Classics & Good Looks

Shape Shift

By Aqua Catlin

After we posted on Levi’s Curve line,, they announced Supreme Curve for the truly gifted in the hip and thigh: I know they do it for profit but as a woman, (who dresses women), I appreciate them.

That post made focus on body shape and all the little ways we can enhance or sabotage our silhouette by dressing for or against our own shape. Can’t we just buy clothes we like?? Are we really, “inverted triangles,” or…fruits?

The trick is a balanced silhouette and proportional features, so we either have it or, yes, we must fake it. Figure flaws… we all have and hate them but they’re also an opportunity to bring attention to features we like, so if you’re not already, here’s how to make it a fun game.

RECTANGLE (very little waist definition, generally a boyish or thin and flat figure, maybe tall)

Wear: DETAILS!! Prints, belts or colors at the center-waist. Defining diagonals, lapels, v-necks directing eyes to your center. ou may lack cleavage (go here:, so wear tight tops and show off your shoulders and fabulous limbs. You can appear more shapely. Gwyneth Paltrow is always doing just that in heavily detailed pieces.

INVERTED TRIANGLE (broad shoulders, very little waist definition, smaller hips and bum, sleek legs.)

Wear: Colors or bare skin at the leg! Move away from the shoulders. Feminine touches at the bust, skirts, shorts, details at the hips – down. Darks on top. Large prints or details on the bottom half, (see Garner below), avoid spaghetti straps and halters. Straight pants and pencil skirts on the bottom minimize your bottom and magnify your top so use shapely pieces.

PEAR (heavier booty and rounder from the hips down, narrow on top, nice bust)

Wear: Details and colors at the bust and anything that builds up and draws attention to the booz. Dark colors on the bottom with straight legs or pencil skirts, I also like skinny pants with long knit tops. Tunics or empire…no. Focus us on your lovely waist, long neck and arms!

Jennifer Lopez, though known for her booty and hips, is never seen in public without a detailed, built up or colored bustline. A genius at balancing proportion and directing our eye.

HOUR-GLASS (You are considered perfectly proportional.)

Wear: Whatever you want. Belts at the waist will enhance. You look good no matter your actual size. Have you ever seen a shot of Kim Kardashian looking fat? I haven’t, yet she is far from skinny, this should give us all hope for diva-bility!

APPLE (Roundest in the middle. You probably struggle in many tops and wish you had a bigger bum, you may be a large size). You’re aim is to draw the eye to your bossom, gorgeous face and legs.

Wear: Heels and bare legs, meow! Use colors and details at the bust, vertical pleats, flowy skirts, colored and large print bottoms. Keep prints small on top. Mid-size belts if you’re a small size, otherwise skip it. Jewelry including clavicle-length necklaces, bangles and fun earrings that move or sparkle will have them wondering how you do it! Think Jennifer Hudson before she slimmed down.

Here’s small “apple” Catherine Zeta-Jones (always, always in a V-neck – frames her face and we are looking at bust not belly), brilliantly forcing us to look at her bossoms and long legs. Sure you can see her wider waist, she’s in a bikini, but your eye moves on to her features! That heavy yellow color choice was no accident. If she were in a black bikini, you’d be looking at the skin she’s showing, but in yellow, you see the piece she’s wearing.

What about our individual differences? Work to elongate the shorter of your torso or limbs. No secret there. Shorter legs? Long shirts will mess you up. In a Capri or legging, ideally use a nude pump with a low toe. Low toes are heaven’s helpers, ankle straps are evil.

High waist? That fun outer-belt trend will make your bum look really low and heavy even though its cute. Wear a tight skirt and cute jacket, hot!

Busty? Nice! But no high necklines or turtle-necks. Jessica Simpson is practically matronly in this red boat-neck dress. It should look hot but her breasts look more like a burden. The built up shoulder barely distracts. (And those shoes she paired with it… strange choice.)

And she’s twice guilty!

Big Bum like me? Deep waistlines on your pants and jeans are so helpful here and low pockets!! Its widely held that big pockets will help but I always feel big pockets make a big bum look bigger. Thoughts?

I hope its been helpful for any of you not already considering this which can feel like a 2nd job. Questions?

Dudes: I probably lost you at “body shape” but You’re going for INVERTED TRIANGLE. You’ve fewer options but lots of colors and prints to choose from. Wear only your best colors (ask me or see a future post). No horizontal stripes, though I know you’re tempted, EXCEPT to build out your shoulders at the yoke. If you need to, for height, wear the same color shoe and pant. AND Beware of the low-worn crotch and the skinny jean!

*With all this talk about silhouette and proportion, let also it be known, I am the campaigner for wearing our BEST COLORS ONLY!

Check out Aqua’s site for more of her awesomeness.



Filed Under: Blogs


About the Author: Aqua, (yes, its her real name), Catlin is an Aussie-American Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor as well as Stylist. She’s costumed Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Billy Baldwin and Arye Gross among others, has worked with models, musicians, playmates and in various roles Serena Williams and Oprah Winfrey. Aqua’s work is considered, on budget, on time and adds production value and a friendly on-set face! You’ll be glad you trusted your project to Aqua. Questions? Great! Contact us here: E-mail [email protected]


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