Dress for Your Body Shape: Hourglass Shape

The hourglass shape has always been seen as the sexiest body which other shapes aspire to. Learn how to dress for this body shape!

It is the typical shape of the pin-ups and is based on the “perfect” proportions 36-24-36. The hourglass woman is characterized by shoulders and hips of the same size and a waist that is roughly 10 inches smaller.

Famous women with the hourglass body shape are Scarlett Johansson, Sophia Loren, Kim Kardashian, Salma Hayek, Kate Winslet and the sex bomb Marilyn Monroe. Even though it is a super sexy shape it is not the easiest ones to dress. 

First of all, it is very difficult to find dresses in the right size for this shape, because if they fit on the shoulders and the hips they will most likely not fit on the waist making you look much heavier than you actually are. Same goes for tops and high-waist trousers.

The key of dressing for this body shape is to enhance the small waist and highlight the sexy curves of the hourglass. The risk lies in trying to exaggerate these curves and ending up looking quite vulgar, so it is a game that needs to be played with caution. Let’s see the main styling tricks one should always keep in mind when dressing for this body shape. 


Tops for Hourglass-shaped women

The focus, as I have mentioned above, is on the waist and also the gorgeous neckline. Waist belts should become your best friends! Fitted tops are great but they could also be quite loose as long as they are belted!

The neckline is also very important for this shape. The worst mistake you could do is to try to cover up your breast too much. Stay far away from turtlenecks, they will make it look lower than what is actually is! The perfect neckline is the v-shaped one, as it shows off your gorgeous breast in a sophisticated and not excessive way. Just make sure it is not too low as it will just look vulgar.

All tops and jackets should reach below the hips, at the level of your crotch, so not to enlarge the hips and draw the attention there.

Peplum tops look amazing on this shape as they highlight the waist in a not excessive way and emphasize your great proportions and curves.

A special attention goes also to your underwear and especially the bra! With a fuller breast a properly fitted and supportive bra is absolutely essential for both your comfort and your look.

Dresses and Skirts

Dresses and Skirts for Hourglass-shaped women

For the dresses and skirts the rule of highlighting the waist and the neckline (as regards the dresses of course for the latter) is still the most important one.

Wrap dresses and skirts are by all means the best ones but also fitted ones will look great, provided your hips are not very large. All materials are great, but elastic jersey cotton in particular, as it flows on your body and makes you look taller and more slender.

Stay away from over embellished or heavily beaded dresses and skirts as they will make you look heavier thank what you actually are and break the balance of your proportionate body. Also large and colorful patters and horizontal stripes will have the same effect.

Definitely go for high-waist skirts and avoid low-waist ones that will simply add bulk to your bottom half. Pencil skirts and a-line skirts are both great.

The perfect length is at the knees and if you are a petite woman you can opt for a slit to elongate your figure.


Pants for Hourglass-shaped women

Hourglass-shaped women look really great in pants but they are quite tricky to find in the right size. Choose wide-legged and loose fitting ones that go straight down to the floor.

Also here, as for skirts, go for high waist, with the hem hitting at least 2 inches above the largest part of your hips.

Jeans are not the best solution for the hourglass woman, but they can look quite good if they are high-waist and slightly flared at the bottom. Prefer also stretch denim that will give movement and comfort to your shapely figure.

Stay away from belts on the hips and flashy details or pockets.

If your hips and thighs are quite chubby, go for darker colors that will slim you down.

In any case, stay far away from baggy pants!


Any accessory will of course look great, but avoid to weight down your neckline with excessive necklaces. Quite long necklaces are also not particularly recommended, especially if they hit just below the breast, as they will simply look silly hanging there in mid-air.

Choker necklaces, on the other hand, will look great and also really long ones that almost reach your belly will do the trick in glamorizing your look.

Accessories for Hourglass-shaped women


High heels are essential in making your legs look slimmer and your body leaner. Also chunky heels will be great.

Stay away from above-the-knees boots and ones that reach the middle of your calf, cutting your figure and making your legs look heavier. Avoid also thin ankle straps.

Shoes for Hourglass-shaped women

Do you have an hourglass body? What is a typical outfit for you? What are your personal tips for dressing this body shape?

Cover photo: http://www.wallpapersas.com/

About the author

Stephanie Reed

Stephanie has written for many online and printed magazines and she is now working as the editor of So Vain, which she founded, but also as a fashion consultant and stylist.

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