A fashion stylist explains: how to find tops that fit perfectly every time

9 Feb, 2023 | WYLDE Style Fashion

Words by Danielle Whiteman

3 Minute Read

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NEWSFLASH: It’s all about how to make fashion work perfectly for your body!

We all use fashion to enhance our individuality, and I’m here to let you in on a few industry secrets for how to dress different body shapes, to help you streamline your wardrobe so that you look and feel great in your style. This month we’re focusing on tops!

The beauty of fashion is, there’s something for everyone! After many years, I’ve learned that the secret to dressing well is all about using fabric, design and pattern to suit you. If you think about the outline of your body, you should be able to recognize yourself (roughly) in one of these universally recognized body shapes: Rectangular, Hourglass, Pear, Apple or Inverted Triangle. I’m going to use these shapes as a springboard to share some of the clever things I’ve learned about how to make fashion work harder for you.

Styling Secrets for an Hourglass Shape

My go to for a great square neck would always be Reformation – like their Reign Top, £168. But the High Street have lots more purse-friendly alternatives. I absolutely love Oasis for this cute Ditsy Printed Square Neck Top, £28. With its floral print and puff sleeve, this little number is so gorgeous!

Styling Secrets for an Apple Shape

This shape usually consists of a fuller mid-section and a smaller bust so the key here is to use fabrics and styles that elongate your torso and create more of a defined waist. Tops that skim the midsection like a wrap top with a deep v-neck help create an elongated body shape. I love this wrap top from Next. Next, Friends Like These, Blue Jersey ITY Wrap Top, £30.

A peplum would also work for this body shape – but not a structured peplum – more of a loose flowing peplum. This peplum style will highlight your upper body, skim your midsection and is a super alternative to a classic tee. A great example of this this New Look, Curves White Short Sleeve Peplum T-Shirt, £10.99.

Another little trick for dressing this shape is sleeve length. I find that an elbow length or ¾ length sleeve that shows the forearms, elongates the arm and balances out proportions.

Styling Secrets for a Rectangle Shape

Clients I have with this body shape usually have a smaller frame, and they often want to know how they can create the illusion of curves. There are some really easy styling tricks for this.

A peplum shape is a genius way to create a waistband, as it nips in at the waist and flares out at the hip, to give you a curvy silhouette. Nobody’s Child, have the perfect peplum with their Thea Top, £49. Made from a stiff cotton, with puff sleeves it will create the illusion of curves…and make a great staple spring/summer piece.

Another trick to add bulk to a smaller frame is to play with patterns. I’ve even found a patterned peplum to show you exactly the sort of thing I mean – Whistles, Farfalle Flower Shirred Top, £119.

Styling Secrets for a Pear Shape

A pear shape is usually smaller on top with hips. The secret to balancing out this shape is to use shoulder detail and a good puff sleeve can solve just that. I’d say go for a puff sleeve with a fitted body to really emphasise your torso. There are so many of these around at the moment, especially as we go into spring/summer and ASOS have a classic black bodysuit to add to your wardrobe which makes for an effortless piece to take you through the seasons. ASOS Design, Cotton Poplin Mix Puff Sleeve Bodysuit, £26.

Playing with volume can also really work when dressing a pear shape. I love this voluminous sleeve shirt from & Other Stories, for balancing proportions! & Other Stories, Frilled Mock Neck Blouse, £95.

Styling Secrets for an Inverted Triangle Shape

The inverted triangle is pretty much opposite to a pear shape with it being slightly broader in the shoulders with narrower hips. To balance this out, you’ll want to go for something that breaks up the width of your shoulders and a halter neck is a stunning way to do that. With the weather (hopefully!) warming up soon, the halterneck is a beautiful way show off your shape and this Zara, Black Ruffled Halterneck Top, £25.99 is spot on. I just love the ruffle neck detail – perfect for that classic ‘jeans and a nice top’ dressing dilemma.

Don’t be afraid of some shoulder detail when dressing this shape. A one shoulder top like this H&M, Appliquéd One Shoulder Top, £19.99 is lovely.

Remember at the end of the day fashion is all about having fun and experimenting with different styles and colours until you find what makes you feel truly fabulous! Whatever you decide – make your fashion work for you! You’ve earned it!

Let me know if you have any questions about styling your body shape over on the @wyldemoon instagram.

Product pricing is in line with prices at time of article being written, this is subject to change.

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Danielle Whiteman


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