Clinton's Style School: The Best Looks For Your Body

Not a day goes by without a woman writing—or accosting me in the produce aisle—to ask, “Clinton! What should I wear?” The answer, of course, depends on a slew of factors including but not limited to her age, budget, profession, coloring and, most importantly, figure. Over the course of the next year, I’ll be doling out advice here on my website (in small chunks for easy digestion), and I’m starting with the basics: the one thing, above all else, that should be in your closet right NOW, based on your body type. For more detailed information on dressing to flatter your figure, consult your copy of my book, Freakin’ Fabulous On A Budget!

Big Bust

  • The Best Looks For Your Body: Big Bust

You Need: The Best Bra In The World!

Don’t let some high school kid working at a lingerie store in the mall tell you your bra size. Make an appointment today with someone who sizes bras for a living. (The vast majority of women are wearing bras that are too small in the cup and too big in the band.) A well-fitting bra gets the girls into “the zone,” that place roughly halfway between the shoulder and the elbow. Why is that so important? That’s where apparel designers expect it to be. Just look at a dress form. When your bust is somewhere else, you end up fighting with your clothes.

Your Next Step: Buy Some V-necks And Camisoles.

V-necks, whether dresses or tops, elongate the neck, which reduces the impact of the chest, and camis cut down on inappropriate (like at the office or parent-teacher conference night) cleavage.

Small Bust

  • The Best Looks For Your Body: Small Bust

You Need: Blouses With Oomph!

A blouse with detailing like pleating, twists, pockets, gathering, small patterns or even ruffles (but not pirate shirt ruffles) creates a fuller-looking top half. Haltertops will create the illusion of a fuller bust, as will cowl necks.

Your Next Step: Accessorize A Button Down!

A button-down blouse left slightly open at the top (but not too open – think just a hint of collarbone) draws all eyes up to your beautiful face rather than those eyes landing at your chest. Pair with a fun jacket with lots of embellishment and pile on delicate jewels to add more volume to your upper half.

Prominent Tummy

  • The Best Looks For Your Body: Prominent Tummy

You Need: Flare!

Your immediate thought might be to wear an oversized top to conceal your middle but that simply creates the effect that you are large all over. Blouses that float away from the body, such as empire-seamed tops, or ones that have small side vents and create a slight flare, camouflage your middle. The material won’t be suctioned to your shape and won’t draw unwanted attention to your navel region.

Your Next Step: Jackets! Jackets! Jackets!

The right casual jacket or blazer can strengthen your shoulder and balance out your midsection by creating an all over hourglass figure. I don’t mean suit jackets necessarily, but knit jackets, denim jackets, tweed blazers and leather jackets. The jacket is the cornerstone of a stylish wardrobe so you should have them anyway. Always be sure you buy a jacket that can actually close over your body otherwise you are just a gal wearing an ill-fitting garment.

Big Bottom

  • The Best Looks For Your Body: Big Bottom

You Need: To Divide And Conquer!

The best way to camouflage your rear end is to use what I call the "divide and conquer" technique. Look for tops that hit at the widest part of the tush. If you cover the butt halfway, you bisect it, reducing its emphasis by half, and keeping the leg line nice and long.

Your Next Step: Straight-leg Denim Or Trousers.

Pants that are straight from the hip all the way down through the ankle balance the hip, butt and thigh area. Since color draws attention to your body, if you want people to notice your behind, by all means choose color. If not, opt for darker hues on the bottom and play up the top portion of your figure with a blouse that has a bold print.

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