Are you wondering if you have an hourglass body type? Grab your tape measure. If your bust and hips are a similar size, and your waist is proportionally smaller, congratulations—you’re an hourglass.
When styled well, your hourglass figure, with its gorgeous curves, can not only look glamorous, but also iconic. Two of the world’s most famous women, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, were celebrated for their memorable hourglass figures.
Your waist is the key to your styling: look for styles which give definition to your waist, while maintaining a balanced silhouette. Avoid shapeless clothing, smock dresses and excess fabric that disguises your waist rather than highlight it.
Strategies to consider when styling an hourglass body shape:
- Choose fitted garments that skim your shape
- Maintain a proportional silhouette by always drawing the eye to the waist
- Avoid ruffles, voluminous shapes and excess pleating
How to dress an hourglass figure: style your curves confidently
Unsure of what suits your hourglass figure best? Perhaps you have a wardrobe stuffed with styles you realise now don’t make the most of your curves.
If you’ve been trying to hide your curves, it’s time to make the most of them! Remember your goal is to achieve a balanced silhouette with a defined waist. Avoid unstructured clothing. Classic, unfussy styles are perfect for you.
Love dresses? Again, classic styles work best like a shift or a wrap.
How to choose tops for your hourglass body shape: decide on fitted, and classic styles
Consider elegant tops, without ornamentation. Flattering necklines for your hourglass body shape include off the shoulder styles, scoop necklines, boat necks and V-necks.
When dressing casually, choose fitted T-shirts, rather than bulky, shapeless styles. Similarly, choose knitwear which skims your body—remember, your silhouette matters—rather than bulky, loose knits.
In winter, avoid volume in your sleeves, such as balloon sleeve styles. Choose fitted sleeves, either three-quarter, or fitted full-length styles.
When you’re choosing business wear for your hourglass figure, avoid fussiness. Look for fitted, single-breasted jackets with no more than two buttons and trousers and skirts that sit on your waist. Add a belt to your separates to highlight your waist even more.
Now let’s look at dressing below the waist.
Choose bottoms for your hourglass figure which fit your waist
As with tops, when choosing jeans and trousers, focus on a balanced silhouette. A high-rise jean or trouser will draw the eye to your waist which is naturally your narrowest point. Avoid volume in the waist area with details such as front pleats or an elasticised waistband.
When you’re selecting skirts, look for classic styles which emphasize your waist: pencil skirts can look great but so too A-lines which follow the line from waist to hip.
How to dress an hourglass figure in winter: choose lightweight materials
Do you usually wear loose, bulky knits which hide your shape? Try choosing styles which show off your curves. Consider lightweight materials and knits or consider adding a belt to your favourite coat.
When shopping, try on your selections if you can, so you can check your outfits for overall balance.
How to dress an hourglass figure in summer: enhance your shape
Wrap dresses and tops are perfect for you, as are bias-cut materials, which will enhance your shape while maintaining balance.
Do consider adding traditional dresses, like the sixties sheath, to your summer wardrobe. For work, or dining out, a sheath dress will look sophisticated and elegant.
We’ve looked at styling your hourglass body type, but everyone has challenges.
Let’s look at managing them.
Challenges: style your hourglass body shape to accentuate your perfections
Have you been avoiding styles which draw attention to your hourglass figure because you feel you have a flaw? Perhaps you’re concerned with your tummy or feel that your shoulders are too wide?
Let’s look at some challenges.
Want to dress an hourglass figure but hide your tummy? The peplum style was made for you. Peplums give emphasis to your waist, camouflaging your tummy. Also, consider wrap dresses and tops: they’re flattering and comfortable.
What if you have an hourglass figure, but worry that your bust is small? An hourglass figure is proportional; if you have strong or broad shoulders and a small bust, you can create the illusion of a larger bust by strategically placed ruffles and volume, as long as you keep the focus on the waist.
Do you worry about dressing your plus-size hourglass figure? Size does not dictate what you can and can’t wear, it’s all about dressing your proportions which for an hourglass, always comes back to accentuating the waistline.
Many hourglass women have a short torso. When you try on trousers or jeans that fit your hips, they are loose at the waist. An easy fix is to simply get your alteration specialist to take in the waist for the perfect fit.
Your hourglass figure is an asset: make the most of it
If you’ve spent years thinking that you need to hide or play down your curves, perhaps you have a wardrobe filled with clothes you realise aren’t right for you.
If you’re still not feeling confident, here’s a couple of suggestions. A wardrobe edit can perform miracles. A Styled by Sally stylist goes through your wardrobe with you, item by item, creating new looks and styles so you feel more confident putting together your existing clothes and make the most of your fabulous figure. If you’re feeling your wardrobe needs a bit of an overhaul, consider starting with a Personal Style Consultation to create your own personal style that flatters your shape and will provide direction on a personal shop or wardrobe edit.