How to spot clothes that suit an hourglass when online shopping

Casual hourglass, Struggles, Wardrobe planning

When you are flicking through online catalogs of clothing stores, or shoe stores, take notice of the outfits that look ‘off’ on the model’s figures.  By off, I mean like they’re wearing their mum’s clothing, or like their legs or ankles look too skinny, or like their waist looks too boxy.  And this is assuming the model has the typical straight/masculine figure with fantastic skinny legs.  If the outfit looks off on them, it could look FANTASTIC on an hourglass.

Don’t get lured into buying outfits that look INCREDIBLE on the model’s figure, because she is likely the direct opposite figure to you.  What flatters her best are things that play down her waist area and place the focus firmly on her legs.  When an outfit obliterates the waist (eg, roomy dropped hem tops) the eye tracks from the shoulders to the hips.  In a straight figured, or ectomorph body shape (see pic below) the hips are a narrow area so the model still looks slim – sometimes slimmer than in waist-emphasising outfits.  The mesomorph, hourglass shape has it’s widest points at shoulders and hips, therefore obliterating the waist tends to add a few pounds for us.  It’s helpful for an hourglass woman to know that most models are an ectomorph body type – see next three pics – so that you take that into account when looking for outfit inspo.

Bodytype

(Above: the straight figures of supermodels Cameron Diaz and Gisele Bundchen – and although I’m using their figures to illustrate the contrast to hourglass figures, let’s just state right here that no woman’s body gets put down here: these women earn millions for their bodies, where as most of us aren’t so…Whilst I prefer curves, there is absolutely no shade on these completely stunning women.  Straight-waisted women tend to have amazing legs too).

I’ll briefly use the gorgeous Cameron Diaz as an illustration – she is a classic straight-figured ectomorph with *literally* show-stopping legs.  The type of legs I pray to God every night to have.  But God wants me to develop my character so I wake up with the legs of a height-impaired wrestler each day.  Pahah!  Anyway….(back to WWF for me)

Here is an outfit that looks amazing and casual and awesome on former-model, Cameron.  This is exactly the type of outfit my casual-wear loving eye is immediately drawn to.  I will buy this whole outfit in a second, and later wonder why it makes me look a bit blah.  Here we go:

44099df929c47a9a5ea89182ed60bed2

I just love this on her.  She is comfortable, laid-back, elegant and looks tall and slim.  It must be because she’s a model and is blessed by God?

But look at this outfit:

Cameron-diaz-annie-premiere-december719

If you’re an hourglass reading this, you’re probably thinking there is no way that dress would look bad on you (and that’s likely completely true).  But it looks as if this supermodel has borrowed her mom’s dress.  It looks boring.   How about these ones:

Now, I know I’m having to resort to smart clothing to demonstrate my point (because Cameron knows how to flatter her figure in casual wear, plus her figure lends itself more to casual) but still, the smart dresses look either boring or like her mom’s clothes on her.

But look at these – here she’s back on top form and I want to buy the same outfits again (and will conversely look boring and frumpy in them unlike her xD)

The key difference in these outfits seem to be emphasis (or de-emphasis) on waist and legs.  Cameron still looks slim and streamlined when her waist is disguised by her outfits.  But she doesn’t look so slim when her waist is on show, because there’s no longer an illusion that she has a slim waist hiding under the clothes.

So my tip is to use this idea to shop for hourglass friendly clothes online.  When you see a gorgeous ectomorph model look ‘off’ in an outfit, study what it is about the outfit that looks off.  It could always be the poor design of the clothes.  But more often than not, it’s an A-line skirt, or a waisty dress that would likely look fantastic on a woman who has the curves to fill it out.

Here are some examples, all from the Boohoo skirt section.

cordskirt

 

Obviously a gorgeous woman, but looks like she’s wearing her big sister’s skirt here, with gangly adolescent legs poking out the bottom of this A-line cord skirt.  The line from her waist to her thighs looks like the straight edge of a square.

 

 

 

 

checkedskirt

By contrast, the hourglass woman below has thicker thighs poking out the bottom of her A-line skirt, and looks proportional and pretty with her tiny waist for contrast.

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing the two beautiful women wearing the left and right outfits (although I simply prefer the styles on the right anyway, with feminine styling – just to highlight a confounding factor in this example) the straight-figured model on the left looks broad across her waist, and this outfit only emphasises that her chest, waist and hips are a similar width.  Whereas on the right, the fact that the similar outfit emphasises her waist is a benefit because the narrow waist contrasts attractively with bigger chest and hips.

Last example from Boohoo:

greendresses

Two slightly different dresses, but the the hip, waist and leg area on the left model make me think of a gangly junior, versus the full-bodied womanly curves on the right.

The converse is true – when you see an ectomorphic model look amazing in a certain outfit, it is more likely that we hourglasses cannot join in this party*

*and look anywhere near as good.

See the below examples from HoneyBum:

The model on the left has to stick her bum out to emphasise her small/straight curves, but she looks slim, casual and awesome in this jogger and crop set.  On the right, despite the model having a great figure, she looks heavy, chunky and drab to me.

Last example for today:

joggers

I want to immediately buy the outfit on the right, because she looks fantastic.  But I’ll end up looking heavy-legged in those joggers, like the model on the left.  Incidentally though, I love that white strappy crop on the model on the left…!  These two photos are from Honeybum as well.

Hope that all makes sense and helps you to browse more effectively online!

Love me xx

Advertisements

A good biker jacket for the hourglass figure

Casual hourglass, Reviews, Wardrobe planning

Hi everyone, I’m popping back for a quick post or two tonight as I’m missing posting on here!  How are you all?  Thanks for your ongoing support and views of the blog despite my absence.  I’m wishing I had time enough to do this justice, writing regular useful articles with quality photos, but in my current season of life I’ve got a lot going on.

Anyway, have you ever felt as a curvy-figured girl that your biker jacket looks a smidgen clunky and a bit visually overpowering?  It can just be the slightest effect, meaning you still wear it, but it’s not ‘perfect’.  I mean something a little like the below pic:

womens_retro_leather_jacket_blk6

For a lot of people, this look is absolutely fine, and they see nothing wrong with it.  For me personally, having proportions similar to this lady, I feel the cross-over zip area and the waist area just looks ‘too much’.

Well I think I’ve figured out why the proportions look a bit off.  I think it’s because the proportions are thrown off by the awkward length of the jacket, and secondly because the thick fabric doesn’t meld around multiple soft curves as well as it sits on a straight, masculine figure.  I mean, I guess leather is a masculine material in some senses due to it’s toughness etc.

I think I’ve figured out the answer.  Cropped biker jackets exist for women like us!  The proportions suit a short waist much much better because the jacket is so short; and to ensure the torso doesn’t look too short now you’ve chopped the length off your jacket, you can zip it up to your neck, or add a scarf or crew neck shirt, or lengthen the torso by having a hip length t-shirt or sweater underneath.  The overall effect is that instead of dominating our small upper bodies, and having to go out (boobs), in (waist) and out again (hips) in a clunky fashion with thick leather, the cropped jacket only has to cope with boobs and waist and has the additional benefit of minimizing our upper half and making us look tiny.  Also it takes advantage of the tiny waist on an hourglass.

I’ve recently had the fortune to stumble across a vegan leather cropped biker jacket in Glassons (NZ) that fit like a glove.  I’ve never known a jacket to cope with my shoulders, boobs and waist all in one go, but this one did somehow.  The fake leather is very soft and giving too with a little stretch, so I think that helps; if you are going to get a cropped biker jacket either make it flexible fake leather, or make it butter-soft expensive leather.

Here is the jacket (I haven’t gotten round to photographing myself in it yet – I’ll try sort that out soon).

cropped-biker-jacket-black-full-jw37034pu

It’s a very simple design, which I think is good for minimizing the visually dominating effect on a small torso.  But what is remarkable about this jacket is that it can cope with a 35 inch bust down to a 24.5 inch waist, all in one garment.  It actually zips up across my boobs!  And it copes with my mesomorph shoulders (a type of body/muscle structure that many athletic and hourglass women tend to have – feel free to google if you want good information about diet/work-outs for keeping the mesomorph body slim…actually I may do a blog post about it soon come to think of it).  So I can highly recommend this jacket if you need to accommodate boobs.  I got a size 6, where I’m usually size 8 really, so maybe down-size one size.  The jacket is $79.99 NZD, and ships internationally.

Below is one super cute example of a cropped biker jacket look that is very feminine.

0.-leather-jacket-with-vintage-dress

Thanks and see you soon ❤

Football babe outfit Inspo: Georgina Rodriguez

Casual hourglass, Outfits, Wardrobe planning

Georgina Rodriguez is currently best known for being football player Ronaldo’s girlfriend and baby mama.  She’s a beautiful, 22 year old Spaniard who is now a mum to two baby twins.  I’m going to do a post on casual style inspo from Georgina as well as this post, but I really loved this casual outfit and think it could work well for an hourglass too.  It’s hard to tell from all the photos online if Georgina is an hourglass or not, but I think she has a pretty small waist and balanced upper and lower body proportions.

So that may give you a better idea of how well her outfits might work on you when looking at these inspiration pics.

Anyway!  Into the outfit: I just love this sporty outfit, it’s cute and summery and looks super-laid back…but there’s a lot of details she’s covered to make sure she looks incredible and laid back xD.  As is always the way with women who look amazing.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 5.54.59 PM

Let’s start with the foundations laid for looking amazing wearing this outfit.  Her hair is blown-out and straightened to perfection – do you see a hair out of place (before Ronaldo’s arm messes the whole damn thing up)?  No.  No you don’t.

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 6.21.37 PMShe has no-make-up make-up on with a very natural, light brown/taupe smokey-eye, mascara/eyeliner/subtle false-lashes (or lash extensions), perfectly manicured brows, foundation and a natural lip (Side note: recently discovered the Nivea Lip Care Fruity Shine in Peachy Shine – oh my life, this is such a good ‘no-makeup’ lip colour it’s my total favourite right now.  It has the sheerest coral-pink tint, which adds colour to your lips whilst remaining translucent.  It looks like you’ve just licked your lips (plus it smells yum too!).  I’ve come to think that translucent is the way forwards for all natural lip looks – Clinique did a range of sheer lippies a while back, called Pop Glaze I think, I’ve not tried them but they could be a good place to look if you like a higher-end sheer lippy.

Anyway, back to Georgina’s look 😀

She’s got a really pretty natural looking manicure here.  Also a great tan which may be natural or a spray tan.  Also her skin looks well moisturised and in great condition (incidentally so does Ronaldo’s, but that’s a whole other post: ‘how to look more manicured than most women, featuring Ronaldo’).

Also note her cute, minimal stud earrings and necklace, plus surfy bracelets round her wrist.  I think a set of surfy armbands/bracelets are an easy outfit upgrade for a casual outfit, which make a difference to the overall look without trying too hard.
Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 5.55.14 PM

Ok, so foundations aside, there’s several things about this outfit that I think make it really flattering.  One is the neckline and fit of her t-shirt – it follows the line of her body without being tight-fitting (but tight-fitting would also work with this outfit, especially for emphasising the waist on an hourglass figure) and if you look at the picture below, you’ll see the neckline is a scooped v-neck.

She’s chosen some very sexy mid/high waist tiny denim shorts and tucked her t-shirt in, but what I feel makes the look a bit more wearable is the black top she’s tied round her waist, which covers the back of her thighs right down to her knees.  This is a great option for anyone with less than perfect thighs/back of legs (which is about all of us over the age of 12, even including Gwyneth Paltrow *shock horror*).

She’s snuck in a really wearable low-heeled boot which looks urban and cool, is fit for walking on a football pitch to celebrate your footballer-man’s successes, doesn’t look try-hard at all, but lengthens and therefore slims her legs.  I estimate the heel is two inches or less, and there may be a little platform effect on the front of the boot, but it all looks very ‘not-heels’ and chill if you didn’t look closely (similar here and here from Milanoo).  Every little bit of height helps when you’re showing so much leg.  I feel the ankle length boots might make my legs look a bit chunky, but Georgina doesn’t exactly have sparrow legs, she’s got good shapely legs with a little bit of flesh on them, so maybe I could try and make this look work in real life, we’ll see.  But I think Georgina has deceptively slim legs, it’s just that this outfit makes them look ‘medium’ rather than ‘thin’ because it would have that effect on the very thinnest legs anyway.

Anyway, more pics below for you to enjoy, hope you like this outfit post and tips on how to look incredible wearing a ‘oh this?  I just threw this on’ type of outfit xD.

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 5.57.20 PM

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-04 at 5.55.27 PMScreen Shot 2017-11-04 at 5.55.42 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oversized jumper, Kim-K style

Outfit of the day, Reviews, Wardrobe planning

After seeing how adorable Kim K looked with a cute oversized sweater in the pic below (yes from my Kim K hits and misses post recently, yes listed under misses – so sue me ok? :p).  No just kidding, it’s not flattering this outfit, but it’s damn cute.  And I wanted to see if I could try it too.

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 9.07.07 PM

I loved the peachy pink shade of this Everlast sweater, and bought it from Kmart (I can’t find it online so it must’ve sold out).  I got a size 16 which is a few too big for me, to emulate the fit of the Kim K sweater above.  It’s that super fluffy-backed sweater fabric too so I’ve been in heavenly comfort all day in this.  I took these photos quickly on the day before house-clean day so apologies the house is not perfect, it’s just normal busy life *shrug*)

IMG_0422

It’s a bit of an unusual thing for me, running about feeling this comfortable as I normally have something more constricting on – something which feels a bit more girly or smart, especially heels.  Don’t know how I’d feel if I was wearing this type of thing all the time as I don’t feel my best, but I can see why dressing comfy gets addictive haha!

IMG_7808

I felt (and looked) like a kid again wearing this (you know the type of look where you think someone is young until they turn around and this saggy ol’ face frightens the crap out of you?  Yeah, like that haha!) (Actually I’m totally tangent-ing here, but I had that moment walking behind a beautiful slim woman with long blonde hair some years ago, head-to-toe in denim, with red shoes, she looked about 24 until she turned around and her face was SEVENTY.  No lie.  I was shocked but really that lady deserves a medal for having a figure that good in her seventies, and for cracking out the double denim and having no style constraints.  HI-FIVE that lady.  Anyway, digress-over).

IMG_8545

I paired my baggy sweater with my skinny jeans from this post, my rose-gold sneakers from this post.  I did wear a bra that had a minimising effect under this outfit, because I didn’t want my top-half to look too bulky, and it seemed to work as I don’t think this sweater drew any attention to the chest area, nor added too much volume (well, not any more than I deliberately wanted!).

I think this type of outfit would look adorable on girls with narrow shoulders, more of a pear-shape I suppose, because it seems to be the width of your shoulders that dictates how dainty you can look in this oversized sweater.  Mine are not especially narrow, but I also noticed Kim K’s sweater has a more draped effect on her bone structure (as if the fabric is thinner), whereas my jumper is still thick and fluffy and stood out a bit more making me look wider.  Also, notice the neckline on Kim-K’s sweater – it’s a bit looser than my tight crew-neck one, and I think the scoop neckline is a touch more flattering.  I don’t think there’s any other particular features to pay attention to in order to make this look work, maybe apart from picking a colour that suits your skin (see my post on colours if you need more info).

So if you’re in the market for a big oversized sweater, hopefully these little details will help you choose a sweater that looks amazing but effortless like Kim K’s.  Oh and last little details – notice that Kim K has her hair very feminine, and her make-up and nails done, with some very glamourous oversized sunglasses?  These details keep the look feminine despite the masculine shape of the sweater hiding your curves.  I think this balance is key to pulling off slightly un-flattering looks – make more effort to have other features look flattering so you can get away with the less flattering feature.

Have a great week! ❤

Autumn/Winter casual hourglass inspiration: Minka Kelly

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Wardrobe planning

WHO ELSE BUT MINKA?!  I’m on a total roll with the beautiful Minka since discovering how much internet photoage there exists of her casual outfits.  Not sure if that’s just due to outfits from shows she acts in (and gets incidentally photographed in too) – but whatevs, if the casual outfits are the work of a stylist, all the better!

Anyway, the topic in hand today, my beautiful readers, is autumn and winter style inspiration.  So I’ve curated a little gallery of wintery outfits that I loved on Minka and felt she was really knocking the ball out of the park with these.  Of note, I think Minka is a bit of a template dresser – you’ll see if you google her that her summer outfits often feature tight black tank top with loose lower half clothing like trousers or long skirts; then there’s the jeans and grey t-shirt template which works well on her; and for winter, I think she has a few shapes she tends to follow.  Personally I’m beginning to think this is absolutely essential for an hourglass for her casual outfit wardrobe – stick to the shapes and styles that suit you, and just change up the colours, fabrics and accessories for variety.

Hope you really enjoy and get some awesome inspiration from these pictures*.  See you next time! ❤

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.33.17 PM

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.34.30 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.32.31 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.32.44 PM

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.38.58 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.38.44 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.36.13 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-08 at 6.34.50 PM

*I don’t claim any ownership of photos.

 

Trying casual styles on in Cotton On, Part 1

Outfit of the day, Outfits, Wardrobe planning

For those of you who live outside NZ, Cotton On is quite similar to The Gap, or H&M or New Look (UK).  A few months back I was there trying on some different styles as I tend to do, to see if any of the styles that I automatically write off would actually work with my figure.  I have a tendency to be quite conservative in my perceptions about new styles and shapes, and I assume some things will only work for less curvy girls, and not for me.  I’ve been wrong enough times now that I just give the new styles a try incase they happen to look ok; I mean, an hourglass figure has so many aspects to cater for that it can be quite difficult to predict what will actually work or not.  Sometimes, a garment will just sit right on the bust, or just nip in at the waist well enough that the whole outfit magically works when it really shouldn’t.  So for this reason, I’ve come to think that all the rules anyone makes about what you should and shouldn’t wear with an hourglass figure (myself 100% included) should be taken with a pinch of salt and should be a guideline rather than something that stops you experimenting.

Anyway without further ado I’ll get the photos in.  Now these are from so long ago, and I never posted them in time, so the items likely won’t be available from Cotton On still – but you’ll see this particular haul didn’t include any complicated or hard-to-find styles – similar things will be readily available on your local high street or online.

First outfit: Preppy autumn orange and denim

IMG_1602 2

I really loved this chunky woolly scarf when I saw it, and felt it paired with the sweater with the matching orange stripe in the scarf.  I was absolutely into winter brights last season, and will continue to be finding bright colours into our NZ spring and summer.  I absolutely love bright colours on a woman.

IMG_1602

Excuse my funny facial expression here!  I paired the knits with Cotton On’s high waisted lift and shape skinny jeans.  These jeans are very comfortable and have kept their shape well over winter; the one problem I have is that the waist never stays tight enough for me when there’s elastane in the denim.  I feel like I need a belt in order to stop the jeans shimmying down towards my ankles throughout the day, but skinny jeans always have this effect on my legs, I put it down to my muscly calves.IMG_3520

I wore the jumper tucked in at the front to emphasise my waist, and untucked at the back for a casual feel.  I tended to pair this outfit with some beige brown suedette sock-boots, which have a 2.5 inch heel to lengthen my lower body proportions and this outfit makes your legs look long and great with heels.  I’ve also put this outfit on with some Converse trainers so it’s pretty flexible.

Second outfit: Star Wars ‘band t-shirt’ with high-waisted stretch skinny jeans

IMG_9053IMG_2691 2

The ‘being brave and trying new things’ aspect of this outfit was me tucking in the t-shirt and having full butt-on-show.  This is new and scary when you’ve seen too many butts look about a mile long and all the wrong shape in the wrong high-waist jeans. I expect all of you are used to this look since like 5 years ago and I know I’m slow to uptake, but I was working from the old rule of having tops that are tight fitting and come down to just above the hip.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out as I didn’t think it looked ridiculous.  Most importantly, the T-shirt has Darth Vader on.  I think we can end this post/blog/year now this has happened.  Ok I’ll force myself to continue, but it all feels a little superfluous after that….So I wore this outfit out to things like casual drinks with friends, winter concert, coffee shop trips.  And I paired it with a thin black choker and leather block-heeled boots and a tasselled suede cross-body bag.  A black biker jacket would be the right jacket for this look in colder weather too.

Third outfit: Pastel off-shoulder knit and same stretchy jeans

I wasn’t super keen on the pastels against my colourings, it was a bit ‘meh’ when I felt it should’ve suited me theoretically.  But I liked the off-shoulder cut of this jumper and the outfit looked curvy, casual and great with some tight jeans (same as in last two outfits).  This is one of those old-faithful go-to outfits for an hourglass when she wants to look casual but good – it’s on the dressier side of casual, but that’s probably why it works for us.

IMG_7533 2

Fourth outfit: Stones t-shirt and black wet-look (coated) jeans

IMG_2204

Excuse the weird light reflecting on my hair; I think this outfit was okay, but didn’t make my heart sing.  I don’t know why, as it’s the same shape as the Darth Vader outfit, but maybe the light t-shirt adds more volume up-top?  Or the waist sits lower with these jeans?  Not sure.  But bottom line is I’m not enough of a Rolling Stones fan to feel very authentic wearing this, I just don’t know any songs beyond their most famous.  It’s such a cool slogan though.  The jeans I ended up buying, and have worn them non-stop – very comfortable and have some moto styling at the knees which looks cool.

I’ve got a few more outfits to go, so I’ll split this up into part 1 and 2 and be right back with part 2!

 

Styling High Waist Clothes When You Have A Short Waisted Figure

Body, Casual hourglass, Struggles, Wardrobe planning

If you’re wanting a bit more information on whether you have a short waist or not, a really good resource is Joy of Clothes.

In brief, a short waist means you just don’t have much length in the middle part of your body between where your ribs end and your hip bones start.  It’s apparently a defining feature of our hourglass shape, as it creates the dramatic out-and-in effect of an hourglass (as opposed to a longer waisted lady with similar measurements, who will have more gentle out-and-in ‘cello’ shape).  A short waisted girl will often not look great in a thick waist belt, but looks great in a skinny waist belt, which is one easy way to test.

I describe the impact the short waist has on your outfits in another post, but one of the key styles impacted by the short waist is the high-waisted trousers/jeans/shorts/skirts trend that prevails.  I personally love the look of high waisted stuff but I can remember the fateful day in Primark when I marched proudly towards the changing room with an armful of floral and denim high-waisted shorts ready for my beach holiday.  This was the day I realised that high-waisted shorts looked more terrible on me than I could’ve predicted.  I had no explanation why I hated how they looked on me, as I loved the look in general, had picked lovely shorts and great tops to go with, and generally knew what shapes and styles would look great or hideous on my frame.  But the information I was missing was the short waist concept.  It explains why some high waisted stuff just looks really ‘off’ on me.  I wonder if you’ve found the same.

I have come up with several strategies so far for wearing high-waist trousers/shorts/skirts in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing.  This is still an evolving aspect of my wardrobe, as several years ago I thought I couldn’t wear high waisted items, and now I’ve realised there’s ways I can enjoy this look without looking like just boobs stacked on legs!

-Wear matching colour top and bottoms; this reduces the visual torso-shortening impact of the high waistline, but still allows you to benefit from the put-together, waist-emphasising effects of the garment.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-15-32-am

-Wear high necklines so you lengthen the torso.  So, a classic torso-shortening move would be a low neckline with a high waist.  The opposite effect occurs with a high(er) neckline, but the proviso here is that if you are full busted, the high neckline emphasises the boobs and you can look bulky up top if you’re not careful.  I often counteract this by wearing a necklace over my high-neck (eg, roll-neck jumper) which creates a visual lower neckline effect and breaks up the boob silhouette.  Alternatively, wear a sports bra (or two) and be sure to scoop and swoop your boobs towards the middle in the bra, to minimise the volume of your boobs so you can wear the high neck without looking too big up top.  An important note here is that if you have quite a short neck, which I think I probably do, and many hourglasses might, you will not want a neckline that goes higher than your collarbones, lest you make your neck look too squat and chunky.  Not a great look, been there done that.  Photos were burned and sent to bad photo hell.

-Lift your boobs: ie, get a really effective, professionally-fitted bra, shorten the straps and lift your bust away from your midriff, in order to lengthen the waist area.  Small to medium busts will find this most effective.  Larger busted ladies will not be able to see because the boobs will be so high they’ll be blocking the sunlight.  Don’t say I didn’t warn ya….:p. No but on a more serious note, I find Freya is an excellent brand for lifting larger boobs, and their bands are firm enough to hold you up.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-11-55-00-pm

My latest Freya purchase, the Rio Underwired Balcony Bra in nude – perfect for perky lifted boobs

-Play up the proportional mismatch by creating a very long legged look.  Like, stuff all the rules, who cares, lets just maximise the weird proportions.  This is currently one of my favourite smart outfits: long palazzo/wide-leg trousers with platform heels; and any top (I still tend to colour match with the trousers but I’ll get braver eventually).  This combo makes my short lil legs look like they go on forever, and combined with a short, teensy-looking torso, can look quite girlish and elegant.

screen-shot-2017-01-13-at-11-57-37-pm

I have no idea who this lady is but blimmin’ Nora she’s perfect…anyone know if she has a blog or Instagram??

Anyway, my next outfit plan is to get hold of some cute high waist, cropped ankle skinny jeans (like these I’ve seen in Forever New like this or more likely this (the mid-rise version) but I prefer the buttons on the first pair.  Then I was going to see if I could find a blue chambray or denim shirt to pair it with for a bit of a Kim K double-denim type look.  I’ll keep you posted if the jeans work or don’t work on my micro body 😀

cba1e396c5b16184fa8bbc62ce5c6e20

Notice that Kim actually has mid-rise jeans on here, and has created space in her torso by wearing less-than-high-waist jeans – the proportions of her outfit look great to me.

Hope these ideas prove useful!  Let me know if you have any other tips!

Emphasise Your Waist To Lose Ten Pounds, Part I

Body, Wardrobe planning

Slight disclaimer on the above title: I’m talking about the visual effect of losing ten pounds not the actual loss of ten pounds 😀 Although that said, I did do an article on tightening up your thighs that talked a bit about weight loss if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

For the rest of us however, grab yourself a coffee and biscuit and I’ll proceed :p

So, as I’ve said before, I’ve always struggled to feel like I look my best when wearing casual outfits.     They just look no more than ‘blah’ and I go walking around for the day feeling quite chunky and frumpy.  I believe I just haven’t been finding the right clothes for my body, and this is why this blog started in order to analyse this problem…aloud…in the company of you guys!  But my problem with casual outfits is compounded by the fact that I just cannot resist a good floaty, loose top.  The type that hangs from your boobs and floats about your body in an oh-so-casual, look-at-me-I-look-awesome-without-even-trying type of way.  In my head, I suppose I’m kinda idealising the type of look that Roxy often espouses, see pics below.

Just so you get an idea of what I’m referring to in my head.

Now I think that pink top looks fantastic on the model, who appears to have a fairly straight figure (I think this is her in a bikini outfit but could be wrong!)*.  But when I try the same sort of items on in the store, they never looked ‘cool, laid-back and surfy’ but just plain frumpy. xD.

I’ve used this image before but here’s J Law in dress-downs: jen-lawrence-062012-204

…and the feeling this image gives me is similar to what I get when I’m in dress-downs – like, her mate is doing practically nothing different but looks great and I can’t explain why (NB here is a pic with her actually rocking denim shorts, proving it’s about the garment itself and how you wear it)

Now I think it’s important for girls like me to change their mental image of casual outfits slightly.  It’s important to lose the idealism of the ‘super-laid-back’ loose/unfitted surfy outfit, and find a way to emulate the laid-back feel whilst emphasising the waist.  And it’s another challenge to do this without looking more dressed up than you want.  I find a lot of waisted garments have a more smart/casual feel for some reason, and this effect is sometimes compounded when you put them on a curvy frame making the overall look quite ‘womanly’ rather than ‘surfy’ or whatever you’re going for.

Below are some examples of small alterations to expectations that you can make to keep your beachy, surfy outfits flattering to your shape, meaning you look 10lbs lighter than if you didn’t flatter your shape.  I’ve focussed on the beachy look today, but the same principles will apply for, say, hiking or sporty outfits too.  I should cover those in another post at some point perhaps.  All my examples come from one of my favourite instagrammers, @gypsylovinlight – if you ever need to learn how to stack rings or accessorise a boho outfit, check out her pictures.  She’s not particularly an hourglass figure but the principles are what I’m trying to get at.  And a slight disclaimer, the rules for clothes are not exactly hard and fast so sometimes if you want that straight-up-and-down dress or top, you just damn well buy it and enjoy it because it’s just clothes at the end of the day!

Maxi dress

Look 1 is beautiful but obscures the waist, whereas look 2 clings to the waist more allowing a slimmer look on an hourglass figure.

Short beach dress

Cute look on the left, but bound to make a curvy girl look heavier than she is, whereas the gorgeous dress on the right follows the line of the body which is great for hourglasses.

Shorts and top

A straighter figure can look better with a floaty top paired with shorts, because often their hips and thighs are a very narrow point of their body to show off.  An hourglasses narrowest part is her waist, and if you play it up like the outfit on the right, you de-emphasise the thighs and hips which is our widest point, and avoid looking heavier than you are.

*Mid post I had a bit of an ‘aha’ moment too when I tried to look for the same model who wore the straight T-shirts in the bikini section to see how straight her figure was – I realised they very craftily use a curvier shaped girl to model the bikini’s than they use for the clothing.  And where they did use a straight waisted girl, she looked worse in the bikinis than she did in the straight-hanging tops.  Even the tall slim models can’t suit all different styles of clothing and have their strong and weak points.

Workout gear inspiration

Outfits, Wardrobe planning

I’ve compiled a gallery of hourglass celebrities in workout gear for inspiration.  These workout outfits are incredibly versatile, so if you are looking for something to wear around Disneyland or for a walking holiday or for going to the gym or other sports event, this type of thing will multitask perfectly.  I suggest investing in 2-3 co-ordinating gym outfits and a good pair of trainers (sneakers) that go with all three, and you’ll never feel sloppily dressed when you need an activewear outfit.  You’ll see by the following pics that the general principle is to keep your workout gear mostly tight-fitting – an hourglass figure comes into its own when clothes follow the shape of the body.  I’ve tried to find links to similar items online in case anyone is interested.  But no matter what your budget, good quality workout gear is available from many cheaper stores these days (Walmart USA, ASDA UK, The Warehouse NZ etc) so there’s no need to pull on your fella’s shorts and a baggy old t-shirt to be comfortable any more.  The one thing I would make sure you pay money for if you’re working out is a good sports bra.  I swear by the Panache Sports Moulded Bra – it’s excellent at keeping the girls in place and minimizing bounce, and has a j-shaped catch on the back straps so you can convert it to a racer back whenever needed.  In my opinion it runs slightly small, but have a look at the reviews on Figleaves if you’re after a good sports bra.

So, first up lets look at the ever-gorgeous Halle Berry for some inspo.  She tends to keep her sports gear fitted, even when pregnant (see the grey/blue top with black trim below).  One thing that strikes me about her is that she’s obviously naturally curvy but she’s always maintained her figure extraordinarily well and has aged well as a result.  I’m sure her army of personal trainers and chefs doesn’t hurt but hey-ho….:D

I like the pop-of-colour t-shirts and note how well the necklines work with a medium/larger bust, despite ensuring her chest is covered up sufficiently.

Here she has gone for a slightly looser jogger-style cropped trouser, but kept the top relatively fitted to avoid looking too sloppy.  I find this style and length of jogger tends to work well with slimmer legs like Halle – if you’re carrying more weight, especially on the thighs, this style can add a bit more so be careful on that one and go for black if in doubt.

Next up, one of my faves, Kim Kardashian.  She sticks to an all-dark pallette for her workout gear usually and it works well because black is easy and flattering (generally).  She will usually stick to fitted top and leggings, but I found a pic of her with bootcut style joggers, and thought that looked pretty cool on her.  I’ve included one look that I wasn’t so keen on, for comparison sake, and it’s because her T-shirt is too long (the light brown top below), illustrating that the ideal length T-shirt for an hourglass is likely either just on the hip, or meeting the upper thigh like a micro-mini skirt length.

Next inspiration comes from Kelly Brook, a UK model who is about 5’11 and whose weight can fluctuate quite dramatically.  She’s very large chested and although her legs are about the length of my entire body (and I’m just referring to her tibia too…) she still provides great inspiration for what works, and doesn’t work, on an hourglass frame.  I think she may be more of what is called a ‘vase’ than an hourglass (basically a longer, sleeker version of an hourglass, according to Trinny and Susanna – bodyshapestyle.com is where I get all my info about body shapes from!) and that means she has a longer waist/midsection than an hourglass.  This means high waists and belts will work differently on her than us, but the rest of her outfits are likely relevant.

The first picture above is a promotional shot for Reebok from years ago, but I’ve been obsessed with this picture of her ever since I saw it – she looks phenomenal.  Its amazing how similar my hair looks when I workout too (and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything haha – I’m more…erm…drowned rat…shall we say, when I workout!).  Below is a couple of looks with hoodies, but I included the grey hoodie because it’s an example of how too loose tops disguise the waist and pack on the pounds visually.  Both the colour and cut of the purple top is better.

Last workout inspo lady is the curvy Amber Rose (an American model, actress and fashion designer).  She’s apparently 5’8 and has 36HH bust with extremely hourglassy measurements of 42-27-41.  Amber’s workout outfits are fairly classic in silhouette, generally featuring close fitting top and leggings.  I love the orange hoodie jacket below, would be a great outfit for jogging on a rainy day.

Below I’ve featured one outfit I’m not keen on – the yellow top/highwaisted cropped leggings combo.  I’m not sure why this doesn’t work for me, as I like the highwaisted grey leggings on the left picture.  But the higher waist of the black leggings on the right, paired with the sleeved t-shirt seem to heavily over-emphasise her lower half, unless she is just carrying a bit more weight in this picture.  As a general rule however, I find that it’s best for high waist to come below the belly button on a shortwaisted figure, and in fact I find on my body that often normal rise waists come up to high-waist level (just on belly button) and low-rise waists sit normally at mid-rise for me.

Anyway, that’s all for this post, hope it’s useful for you to have inspo like this compiled in one handy place.  Below are some links to similar items of clothing to those above in case you’re interested.  Workout gear is actually not all that difficult for an hourglass figure given that most of it is quite tight, but remember to keep things fairly close fitting (avoiding drapey, baggy tops and joggers) and not too high-waisted for the most flattering silhouette.

Halle Berry outfits

  1. Under Armour pink top, similar grey leggings, Nike Air Rifts
  2. Under Armour Red top, brown leggings (similar pair), Nike’s as above.
  3. Nothing like her top but equally cool (!), dark grey sweater, grey Aasics trainer
  4. Black jumper, grey cropped joggers
  5. Similar VS PINK joggers, white racerback tank, Nike’s as above.

Kim Kardashian outfits

  1. Brown longline vest, black cropped leggings, Sketchers
  2. Tight black hoodie, grey leggings (hers are a bit more slouchy at the ankle), Nike Air Max
  3. Zip up navy top (I’ve not bought from this shop before, but it seems to have legit reviews), yoga pants, Nike trainers

Kelly Brook outfits

  1. White sports bra (Reebok no longer doing 😦 ), black capris, Nike tennis shoe
  2. Grey tank, grey capris, Nike’s
  3. Red top, grey capris
  4. Patterned leggings

*I haven’t got round to finishing this list just now – will be working on it over the next day or so, thanks for your patience*