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A few months ago we started a series of articles on how to dress for certain body types. The typical plus size body types are pear, hourglass, and apple.† In reality, most of us are probably some combo of them. The last two months we featured the pear shape and apple shape and this month we finish our series with the hour glass shaped body.

In the final installment of dressing for a plus size shape, we are going to explore the hourglass. This is a balanced shape. Typically, the hourglass has shoulders and hips the same width with a narrow waist. The key to dressing this shape is maintaining that balance.

The best tops have an opening that point toward the waist and follow the shape of your curves. Sweetheart, V, and open necklines are ideal. Fitted or belted tops emphasize your curves and narrow waist. Jackets should do the same. The best jackets are fitted through the waist.

There seems to be a theme here! Dresses should also hug your natural shape. Dresses that are belted or narrow through the waist are the best for this shape. They maintain your balanced look, without adding bulk. The best dress length would hit at or around the knee.

Pants should hit just above your waist. A boot cut or wider leg will help balance your hips.

Accessories should be chosen with care. Necklaces and earrings of interest will draw attention up and towards the face. A shoe with a little heel will create a leaner line. Hand held and short strapped purses are best because they donít fall at the waist and sit on the hip line.

Hourglasses should avoid clothes that hide the waist and things that only emphasize the shoulders OR hips. Avoid a boxy, bulky silhouette, tapered shirts or pants that would make you appear larger in the hip area, closed or high neckline.

The dress shown is from Ulla Popken in sizes 12/14 up to 32/34. It has an open neckline that points to the waist, is fitted through the waist, and hits at the knee. All three are great to emphasize the hourglass shape without adding bulk.

I hope these tips have helped all the shapes in choosing clothes to wear. As I said before, though, if you like it and you think you look good in, WEAR IT!!! Attitude accounts for a lot more than style.

Dress courtesy of

Written by: Nikki Langston

New Fashion Feature Coming Soon...

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing that you feel great in and love to wear? Do you want to see your picture in an internationally read online magazine? Submit a picture of you in your favorite outfit and tell us where you bought it (ie website or store name), how much you paid for it and why you love it so much. Each month we'll publish a submission on this page like the example below. Send your submission to with the Subject "Fashion Submission". We look forward to seeing how wonderful you all look!!

This is a shirt I made many years ago. I loved it! It hung just right on me and I loved the colors. The fabric was light and it was great to wear on hot days.

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