Figure Flattery: How to Wear the Latest Trends

Conceal a Belly Paunch
Photo: Courtesy of net-a-porter.com

Figure Flattery: How to Wear the Latest Trends

01 of 25

Florals

Florals
Rex Features

We've taken five of the hottest trends this summer-florals, shirtdresses, high-waist pants, safari, and shorts-and worked out the best way to wear them no matter what your body type.

First up: florals. When wearing florals, pick a print that coincides with your size. For example, petites like Thandie Newton should wear a smaller print; bigger women can carry a larger pattern.

02 of 25

Flatter a Large Bust

Flatter a Large Bust
Courtesy of JCrew

A deep v-neck on a floral top is flattering for bustier women. There's less print to overwhelm the body. And the low placement of the buttons ensure there will be no gaping at the chest.

BUY ONLINE NOW Ocho Rios floral cardigan J. Crew, $88; at jcrew.com.

03 of 25

Conceal a Full Tummy

Conceal a Full Tummy
Courtesy of Forever 21

A floral dress or tunic with a loose skirt hides a big belly nicely, without looking frumpy. The poofy sleeves add volume to the shoulder area, thereby minimizing the appearance of your lower half.

BUY ONLINE NOW Floral print tunic, Forever 21, $20; at forever21.com.

04 of 25

Flatter a Pear Shape

Flatter a Pear Shape
Courtesy of Fossil

An a-line skirt looks great on anybody, but especially on pear shapes. A white tank or short-sleeve button-up would look great on top of this floral skirt, tucked in to flaunt a small waist.

BUY ONLINE NOW Kate Skirt, Fossil, $20; at fossil.com.

05 of 25

Create Curves

Create Curves
Courtesy of Searle NYC

Small busts and boy-shapes will get curvier with this floral top. The ruching in the middle gives the illusion of an hourglass figure and the subtle pleating at the bust gives the appearance of a larger chest.

BUY ONLINE NOW Numero Uno V-neck top, Searle NYC, $298; at searlenyc.com.

06 of 25

Shirtdresses

Shirtdresses
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

As seen on Nicky Hilton, this tailored look is a go-to staple for work days. If you are curvy, avoid over-exposing yourself by wearing a camisole underneath. That way, if any gaping occurs, you won't be showing any skin or undergarments. And remember that you don't necessarily need to wear the belt that comes with your dress. A great vintage one gives a nice edge to a solid or patterned shirtdress.

07 of 25

Overall Figure Flatterer

Overall Figure Flatterer
Courtesy of net-a-porter.com

Whether you want to cover untoned upper arms, accentuate an hourglass figure, add curves or amplify a small bust, this shirtdress will do it. The large belt helps create curves and whittle the middle, while the bust pockets add volume to the chest area. The length should hit just above the knee, which tends to be the most flattering spot on the leg for a dress or skirt to fall.

BUY ONLINE NOW Trinia shirt dress, Diane von Furstenberg, $398; at net-a-porter.com.

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Emphasize the Shoulders

Emphasize the Shoulders
Courtesy of net-a-porter.com

Draw the eye away from a thicker lower half with a shirtdress that has detailing at the shoulder. Darker colors make any figure look smaller.

BUY ONLINE NOW Sister Flavie shirt dress, Paul amp Joe, $245; at net-a-porter.com.

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Maternity Option

Maternity Option
Courtesy of Isabella Oliver

Even expectant women can jump on the shirtdress trend-just forego the buttons. The sash belt on this option, along with the neckline, helps to frame the bust.

BUY ONLINE NOW Monaco Dress, Isabella Oliver, $285; at isabellaoliver.com.

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Conceal a Large Lower Half

Conceal a Large Lower Half
Courtesy of zappos.com

If you're small up top and big on the bottom, this is the shirtdress for you. The detailing, from the white piping to the chest pockets to the wide collar, add balance to a large lower half, which is downplayed with the simple black skirt.

BUY ONLINE NOW Cafe Rouge Shirt Dress, Betsey Johnson, $275; at zappos.com.

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Safari Style

Safari Style
FlyNet Pictures

The key to going safari is knowing that a little goes a long way. You can opt for a simple piece, like Gwen Stefani's sweater, and get just the right dose. And avoid wearing animal prints on any part of the body where you don't want to draw attention to: for example, if you don't like your lower half, wear a leopard print scarf at the neck to bring the focus up.

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Hide Untoned Upper-Arms

Hide Untoned Upper-Arms
Courtesy of Active Endeavors

Flaunt your decolletage in this sexy top while covering jiggly triceps. If you are slim on the bottom, pair this top with white pants. If you're larger on the bottom, opt for a black skirt or jeans.

BUY ONLINE NOW Zebra smocked top, Tibi, $171; at activeendeavors.com.

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Add Curves to a Boyish Figure

Add Curves to a Boyish Figure
Courtesy of Forever 21

The large belt cinches at the waist of this safari jacket to create the appearance of curves. The angled pockets and shoulder lapels help too. This is a great topper for skinny jeans or pants.

BUY ONLINE NOW Safari trench jacket, Forever 21, $30; at forever21.com.

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Conceal a Large Upper Half

Conceal a Large Upper Half
Courtesy of net-a-porter.com

The billowing sleeves and unrestricted fit of this dress allow ample coverage for a bigger uppper half. The busy pattern keeps the eye moving, instead of drawing it to one spot. A bold shoe, something red for example, will draw the focus down to your feet and add a blast of color to this look.

BUY ONLINE NOW Leopard print dress, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, $460; at net-a-porter.com.

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Play Up an Hourglass Silhouette

Play Up an Hourglass Silhouette
Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

A pencil skirt hugs curves in a most flattering manner and this safari skirt is a great example. If you're petite, look for a length that hits a few inches above the knee.

BUY ONLINE NOW Safari pencil skirt, Pink Tartan, $295; at saks.com.

16 of 25

High-Waisted Pants

High-Waisted Pants
Brian Ach/WireImage

This hot trend will be with us into the fall, so embrace it now! Petites like Ellen Pompeo should be mindful that an extreme cut like this can overwhelm a small figure. So opt for high heels and have the pants tailored to hit just above the ground. And balance wide-leg pants with a fitted top-bulk on top will make you look larger.

17 of 25

Accentuate a Small Waist

Accentuate a Small Waist
Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Take advantage of this wide waistband to tuck in a fitted shirt and show off a little waist. Look for fabric that has stretch to it if you want to smooth at the hips.

BUY ONLINE NOW Casino high-waisted pants, Chaiken, $286; at saks.com.

18 of 25

Flatter a Long Torso

Flatter a Long Torso
Courtesy of shopbop.com

Break up a long torso with these high-waist trousers. The buttons add detail and help to visually chop up a long length.

BUY ONLINE NOW Royce sailor pant, Twenty8Twelve, $340; at shopbop.com.

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Conceal a Full Tummy

Conceal a Full Tummy
Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Stay away from pleating if you have a bit of a belly-flat-fronted pants are a much better bet. Look for a pair that hits a few inches below the belly button, to disect the stomach area. Anything higher will make the paunch look larger.

BUY ONLINE NOW Lux high-waisted A-line pant, Urban Outfitters, $40; at urbanoutfitters.com.

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Add Definition to a Flat Butt

Add Definition to a Flat Butt
Courtesy of Tobi.com

The piped seams on these high-waist jeans run up the front and back, giving the illusion of definition to a flat bum. Flap pockets have the same effect and are important in high-waisted pants because without them, the rear will look flatter and saggier.

BUY ONLINE NOW Luna wide-leg jean, Goldsign, $240; at tobi.com.

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Shorts

Shorts
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

Don't wear shorts based on the trends-wear the ones that are most flattering on your body. And as Vanessa Minnillo proves here, a little heel always makes the leg look trimmer, so if you're looking to lengthen those gams, grab a wedge heel and forego the flats.

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For Tall Women

For Tall Women
Courtesy of French Connection

Bermuda-style shorts look wonderful on long legs and can be worn with flats or heels. Shorter women should opt for a proportionally shorter pair that hits a few inches above the knee.

BUY ONLINE NOW Huba linen short, French Connection, $118; at frenchconnection.com.

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For Petites

For Petites
Courtesy of Old Navy

Short shorts that aren't too full in the leg look clean and neat on petites. A heel with a bright pattern or color lengthens the leg by drawing the eye down it.

BUY ONLINE NOW Clean front shorts, Old Navy, $16.50; at oldnavy.com.

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For a Full Rear-End

For a Full Rear-End
Courtesy of bluefly.com

Look for a roomy short if you have a large toosh. Also, detailing at the front of the waist will draw the eye there instead of to the behind.

BUY ONLINE NOW Isolde shorts, Tahari, $93; at bluefly.com

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Conceal a Belly Paunch

Conceal a Belly Paunch
Courtesy of net-a-porter.com

A short with a bit of stretch helps hold everything in, and a wider waist tab helps conceal as well. A black top would be ultra-slimming and elegant with this pair of cuffed shorts.

BUY ONLINE NOW Cuffed stretch short, Radcliffe, $81; at bluefly.com.

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