Plus Size Proportions: Rectangle Shape

Jewellery, chocolates, shoes… So many great things come in rectangle packages! Are you one of them? You most likely have a Rectangle body shape if:

o Your bust and shoulders are approximately the same width as your hips

o Your waist is not very defined, and is less than 8” smaller than your bust and hips

o You may have a broad back and a full neck, and your bust is small to medium in size

o You have proportionally slim legs and arms, and generally a flatter behind

With a straighter torso, your biggest challenge is creating a more defined waistline. The Rectangle figure is a common body type, especially as women age, give birth, or gain weight. Our goal is to enhance your femininity and showcase your gorgeous arms and legs by creating a curvier waist.  Because Rectangle body shapes are already well-balanced, you can have a lot of fun and be more adventurous when playing with volume in your clothing.

Consider yourself blessed with the ability to pull off just about any style of pant. Take advantage of the myriad of bottom silhouettes in fashion right now, from straight & narrow to wide and flowing—bottoms up! As everyone’s body is unique, choose details that work best for you. Have a flatter bottom? Look for styles with pockets, especially ones with flaps. Wide legged pants that have a slight flare at the hem add curves to your hips. Two pairs that accomplish this in high style (and comfort!) are the ‘Serene Pant’ and ‘Rhythm Gaucho’.

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Plus Size Proportions: Hourglass Shape

Probably the most coveted of curvy shapes is the hourglass. It’s never too late to show off your classic curves! You are an Hourglass shape if:

o Your bust and hips are curvy, and similarly proportioned

o You waist is defined, approximately 8-12” smaller than your bust and hips

o If you gain weight, it is generally distributed evenly throughout your body

My oh my, aren’t you a lucky lady!  The Hourglass shape is considered the most ideal body shape in women, and is also the least common. Only 8% of women have a true hourglass shape; however, the curves you have can easily be enhanced with the right clothing. No, this doesn’t mean squeezing into a restrictive corset (we’ll gladly leave this daily torture to the Victorians)—unless you’d like an updated version to imitate those burlesque beauties!

First, start your wardrobe off right with one key element: a properly fitting bra. Just like a clear, even complexion is the perfect base for your daily makeup routine, a good bra is the foundation of your wardrobe—especially for Hourglass shapes who tend to have medium to large busts. Just say no to lumps and bumps! Many specialty lingerie stores have trained staff to help you find the best fit; this is an indispensable service that will most likely improve how your tops look and fit your body.

Now that “the girls” are sitting pretty, don’t hide out in baggy or oversized clothes! Another must-have for hourglass shapes is a top with either a v-neck or scoop neckline. Both styles slim the neck and chest and will make you appear slimmer and taller. If you are showing cleavage and feel uncomfortable, you can wear a body-hugging cami under the top, giving you coverage without distracting from the lengthening effect of the neckline. Try the ‘Smooth Cami’ as a layering piece or pair the ‘Starburst Tee’ with your favorite boot cut pants.

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Plus Size Proportions: Pear Shapes

Attention all Pears, this one’s for you!

If your hip measurement is quite a bit greater than your bust measurement, consider yourself a Pear shape!  Pear shapes usually have:

o A bottom heavy shape

o A thin and slender neck

o Narrow or sloping shoulders

o Larger and more generous lower hips and thighs

The shape that you have is a natural woman’s body shape. It’s beautiful and I bet you’ve gotten plenty of appreciative stares. Men have been forever hardwired to choose a mate based on her ability to bear offspring, and—dating further back than ancient Mesopotamia—curves symbolize fertility. Follow in the footsteps of celebrities like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez who have popularized this feminine body shape and celebrate your curves!

To quote Barb and Lorna, owners of Bodacious —a haven for the full-figured fashionista here in Vancouver:

“We encourage women to love their bodies, curves and all! At Bodacious we discourage phrases like, ‘My butt’s too big for this skirt’, and turn it around to ‘This skirt is just too small for my bodacious butt!’

The most important tip for dressing a Pear shape body is to focus on adding width to your shoulders and volume to your bust. This doesn’t mean you have to pull out the shoulder pads and padded bras! Instead, look for tops with a few ruffles, details or draping at the neck, or gathers at the shoulder. The extra fabric will widen your shoulders and create more of an hourglass silhouette. By creating more width and volume through your shoulders and chest, you not only minimize and balance your hips, you also frame your lovely face. Tops like the “Divine Cowl”, “Ruffle Tee”, and “Tribeca Tunic” do just that!

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