Ask A Stylist: How to Dress for Your Shape

Learning how to dress for your body type can be tricky. First, you have to figure out if you’re an apple or an inverted triangle. Or a rectangle. Or banana. And then you have to find silhouettes that flatter your shape (or fruit). We don’t know about you, but it’s exhausting.

That’s why we needed some experts to weigh in. So we asked our team to share some real-talk about themselves, and how to identify & embrace your own figure—once & for all.

Read on for our Stylist’s tips on dressing your shape!

Stitch Fix women’s outfit laydown featuring grey button-front tie-waist dress, brown sweater, blush shacket, black loafers, cream fuzzy pullover, midi dress over brown turtleneck, blue jeans, blush pink blouse, blush clutch, white booties and brown fleece jacket.

Q: What if you don’t know what your body type is? How do you find out?
A: “Instead of thinking about it in terms of ‘body type,’ think about which areas you love to highlight or which ones you feel like covering up. Once you’ve discovered that about yourself, try the key pieces that help downplay or accentuate each part. It’s all about finding the right fit to make you feel amazing.”

What is the most common body shape concern you hear?
“Women tend to be very self-conscious about their midsection. Regardless of body type, this is a hot-button issue! If you’re looking to conceal it, try flowy blouses that fall away from your body—just be sure to complement them with a fitted garment on your lower half to create balance. I also love to recommend pieces like knit tops with ruching details or other elements that conceal but still make you feel sexy. If you like to bare your midriff, I say: lucky you—go for it.”

Why is balancing your body shape proportions important?
“We all have a style crush. You know that friend who always looks amazing. You can bet she’s figured out how to balance her proportions. Human beings are drawn to symmetry & this idea also applies to style. If you’re wearing one piece that has a lot of volume, try to balance out your proportions by doing the opposite with the rest of your look. This will create a balanced silhouette.”

What are your tips & tricks for styling your own body?
“I’m tall with broad shoulders, a long torso & short legs—and I certainly have my tricks! I play up my broad shoulders with a fitted or cold-shoulder top & pair it with wide-leg denim to match the width of my shoulders. That’s how I stay balanced & find my styling ‘om.’ “

What is your formula for getting ready in the morning?
“I prescribe to the idea of a ‘shape uniform’ and I’ve never turned back. Even though I live and breathe fashion, I still have my own issues. But, when I finally learned which silhouettes made me feel comfortable & confident, it allowed me to focus on what I did love about myself.”

What is a “shape uniform?” Sounds like a game-changer.
“So, I realized that I wanted to save time & energy getting dressed every day. I spent some time understanding which silhouettes I was constantly reaching for & realized that if I stuck to that formula, I could get dressed & feel great in a breeze. When you find the silhouettes that make you feel comfortable & confident, stick to them.”

How do you get started with your “shape uniform?
“What is it that you love to flaunt? Do you love to show off your hourglass shape? Then, you probably reach for body-con skirts or dresses, fitted tops & high-waisted jeans. Once you recognize this habit, start to explore color, print & trends within each of those silhouettes. It’s ok to stretch yourself, too—there’s always room to play outside your comfort zone.”

How do you approach styling women of all different shapes & sizes?
“Fit is almost always the first thing I take into consideration. We all know that even if we love a style, unless it fits our body & hangs just right, we won’t feel good. I always recommend trying more pieces that are tailored & structured. A lot of women think that covering it all up is the solution, but there’s a happy medium. Splurge on a new blazer—or ask your Stylist to send you one! Then, pair it with the blouses that you love and suddenly your outfit is more tailored and all you did was add one piece.”

What’s your starting point when you style women?
“The first question I ask myself is: How can I bring out her rockstar confidence? If you’re a Stitch Fix client, I look at fit preferences from your Style Profile & start there. Maybe you want a straight fit but don’t want to showcase your tummy? I’d look for a flattering v-neck blouse in a print to draw the eye up to the neck and away from your midsection. Love your waistline? I’d send a pair of high-rise denim & suggest you style the look with a half-tuck to show off our middle.”

What’s the one thing that helps you style someone better?
“I like to know how a woman prefers to wear her tops. It’s an indication of which part of her body she likes to accentuate. I’ve found that if I know this, it can really help. Sometimes a client will say she prefers a straight top when what she really wants is something fitted, and this can drastically change her look.”

What are some exceptions to body shape & style rules?
“I live to break fashion rules. Wear horizontal stripes! Clash colors! Wear something oversized! Once you find things that feel amazing on you, you can really start to have fun & experiment to find your personal style. Your confidence comes in knowing that your clothes feel like you.”

What are some styling tips that appeal to a wide range of women’s bodies?
“Find the perfect pair of jeans—it opens up so many different style avenues. If you’re a taller girl, you can get away with skinny jeans that hit you at the ankle. If you’re petite, look for the right inseam that doesn’t overwhelm your shape. If you love outerwear, invest in a trench coat! That’s the kind of piece you can throw on with anything & look flawless.”

Finally, what’s one universally flattering piece that every woman should own?
“A little black dress! The best part about this piece is that you can find it in any silhouette to play up your favorite features. Every woman should have one in their style repertoire.”

Have we inspired you to flaunt your favorite features? Take your style quiz and ask your expert stylist to send styles that flatter your unique shape. We do the heavy lifting for you—sit back and relax while five curated items come straight to your door. While you’re waiting, take a peek at Stitch Fix Freestyle™ to browse and directly buy what catches your eye. Shipping and returns are always free.

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