If you don't know your shape, then it will be like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole... not going to happen! Most of us, do not really look at our body shape, we have a vague idea, but head to the store, and try to squeeze into the latest fashions.

To find clothes that are going to fit you properly, you need to do some homework first. Figure out what shape you are now, not what you perceive yourself to be, and not what shape you want to be by next year. If you need something to wear right now, then get it to fit you right now, otherwise you will tug and pull, and you will get tired of holding your breath for the outfit to look right.

So many people refuse to purchase clothes from a certain size range. They get stuck on that "size tag" and simply refuse. Or purchase something slightly smaller, so as to "grow into it" next year when they have lost that bit of weight they have been wanting to get rid of. What is the matter with buying something to fit the way you are right now?

We all know what happens to garments like that.... BANISHED to the back of the closet! Then we beat ourselves up for not having the willpower to lose that weight. So now, you have just wasted money on something you are not going to wear.

The best thing is to stand in front of the mirror, and figure out your shape. If you go and look for clothes that are designed for your shape, you will be amazed at how much better you look and feel. For example if you are a "triangle" then you are not going to buy jeans with all kinds of puffy pockets and darts in the front. This will just add to your hips.

The trick is to figure out your shape, and then accent the best parts and disguise the "not so good" parts. It is amazing how much slimmer you can look or even taller when you purchase something that works for your body shape.

Here is a quick breakdown of shapes:

HOURGLASS: curvy overall, your bust measurement is similar to your hip measurement. with a definite waistline, giving you the hourglass shape.

TRIANGLE: more prominent hips, thighs and rear. Less prominent shoulders and bust. You have a waistline, and then average to large legs.

OVAL: Bust, waist and hips are all similar size. You do not have a defined waist, you may have square hips, small bust, slim arms and legs.

INVERTED TRIANGLE: Full bust line, waist and upper back... smaller hips, flat rear, and obvious tummy and mid section, slim arms and legs.

Basically draw any of these shapes on paper, take your measurements, and see where you fall. Everyone is different and you should not criticize your body. You can make constructive observations to work on, such as diet and exercise, but your basic body shape will be there, even if you get smaller. Look at yourself naked in the mirror, and be happy with who you are, treat yourself like a queen, and get clothes that fit properly. When clothes shopping it is best that you are not in a rush. It can take time to find that perfect outfit and perfect fit, do not just "settle" for something close. Find something that makes you feel good and you will stand tall.

Focus on styles, fabrics and looks that flatter you best, not just the latest fashions. Use some basic rules that apply to ALL body shapes:

1) Always wear good foundations, such as a good fitting bra and underwear, your clothes won't fit, if they don't fit. Bulges will show through, so get the right size for lingerie as well.

2) Choose clothes shaped basically the same way you are. Don't add bulk in areas you are already naturally bulky in the name of style. If the latest styles don't look right on you, don't wear it. Find your own style.

How to DressCredit: Amazon.com

3) Don't squeeze into a garment, work with your body, you need to be able to move, and breathe, without fear of sitting down, or popping something!. Take the test when trying something on. Try moving the way you would in a normal day, if there are many restrictions, then don't buy it.


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learn how to dress for your shape.

If you are considered a plus size, then purchase a plus size. If you buy an outfit or clothes that fit you well, are not baggy or too tight, then you will actually look smaller than you are.

If you can afford it, shop in a store with well trained staff, to help you with the right fit. They are trained in the different sizes of the different brands of clothing, saving you lots of time. They can work with you, find out what you like, and bring clothes to try on while you are in the change room. This saves that back and forth, off and on with your clothes, that triggers exasperation by the end of the day!