Dressing Your Body Type: Pencil Lean

Recently, we put together a presentation on “Dressing For Your Body Type” and I don’t think we’ve ever worked on such an emotional project. I found myself researching this topic and questioning which shape I fit into? Am I an hourglass? An apple? Curvy? Or like many women, do I fit into a hybrid category completely unique? I’m still unsure which shape I would consider myself but I have always had an internal struggle with my size (like most women). Although it’s easy to get caught up in the high-fashion, editorial world of styling, it’s nice to regress back and take a very simple approach to dressing appropriately and realistically. Here is what we came up with for different shapes and sizes. It’s all about feeling comfortable (and confident) and playing up your best bits and de-emphasizing your “problem” areas. At the end of the day, however, getting dressed in the morning should be fun, not challenging and dejected. Embrace your unique shape, your quirky flaws and don’t feel the need to hide under your clothes because you’re not a size “0″ or you don’t have the curves to fill out a garment. Just wear what you feel happiest in and what makes you look the best. And that’s the best advice I could ever receive and pass on to anyone.- JD

(Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow)

Rectangle body shapes are straight up and down without a very defined waist
You have a well-proportioned body: lean limbs, straight waist and small chest
Best assets: arms and legs. You’re lucky you don’t have to minimize any body features!
Goals: To show off your slender arms and legs, define your waist and create curves!

Jackets and Blazers: Avoid boxy styles. Jackets are best when they hit high hip bone and nip in at the waist for shape. Tailored trenches and belted jackets will give shape and define your waist and hips. You’ll look best in classic single-breasted but you have one of the rare body types to rock a double breasted jacket.

Tops: Wear scoop neck and sweetheart tops to create curves. Also tops with collars, ruffles and details will flatter (an enhance) your chest. Choose high necklines for petite frames to elongate your body.

Dresses: Your body looks amazing in shift dress because of your proportions and slender frame. You will look equally great in bias cut dresses just below the knee. Also, dresses with ruching or that cinch on the sides to create curves will work.

Skirts: If you’re looking to give the illusion of more curves, choose skirts which flare at the bottom to give you a girl shape. Styles with cinched waists and volume are perfect to make your hips look a little fuller. A-line skirts and tulip skirts are also curve-creating options. Pencil skirts will look great on you as well.

Pants: The best way to create curves on a straight bottom is by wearing something tight but not constricting. Flat front, semi low rise, skinny jeans, etc all look great on you.

Tips & Tricks
- Layer to add more dimension.
- Wear a good bra that will make the most of what you have ( try Victoria’s Secret or Nordstrom)
- Don’t wear a v-neck alone. Tight v-necks over-elongate the body. Stick with blouses and shirts with more detailing. Leave plain t-shirts, camisoles and solid tanks as a second layer.
- Stray from extremely full or baggy pants.
- Avoid straight, boxy mini skirts.