Highlight your strengths and manage your flaws (Part II)

MINAL KHONA on how to maximise your body’s best features and minimise its flaws

Reading Time: 5 minutes


Long waist/torso: If you belong to this category, wear short jackets if you are not very voluptuous, or wear long jackets with short shirts which you can tuck in. If you have a slim waist, wear belts on your skirts and trousers or wear skirts that have detailing on them around the waist area. Ensure that the skirts and trousers are high waisted, not low hipsters as those will only make your torso look longer. Whenever possible opt for colours, patterns, designs and surface detailing on your tops and keep the bottoms neutral in complementing colours. If you are wearing stitched outfits, evening gowns or long dresses, choose the empire cut styles and avoid the ones with drop waists as that will do nothing for your figure.

Short waist/torso: If you are short and have a short torso, wear longer jackets and blouses as they will give you a taller look. Avoid highlighting the waist area and tightly clinched belts. Also try and wear clothes that are slightly loose and not too tight. Wear thin belts while wearing hipsters, low over hips rather than tight at the waist. Wear layers on the top if you are not overweight and sport a loose shirt over a body suit to give you a taller look. Wear blouses with a slight flare around the waistline.

Narrow waist: If you are lucky enough to have a narrow waist it doesn’t really matter if you have a short or a long torso. So show it off with belts and tightly clinched waistlines. Whether you wear hipsters or regular trousers, wear loose blouses or sweaters and bulk up if you have a really narrow waistline. Avoid wearing waistcoats – if you must wear them, leave them open.

Wide/full waist: If your waist is fuller than your bust line or your hips are much narrower than the rest of your top half, wear long tops, loose ones at that and simple shift dresses which will minimise your waist and add a little bulk to your hips. If you are just broad at the waist, but not very thin at the hips, wear thin belts or belts of the same colour as the top. You can also wear your belts over the hips, just below the waistline. Jackets should be worn single breasted as they produce a more slimming effect than the double breasted ones. Avoid slinky or shiny fabrics for blouses if you have a thick waist. Oblong scarves create a slimming illusion in front so go for those instead of the square ones.


Now this is one area of our body that most of us have trouble with. Too thin, too thick, flabby, toned, any which way it is a bother to make your arms look good, especially if you are wearing sleeveless blouses.

Skinny arms: If you have skinny arms, avoid wearing sleeveless blouses or halter tops as those only make you look thinner. Wear short or long sleeves that are slightly loose but not overtly so. Wear layered tops, for example bodysuits under shirts. Jackets with surface detailing or those made of textured fabric are good as are sweatshirts, polo necks and sweaters. Textured jackets and bulky sweaters are good. Short sleeves, blouses and tops with pockets all make you appear fuller. For eveningwear, avoid slinky fabrics, opt for thicker fabrics, and blouses and jackets in slightly structured styles. If you are over 50 and have but skinny arms, avoid wearing sleeveless blouses with your saris.

Flabby arms: Close fitting sleeves and slightly padded shoulders create balance at the shoulder for bulky or flabby arms. Avoid tight-fitting sleeves in stretch jersey or Lycra. When you wear short sleeves make sure the sleeve ends just above the elbow as that length hides the worst and makes the rest top half of your body look good. For evening wear, go for fabrics that are slinky and sheer and keep the sleeves slightly loose for the best effects. When you opt for sleeveless blouses, though it is an absolute no-no for flabby arms but you can’t take the heat or are a slave to the fads of fashion, drape a stole, wrap or scarf over your shoulders and arms.

perfect dressing for perfect body

Bottoms and Thighs

Another problem area for 99% of womankind. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t agonise over the size of their bottoms or the shape of their thighs. Cellulite, excess fat, wide hips… this is one area of the body more flawed than perfect for most of us.

Flat bottom and thin thighs: Again, if you are thin or you are alright in the top half but have skinny legs and a non-existent bottom, there are more ways for you to camouflage that fact than not. Wear slightly longer fitted jackets that flare a bit over the hips. Shirts or jackets which are slightly longer or which have pockets at the hips add an extra layer. Gathers at the waistline, flared skirts – the kind that are so in these days are an excellent option. Team the skirt with a long blouse worn outside and no one will know that you have a skinny frame hiding in there. You can also team short jackets with short skirts though not very short, and if you can, mix and match, for example a plain jacket with a patterned or textured skirt. Try jackets and tops that belt or tie at the back. Go for bulky fabrics in skirts and trousers, such as corduroy, knits, linen and shapes that are structured. Always go for trousers with pleats. Avoid hipsters, tight-fitting jeans or slacks and short skirts worn with high heels. In ethnic wear, go for salwars over churidars. Pleated skirts work the same magic as pleated trousers. Wear chunky belts low over the hips; or over blouses or sweaters.

Full bottom and thighs: More women suffer from this body flaw than not and while you are torn between the desire to dress trendy and the obvious big hips and thighs which are not treated kindly by today’s fashionable clothes, you can strike a happy balance between the two. Build up the top to balance the bottom. Wear loose-fitting jackets and tops; use layering; and always wear shoulder pads even if they are passe. Bulking the top half to balance the lower half may make you feel or look bigger but that is okay so long as you don’t look misshapen or someone out to highlight their flaws. Keep the focus on the top half of your body with surface detailing, colour, scarves, textured fabrics and as far as possible, keep the bottom plain, matte and dark. Avoid stiff or bulky fabrics in shirts or trousers and choose the slinky ones, like crepe de chine and chamois for the tops or the microfibre ones for trousers. Saris are great to hide the wide hips or thunder thighs and choose thin silks and chiffons to avoid adding extra bulk. Avoid too tight or too loose jeans and trousers and go for the comfortable fit ones. Never ever wear mini skirts – they will only make you look heavier than you are. Your shortest skirts should end just above or just below the knee. For long styles, go just below mid-calf and you can afford to show a bit of leg. If you are wearing long skirts, wear high heeled shoes or sandals. Flat soled shoes will only make your legs look stubbier. Go for jackets and tops that end above or below the fullest point in the hips. Do the opposite of those with skinny hips, avoid too many gathers in skirts and trousers and styles that add volume. Minimal gathers over the hips produce a more slimming effect. Avoid straight or A-line skirts in favour of styles that drape well and give your body a room for movement like the wraparound ones. Go for trousers that have tapered or straight cuts. If you have a nice waist, show it off with fitted jackets and tops while avoiding too tight waistlines as that will accentuate the hips.

READ ALSO: Highlight your strengths, hide your flaws!

Minnal Khona
Minnal Khona
Minnal is a senior writer and editor. Her forte is lifestyle journalism, art, food, beauty and travel writing

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