Subliminal Style
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Catching Rae

Tips for Dressing an Hourglass Body Type

Happy Monday, Blogosphere! This week, we're finishing up the series on dressing for your body type - and today we're talking about the Hourglass figure.

Hourglass figures are characterized by BALANCED shoulders and hips combined with a DEFINED waistline. Hourglass shapes are sometimes considered to be the "ideal" body type, because of their balanced bods, but the shape is not without its own quirks. This shape has to be careful when wearing loose tops and bottoms, since all those curves make it easy to look larger than you really are. The key for an Hourglass is to avoid obscuring the waist while also drawing the eye to a slim center line. 

Watch Your Waist


  • Bulky, or billowy tops like trapeze, boyfriend, sack, empire, or bubble tops & dresses
  • Dolman & batwing sleeves
  • Waist details with voluminous blousing, pleating, scrunching, etc.
  • Stiff, crisp fabrics that are not tailored to the body and create a boxy shape
  • Bulky, voluminous details that will throw off the balance of your upper/lower half
  • High necklines like crew and boat styles


  • Fitted tailored or knit tops that highlight the waist
  • Clean, tailored tops that skim the torso
  • Slinky or soft fabrics like silks and knits that skim the body without puffing out
  • Simple cuts that do not distort your shape
  • Round and scoop necklines that mirror your curves

Draw the Eye to Center


  • Bold horizontal details at the neck, bust, or hip
  • Overly dramatic or bulky wide-leg, fit & flare, or culotte styles (unless you're quite tall)
  • Short sleeves with a straight hem that ends at your bust line


  • Vertical details like pendant necklaces, contrast shirt plackets, and lower necklines
  • Belts that highlight your slim waist
  • Bottoms that elongate and taper to the knee, like pencil/wiggle skirts, bootcut/flare jeans, cropped/ankle pants
  •  Angled cap or 3/4 sleeves that "point" to the waist (and not the bust)

Are you an Hourglass? Do you get tired of people thinking that you "look good in anything"? Do you struggle with feeling too sexy for everyday dress codes? Is it hard to get dressed in the summer, when fitted clothes feel gross and everyone else is running around in muumuus? For me, the key is finding a great, affordable tailor to nip in my tops - and also to stock up on knit linen tops and sweaters in the summer. How about you??