Do You Know What Flatters You?

Updated January 26, 2024
what flatters you


When you go clothes shopping, do you instinctively know what flatters your shape?  I feel I’m getting better at what works for me, but it took decades to find my style.

Fitted clothing can be universally flattering and it doesn’t really matter about size.  Honestly!

The best clothing should skim over the bumpy bits and cling a bit to our shapeliest parts. Unless you’ve got a model bod, skin tight isn’t flattering but that doesn’t mean you can’t get away with a fitted look.

Choose Clothes to Flatter Your Body Type

What flatters you: LENGTH

What’s the right pant and skirt length for you?

  • I always steer completely away from any short or cropped pant that stops between the knee and the calf.  I feel no matter what shape or height you are it does no favors. A short cropped look hits the calf and shortens the leg. You really want the eye to see one long line where your legs are concerned.
  • Unless you aren’t blessed with a proportionate ankle, I think skinny is the most flattering fit of all and the most versatile. You can pair skinny jeans or pants with either a flat, heel or tucked into a boot. If your ankles aren’t your best feature, by all means wear a pant that covers them, thereby giving the illusion of a uniform slim shape. A bootcut jean is another option.

What flatters you: SHAPE

What shape creates the most flattering line on your body?

  • Fitted is uniformly flattering. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can hide under baggy clothes. One shape I love is the dolman sleeve top, it’s fitted at your waist and loose above making it incredibly flattering and forgiving shape for most figures.
  • Pants are a perfect opportunity to show off your curves, if you can find a nice semi fitted ponte or stretch pant. Pleats and cuffs add weight and break the long line you want to create with your pants. I avoid these styles as avidly as the short cropped pant!
  • I could live in jeans, but they have to fit my figure. You probably have a favorite brand too. I’ve tried on so many and finally realized not all jeans are created equal. Do you know which shapes flatter you? I was in luck when the low rise came back in popularity. Some brands have perfected the blend of lycra and denim that provide give without the sag.
  • My favorite brands are the Gap/OldNavy/Banana Republic group, Joe’s Jeans, Kut from the Kloth. Find a brand that caters to your shape.
  • Skirts are a little trickier. A nice pencil skirt is a great shape to work with. If it hits just above or below the knee I believe it flatters most of us. Knits are more forgiving especially with a drop waistband. Pencil skirts look great with a slim fitting top or shirt. Try pairing the dolman style top with your pencil skirt to create a slim silhouette below.

What flatters you: COLOR

Do you have a favorite sweater or scarf you feel you can conquer the world in?

  • Why not make those colors the foundation of your palette.
  • Anything you wear close to your face should bring out your eye color and your natural hair and skin shades. If you find a scarf you keep reaching for, chances are it’s in your favorite color and works with most of your wardrobe.  I have bluish gray eyes so blues, grays and even greens are a natural.
  • Keep in mind your skin color and hair have changed a bit over the years. Dress for who you are now. Softer is better and more flattering. So instead of a deep red, how about a deep rose? Change your black to charcoal gray, or if you have warmer skin tone, chocolate brown or deep blue.

Color and shape are the key ingredients to getting our look pulled together and flattering. No matter what size or shape you are, you know what items in your closet you like the most. The ones you always reach for? Take your cues from their shape, fit and color and you can’t go wrong.

If they make you feel great when you’re wearing them, even better. If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous, why wear it?


About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.