Balancing Body Imperfections

body imperfections

Shape and silhouette are one thing, but then we all have our niggling little quirks that require further advice and fine-tuning.

Check out the following tips for specific camouflaging challenges to help you achieve the most natural looking effect possible and gain confidence and self-esteem in the process:


Long (and/or Thin) neck:

  • If the length of your neck bothers you, fill in the space by wearing a hairstyle that ends mid-way down your neck. Use chokers, scarves and roll-neck tops to ‘shorten’ length.
  • If your neck is thin as well as long, add ‘bulk’ by layering, such as a roll neck under a classic collar. Wear a cravat inside your blouses.
  • Mandarin collars on jackets are particularly good.

Short (and/or thick) neck:

  • Always wear an open neckline.
  • A V-neck top creates an illusion of a longer, slimmer neck.
  • Wear a fine chain below the collar bone; longer chains are even more slimming/elongating.
  • Stand up collars at the back of the neck, and open them low in front.
  • Oblong scarves tied low are better than squares tied high in the neck area.
  • Collarless jackets are good but avoid styles that button high.

Balancing Body Imperfections


Wide/broad shoulders:

  • Softly tailored designs are better than structured jackets with set-in sleeves and define, padded shoulders.
  • Jacket piping or trimmed lapels make the shoulders appear narrower.
  • Raglan sleeves soften the broadness.
  • V-neck and open collars are better than high buttoning.
  • For evening wear and swimsuits, the halter neckline is particularly good.
  • If your neck is long enough, wear choker styles to draw attention inwards.

Narrow/sloping shoulders:

  • Avoid tight-fitting, skimpy tops.
  • Layer on the top, for example a loose shirt over a body suit.
  • Wear shoulder pads with most things. Try various shape to get right definition/softness for your overall look. Update the shape of your shoulder pads with changing the fashion trends (though not every season).
  • Horizontal effects create a widening illusion, for example a scarf worn across the shoulders, epaulettes on jackets and dresses, strip in tops, and wide crew necklines.
  • Shoulder details in the form of pleating or gathers is a good idea, for example leg-of-mutton-sleeves.
  • For evening wear and swimsuits, avoid strapless or halter designs in favour of thick straps that angle from the cleavage to the shoulder (that is, the reverse of the halter).
  • Wear brooches and pins outside lapels.


Small bust:

  • Make the most of what you have got with a good bra that creates shape (avoid sports bras in favour of slightly padded styles).
  • Looser tops will make you appear larger.
  • Layer on top (T-shirt under shirt then a jacket over).
  • Wear scarves (neck permitting) inside the neck of your blouses.
  • Short sleeves ‘widen’ the bust area.
  • Use texture and pattern in your blouses and jackets.
  • Select jackets and blouses with pockets.
  • Empire waistlines accentuate any bust.
  • For evening, avoid skimpy fitted styles on top in favour of more substantial fabrics (satin, raw silk) and tailoring.

Full bust:

  • Open necklines are best.
  • Use softer fabrics in blouses.
  • Go for loose not tight-fitting tops.
  • Look for minimal detailing in blouses and jackets.
  • Matte and plain fabrics are more elegant.
  • Necklaces and scarves should end above the fullest point of the bustline.
  • Avoid very cinched waists.
  • Soft, tie belts or no belts are best.
  • A properly fitted bra is essential. Don’t hike them too high or let them sag too low.
  • Avoid layering (which adds bulk), unless in fine fabrics.
  • For evening, either go sleeveless or wear long sleeves.

Balancing Body Imperfections


Long waist/torso:

  • Wear short jackets (if bust allows) or else long jackets with short shirts.
  • Play up the waist area with belts and detailing.
  • High-waisted skirts and trousers are great avoid hipsters.
  • Use colour and pattern in the top (blouses, jackets) and keep the bottom neutral (skirts, trousers).
  • Avoid drop-waisted designs in favour of empire styles.

Short waist/torso:

  • Wear longer-line jackets and blouses.
  • Have only modest detailing at the waist, such as slightly fitted jackets and dresses; no belt tight at the waist.
  • Wear thin belt and chains low over hips rather than tight at the waist.
  • Oblong scarves will ‘lengthen’ your top.
  • Layer tops over body suits.
  • Wear blouses slightly eased out of your waistline.

Narrow waist:

  • Show it off with belts and fitted designs.
  • If it is too narrow, layer on top to create more bulk over blouses, sweaters and jackets.
  • Waistcoats worn open create more width, preventing you form looking too gaunt at the same time as allowing us to peek at your enviable waistline.

Wide/full waist:

  • If your waist is fuller then your bust or your hips have no emphasis at all at the waist, wear long tops, loose over-blouses and simple, shift dresses.
  • If you are just broad at the waist, wear thin belts or belts of the same colour as the top.
  • Or wear belts below the waistline, Over the hips.
  • Single-breasted jackets are more slimming than double-breasted.
  • Avoid fluffy or shiny fabrics on top.
  • Oblong scarves will create a slimming illusion in front.

Balancing Body Imperfections


Skinny arms:

  • Choose slightly loose but not baggy sleeves.
  • Wear layered tops, for example bodysuits under shirts.
  • Textured jackets and bulky sweaters are good.
  • Short sleeves, blouses and tops with pockets all make you appear fuller.
  • For the evening, wear blouses and jackets in substantial, not flimsy, fabrics.

Flabby arms:

  • Set-in sleeves and slightly padded shoulders create balance at the shoulder for full arms.
  • Avoid tight-fitting sleeves in stretch jersey or Lycra.
  • Short sleeves should end below the widest point; just above the elbow is flattering.
  • For evening, sheer sleeves (slightly loose) are great.
  • When sleeveless, consider draping a stole, wrap or scarf over your shoulders and arms.


Flat bottom and thin thighs:

  • Fitted jackets that flare slightly over the hips (peplums) are good for you.
  • Shirt or jacket pockets at the hips add welcome bulk.
  • Dropped waistlines in skirts and gathered the styles are both good options.
  • Team short jackets with short skirts, preferably not matching, for example a plain jacket with a patterned or textured skirt.
  • Try jackets and tops that belt or tie at the back.
  • Wear loose waistcoats.
  • Look for stiff or bulky fabrics in skirts and trousers, such as leather, corduroy, knits, linen.
  • Plated skirts suit you.
  • Wear chunky belts low over the hips; best of all over blouses or sweaters.
  • Carry a bum bag!

Full bottom and thighs:

  • Build up the top to balance the bottom. Wear loose-fitting jackets and tops; use layering; and always wear shoulder pads.
  • Keep the interest on top with colour and texture, and keep the bottom plain, matte and dark.
  • Avoid stiff or bulky fabrics in shirts or trousers.
  • Get the fit over thighs, hips and bottom right (namely, easy) and take in the waist if necessary.
  • Have jackets and tops end above or below the fullest point in the hips.
  • Gathers in skirts and trousers are necessary but avoid styles that add volume. Minimal gathers over the hips are more slimming than waistline completely gathered.
  • Elasticated waists with knife pleating are great in skirts.
  • Avoid straight or A-line skirts in favour of styles that drape and move (for example cut of the bias, wrap-over, slitted).
  • Reject turn-ups and trousers or flares in favour of tapered or straight cuts.
  • Your shortest skirts should end just above or just below the knee. For long styles, go just below mid-calf (tea length) and show a bit of leg.
  • A slight heel will left your stature and minimize your bottom.
  • Avoid very tight jeans or trousers. With stirrups or legging wear long easy tops.
  • If you have a nice waist, show it off with fitted jackets and tops. But be careful not to accentuate the hips with very cinched waists.
  • Control-top tights work wonders but try not to become dependent or restrictive undergarments (like girdles) because they inhibit circulation, make muscles flabby and encourage the build-up of toxins (the dreaded cellulite).

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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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