Shannon Writes In…

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“I have big boobs, decent enough sized hips but awesome legs. So my trouble is finding tops that don’t have an over pour of cleavage but are still attractive and don’t produce the uni-boob look. Where can I shop and what styles in particular should I look for?”

As a former fit expert, I have to lead with:

Make sure that it’s not your bra causing the uni-boob look.

However, if you are absolutely certain you are wearing the right bra, I have found some tops that will balance out your larger breasts by accentuating your hips and complement your cleavage. These tops also allow for wider bra straps.

Shallow scoop neck or v-neck blouses, like the ones below, will look best if you don’t want a lot of spillage.

Shannon

Structured shirts can cause a uni-boob look if they’re too tight. So, I would recommend going with loosely structured or even flowy shirts that would allow for a belt around the waist. (Like the shirts above in the middle.)

This drape-front shirt is in style right now, and I think it’s a perfect fit for you. See how Erica Bunker styled it on her blog:

linked to source

Also, have you ever tried a sweetheart neckline? If you find just the right one it could visually separate your girls without too much spillage.

As with anything else, the more you try on, the more you learn about what works for your body specifically.

As for where to shop, I say, everywhere. And I’m not even kidding. It’s completely worth it once you find the clothes that work for you. You will never regret finding that one top that always makes you feel fabulous.

(And just in case you are in the mood for a new bra or two I highly recommend Chantelle’s Full Support Bras or Wacoal’s. Women with bigger busts just rave about them. When I used to work in Lingerie I wished I had bigger boobs just so that I could fit into Chantelle’s full bust bras…)

Perfect Stripes for Body Types

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I haven’t done one of these in a while!

Stripes by Body Type

All shoes are Valentino… for reasons.

Pear: The horizontal stripes over your bust pull the eye up. The black skirt helps to camouflage a wider hip.

Hourglass: This dress keeps you in balance while accentuating your figure.

Boy: This dress pulls in at the waist, draws attention toward your bust with vertical stripes and adds width to your hips with horizontal stripes – giving you more of an hourglass shape.

Apple: I paired this dress with a wide black belt to help camouflage a bigger belly. This pulls the waist in while letting the dress pull the eye to the bust and hips.

Column: The direction of the stripes on the bust literally point down to your hips. This will balance out your figure. I love that this particular dress also pulls in at the waist.

Bewitched

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a body typing post. This has been sitting in my drafts, unfinished since August 2o12. haha.

I don’t know if I’m the only one that loved this movie remake of the popular TV Show from the 60′s and 70′s. I love the cast. I adored the fun, light-hearted feel of the entire movie. To me, it felt like the show. However, my absolute favorite thing about the movie was Nicole Kidman’s wardrobe – costume design by Mary Zophres. (I once toyed with the idea of being a costumer for movies, but quickly realized how much responsibility I’d have after working in the costume department in college.) Anyway, back to the Bewitched wardrobe, specifically Nicole’s.

Her clothes are, in one word, cute. If I had to go on I’d use words like classic, flowing, feminine, and casual. Casual because, even in the scene where their celebrating Will Ferrel’s character’s divorce and she’s wearing this silky green blouse with a boat-neck and this fabulously sleek, black pencil skirt, it isn’t too dressy an outfit to wear to lunch with friends.

I’m going to alter outfits from three different scenes for this post. I’m going to use her dancing in the rain skirt outfit, her perusing the coffee shop outfit and the divorce party outfit.

I want her entire wardrobe, but it wouldn’t work for my body type. Nicole has a very long, lean Pilates and yoga body. You can put her in anything. My body, despite my warrior dash training, is still pear shaped and always will be. So I’m going to start there.

Pear:

Bewitched by Pear

Column:

Bewitched by Column

Apple:

Bewitched by Apples

Boy:

Bewitched by Boy

Hourglass:

Bewitched by Hourglass

I hope you have as much fun imagining yourself in these clothes as I did!

Sunbathing Hourglass

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Dressing an hourglass can vary greatly depending on whether you want to accentuate your curves or minimize them. If you want my advice, I say “accentuate them, baby!” Most women would kill for a perfectly proportioned hourglass shape; this girl included.

Here are my hourglass tips:

  • Accentuate your waistline if you’re wearing a one-piece!
  • Balance your top with your bottom. If you have ruffles on the top, you need ruffles on the bottom. If you have a bold pattern on the top, you need an equally bold pattern on the bottom. Especially be wary of your cut. If the top is a string bikini, the bottom needs to be the same. If your top is modest, your bottom should be as well.

And that’s really about it for hourglass!

Sunbathing Hourglass

If you have more specific body typing questions, I’m always willing to answer them. In fact, that’s my favorite thing. So just leave your question in the comments!

Apples in the Sun

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Apple shaped women have a particularly hard time finding swimwear. It seems as though, these days, all swimsuits are designed to expose and flaunt your stomach. I would have loved to have lived in the 50′s when swimsuits were made to accentuate curves in a modest way. Of course, I find absolutely nothing wrong with an apple wearing a more revealing swimsuit or a two-piece. You just have to find the right suit.

Here are some tips:

  • Find a one-piece with a pattern or dark solid color on the stomach to camouflage any unflattering areas.
  • Use bolder patterns or brighter colors to draw attention to your bust or hips instead of your tummy.
  • Find a suit that is going to show off the smallest part of your torso(directly under your bust). It will give your torso a longer/leaner look.
  • If you’re going for a two-piece find bottoms that are going to accentuate your hipbone*. This will draw attention away from the tummy while making your hips appear curvier.

*I like the two bottoms that I found here. The cut-out bottom on the left will make straight hips look curvier while hiding a lower pooch. The second bottom has lines that pull your eyes down and out – away from the tummy. I paired the second bottom with a bright patterned top that is also going to help to pull the eye away from any tummy insecurities you might have.

Apples in the Sun
Hey Hourglass, you’re next!
If you have more specific body typing questions, I’m always willing to answer them. In fact, that’s my favorite thing. So just leave your question in the comments!

Columns at the Pier

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Here are my tips for picking swimsuits when you’re a little bigger on the top:

  • Make sure you have enough support, but don’t overdo the coverage. I’m not telling you to wear the skimpiest bikini around; I’m telling you that too much material will pull more attention to the girls and make it a little harder to balance them out. 
  • Solid tops with patterned bottoms will help to bring the eye down. Another trick on the same level is a darker pattern on top and a brighter pattern on the bottom.
  • Horizontal stripes, ruffles around the hips, and symmetrical cut-outs are all things to look for on the bottom piece with picking your swimsuit.
  • Tankinis are a good pick for bustier gals. See the tankini with the shorts that I found? It’ll give you an extra bit of help balancing out your shape with that scarf tied around the hips. (And though I said you should do solid colors on top and patterns on bottom, this swimsuit – with pattern on top – actually helps to camouflage a larger bust. That’s why not all rules work for every situation or every body type!)
Columns at the Pier

Stay tuned for Apple and Hourglass swimwear tips!

If you have more specific body typing questions, I’m always willing to answer them. In fact, that’s my favorite thing. So just leave your question in the comments!

Swimwear for Pear!

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When picking a swimsuit for a pear-shaped body follow these tips:

  • Avoid tankinis - tankinis are bad for pears because the put a line directly across the hips. It pulls the attention to your hips and makes them look wider.
  • Avoid V-necks. Deep v-necks literally point down bringing your eye down to your hips.
  • If you’re going with patterns make sure the pattern on top is bolder or brighter than the pattern on the bottom. That way you’re bringing the eye up top.
  • You can also put a pattern on top with a solid color on bottom.
  • If you want to stick with solid colors you can use two tones. The darker goes on the bottom. If you’re going to stick with one solid color you can add ruffles or embellishments to the top.
  • All of these also apply to a one piece! But if you’re just looking at the shape – straps that are farther apart than normal can help to balance out larger hips.
  • The same goes for if your top covers more skin than your bottom. Eyes will be drawn to where there is more material.
Swimwear for Pear

We’ll cover the rest of summer wear for pear in another post after we cover swimwear for all the other body types.

Other body types, expect swimwear for you to be posted soon!

If you have more specific body typing questions, I’m always willing to answer them. In fact, that’s my favorite thing. So just leave your question in the comments!

APPLES

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photo (21)If I have previously written about a staple it will be linked to that post.

T-shirts:

T-shirts must always be fitted. Otherwise, follow the rules for casual shirts.

Casual Shirts:

You need to find a casual top that emphasizes your bust and brings as little attention as possible to your belly. (However, baggy shirts with embellishments around the bust are a no-no, because they make your bust disappear into your stomach.) You need attention to be drawn to the smallest part of your torso.

Blouses:

I recommend a very structured blouse for you. Go with something that, when laid flat, is cut like an hourglass. You can also look for blouses that are cut under the bust to bring attention up. Ruffled sleeves are also good. So is ruffling along the bust. Tunics are great for your body type, because they can easily camouflage a tummy if you follow the other rules for blouses.

Sweaters:

Cowl neck sweaters distract from your belly. If they’re big enough they can also minimize the appearance of your belly. Tunic sweaters are good as long as they are pulling in at the smallest part of your torso – right under the bust.

Blazers:

Blazers that are going to de-emphasize your belly are going to have a wide-open lapel and neck line. They need to be very structure – like your blouses.

 

Skirts and Mini Skirts:

Look for skirts with very defined waists and a flared, or ruffled, skirt. You’ll need a slightly stiff fabric that will hold the shape well. (Stiff does not mean uncomfortable.) High-waisted skirts are an option as well. They will minimize a larger tummy and lengthen the look of your legs. Be wary of pencil skirts or any skirts that are cut close to the leg. They can actually put more attention on your stomach.

Skinny Jeans:

I DON’T RECOMMEND SKINNY JEANS FOR ANY BODY TYPE.

That being said… mid-rise, flat front skinny jeans are going to be best. One great thing about skinny jeans is that they look great under tunics.

Jeans:

Apples look best in wide leg jeans. Bell bottoms make your tummy look bigger. You will also look best in a mid-rise or higher waist. To avoid the “mom jeans” look, find jeans with a flat front panel. No pleats, please!

Pants:

Wide leg, flat front, mid-rise trousers are going to work best. Anything less than something that falls straight down from your hips is going to create an ice cream cone shape.

 

Little Black Dress:

The best dress for an apple is going to be an empire waist dress, because an empire waist dress is going to pull in at the smallest part of your torso. Even better would be an empire waist dress with ruching, lace or embellishments at the bust to bring the eye up. Even better than that would be an empire waist dress that draws your eye up to the bust and pulls your eye straight down from the belly with a straight skirt – minimizing the appearance of a larger stomach.

Rompers:

Look for a color-blocked romper that has darker bottom and a brighter top. Also look for rompers with a high waist and wide legs. If you can’t find one that is color-blocked like that, it’s okay. Just stick with a high waist and wide legs. It would also help if the romper had a wide neck or ruffles over the bust to bring attention to your bust.

apple shapeSwimwear:

Finding a swimsuit for women with an apple shape is harder than it is for any other body type. BUT it’s not hopeless. There are actually a lot of swimsuits that are made especially for minimizing a bigger belly. If you’re looking for a two-piece – you can wear a two-piece – you want to find a bottom that has a built-in waist minimizer or one that minimizes the appearance of the waist with darker colors or solid colors at the waist. If you’re looking for a one-piece it’s as easy as finding a suit that gives the optical illusion of an hourglass shape with a pattern or decoration in that shape. 

BOY

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photo (19)If I have previously written about a staple it will be linked to that post.

T-shirts:

T-shirts must always be fitted. Otherwise, follow the rules for casual shirts.

Casual Shirts:

You either want to wear a shirt that breaks up your torso and gives you shape or wear a plain shirt and let the rest of the outfit do the work.

Blouses:

You can go with something structured, a blouse that is gathered at the waist, or even a men’s button up with a belt at the waist. Any of these things will work for you. However, if there is no waist on your blouse you’ll need to add a belt or wear something that your blouse can be tucked into. Puff sleeves and ruffles on the bust are a good idea, too.

Sweaters:

Wrap sweaters are great for boy shapes if they have a tie at the waist. Also, any plain sweater that you can add a belt to is great. I really like the mushroom type of sweater that is tight on the waist, but bellows out above the waist. Those are really cute for a boy shape.

Blazers:

You can wear a slouchy blazer if you add a skinny belt to it. There are some really cute blazers with elastic in the waist. Skinnier or shorter lapels on blazers with pockets on the hips will also do the trick. (A thicker or longer lapel will be overwhelming on your straight frame.)

 

Skirts and Mini Skirts:

I think it’s a good idea to break up your torso with a high-waisted skirt. High-waist skirts creat the look of longer legs, too. Skirts with wide waistbands are good for your shape. If you want to bring more attention to your hips, and create the illusion of curves, you can wear a low-rise skirt with a wide waistband – as long as it doesn’t give you a muffin top. Flared, bubble or cargo skirts will give you a little extra shape as well.

Skinny Jeans:

I DON’T RECOMMEND SKINNY JEANS FOR ANY BODY TYPE.

That being said… Low-rise skinny jeans are going to make your torso look twice as long and your legs look half as long. Avoid them.  If you can find high-rise skinny jeans, those would be best. If you can only find mid-rise then make sure that you are breaking up your torso and cinching in your waist.

Jeans:

High-rise jeans will break up your torso, which can help to give more curves. Bell bottom jeans create the illusion of wider hips, but be careful because they can also shorten your legs. Your best bet is going to be a mid to high-rise bootcut jean.

Pants:

I love a high-waist, darted trouser for boy shapes. An open dart on a high waist trouser will give you some shape. Make sure that whatever pants you wear are fitted to your rear. Fitted clothing can go a long way to defining curves that you don’t think you have.  You can also wear low-rise trousers(be wary of muffin top) with a skinny belt. That will help to bring attention to your hips. Just be sure to balance that out on top. Width of the leg can vary depending on rise and the top you pair it with.

 

Little Black Dress:

The best little black dress for you will be one that pulls in at the waist. If it’s cut in a way that creates some curves – whether it be a flowy skirt, a low neck line, etc. – that’s even better.

Rompers:

Look for a romper with a tie waist or an elastic waist. Your body type would look best in a 40’s style pleated romper with short sleeves and wide shorts.

boy shapeSwimwear:

If you are a boy shape (or rectangle or banana) then you have a very straight shape. Other than padding your bathing suits there are a few things you can do to give yourself some va-va-voom. My favorite two-piece for a boy shape would have a bandeua top with ruching in the center and a simple side-tie bikini bottom. You can add convertible straps to your top if you feel like you need them, but the shape of the bandeau top is going to break up your torso and draw attention to your bust – even if you don’t have much of one. Another way to add some shape is to look for a bikini with ruffles on the bust and booty. Looking for a one-piece? I got you covered, almost. Go for a one piece with cut-outs at the sides or lines that create an hourglass shape. Either one gives the illusion of a more shapely torso.

FIND MORE INFO ON BOY SHAPE  BODY TYPES HERE.

COLUMN

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photo (20)If I have previously written about a staple it will be linked to that post.

T-shirts:

T-shirts must always be fitted. Otherwise, follow the rules for casual shirts.

Casual Shirts:

You can actually wear shirts that are cut to end at your hips. However, make sure that you have a very clear waist line. Don’t wear anything with a lot of embellishment or ruffles around the bust.

Blouses:

You want something very structured without puffy sleeves or ruffles. You can wear a blouse that is long enough to sit on your hips. Make sure to emphasize your tiny waist with a belt if you’re not going to tuck it in.

Sweaters:

Any plain sweater I like for Columns. Cable knit sweaters are good as long as the knit is vertical. Belts, when they can be used, are great for showing the world that you have a small waist.

Blazers:

Find some blazers with lapels that don’t draw a lot of attention to them. Jackets with a pulled in waist and big pockets are great. No pockets is fine, too, just make sure the waist is pulled in and the jacket either flares out from the waist or sits nicely on the hips.

 

Skirts and Mini Skirts:

Pencil skirts are great for your shape. They will put some much needed attention on your derriere. Tiered skirts, ruffled skirts, bubble skirts, cargo skirts or flared skirts are all great for adding a little shape to your booty.

Skinny Jeans:

I DON’T RECOMMEND SKINNY JEANS FOR ANY BODY TYPE.

That being said… skinny jeans do actually make your booty look bigger. However, they can also make your stomach look bigger, too. So, whatever you wear with your skinny jeans, make sure that you are cinching in your waist.

Jeans:

If you don’t have hips at all then you don’t necessarily need to worry about muffin top and can wear low-rise, mid-rise or high-rise jeans. Whiskering can make your hips to look wider, which is good for your body type. Bell bottoms can actually make your hips look wider, too. But be careful, because they can also make your legs look shorter. Straight leg jeans and bootcut jeans are great, too.

Pants:

Wear straight leg pants to draw the eye up to your booty. Mid-rise would be best, but if you want to go with high-rise it would bring some much-needed definition to your waist.

Little Black Dress:

You need a little black dress that goes over the bust without bringing much attention to it. It should pull in at the waist and go out from there. Another great LBD would be one that is fitted completely and brings some attention to your lower half with a belt around the hips or a stripe of color across the bottom of the skirt.

Rompers:

Look for rompers with wide leg shorts, ruffled shorts, or cuffed shorts to balance out your bust. You can also find a romper that has a pattern on the bottom, but a solid color on top.

ColumnSwimwear:

Whether looking for a one-piece or two-piece, wear brighter colors on the bottom. You need to draw attention to your bottom to balance out your top. What I love about picking swimwear for column shaped ladies is that you can find any sort of swimwear and add to it. Add a fun belt around the hips (or a sarong or a scarf). That tip goes a long way to balance out a bigger bust.