5 Style Tips for Hourglass Dressing

In our Dress Your Shape series, we showcase chic women who live by my number one style rule—without fit, you don't have style—and give you the shape-specific tips to get it right, every time. This week we’re featuring Jennifer Henry-Novich, the founder/blogger of Just Add Glam, with tips on how to rock an hourglass figure. While hourglass has been the idealized shape for like, ever, (think: Marilyn Monroe then and Beyonce now) it’s still a struggle for some women to get right. One too-tight item, and your look will scream sex instead of sophisticated. To look your best, follow these 5 tips for dressing an hourglass shape. P.S. Click on each photo to learn more about the outfit!

MORE: Dress your Shape... Busty, Petite, Curvy, Tall and Pregnant.

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1. Don't come off TOO Sexy!

While you’re naturally proportionate (most women aren’t!), your curves can look too sexy for some occasions if you’re not careful. Avoid clingy fabrics or pin-straight silhouettes that hug your figure, especially at work. “Some women can wear a pencil dress and it looks great if they’re stick straight. On me, a pencil dress can be too sexy for office, business or professional dressing,” Jennifer says. Instead opt for pieces that skim your curves and accentuate your waist.

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2. Like I said: Accentuate your waist!

This one’s a no-brainer: Always emphasize your narrow waistline! “With an hourglass shape, you want to work with your waist as a centerpiece for fashion,” Jennifer says. You can do this any number of ways. Try a belt at your narrowest point, usually a few inches higher than your belly button right under the rib cage, or dresses that have defined waists and float away from your lower half. Also, tucking in your blouses or rocking a high-waisted pant or flares will look great on you.

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3. It's all about balance.

“It’s hard to see the way clothes are represented on a mannequin or model, or it looks great Photoshopped in a photo, but it’s not your body shape or the same proportions,” Jennifer says. Just because the mannequin can rock a full-fringe ensemble doesn’t mean you can. Ditch it to avoid looking like a walking suede piñata! Your curves will get completely lost and you’ll just look messy. So, think about doing something fitted on the bottom, like a pencil skirt, paired with something more voluminous on top, like a flowy blouse. Or flip the script by pairing a form-fitting top with something fuller on the bottom, like a soft pant or maxi skirt.

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4. Layer with proportional pieces.

There are two factors that bring an ensemble to the next level: confidence and perfect layering. Highlight that narrow waist again by topping off your look with a tailored blazer or leather jacket, cropped at the waist. But don’t go crazy! “Layering can add dimension to your outfit and give it a unique look, but if you add too much, pieces can work against each other,” Jennifer says.

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5. Size is just a number.

Women with an hourglass figure many times find that bottoms are cut too straight for the proportion of the small waist to curvier hips. To avoid gapping at the waist, pulling across the hips and puckering in the back, you might need to go up a size and tailor the waist. “Look at size on label and maybe go up a size so it’s a little bit looser and doesn’t cling and look too sexy,” Jennifer says. Remember, like age… it’s just a number!

5 Style Tips for Hourglass Dressing
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