These Body Shape Style Tips are intended specifically for women who are feeling lost with their personal style and need some guidelines and boundaries to start with, until they find their confidence.

The best thing about fashion is that anything goes!  You can pull off pretty much anything if it authentically suits your personality and you have the confidence to pull it off.  However if you don’t, I have found that some of these style tips have helped my clients to start off by experimenting with new looks, leading eventually to greater confidence.

Hourglass Body Shape Or women who want to create more balanced outfits

Hourglass figures have elements of the pear shape such as curvier thighs and hips, but also have a good bust and shoulders with a naturally defined waist. Generally when you look head on at an hourglass, their shoulders and hips are about the same width, and their waist is probably the narrowest part of their torso when looking front on. When hourglasses put on weight it tends to go on the waist, tummy, hips and thighs, so they can often feel very pear shaped, especially if they wear the wrong styles. They usually have pretty good arms and lower legs in general though.

Hourglass Golden Rules

With the hourglass it’s all about balance, so the golden rule whilst getting confident with your outfits, is that if you wear detail or pattern for example a ruffled top you keep the lower half neat, tailored and plain. Alternatively if you are wearing wide legged trousers you have created volume or detail at the bottom, keep the top half neat and tailored.

Always use the waist as your middle point, so for example, a high-waisted skirt or trouser will show off the waist; which can be further accentuated with a fitted top tucked in to the high waistline. A skinny jean will show off your legs, so you can afford to go for a looser style top. Alternatively a looser or wider bottom half style warrants a more fitted top half that finishes mid tummy.

Always bear in mind the lengths of your garments and understand the widest areas of your body and ensure lengths of tops, skirts and trousers don’t finish there.


As with all shapes, the underwear comes first. If you are a very curvy and busty hourglass then follow the rules for underwear as if you were an apple shape and go for more semi-balconnete and balconnette styles.

If you have a more athletic hourglass figure, with a smaller, less full bust then look to create more volume and really enhance your curves more with plunge styles.

If hourglasses choose the wrong style of bra or wear the wrong size, they can very often end up looking pear shaped and out of balance.


Lengths of garments will depend upon your best assets. Many hourglasses have great lower legs, so skirts and dresses that finish just on or above the knee will look fantastic.

Some hourglasses may struggle with their tummy, but as I said before, best to get the top to finish on the top of the hip bone rather than pull it way down over the stomach as this tends to make the area look bigger, as there is more fabric drawing attention to it. Shorter, fitted tops that sit mid-tummy (on top of the hip bone) tend to make the legs look longer and highlight the waist more. If you are wearing a slim fit or skinny pant, its fine to opt for a looser, longer top such as a tunic, as this is all about balancing the body.

Sleeve length is important for most shapes, so try a ¾ sleeve top and see how the sleeve finishes near to your waist, helping to define the curves of your body even more. If you have good arms you can get away with most sleeve lengths including sleeveless.

Hourglasses will tend to look pear shaped if they wear trousers which are too long or ill fitting, or if they finish on an unflattering part of the leg such as the calf which is the widest part of the lower leg. Keep trousers well fitted on the thighs and hips and make sure they flatter the shape of your leg, rather than drown them or stick to them.

Point of Interest

Hourglasses should show off their feminine curves, in particular their waist, which is usually very obviously smaller than their shoulders, bust and hip creating definite curves. This doesn’t mean always wearing a belt, although belts do of course highlight the waist. Try to choose outfits which highlight your feminine figure in other ways too, for example fitted and tailored dresses and jackets, or use a belt to pull in looser style tops, cardigans and tunics.

Styles of Tops and Dresses

Hourglasses tend to suit tops which highlight their natural curves. Imagine for a second an actual hourglass shape whilst we are talking through these styles and you will start to see how the clothes work with the body.

You want to accentuate your shoulders and highlight the smallness of your waist in comparison by using necklines such as boat-necks, off the shoulder and slash necks, which draw the eye across the shoulder and collar bone area. Alternatively accentuate the bust with deeper necklines such as Vs, scoop necks or wrap tops which lengthen the upper body and pull in the waist-line.

When wearing shorter and more fitted tops ensure you balance the figure by wearing less figure hugging bottoms, such loose or wide trousers or circular, tulip or drape skirts. Always ensure the top finishes just below the waist if wearing wider trousers, to ensure the legs look longer. With skirts, try tucking tops in to the waistband to highlight the waist and keep length to the legs.

Fitted shirts and blouses which are open at the neckline will work for hourglasses but ensure they fit well on the waist and bust and have a flattering sleeve length otherwise you could look a size larger.

Tunics and longer, looser styles of tops may look better if they are nipped in at the waist with a belt and worn with slimmer fit trousers.  If you don’t have a belt that works, layer a jacket or blazer over the top to finish off the look.

Styles of Trousers and Skirts

Some hourglasses can experience problems when getting trousers to fit, much like a pear shape, so if you have curvy thighs and hips but a small waist; look to the pear shape for advice when it comes to trousers.

The general rule for hourglass when it comes to any outfit is balance, balance, balance, to highlight the natural outline of the figure. If you are wearing a looser or wider pair of trousers then you need to keep the top fitted and shorter (just above the hip bone). If you are opting for a skinny jean or tregging, then a longer looser top will look better.

Generally the best trousers and skirts for hourglasses are the ones that sit well on or just below the waist as this ensures the correct proportions for your outfit. Lower slung hipster styles may make you look top heavy and can give you a muffin top as you have natural curves from the waist to hip.

Other Body Shapes that may be worth checking out: –

Many women also have to deal with body shape challenges when it comes to proportion in terms of: –

  • Plus Size Body (Main Challenge Area: Find it hard to Find Stylish Clothes and may want to Look Slimmer)
  • Tall Women (Main Challenge: Find it difficult to get clothes to fit well in the arms and legs, and often avoid heels)
  • Petite Women (Main Challenge: Find it hard to get clothes to fit well around the torso, shoulders and in terms in length.  Can look drowned easily)

Still feel lost in the wardrobe wilderness?  Then check out our Wardrobe Consultations and Personal Shopper Experiences to see if we can help you out!