Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Flattering Trends Part 1: Color Blocking

Hey y'all, it's Caroline!

I know that trends come and go, and we often find ourselves hustling through shops, buying whatever's "in," and throwing it all on without stopping to think about how it REALLY looks on our body.

This is something you have to remember whenever you shop for that one particular trend you love: every trend looks good on a model.  When you see it in magazines, yes, it's going to look fabulous!  However, normal women have all sorts of different body shapes and can't always look that wonderful in everything they throw on.  So I'm going to be giving y'all a series on trends and how to conform them to your figure!

You have to keep in mind that these aren't hard and fast rules.  Always go with what you're comfortable wearing, and get second opinions from people you trust.  Basically, just don't wear a trend that doesn't suit you physically, or if it's out of your comfort zone.

First, let me describe the basic body shapes under which you'll need to categorize yourself.

{1}  Rectangle.  There are two types of rectangles.  One is slim and trim, and usually the body type of younger girls.  The other is a a slightly stockier rectangular shape that generally includes a broad chest and a similarly proportioned abdomen.

{2}  Apple.  An apple body shape is one with broader shoulders and a wide chest, while the rest of the body is narrow.  An apple shape, like the rectangular shape, does not have many curves.

{3}  Pear.  Girls with a pear shaped body have narrow shoulders and a narrow chest, but they have wider hips and thighs.

{4}  Hourglass.  Girls with an hourglass figure usually have a narrow waist which descends into slightly wider hips, along with, usually, broader shoulders and a fuller chest.

Now that you've identified your body shape, let's go ahead and apply it to a trend!  We'll start off with color blocking.

Type 1
Rectangle Color Block

You can rock the ever-popular horizontal stripes on top and cinched skirts.  Horizontal stripes give a widening effect, and since you're so slim, this will actually help you out.  Try some skirts with a tight, high waist to give the illusion of having a bit of curve.  Plus, maxi skirts will flatter and look ladylike. You can wear flats or heels and still look great.

Type 2

Rectangle Type 2 Color Block

With the stockier rectangle body type, you'll need to avoid horizontal stripes and anything that can cut you off.  Try a white tee with a funky colored jacket or blazer, and pair with a bright colored shoe or bag.  Add bright and bold accessories, and combine with some boot-leg jeans.


Apple Color Block

Because you have more width on the top than on the bottom, you're going to need to do a balancing act. Wear slimmer fitting (but not too tight, obviously) clothing up on top, and keep it simple.  On the bottom, you can wear bubble, a-line, or belted skirts and horizontal stripes to add more volume to your lower half.  You look best in heels, which balance out the wide skirt, but of course, flats look good on everyone, too.


With a pear shape, you have to balance out your narrow top with your fuller lower half.  Do this by picking shirts with detail, like ruffles, up at the top.  Wear a-line skirts, which are universally flattering for girls with curves.  Avoid horizontal stripes on the bottom, and the ever popular pleats can also have a widening effect.


Hourglass color bloc

With an hourglass figure, you can work a wide variety of looks.  The best, though, are pencil skirts with floaty, un-structured tops, and dresses with open jackets on top.  Horizontal stripes are a no-no unless they're very, very thin stripes.  Wide blocks will do you no favors.  Try florals and checks.

So here you have a basic guide to color-blocking for every body type.  Again, there are always exceptions, and you should always feel comfortable in what you're wearing.  You can add more color to your bright outfits with bags, bangles, headbands, scarves, etc, but this is just how to get the perfect top to bottom combinations that will suit you.

Have a great day!



  1. This post would be SO helpful if I could decide what body type I think I am.
    What do you think? (since we HAVE met. :P )

  2. I'm not sure, actually! Try measuring your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips, and see how the proportions turn out.

  3. This is very helpful! I think I’m a rectangle. I love skirts that sit higher on my waist anyways, so this is really good!

  4. I have narrow shoulders, narrow hips, and an even narrower waist. And I'm tall. What would I qualify as? Help!

  5. Thanks guys, I'm glad you like it!

    Rachel, if your waist is narrower than your hips, I'd lean towards the hourglass figure. However, since it sounds like you're very slim, you could probably work in some horizontal stripes from Rectangle Type 1. :) Hope that helps!!

  6. thanks! I will keep that in mind

  7. Thanks so much! I'm a full out-and-out hourglass, and I've always wondered what looks best on me :).