Ever buy an outfit without trying it on because you just knew it would fit, only to be disappointed, not because it wasn’t your size, but because it just didn’t look good on you? Or have you tried to mimic the style of your favorite celebrity only for it to look utterly ridiculous when you tried to pull it off? In both cases, you mistake most likely was that you were trying to fit a square peg into a circle and not dressing for your specific body type. And while you may gain or loose weight, your body frame (body type) is static. If you’re an overweight woman with an hourglass figure, you’ll still have that hourglass, just on a smaller scale. I can attest to this fact–I lost 15 pounds over that last several months but my frame remains the same.
Celebrity stylist, Bradley Bayou authored a book, “The Science of Sexy,” and it’s a must-have for every fashion-conscious woman. He gives recommendations for the most common body types–the inverted triangle, rectangle, triangle and hourglass. I’m an inverted triangle, which means I’m broad at the top and narrow at the bottom. As if we didn’t already know, the ideal woman’s form is an hourglass. Since his mantra is always, “Dress to balance your body and learn to conceal your flaws and reveal your assets,” I decided to dig in my wardrobe and try to follow his rules based on things I already had in my closet. According to Bayou, my goal is to minimize the width of my shoulders and try to bring more attention to my lower body.
His recommendations for my shape (inverted triangle, short 5’2, medium weight 130 pounds):
Dresses–wear corseted dresses that cinch at the waist and flare at the bottom to draw attention to my bottom half. Even the accessories matter–Bayou says I should wear chandelier earrings to create vertical lines at my neck to counterbalance the wideness of my shoulders. He also recommends bold cuffs or bangles that draw attention to my hips. Even the size of your jewelry matters but they need not always be beautiful black diamond rings. Here’s my take…
This denim dress is a pretty heavy fabric that falls nicely on my bottom half, and has a corset-like middle. I’m wearing three bangles to draw the eyes lower and matching dangling earrings that hang vertically. They aren’t chandeliers, but they give a similar effect.
Bayou is very specific about jeans as well. For shorties like me, he says I should wear good-quality jeans with bold stitching along the inner leg seam to give the illusion of length. In this photo I’m wearing jeans by True Religion and short, western-style booties Seychelles. I finally caved and bought an infinity scarf from Nordstroms–and I’m glad I did because the vertical detail draws the eye toward the middle.
If you’re in between sizes and planning to revamp your wardrobe, buy this book first. Once you know how to dress for your body shape, you’ll go into the store with a different perspective and an eye for specific style “themes” and recur over and over, just with different patterns and colors. After a while I was able to use Bayou’s principles without even needing to consult the book, and have even been able to add on some variations, always with the same idea–minimize the top broadness and accentuate my bottom half.