The three most common mistakes people make when dressing for their figures

Are you making one of these three common mistakes when dressing for your figure?

Knowing (and dressing for) your body shape is the key to developing your own personal style.

Choose the right pieces for your shape and you’ll always look like a million dollars. Get it wrong and you’ll feel dumpy and unattractive – even if you’re head to toe in Gucci. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

I have had an insight into hundreds of women’s wardrobes and there are a few mistakes that crop up time and time again. These mistakes can lead to clothes not being worn or worse than that making us unhappy with our outfit choices. 

So what are the three most common mistakes that women make when dressing for their shape?

1) An unbalanced figure

The figure we aspire to is the ‘hourglass’ shape which means our bust and hips are the same width and we have a visible waist. For those of use not lucky enough to be this shape naturally we can aim to create balance and proportion with the shape of clothes we choose.

Women who have slim legs and carry their weight on the top half ‘Apple shapes’ often wear very tight clothes on the bottom half and baggy clothes up top. I understand that it is tempting to show off the slimmest part of your body. However this can make you look out of proportion and very top heavy.

Wearing bottoms that are not so tight i.e. straight jeans instead of super skinny ones will help to balance out your frame. Likewise, avoid voluminous baggy tops and choose well cut pieces that contour the body instead. These will take pounds off you.

2) The zig zag hem

What do I mean by this? I’m referring to the bunching (zig-zagging) around the hem of trousers or jeans that are too long. High street trousers often come up too long.  The theory is that it’s easier to shorten them then add extra length. 

Unless you are over average height it’s likely that you will have purchased trousers that need to be taken up. This extra task can often be overlooked resulting in trousers languishing unworn in the wardrobe or being worn at the wrong length. This is not a good idea.

Bunching at the hem and large turn-ups will make you look shorter which is not a good look especially if you are petite.  It can also cause problems with footwear as you have items you can only wear with heels which usually means that you can’t wear then often. 

My advice is to find a local tailor or seamstress.  When you buy new trousers or jeans get into the habit of sorting the hems before you wear them. Be sure to try them on with all the shoes you will wear them with and pin the hems accordingly.

3) Buying the wrong jeans

We are bombarded by denim trends all the time and this can mean we lose sight of choosing the right jean style for our bodies. It’s very tempting to want the ‘must-have’ jeans even when it’s not right for our figures. 

There are a huge range of jeans available on the high street to suit all figures. Whilst this can make choosing the right style overwhelming is does mean that you will find one to suit your unique shape. Be prepared to try a few on first though!

Next time you are influenced by friends or a celebrity wearing a cult pair of jeans, don’t rush out and buy them. Instead consider how the style they will work for your figure. The less said about the grey super skinny jeans I saw on Kate Moss the better. My calves could have given Wayne Rooney as run for his money!

 Are you dressing for your figure? Here’s a free way to find out!

To help you find out, I’m running a free Style Your Shape challenge.

In the challenge you’ll learn:

  • The giveaway signs for each body shape so you can work out yours.
  • How to choose the right dresses, tops, jeans, and accessories for each shape – so you always look and feel stylish and confident.
  • How to take your new knowledge and update your wardrobe.

It’s a fun challenge and completely free. So you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain… including a pared down but more flattering wardrobe, the knowledge of hat to buy (and what to avoid buying) in future, and the confidence of dressing your body so you always look amazing. 

So if you want to know what jean shape YOU need to avoid, come and join me in my challenge now

Sally Smy is a personal stylist and founder of Queen Bee Styling. Prior to setting up her business ten years ago, Sally had a successful 18 year career in fashion buying working for leading high street retailers.

Today, Sally specialises in helping women feel confident in how they dress whatever their body shape, budget or lifestyle.

Photo by Brooke Cagle