What are the keys to creating flattering outfits for the A body shape?
The A shape has narrower shoulders than hips with a defined waist and is often described as a pear shape body. If you want all the details grab your Body Shape Bible here.
The widest part of the hip is at the upper thigh (unlike the 8 shape whose widest point is higher just below the waist – find out more about the 8 shape here).
So when putting outfits together, you want to think about these key points:
Balance Your Shape
Because your hips are wider than your shoulders, you want to create balance between them, so think about using horizontal lines above your bust to create a broadening effect for your shoulders which will balance your hips.
The power shoulder, shoulder pad, puffed sleeve, gathered sleeves and epaulettes are all your friends as they create width at the shoulders which balances your hips.
Highlight your Waist
Big, baggy and boxy are not the silhouettes for you. Think about all outfits being drawn in at the waist, either because the garment naturally fits that way, or a belt has been added to draw in excess or voluminous fabric. So for all those voluminous blouses and sweaters, you need to do some sort of half/French tuck , complete tuck or draw them in with a belt to highlight your waist!
Your body is designed for the fit and flare silhouette! It follows and harmonises with your gorgeous curves.
Don’t Add Additional Width to Your Hips
Don’t emphasise hips with horizontal details. So to ensure that you don’t do this, avoid ending tops and jackets around your low hip (top of thighs). Instead, end tops at the waist (you can tuck) or end at the high-hip (hip bone) for a flattering silhouette.
Choose more cropped jackets and tops rather than the longer thigh-length options.
Avoid any horizontal details around your hips. This includes tops and jacket hems, and also hip pockets on cardigans or longer coats, horizontal distressing at the crotch of your jeans, and patch pockets on pants.
Curved hems that are higher at the side and dip down at the front are always a flattering option if you want to hide your tummy a touch!
Draw Attention Up With Detail
Draw attention up to your upper body with interest and detail. You can use colours, patterns, and accessories to do this. It’s always flattering to add some sort of focal point to your portrait area no matter your shape!
Outfit Ideas for the A Shape Body
With these simple guidelines in mind, you can play in your wardrobe and create stylish and flattering outfits. Here are some examples.
- When choosing skirts and dresses think about proportions and if you have shorter legs either choose a shorter skirt or pop heels on with your longer skirt. Draw attention upwards with patterned tops or cardigans.
- Define your waist with belts and cropped cardigans and jackets.
- If you like a longer cardigan find one with built in waist shaping or choose a belted version. Wider necklines in your tops create flattering and balancing horizontal lines. Avoid obvious distressing on the crotch of your jeans so you don’t draw attention there. Blend boots or shoes with your jeans (or go darker) as this will also make your legs look longer. Bootlegs and flares balance your hips.
- Think you can only wear dark pants? Not true, just make sure your top is lighter or brighter as this will grab attention. Plus don’t end jackets lower than the high hip (hip bone) to create a flattering look.
- Dresses can be fabulous to highlight your feminine shape. Any jackets or cardigans need to be cropped to provide the right balance. You can dress up your dress with gorgeous pumps or dress the outfit down with a pair of sneakers.
Discover Your Shape
Not sure of your body shape? Take my free body shape calculator quiz – instructions and quiz here. If you’d like my professional opinion on your shape, you can get it as part of my 7 Steps to Style System – which walks you through everything you need to know about flattering your figure, your colouring, and understanding how to express your personality through your clothes and outfits as well. It’s the full image program that will assist you in defining your style so that you can build a wardrobe full of clothes that you love to wear.
Further A Body Shape Reading
I am definitely not an A shape, but I do love learning how to dress other body types so I can better assist when someone asks me for help. I think that is where I struggle most with helping others! I have learned how to dress my body but seem to get stuck with regard to all other body types. Thanks for always sharing your knowledge with us!