KNOW YOUR BODY
Tons of fabric or a strapless shape don’t flatter petite but curvy frames like Scarlett Johansson‘s. “Strapless when you’ve got big girls is hard [to pull off] and can look slouchy,” says Stacy London, host of TLC’s What Not to Wear. However, Johansson’s yellow Preen sheath works because “it’s a much tighter silhouette that hugs her frame and is tight at the waist,” she says. “And the one-shoulder works better than strapless is because it allows her to wear something supportive underneath.”
PARE DOWN THE PRINT
Though London says Drew Barrymore is one of the lucky few who can pull off this funky look (on the left), women should be careful with shiny fabric. “Any shine done wrong adds weight,” she cautions. One way to get shine right – do it in black: “The leather on her bold shoulders and belt reflects light and helps accent her waist – and, of course, black is always more slimming than a print.”
LENGTHEN YOUR LEGS
She may joke about her figure on 30 Rock, but Tina Fey has a fabulous shape – it just comes down to the details. “Embellishment is fine, but try to keep it symmetrical,” advises London. “Having it off-balance looks odd on any frame.” That’s why the second dress is a winner: Its “open neckline gives [Fey] a longer neck and a nude shoe gives her a longer leg. The longer your legs look, the taller and thinner you look.” And who wouldn’t want that?
PLAY WITH PROPORTIONS
Salma Hayek may be known for her va-va-voom figure – that’s why sometimes less is more. The proportions of her outfit (on the left) put too much emphasis on her bosom, whereas the purple Alexander McQueen dress, with its “bold shoulder and drape on the hips create balance between her top and bottom half,” says London.
WHITTLE YOUR WAIST
In her baggy separates, Jennifer Garner looks like she’s trying to cover up her fab figure. “Women think a poofy skirt will hide hips, but adding volume to width just makes them look bigger,” London cautions. What a difference her slim pencil skirt and a figure-flattering shirt makes! “The shirt is fitted, but there’s still a bit of coverage with the ruffle – it adds a bit of a broad shoulder to make the waist look narrower,” says London. Another great tip: Pair the ensemble with a pointy-toe shoe to elongate the leg.
SIMPLIFY THE LOOK
Curvy Kim Kardashian loves to play up her shape, but London advises simple, well-tailored pieces to draw attention to her best features. “Adding volume to a curvy frame is tough,” she says. “The curvier you are, the more tailored your clothes should be.” A better choice: Kim’s perfectly fitted, sequined Alice + Olivia frock – a look any woman can pull off.
TAILOR YOUR CLOTHES
“Jessica Simpson is gorgeous – and not a big girl at all!” says London. “Her clothes fit, but they’re the wrong silhouettes.” If you’re top heavy, keep the volume on top dialed down. “It’s all about tailoring,” she says. “Wearing giant, blousy tops with skinny jeans just makes you look more top heavy and disproportionate.” A more flattering look for bustier ladies: a well-cut jacket, fitted top and straight leg jeans.