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Body Shape: Straight

You have the most common body type. Over 45% of American women have a Straight body shape (sometimes called rectangle or ruler). This means that your hips and bust are balanced and your waist is not very defined. You probably have a bottom that is more flat than round. You tend to gain weight in your torso first and then your upper thighs and arms. Your lower legs are always shapely and one of your best assets.

How to Dress a Straight Body Shape

The key to dressing a Straight body type is to proportionally dress the top and bottom of your body while enhancing your waist. If you are comfortable doing so, you can wear form fitting clothing (such as a tube-type dress) and create a waist by adding a wide, dark belt. However, to create a more curvaceous effect add volume (or the illusion of volume) proportionally to your upper and lower body by mixing and matching suggested separates.

Tops

Look for tops that will add curves to your upper half and create a more defined waist:

  • Tops with nipped or belted waists.
  • Off the shoulder, boat-neck tops, wide V or U necks.
  • Structured shoulders, princess or flutter sleeves.
  • Embellishments around the bust and shoulders.
  • Tops that are full, rushed or flowing around the bust.

  1. Find tops with belted or gathered waists with fullness around the bust and hips.
  2. Off the shoulder shirts and wide necklines will lengthen your shoulders and create the illusion of a smaller waist. Enhance the effect with a wide belt and padded bra.
  3. Flowing tops with draping in the body and sleeves and a wide banded waist help create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
  4. Billowy tops that add volume to the bust with a snug fitting waist. Add flutter or princess sleeves for a more dramatic effect.
  5. Shirts with a fitted waist and embellishments around the bust and shoulders will give you a more curvaceous appearance.
  6. Jackets with full or structured shoulders and a nipped-in or belted waist. Draw attention to your bust with pockets or details. Choose a jacket with a pocketed or flared bottom.

Bottoms

Look for bottoms that add curves to your lower half while creating an hourglass effect:

  • Go for details such as whiskering, embellished pockets & flap pockets.
  • Cargo or safari pants with pronounced hip and rear pockets.
  • Pants with full or moderately flared legs.
  • Full, tiered or bubble skirts.
  • Mid to low-rise waists with wide waistbands.

  1. Choose pants with a wide waist band and full or slightly flared legs. Flap rear pockets, pronounced hip pockets and cargo pockets will add curves to your lower half.
  2. Choose boot cut or flared jeans with a low to mid rise waist. Whiskering at the hips will add the illusion of curvier hips and flap-type back pockets will add fullness to your bottom.
  3. Choose full, tiered, or bubble skirts of any length. Pair with shirts that provide an equal amount of volume to your bust and shoulders to create an hourglass effect.
  4. Find skirts with details, seaming or pockets that add the illusion of curves to your hips.

Swimsuits

Look for swimsuits that will add the illusion of curves to your figure:

  • Wide-set straps.
  • Moderate to full coverage bottoms.
  • Light colored tops that are ruffled, embellished, patterned or padded.
  • Light colored bottoms or waist bands with ruffles or embellishments.
  • Waistbands that are cut staight across from hip to hip.

  1. Light colored or bold patterned tops with wide-set straps. Choose a padded or push-up top to add curves to your upper half.
  2. Ruffled or embellished tops that will draw the eye up adding curves to your upper half.
  3. Skirted or ruffled bottoms in a light, bright or bold pattern will help ad curves to your hips.
  4. Choose light, bright or patterned bottoms with a mid to low rise waist that cuts straight across your hips. Choose bottoms with ties or hip embellishments to add the illusion of curves.
  5. One piece bathing suits with a criss-cross front, or with embellishment around the hips and bust to add the illusion of curves.
  6. Choose tankinis with ruffles or embellishments around the bust and hips to add illusions of curves. Enhance the effect with a dark colored waist.

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