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June 22, 2012

How to Dress for Your Body Shape

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We talk a lot about outer beauty on this blog, not because we’re superficial but because we feel good when we look good and want you to, too. Sally McGraw is on the same mission. On her massively popular blog, Already Pretty, she encourages women to embrace their own bodies and enhance what they’ve got through personal style. This week she’s living the blogger dream, publishing her first book: Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well. Unlike so many fashion rags, this is an accessible, body-positive self-guided makeover tool to help you define and hone your own personal style. If you’ve ever struggled with finding styles and shapes that flatter your figure, this is your book. It’s also your lucky day because Sally is awarding one BB reader with a complimentary copy. All you have to do is leave your name below and share your most pressing style conundrum. She’ll be popping over to answer them. For everyone else, Sally is bestowing her three of favorite pearls of counter-intuitive style wisdom:
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1. Sleeveless garments are more flattering than short sleeves
Short and cap sleeves often bisect the arm where it’s widest, so they can actually make arms appear larger. (Not a problem for those concerned about thin upper arms, but definitely an issue for those concerned about large upper arms.)
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2. A floor-length skirt can actually make you look TALLER
If you have long legs—especially if your long legs happen to be attached to a short torso—a skirt that disguises most of your lower half may make you look shorter overall. But if you have fairly balanced proportions or a long torso and short legs, a floor-length skirt will give the impression of height—even if you’re a short gal overall.
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3. Fitted garments make you look slimmer than loose ones
If you are self-conscious about your weight, shape, or size, your instincts will probably tell you to do everything in your power to cover and distract from your weight, shape, and size. But when you wear loose, formless garments that mask your body’s form, including where it curves and dips, you create the impression of more bulk. It may feel strange to think of tighter clothing as flattering to a larger body, but showing the world a defined form will create a more pleasing silhouette than showing the world a formless mass.
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Got a piece of counter-intuitive figure-flattery advice? We’d love to hear it!
  • Elizabeth Dehn
    ABOUT ELIZABETH
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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