4 Styling Secrets I Use To Create A “Perfect” Shape

No-one has the perfect body shape, really, even models. To be honest, curves have come back into fashion, as they were in Marilyn Monroe’s day, thank goodness. Despite that though, we all have parts of us that we like less than others. At this time of the year, and especially in the UK where we are having a prolonged heatwave, more of your body tends to be on show with lighter fabrics and skimpier outfits such as shorts, sleeveless tops and dresses.  I thought I would share the 4 styling secrets I use to create outfits that I feel confident give me the best shape.

Styling Secret No.1 Create a Waist & In The Most Flattering Place

This is the one that probably upsets me most. I used to be an hourglass shape with a defined waist and feminine curves. The waist has now gone AWOL! When I did have a waist it was high, i.e. not much room between my bust and waist, the bonus was proportionally longer legs (there is always a positive if your look) So I now use tricks to give the illusion of a waist and put it in a more flattering place 🙂 The picture on the left shows where my waist would be, but by just dropping the belt a little, as on the right, it evens out my proportions.

Styling secrets to create outfit formulas

By wearing tops slightly bloused over the waist with lower rise trousers (below) I am creating a waist and again putting it in a more flattering place. On the right wearing a top untucked and belted lower than my natural waist with a longer length cardigan, again balances my proportions and gives me a waist.

Maria Sadler Stylist and blogger wearing neutral trousers and red accessories, navy linen cardigan, Pure Collection

Blouse – Marella sold out // Necklace old // Belt // Trousers // Red shoes // Linen cardigan – similar // Linen top // Belt // Trousers old – these would work or Love these if you are a 10 // Wedges //

 Styling Secret No.2 Draw Attention To The Best Bits

You might think that by wearing a loose tunic style top or dress to cover a tummy is a smart thing to do. However, if you have great legs and slim hips you could be showing those off instead. The two pictures below were taken on the same day with no editing. This is truly how much slimmer I can look by showing off my hips and legs and adding a heel. The yellow blouse conceals my tummy by being slightly loose, but not unflatteringly baggy.

styling secrets, how to dress slimmer

Dress old // Trousers ME+EM – similar // Flat shoes – similar  // Blouse – similar , necklace, boots all sold out

As you will see below, this is a trick I use all the time. In the first two pictures below, your eye is drawn to the stronger colour – the one on my legs. In the third picture I am drawing attention up with the necklace or down to my ankles – I’m happy to show them off – with pretty shoes.

styling secrets, Maria Sadler stylist wearing 3 pairs slim leg trousers with long shirts

Silk Blouse (Gifted) – still in white in the sale // Trousers navy & red // Gold sandals – similar // White shirt – sold out similar similar  // Wedges // Red silk tunic top – here in navy

Use this trick to add an interesting detail where you want people to look. For a long slim neck wear statement earrings, for a tiny waist wear a coloured belt, for slim arms wear bracelets or a cuff.

Styling Secret No.3 – Distract & Conceal

Maria Sadler stylist wearing red top and jeans asymmetric top and wide leg trousers

Sunglasses (gifted) // Top – old similar // Necklace old – alternative // Jeans // Espadrilles // Asymmetric top – old // Trousers // Sandals – different colour //

One good way to disguise the bits you don’t like is with a print as I have done with the tops above. The top on the right also draws attention to the hip area (good bit) with it’s asymmetrical line and away from the tummy and bust areas (not so good bits) Both tops skim the body rather than fitting too tightly or being unflatteringly baggy. That’s the conceal bit, for the distract, I’ve drawn the eye up to the face with a necklace and a pair of sunglasses.

Use this trick to avoid sending the eye to the parts you aren’t so keen on. For example if you don’t like your hips don’t end a top or jacket on your widest part. If you would like your legs to be longer avoid cutting across them with a crop trouser or instead, wear trousers and heels in the same colour and if you are low waisted (which those with shorter legs often are) choose a shorter length jacket to cut down the length of your top half and extend the length of your legs. The fashion for the high waist trouser is perfect for you.

Styling Secret No.4 – Divide and Conquer

Maria Sadler Stylist yellow blouse animal print shoes, silk Weekend Maxmara trousers, blue Pure Collection shirt

Scarf //Blouse – similar // Trousers // Bag // Shoes // Blue shirt (Gifted) // Necklace – similar // Trousers // Sandals – different colour // Black/white scarf old – similar // Top // Trousers – similar // Shoes //

I know we all want what we don’t have but oh how I would love to be not so well endowed! It’s so hard to find pretty bras (and your waist, which you can’t see) and you tend to look larger than you are. I use the divide and conquer trick all the time. Above you will see I am creating a straight line down with a scarf or a necklace and breaking up the width of my bust.

I hope you have found these styling secrets useful and can see how you could adapt them for yourself. You might also be interested in a blog post I wrote a while ago about How to Dress Slimmer and this Video of Styling Tips to Give You Confidence.