Thanks to the fashion industry’s obsession with young, waif-thin models, real women all over the country are saddled with guilt as they struggle to squeeze into that elusive size 0. But when it comes to women’s clothing, the key to feeling beautiful is choosing pieces that are not only fashionable but comfortable, too.
Knowing your body type and choosing the right clothes that complement your body are the next steps to this process. Instead of classifying women as “apples” or “curvy,” the Canadian women’s clothing line – Nygard – looks beyond these rudimentary labels and strives to treat women like unique jewels. Peter Nygard, the company’s founder and chairman, strives to design affordable, high-quality fashions for today’s real women: the emeralds, diamonds, opals and pears. Follow these fashion tips based on your unique body jewel:
• Emerald: A boyish shape with shoulders the same width as the hips and an undefined waist, Nygard recommends that emerald’s get curvy — wear clothing that simulates an hourglass shape by emphasizing your shoulders and hips. Look for jackets that have strong or wide shoulders that make your waist appear smaller, or a peasant blouse that creates shape and interest on top. Rely on belts to pull the eye inward — wide, skinny or anywhere in between.
• Diamond: Naturally well-proportioned shoulders and hips with a small and defined waist. Diamonds should seek out clothes that follow that basic frame and keep the shoulders and hips balanced. For instance, V-necks, sweetheart and scoop necklines that square off the shoulders will flatter a diamond’s collarbone and neck. Opt for fitted blazers instead of boxy, as well as full, pleated, A-line or pencil skirts with a wide waistband.
• Opal: A swimmer’s body; broad shoulders and narrow hips. Nygard’s advice is to wear clothes that de-emphasize your shoulders and add contour to your bottom half to balance your figure. Jackets that cinch at the waist, and then flare out, create the illusion of curvy hips. Choose darker colors on top to narrow your silhouette, paired with low-rise pants with side pocket detailing or full, printed skirts.
• Pear: Like it’s name, a pear-shaped body with narrow shoulders, a defined waist and a fuller bottom and hips. Add balance by creating wider shoulders, highlighting your waist and playing down your bottom half. Wear texture on top to create volume and interest, along with dark colors below the waistline. Boot-cut pants make hips look slender by balancing hip width to hem width. Most importantly, think vertical: Knee-length pencil skirts will hold curves in.