APR 10, 2014

Different body shapes and how to dress them - part 1

As a dressmaker you probably find yourself being asked for tips and advice on how to dress different body shapes. The exact same dress can look completely different on a tall, slim, boyish figure and a curvy, hourglass figure. Understanding the different types of body shape you’ll encounter as a dressmaker can help you to make better clothing for your customers.

The Apple

Women with an apple shaped figure tend to carry most of their weight around the middle, while having quite slender limbs. The key is to dress in a way that emphasises slim legs and arms, while creating balance around the torso.

Tops and dresses that wrap around and tie at the back will give the illusion of a smaller waist, as will any garment that has a corset-like structure and stitching. Deep V necks and scoop necks help to emphasise a good bust line, while pleating and gathering just under the bust will help to draw the eye down vertically.

Apple shapes should avoid anything too A-lined, or floaty blouses that lack shape. Tops with pockets should also be avoided as they can add more bulk to the heaviest part of the body.

The Pear

Pear shaped women are smaller on the top than they are on the bottom, so they will often struggle to buy dresses off the peg as they may be a size 16 on the bottom and a 14 on the top, for example. The key is to balance the body out by creating the illusion of volume on the upper body while minimizing the lower half of the body.

Dark coloured trousers, fabrics that have some stretch in them, and those with a seam running down the front of the leg all have a slimming effect. When it comes to skirts, opt for a fluted shape that flares out at the bottom.  Thick waistbands and low-slung tunic tops will also help to minimize larger bottoms.

Avoid tops that are too tight as they’ll only serve to emphasise the difference between the upper and lower body. It’s also best to avoid pockets on the hips and thighs; stick to slimline trousers without pockets instead.

Join us next time when we’ll be looking at hourglass figures and boyish figures...

Created on 10th April 2014
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