What are the keys to creating flattering outfits for the 8 body shape (it’s one of the two hourglass body shapes)?
The 8 shape can have similar width shoulders and hips or their shoulders may be narrower than their hips, but they have a defined waist. If you want all the details grab your Body Shape Bible here.
The widest part of the hip is on the high hip – just below the waist, unlike the X shape hourglass whose widest point is on the upper thigh – find out more about the X shape here). I think of their shape as the Barbie Doll shape. Check out this post about how to really tell the difference between an 8 shape and an X shape hourglass.
So when putting outfits together, you want to think about these key points:
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 of voluminous fabric. So for all those voluminous blouses and sweaters, you need to do some sort of half/French tuck or draw them in with a belt to highlight your waist!
Your body is designed for the straight silhouette! It follows and harmonises with your gorgeous curves.
Don’t Add Additional Width to Your Hips
Most 8 shapes I’ve worked with have told me that they don’t want to emphasise their hips. So to ensure that you don’t do this, avoid ending tops and jackets around your high hip. Instead, end tops at the waist (you can tuck) or end at the lower hip (unless you have the hip-dip) 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 8 Shape Body
With these simple guidelines in mind, you can play in your wardrobe and create stylish and flattering outfits. Here are some examples.
- Think pencil skirts rather than fit and flare to enhance and elongate your gorgeous shape. You can layer over garments with more curve – the peplum shape was made for your body. The leopard outfit would look stunning with either the dark teal steampunk Victorian waterfall waistcoat jacket (you can find it here in an array of colours USA and in Australia and here’s a similar one for USA readers and along sleeve for Australian you may like), or alternatively, a cropped, curved cardigan (stay away from straight hemlines as they broaden hips) will work well.
- Add a belt if you want to highlight your smaller waist.
- Ensure all tops with volume come in at the waist or tuck them in if they don’t, you can blouse over your bottom half if you have a little tummy and want to hide it.
- Bootcuts and slight flares work well to balance your hips.
- Ties at the waist or just above highight your curves and draw garments in at your narrowest point
- Dress a dress down with a denim jacket – make sure it’s cropped to the waist or shaped at the waist rather than being boxy or down to your hips.
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 8 Body Shape Reading
What Guidelines to Follow When Your Body Shape isn’t “Standard”
Thanks Imogen. I know that as an 8 my waist should be highlighted. I was hoping that you would do a blog like this. I do get a bit confused when you have the body variation of having balanced with a short mid body. But will be trying some waisted outfits out on the group,