I have been an Fashion Consultant and Personal Shopper for quite some time and have racked up countless hours with clients in their skivvies.
Here are a couple of irrefutable facts: No matter how perfectly, beautiful someone appears to be, everyone, has their flaws. Flat tushes and chests, too broad shoulders and busts, thick tummies, middles and too much junk in the trunk are more common than not. Even my tiniest, nearly perfects, can be hilariously overwhelmed by too much fabric or print and we howl not just at their reflection, but from misconception that they can wear anything.
So what is to be done??? First and foremost, the shape of your body rules what silhouettes you can and can't wear. For example, last year's baby doll dresses, empire and flowing, were best worn by long legged, narrow hipped, short torsoed, thicker waisted, "squares". This style was fun and moderately flattering on this type of body. Strictly a "trend", this is where I recommend only buying something cheap and cheerful, because it surely better be in the Goodwill bin this season. A "pear" has two fabulous assets, a long torso that includes a flat tummy and a small waist. No matter how much they wanted to be part of this trend, once we looked in the mirror, it was bye bye baby... with no accent on the torso and an extra foof of fabric around the fanny, it just wasn't a pretty sight.
Conversely, a sleeveless dress that emphasizes the shoulder area, with a long, tight fitting torso ending in an A line or modified bubble, suits the pear perfectly. The long torso, and tiny waist get all the attention, and the trunk is gently camouflaged by the fuller skirt. The square in this dress will look bulky though the middle and heavier on bottom than necessary. A square's best silhouette is a straight, classic sheath, preferably with a tighter band of fabric in the upper rib cage (to give the illusion of a waist) and no excess fabric around the hips. The only straight dress that leaves room for a little extra tush is Dolce. At the same time, they cut their upper torso extraordinarily narrow. I cannot recall a time when I didn't need a seamstress to release it a hair. (Those crazy Americans with their fat rib cages). One day I will get my friend S. to prove me right and try on a few Dolces. She is a pear, but a perfect pear... Think Angelina Jolie with a smidgen of J. Lo's butt. Throw on a pair of Jimmy Choos and she will be good to go, without a single stitch being touched. This is the fashion equivalent of a weeping Madonna statue...
As life would have it, if you are a pear you probably wish you were a square and vice verse, (just as I coveted my sister's silky straight hair and she my waves. Why do we always want what we don't have)? The most important thing to remember, is to dress to emphasize your best assets, even if it means missing out on a trend or three. If you are wearing the right silhouettes you are on you way to be well dressed.
So what are you? A pear or a square???