What to Do When You Love a Style But it Doesn’t Love You


What to do when you love a style and it doesn't love you

What can you do if a style that you love doesn’t suit your body shape? I love the general vibe of loose fitting clothes, such as found at Eileen Fisher, but my body shape and stature suggests more classic, form fitting clothes are the way to figure flattery for me.

When you love a style of clothing or a garment, but it doesn’t flatter what to do?  Well there are a few things you could consider:

1.  Wear it anyway – if it’s a true expression of your personality, then wear it. Not everything has to conform to all the guidelines around figure flattery.

2. Work the vibe of the look – just because the brand puts a style together in a particular way, doesn’t mean you have to copy exactly.  Maybe you can wear one looser piece with other more tailored form fitting pieces, this way you get the vibe of the look without totally overwhelming your frame and loosing all figure flattery elements (as these are often important to many and they like to follow their guidelines).

3.  Alter it – can you take the looser pieces and with some alterations make it more form fitting, without loosing the overall feeling of the look and outfit?  Can you adjust the garments to make them flatter your figure?

4. Analyse it – figure out what it is about the look that you love and find attractive.  Then see if you can replicate those elements in clothes that you think flatter you more.

Here are a range of pieces from Eileen Fisher which I have grouped together, pants first, then top layer/s.  You can see how when you wear a slimmer bottom you can use the principle of volume to allow you to get the loose free floaty vibe, without losing yourself completely.
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In my personal experience I love clothes that have real waist detail, yet I don’t have a really defined waist – so what do I do?

1. Replicate the look with clothes that are tailored and shaped at the waist, but don’t have waist detail so you don’t notice my lack of waist.  I have the illusion of one with the shaping.

2. Use a belt to “create a waist” with voluminous garments so they blouse over the top of the belt (example here in how to wear a waterfall cardigan)

3. Wear a high waisted garment (I’m slimmer on my rib cage than at my natural waist) so it has the ‘waisted’ appearance but not at my actual waist.


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  • Good tip, Imogen!
    In first case I would recommend to wear loose fitting clothes but slightly transparent. That will still show your figure and will not make the loose outfit look boxy. Just don’t forget to wear properly fitted undergarment.

  • i would now opt for 1. wear it anyway, as when i think of things i didnt wear in my 20s because i was convinced they didnt suit me (which was silly as they didnt not suit me either). I am ‘pear’ and I love cigarette pants, but i have found some shapes suit me more than others and i opt for them, good posture is possibly the best addition to any outfit, and I think if you feel self conscious in an outfit it will show in your posture and you are as well off not to wear it, and ditto vice versa.

  • Interesting article. I am X shape but find myself drawn to I shape clothing that looks hip and relaxed. Will ponder.

  • I really struggle with this too. I’m an hourglass that suits dresses with classic tailoring & skirts/tops (waist defining; bum hiding!) but really love jeans (skinny, boyfriend) and a more modern vibe. I just wear what I enjoy currently but I’m keeping my eye out for dresses that have tailoring but are funky too. We’ll see!

  • Hi, I simpathize, I’m 5.1 and 54kg and I love loose fitting styles, particularly Elienne Fisher. As it’s truley me I have found a way to make the style work for me. My formular is :minimalist longer straight tops, loose but not to much volume and straight pants, not to slim, and very slight a line skirts give me the relaxed vibe without swamping my petite frame with fabric. I am bigger up top, so really look for balance, it’s difficult to get the balance just right, but I pursuit and only buy the right shapes, as I stick to a minimalist color scheme everything works well and I wear, I buy the best quality I can afford and my cloths last me years.

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