Welcome to the latest instalment in the Style Unearthed ‘How to Dress for Your Shape’ series. We have previously looked at how to dress the hourglass figure and the pear shape. An athletic (or rectangle) figure can sometimes be difficult to dress. Certain cuts don’t fit properly, and women can often not feel feminine. The athletic shape is usually defined by little to no curves at the waist, toned legs and arms, and shoulders that are the same width as the hips. Athletic figures generally have a small bust, with broader shoulders and strong thighs. While a body calculator told me I was an hourglass shape, many hallmarks of the athletic figure also ring true (especially the broad shoulders, thighs, and bust).
The trick to dressing an athletic figure is to create the illusion of curves. You can do this by draping, belting and cinching your clothes. Dresses with short sleeves can show off toned arms, and belting a top or dress can create the illusion of a waist. Not having much of a bust means you can afford to add a little more volume in that area. Sticking to tops and dresses with cap sleeves or thicker straps will balance out your shoulders. Spaghetti straps and strapless styles are best avoided, as they make your shoulders and chest appear even wider.
Show off your legs with skinny jeans or leggings, and pair with a tunic style top with more volume to balance your outfit out. You can belt the tunic to create a waist. You could also try a blazer or jacket without shoulder pads, that button at waist with a single closure. Trench coats with a belt are also a great, classic option that you will be able to pull from your cupboard for years to come. Sleeves of a three quarter length will show off your forearms, and can draw attention to a statement watch or bracelet. I love the striped top with the belt below for a more casual look. Don’t worry about horizontal stripes making you look wider – it’s recently been proven that the right type of horizontal stripe will create curves in the right places.
Try a top or dress with a higher neck, and try to steer clear of plunging necklines or deep v-necks. Asymmetrical necklines are also a good option for those with an athletic figure. Play with ruffles, interesting patterns, ties or other interesting details on tops and dresses. I particularly loved the fresh colour of this dress, and it would be perfect for creating curves. It would work with flat or heeled sandals, for a casual barbecue or upcoming Spring racing carnival.
How do you dress your athletic figure? Which body type would you like to see covered next?
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