No! It’s not shapewear. Shapewear, diet and exercise will make the shape you have look better. They will not change your body shape to an hourglass shape.
What does? Answer = trickery. And we women are not beyond using trickery in dressing to fool men and other women. Clever choice of clothes, or as we say in the trade ‘illusion dressing’, is the answer if you want to give the impression that you have lost weight and instantly create an hourglass figure.
Read on for two ways you, as a stylish Baby Boomer woman, can create the hourglass body shape illusion. Maybe you want to create a shapely pear-shaped figure. I’ve covered that too in Tip 3.
It’s all in the design of the dress. All these tips use variations of Colour Blocking and ‘light and dark’ contrast to achieve the illusion of a different body shape.
Tip 1 – Full Body Hourglass
Black plus a pattern is a very popular way to do this. These styles follow the Princess Line from under the armhole to create flattering body curves. They need to curve in at the waist and slightly out over the hips to give the required hourglass shape.
The dress on the left from Fella Hamilton is unfortunately sold out. It does illustrate the principle. Too dark a pattern and the hourglass effect is lost. This dress is all-black at the back.
The dress on the right from Ezibuy uses small and slightly larger red and black patterns for contrast and a black strip down the Princess Line to suggest your hourglass shape. This dress has the same design at the back. It has good reviews and is not too tight a fit.
What Doesn’t Work As Well – Dresses like this Maiocchi dress on the right almost do the same job but not quite. This comes down straight over the hips. An hourglass shape is curved over the hips. These styles are still slimming and are lovely dresses especially when they are semi-fitted and skim your body.
Tip 2 – Waist Definition Hourglass
This is the more subtle variation to suggest an hourglass shape rather than full-on obvious. These dress styles use Colour Blocking principles to reshape your waistline and hips only. Again it can be colour with colour, colour with pattern or pattern with pattern. The first three also use ‘light and dark’ contrast for shaping. The dress on the far right uses a contrasting stripe pattern for the same effect. The first three also include a narrow waistline band or belt to create the impression of a small waist.
The first two dresses on the left have triangular inserts while the two on the right have curved inserts.
The dress on the far left, from Jacqui E, has the same design front and back. The red and black dress from Marisota has a ‘Magisculpt’ control tube lining (‘shapewear’ in real language). The back of this dress is solid red. It also comes in a black and ivory variation.
The next dress is a tomato red and navy Colour Blocking combination from the Marisota Shapeology range. It follows the Princess Line curve and then goes horizontally to the side seam. It has contrast navy strips as extra design features. The back is the same as the front. It also comes in a black and ivory combination. The dress on the far right from Ezibuy subtly suggests a waist by having the two diagonal-stripe inserts joining to create a V at the waistline. It has good reviews. In the back it bunches up at the waist. Think carefully before you buy.
Tip 3 – Pear Shaped Dresses
If a pear shape appeals to you more, you can still do this in a sneaky way. The principle behind these is that, above the waist, the darker shape follows the Princess line from the shoulder. This creates the illusion of a smaller upper body and a curvy hip area.
The dress and jacket on the right from Fella Hamilton create that look. The dress is a simple, patterned sleeveless shift with a narrow vertical band of royal blue at the side seams. Adding the jacket/bolero that skims over your bustline and has a curved hem creates the illusion of a slim pear shaped body.
The dress on the left is mine. I bought it from a new local store. Went in to tell them I won a prize with their fascinator and came out with a new dress. With its angled black shapes, my body shape changes from relaxed hourglass to shapely pear-shaped. The back has a narrow band at the waist line.
As with all illusions there are limits and conditions. These only work when you wear a dress or a semi-fitted, long tunic that follows the above principles. It does not have the same effect with a top worn over pants or a skirt. This is a once-off illusion UNLESS you want to have a wardrobe full of these designs. Damn!!! Stylish baby boomers know that trickery is fun and dressing need not be all serious.
Action Steps because Information is not Transformation:
- Keep your eye out for these and similar styles now that you know what to look for. Try some of them on and you may be pleasantly surprised with the result.
- Colour Blocking is a ‘Modern Classic’. Want to know what other styles are also ‘Modern Classic’? Contact me for a Mini ‘Modern Dressing’ Session.
Pear Shape – Fella Hamilton