Tired of clothes that sabotage your shape? With a chic crop of new trends introduced to us every season, it can be difficult to determine which looks are going to fit and flatter. Whether you're curvy, boyish, petite or full-figured, your body shape doesn't need to translate into boring, shapeless outfits for fall. Accentuate your best assets this season with figure flattering trends plucked straight from the runways to help you nip, tuck and conceal with style.
For a trick that works when it comes to slimming your silhouette, dressing in head-to-toe color, just as the models at Guy Laroche's fall show did, is an ultra-flattering way to wear one shade. Monochromatic dressing creates a longer, leaner figure and lengthens the look of your body without visually chopping up your shape. In head-to-toe color, the eye tends to travel straight up and down without stopping, creating the illusion of mile-long legs and a lean torso. Instead of reaching for all-black ensembles, test out this slimming trend in a bold and bright hue like magenta.
Generally, dresses and clothing that skim your figure can be ultra-flattering but can also leave you without a defined waistline. Jason Wu opted for a slimming solution on the runway by adding a black belt around the natural waistline to cinch in the model's shape and define her silhouette with a curve-enhancing effect. This slimming trick accentuates the waist and will work on any dress as long as the belt is darker than the color of the dress.
Show off your shape by exposing some skin and you'll instantly appear slimmer. Juxtaposing a plunging, elongated V-neck, just as Alexander Wang did, with a wide collar is a surefire way to get you noticed this season while looking long and lean. The effect is dramatic and flattering, creating the look of a lengthened torso that'll make you stand tall above the rest.
The art of dressing strategically for your shape starts with colorblocking. Using contrasted darker shades in panels along the body works to de-emphasize parts of your shape you'd like to disguise. This creates the illusion of looking smaller, while playing up or establishing curves. A fitted tri-tone dress like DKNY's has silhouette-extending vertical panels with a curved shape to trick the eye and make the waist look shapely.
Hiding a multitude of sins, the extra forgiving and flattering work of draping can be a simple, sexy way to add structure to your shape. Pliable fabrics like jersey can be your go-to material for disguising problem areas you don't want to show off. You can wrap, twist and gather a soft, stretchy fabric like Costello Tagliapietra did to highlight some parts and hide others.
To define your figure, frumpy fits are not going to do the trick. Instead, opt for finding clothes that fit you perfectly and when they don't, take them to a tailor to have them structured to your shape. Close-to-the-body cuts will be the most slimming for your shape as sack or boxy lines only add extra, unwanted pounds. Classic menswear-inspired suiting like Rachel Zoe's is going to skim the body and give your waist definition with sleek, streamlined and structured cuts that work with your shape and not against it with extra volume or bulk.
Strong, structured shoulders, like those of Balmain's Fall 2013 collection, are ideal for strategically dressing your shape. Your clothing hangs off your shoulders and the more shaped and structured they are, the more tailored your outfit will be. Structured square shoulders also create the look of an equally proportioned shape and works to balance out your hip-to-shoulder ratio to perfect the hourglass silhouette.
Perfectly Placed Prints
Well-placed prints can enhance your curves and slim your shape all at the same time. Look to Herve Leger's optical illusion prints to trick the eye into seeing a svelte figure that's perfectly proportioned. Find printed pieces with finer details around the smaller parts of your body like your natural waist and broader bigger patterns for parts of your figure that are larger and you'd like to disguise.
Cinched Trench Coats
As a must-have in every woman's wardrobe, the classic trench coat with its angular high collar and structured details is a flattering piece of staple outerwear mastered by Burberry Prorsum. Follow suit and pick up on the figure-flattery with a belt to cinch in your waist and give this traditionally tailored coat an even more slimming effect.
A well-place peek of skin, like the sheer paneling on this Antonio Berardi dress made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow on the red carpet, is another example of an optical illusion that can accentuate a strong shoulderline and an hourglass figure. These sheer panels virtually cut away at the sides of your silhouette to make you appear narrower and that much slimmer.