wikiHow to Dress to Add Curves to Your Body

Four Methods:Amplifying your Bust LineCreating a Waist/Hip ContrastEnhancing your BacksideSculpting your Entire Silhouette

Only about 8% of women have a ‘true’ hourglass figure.[1] For everyone else, creating a voluptuous look requires understanding your body and using clothes to enhance your natural assets while downplaying any imperfections. You can add volume to your bust and backside areas through the creative use of undergarments. And, your entire body line can appear more curvaceous if you embrace well-tailored, bold-patterned garments.

Method 1
Amplifying your Bust Line

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    Wear the proper bra. Select a bra with pads in the cups and one with a solid underwire to provide lift and support. A plunge shape and half-cup style create the illusion of additional curviness while also providing versatile support.[2]
    • You can even combine these with "chicken fillets"- flesh colored breast emulators made of synthetic material that slip under your natural breast when wearing a bra to give further volume. These are available for purchase at most lingerie stores.
    • An estimated 85% of women wear the wrong bra size. Many stores that sell lingerie offer free bra fittings. Take advantage of this service to ensure that your bra is not only comfortable but providing the proper support. You can also avoid “back overspill” with the proper measurements.[3]
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    Draw attention with a statement piece of jewelry. Pull eyes upward and keep them there by wearing a striking necklace. Or, put on a sweater with a bejeweled or embellished neckline.
    • Sparkly or eye-catching embellishments on your upper-half also serve to distract from a less-than-curvy lower body.
    • With a minimalist outfit, a small, thin chain necklace that drapes down into your cleavage will also create the illusion of fullness.
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    Wear plunging necklines. Choose tops with lower necklines, such as deep Vs or wrap tops, as they open up your bust line and draw attention to your face. High necklines have the opposite effect and create one block of fabric and color, resulting in a boxy appearance.[4]
    • To achieve this look for a button-down, without the risk of exposure, visit a tailor and ask to have darts sewn in to the lower buttons.
    • For added modesty, wear a camisole under your top.
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    Look for ruching, ruffles, or even fringe. Purchase dresses and tops with fabric gathers and embellishments over the bust area. These additional fabric folds help to create volume while drawing attention upward.[5]
    • Beware of tops that include darts or inlaid boning that you cannot fill out naturally.

Method 2
Creating a Waist/Hip Contrast

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    Sport an A-line or full skirt. Opt for a short length or peplum (a form-fitted skirt with a small puff on the hips), a knee-length for a neutral and preppy look, or go full retro with a calf-length skirt. Full skirts add volume to the hips, while drawing attention to a narrow waist.[6]
    • Just think of 1950's skirts and you'll be able to select the right one.
    • If it's a longer skirt, you could even wear layers, such as petticoats made of tulle, underneath to increase the fullness.
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    Don a pencil skirt. Choose a pencil skirt that's made of fabric that clings to the body to get instant curves. A wide waistband also helps by creating an illusion of movement from waist to hip.
    • A pencil shirt should sit at your natural waist, about two inches above your belly button. Any lower and you risk unflattering flaring of the fabric along your hips. The skirt should extend to just about an inch or two above the knee.[7]
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    Cinch with a belt. Choose a wider belt (3-6 inches in width), often called a corselet, which is specifically designed to minimize the waist. Wearing the right belt can break up the straight lines associated with a boxy or boyish figure.
    • If you have a narrower frame, a wide belt may appear overpowering. Instead, opt for a slim belt worn over matching apparel. A dark brown leather belt worn over a chocolate sweater dress, for example.
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    Consider high-waisted pieces. Wearing a high-waisted garment creates the illusion of a smaller waist while elongating the leg line. Jeans and skirts both come in high-waisted options and benefit greatly from tailoring to ensure the proper fit.[8]
    • High-waisted pants with wide legs are particularly good at providing figure balance with a slimmer torso.

Method 3
Enhancing your Backside

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    Wear panties with extra padding. You can buy specialized pairs of underwear that contain built-in padding for your bottom. They follow the same principals as push-up bras, but for your backside. They go by many different brand names and are available for purchase online and in stores that sell lingerie.
    • A silken texture is a good option for this undergarment as it will not cling to, or bunch up with, outer clothing.
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    Go for large pockets. Choose pants with larger pockets in the back. The size of the pockets will create a fuller look. High-rise jean styles often include more obvious pockets, making this cut a particularly good way to create feminine curves.[9]
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    Love a snug fit. You want your pants or skirts to hug your body without being too tight (to the point of showing blemishes and the like). If you are wearing baggy clothes, the extra fabric will gather around your backside, making it look almost empty in appearance. Instead, look for a fabric and cut that moves with you.[10]

Method 4
Sculpting your Entire Silhouette

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    Pare down the layers. Remove all extra garments, including indoor coats. Wear only the items that you absolutely need to stay warm. Burying yourself under layers of clothing hides the lines of your body, resulting in a boxy silhouette.
    • Coats are naturally bulky but can be a necessary layer, so look for one with a cinched belt to carve out an hourglass shape.
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    Wear certain patterns. Purchase a v-neck wrap dress with a dynamic and colorful print. The pattern will help to conceal any imperfections and will create a sharp silhouette. Likewise, vertical stripes add curves by flaring out at the bust and hips.[11]
    • "Illusion dresses" are form-fitted with two main front panels that may be pale or white, paired with two dark side panels (often black). They are designed to make your waist look smaller and your bust and hip larger in comparison.
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    Embrace the power of the wrap dress. A benefit of the wrap dress is that it is flattering to all figure types. Tying the dress closed at the waist creates the same effect as a cinching belt. Make sure to purchase the right size in a high quality fabric in order to avoid clinginess.
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    Put on a pair of heels. Wearing heels makes your legs appear longer and leaner while adding contrast and fullness to your hip and backside area. This is especially the case when you wear fitted or tapered garments.
    • A neutral, or nude, heel is even better as it creates the illusion of the never-ending leg, thus amplifying the slimming effect on the waistline as well.[12]
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    Visit a tailor. Make an appointment with your local tailor and bring a few favorite clothing pieces with you. Ask them for specific ideas as to how to accentuate your feminine curves using those particular garments.

Tips and Warnings

  • Remember that all body types are beautiful.
  • Be wary of waist training and cinching. If you wear one of these devices for an extended period of time, you could be subject to restricted organs, fractured ribs, and oxygen deprivation.[13]

Article Info

Categories: Personal Care and Style