to practice compared to keeping a long and strict list of what you should or shouldn’t wear depending on your body shape.

Create Balance When Dressing Up

For those who feel self-conscious about their bodies, it may be like second nature to hide them under baggy and loose clothing. If this is your tendency, consider a more satisfying alternative to obscuring your figure under a ton of fabric. Try slowly stepping out of your comfort zone and incorporating new pieces to create balance and complement your overall figure.

Your favorite oversized blouse, for example, can be paired with a new fitted skirt or tailored slim pants. If you prefer to wear a full skirt or wide-legged trousers, vary the rest of the outfit up with a fitted top. Balancing out both loose and tight clothing can help you achieve a more defined silhouette and come up with outfits that look well put together.

To each their own, as the old saying goes, especially when it comes to choosing the right silhouette for a particular body type. Remember that what works best for you may not always apply to others and that your taste in fashion may not resonate with someone else’s.

That said, you don’t always have to follow what’s trendy or keep dressing up in a way that favors only one body type or silhouette. Make it a point to experiment with different styles and try new things until you find the outfit formula that you like. This will help you achieve a style sensibility that you’re happy with and that celebrates your body for what makes it beautiful.

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