I used to be a huge fan of the popular American television series Fashion Police. I was an ardent follower, and I mean the “wouldn’t miss an episode” kind, until the shows 5 month hiatus following the death of the shows debut host, Joan Rivers.
Fashion Police is a weekly television series, where the host and some panelist come together to discuss the dos and don’ts of celebrity fashion. It has some fun segments like The Five Must-See Looks of the Week, Who Whore It Better, Gotta Have It!, Make It Stop!, my all-time favorite segment Busted!, among other fun parts.
They say fashion is not a do or die affair, I say it is.
My friends always wondered why a supposed cyber bunny like me would care so much about a Television series that was often considered “vain”. I had an answer every time they asked and here it is, whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well.
Fashion affects all aspects of our lives, but many of us do not know it yet. Most people consider it vain, to follow fashion trends or be conscious of what you wear, but I say we make an impression every time we leave the comfort our homes by what we wear, whether you are out for a drink with friends, or headed for a board meeting, your clothes tell a story about where you have been and where you are headed.
Why am I going on about this? Today, friends and family often consult me when they are making decisions about what to wear, or what goes with what. I do not have a fashion degree, but I learnt the basic dos and don’ts.
In recent times, I have come across so many businesses that focus on rebranding images, and I do not be company images. I mean rebranding people, giving them a whole new look, wardrobe, hair, attitude and etiquettes. Quick question, why do you think such businesses are springing up? The answer is simple; more people are beginning to put in more thought into how they look and how they are perceived. People get new jobs and they employ image managers, people want to be in the public eye, they visit an image manager, I can go on, bottom line is what you wear matters.
Suppose you had the basic knowledge of what goes with what, you may need a make-up artist from time to time or on special occasions, but you wouldn’t have to spend loads of coin trying to revamp your entire look and wardrobe. We can all be rock stars and celebrities in our own world, if we let ourselves learn these dos and don’ts, it’s not rocket science, trust, me. If I could, you could too.
The first step of harnessing this inner rock star of yours is by learning your body type. Yes! I dare say some clothing items just “DO NOT’ complement some body types. When you have learnt and mastered what complements your body type, then you can move on to the dos and don’ts of fashion. Some may wonder what I’m blabbering on about, here’s an example of what. I have very full legs, and I mean full down to the ankle, I cannot be caught in with shorts and complete flats. I learnt early that with legs like mine, I may love flats, but they don’t love me. Want to know why? When you have such full legs, such flats generally make your legs look like tree stumps, especially when you wear something that doesn’t cover them up. Flat shoes emphasize big calves and ankles and make you look squat. Instead, choose a mid-height heel to fool the eye and make your legs look long and lean. I’d go a step further and help you with visuals.
I bet you get it now. I have a lot of sisters, doing it the wrong way, so I found this piece by Nikki Boa-Amponsem, it guides us through identifying our body shapes, and helps out with a few important dues and don’ts of fashion, that would amplify your inner rock star. Here you go:
Body shape is all about proportion, and fashion is all about dressing those proportions to look their very best. When you think about body types, don’t focus on height and weight… focus on shape. A slender gal can have the same body shape as a curvy gal, just as a short woman can have the same body shape as her taller friend. And it’s not about trying to look thin; it’s about accentuating your shape and enhancing what you have so you feel your best in every outfit you own.
Each of us is unique — and our bodies are, too! Nevertheless, our body shapes are generally narrowed down to five general categories: pear, wedge, rectangle, apple and hourglass. You might fall into one category, or you might be a blend of two or more categories.
Once you’ve determined your body shape, you can begin to consider which fashion trends to embrace and which to avoid. Spend some time in front of the mirror and do a fair and honest assessment of your body. Then put these fashion tips to work.
- 1. Pear body shape
- Pear body traits: Your lower body is wider than your upper body — in other words, your hips are wider than your shoulders. Your bottom is rounded and your waist is well-defined.
- Your best assets: Shoulders and torso
- Your fashion goals: Emphasize your waist and arms, add volume to your shoulders and upper body.
“As a rule of thumb, necklines for dresses should accentuate the shoulders and waist — play around with sweetheart, scoop-neck or plunging. Opt for visually interesting hemlines on dresses that slim the hips and thighs, like the hi-lo trend or a tulip skirt.
Dos and don’ts
- DO try A-line skirts
- DO keep hems of pants, skirts and dresses wide to balance the hips.
- DO experiment with light-colored tops and dark-colored bottoms for contrast.
- DO look for boat neck tops, square and cowl necklines.
- DO wear strapless dresses to show off arms and even out proportions.
- DO try styles with ruffles on top.
- DO wear jackets that hit right above the waist.
- DO opt for pointy-toed shoes to elongate your legs.
- Wedge body type
- Wedge body traits: Also known as the inverted triangle, this body shape features a broad chest and wide shoulders with narrow waist and hips.
- Your best asset: Your legs
- Your fashion goals: Accentuate your lower body while softening your shoulders and upper body.
To flatter all body types and especially the distinct wedge shape, Accentuate and drawn attention to what you like. Do you have great shoulders and arms? Go strapless and wear a statement necklace to draw attention up. Tiny waist? Use a fabulous belt to really show it off. If you’ve got great legs, opt for something shorter but that has sleeves to give you some balance — so you’re not showing too much at any one time. Also, shapewear is a must regardless of your size. It smooths you out and gives you a great silhouette.”
Dos and don’ts
- DO wear bright colors on bottom.
- DO wear wide-leg pants.
- DO wear full skirts.
- DON’T wear spaghetti-strap tops.
- DON’T wear boat neckline tops.
- DO experiment with high-waisted styles.
- DO look for clothes that create the illusion of a waist.
- Rectangle body shape
Rectangle-shaped celebs: Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Hilary Swank
- Rectangle body traits: The waist, hip and shoulder widths are similar.
- Your best assets: Your arms and legs
- Your fashion goals: Create curves and show off slender legs and arms.
For rectangle or ruler body types, A sweetheart neckline adds some curves, or a pencil skirt with a side-slit shows off your legs and adds visual interest. Building dimension on a straight body type can consist of wearing belts to define the waist and layering items like accessories or tops. A great alternative to a dress for a rectangle-shaped body would be the crop top and skirt sets that are currently on trend.
Dos and don’ts
- DO wear scoop neck and sweetheart tops to create curves.
- DO wear long jackets to create a lean look.
- DO wear tops with collars, ruffles and details to flatter your chest.
- DO wear a good bra that will make the most of what you have.
- DON’T wear overwhelming styles.
- DO layer to add more dimensions.
- DO wear dresses with ruching. Cinches on sides are ideal.
- DO have fun with colorful bottoms… feel free to experiment.
- Apple body shape
- Apple body traits: Most of your weight is above the hips, which are narrow. Your back, ribs and shoulders are broad.
- Your best asset: Those legs!
- Your fashion goals: Elongate the torso and show off your legs
“As apple-shaped bodies have a fuller, rounder torso with a minimal waistline, it’s important to lengthen your body. Select dresses that have necklines that elongate your figure, like V-necks. Dresses with an A-line or empire hem should be staples for an apple-shaped body. A way to create a waistline and draw attention away from the mid-section is to wear a structured jacket with a dress. Especially during the spring time where it can still get chilly from time to time, jackets and cover-ups are still needed! Selecting structured pieces can create a curve in your chest and hips.
Dos and don’ts
- DO go for monochromatic looks.
- DO go for v-neck tops to create the illusion of a longer torso.
- DO wear a bra that offers good lift and support.
- DO wear belts at the smallest part of your waist.
- DO wear empire tops and dresses.
- DO wear boot cut and flared jeans to create an even line from the shoulders down.
- DO wear shorter skirts to show off your legs and draw attention away from your midsection.
- Hourglass body type
- Hourglass body traits: Your shoulders and hips are similar in proportion and set off by a tiny waist.
- Your best assets: Curves, curves, curves!
- Your fashion goals: Show off your curves
Balance — that is the key to selecting [clothes] for an hourglass-shaped body! Keep the proportions of a fuller bust even with the proportions of fuller hips and thighs. Search for dresses that have a fitted top half and hug your waist to avoid adding bulk. As with those who have apple-shaped bodies, hourglass bodies should wear dresses with V-necks or sweetheart necklines to slim down the bust. Accessorize with belts so that the naturally smaller waist is showcased. A-line cut or wrap dresses are a perfect match for the hourglass-shaped body.
Dos and don’ts
- DON’T hide your curves with baggy clothing.
- DO wear a good bra and showcase your bust.
- DO wear fitted dresses.
- DO wear a belt at the waist to enhance your hourglass shape.
- DO try wrap dresses.
- DO go for high-waisted skirts.
- DO pick thin, lightweight styles and fabrics.
- DO wear skinny or straight leg jeans.
When it comes to your day or night clothing choices, picking cuts that work best with your figure can make a world of difference. Fabric choices and patterns matter too — and can change the look and feel of an entire outfit. Be mindful of patterns and fabrics, not all are created equal. Patterns can overwhelm or make the outfit, depending on the body type and age. For [fabric], jersey can be quite difficult to wear since it tends to show every curve, wrinkle or blemish when worn tightly, For all body types, It is important to select a fabric that’s high-quality and hugs only the right places to create a streamlined silhouette.”
Do not forget, you may not be Kim, but you can rock as well, just identify what brings it out and you’re ready to take the stage. ……