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Style Advice

Dressing for your body shape

When it comes to style, no matter what you read in the latest fashion magazines, there is no 'one size fits all' approach. Here, at berlin, our ethos has always been about looking and feeling great! And the golden rule to doing just that, is to figure out exactly what category your body type falls into so that you can dress to truly enhance your best features.

Body shape is all about proportion, while fashion, on the other-hand, is about dressing those proportions to ensure they look their absolute best. Forget obsessing over height and weight.... It may surprise you to learn that a slender person could in fact have exactly the same body shape as someone curvy, while your taller best friend may have the same silhouette as your shorter figure.

While bodies all come in various shapes and sizes, we generally all fall into one of five categories, with some of us being a blend of two or three.

 Pear Shape

Style advice

Pear shaped celebrities include Eva Mendes, Kate Winslet and Katherine Heigel, and while they may have a string of experts on hand to ensure their figures are perfectly flattered at all times, dressing for your pear shape silhouette is easier than you think.

Those who are pear shaped will have a wider lower body than upper body, meaning that hips are wider than shoulders. With a round bottom and waist that is well defined, your key features are your shoulders and your torso so when it comes to choosing clothing, pay particular attention to these. Draw eyes upward to your top half by opting for light coloured tops paired with darker bottoms, to expertly disguise hips. Play around with interesting necklines such as sweetheart, scoop and strapless and try visually interesting hemlines on dresses that slim the hips and thighs. Complete your ensemble with pointy toe heels, particularly in nude tones, which will serve to elongate your legs.

 Column Shape

 Style advice

If your figure falls into the column or 'rectangle' category, you are in good company with celebrity matches including Kate Hudson, Camerone Diaz and Natalie Portman.

A column body trait means your waist, hips and shoulder widths are similar, with your arms and legs proving your best assets. This affords you the opportunity to play around with proportions. Long jackets and flowing boho inspired dresses with bare legs will make you look lean, while a sweetheart neckline will add curves. Don't be afraid to build dimension through layering clothes and accessories to keep things interesting.

 Apple Shape

Style advice

Apple shaped ladies such as Eva Longoria, Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones hold most of their weight around their mid section, above the hips, which are narrow. When it comes to choosing clothes, it's all about carefully elongating the mid section and creating the illusion of a smaller waist. To lengthen the body, choose V-neck, A-line or empire dresses and draw attention away from the mid section with structured pieces on top to create curves in your chest and hips. Try a structured jacket to flawlessly finish your outfit and when it comes to colours, go monochrome!

Hourglass Shape

Style advice

Celebrity hourglass pairings such as Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson and Halle Berry have equally proportioned shoulder and hips with a defined waist. Fill your wardrobe with clothes that expertly highlight your killer curves, keeping a balance in mind at all times. This is easily acheived by keeping proportions of a fuller bust in symmetry with fuller hips and thighs. Try dresses with a figure-hugging silhouette to define the waist and avoid adding bulk. Go bold in graphic prints or colour blocking contrasting hues to draw attention to the smallest part of your figure.

 Strawberry Shape

Style advice

Also known as 'wedge' or 'inverted triangle', wedge shapes such as Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore and Renee Zellweger effortlessly show off their broader chest or wider shoulders and narrow waist and hips. To truly enhance your silhouette, try bold brights and prints on your bottom half, chicly combined with a crisp white shirt, and team with heels and statement jewellery for the perfect day to night look.

Draw attention to what you love about your figure. If it's your shoulders or arms, go strapless and opt for a statement necklace to draw the eye up. If you have a tiny waist, highlight it with a belt, or if you've killer pins, dare to go shorter but keep sleeves in mind to create balance.

Experimentation is key to discovering what works for you so don't be afraid to play around with silhouettes and reach for something you wouldn't normally try, as you might just surprise yourself. If you need advice, our expert team at berlin are on-hand in both our Carryduff and Newtownards boutiques where we would be more than happy to guide you through your silhouette, finding key piece that will effortlessly work for your figure.