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Guide to dressing your hourglass figure

woman in jeans and black lace, peplum top adorned with embroidered roses along the collar

If you have a well-defined waistline with curvy hips and a full bust, you will love our guide to dressing your hourglass figure. We’ll help you find styles and outfits that show off your personality and enhance your ladylike features.

Do wear scoop or V-neck tops

Draw attention to your bust and shoulders with tops that have a V or scoop neck. Wrap shirts and dresses are also another great way to enhance your bust line and complement your well-defined waist.


Lace peplum top

Do wear fabrics that hug your body

Some women with hourglass figures feel they should wear fabrics that are loose-fitting and hide their bodies. Hourglass figures are considered classic and are featured in many works of art and paintings. This feminine figure is much envied and should be celebrated, not hidden away behind baggy clothing. Why not love your curves and choose to buy clothing in fabrics that hug your body instead? We’re not talking an all-spandex wardrobe here, just wearing clothing in fabrics that show off your curves. Choose knits or cotton fabrics that conform to your body shape but are not too tight. If you choose more structured fabrics for items like skirt suits or coats, be sure to add a belt or have a tailor take the garment in so that it properly fits your body by hugging your bust, waist and hips.

Dapper Denim Trench

Do wear vertical stripes

Many women are afraid to wear stripes. While horizontal stripes may make you appear wider than you are, vertical stripes do just the opposite. This pattern is slimming and classy – you’ll feel like Audrey Hepburn when you wear a striped blouse. Pair it with some straight-legged trousers and heels and you’re good to go!

Do wear belts

Belts aren’t just for keeping your pants from falling down. Women with hourglass figures can use belts to embellish any outfit and bring out their curves. Not only will a belt make you look slimmer by drawing attention to your waist, it will also enhance your bust and hips, giving you a classic silhouette that many women envy and men adore. You can add a belt to a sweater or top and even use one to cinch a dress or coat. Make sure to wear it at your natural waist, right around where your ribcage starts. Don’t over-tighten it to the point where it is uncomfortable; it should fit snugly but not cause any bulging.

Do show some leg

It can be easy to focus on dressing to show your full hips and bust and forget about your legs. Why not show them off? A pencil skirt will accentuate your waist while slimming your legs. Wear heels and you’ll look and feel tall and slim.

Striped Suit

Do try a peplum top

With your well-defined waist and ample bust, a peplum top is a perfect choice. Try one in a solid color like red or black or even in vertical stripes. Pair it with a pencil skirt and kitten heels for a perfect office to after-hours outfit.

Peplum top

Comments (5)


such great tips for those of us with hourglass shapes!!


Am in and between a 16 an 16 plus only thing about that is a plus sizes don’t fit as well as a size 18..
But an 18 is big but not wide like a 16 plus.
What would work better for me because am small breasted?

Monroe & Main

Hi Sheila! We can definitely relate to being in between sizes. We hope our sizing chart on our website can be of some help to find your ideal fit:


Enjoyed your blog.I worked at two clothing stores but many years ago.and I’m not a size 6 any I’m a plus size.I lost
In my legs and bottom, but my stomach suffers.I have excess fat from loosing and gaining. I lost a hundred plus your outfits are beautiful.I love a dress you have and the sandals.your out of thesandels


I just don’t know what my body shape is I’m 5’5 and weight is 155lbs i have no bottom no hips just striaght as a board can someone please tell me what type of pitiful body i have

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Published on Nov 19 2014

Last Updated on Sep 07 2018

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