I’ve discussed over the past several posts four of the seven different body shapes, the ‘8’, ‘X’, ‘ I ‘ & ‘H’. This fortnight we focus on the gorgeous ‘O’ shape. This shape belongs to the lovely fuller figured woman and is quite common among women following menopause.

Hip and shoulder width are relatively the same but with a wider middle, and as wide as the horizontal proportions of the hip and shoulder line – Queen Latifa, Rebel Wilson and Melissa McCarthy are ‘O’ shape women.

The goal for the ‘O’ is to refocus the attention from the middle area and up to your face (earrings/chunky necklaces) and down to your legs (funky colourful shoes) while creating one long vertical line (princess seams/column of colour) With many ‘O’s the shoulder line can be slightly narrower than the wider middle. The best option here is to create a subtle ‘V’ shape illusion by adding horizontal details around the shoulder area (shoulder pads/jacket lapels) These same vertical details work particularly well for those with sloping shoulders.

1. Be sure to wear a fabulous fitting bra to lift and support your bust – this will lengthen your torso.

2. Control or contoured under garments are a good option to smooth and minimize your mid-section.

3. Deep wide V and U necklines give a fabulous elongating effect by showing more skin – this helps brings the focus up to your face.

4. The ‘O’ shape needs clothes that drape smoothly over their curves by falling from the shoulder to hip bone or longer depending on proportions. 5.

5. Colourful chunky jewellery sitting above the bust draws attention to the face and away from your bust.

6. Long tops that match the colour of your bottoms is easy and elongating. It also offers a monochromatic colour scheme, with no colour break or horizontal lines.

7. If you want to use a horizontal line in your clothing it needs to go in the empire position which is just under your bust – avoid horizontals at your waist.

8. Use fabrics under your bust that are soft and fluid rather than stiff and taut, as this can add weight and give a pregnant appearance.

9. Choose fabrics that are non shiny, less bulky and don’t cling, such as: cotton jersey, rayon, sheer wool, chiffon, velour, fine cashmere and silk – a light chiffon waterfall cardi/jacket is a great example!

10. Use a low contrast and dense patterns, with very little negative space (background colour) to keep the eye moving up.

11. Always wear a dark top under a lighter jacket/cardi if you want your tummy to recede and ‘disappear’.

12. Trench coats and jackets look great when tied at the back rather than around the waist and will create an ‘8’ shape illusion.

13. Tunic tops look great over leggings or skinny jeans, especially if you’ve great legs.

14. Try a trumpet style skirt or dress that flares at the knees to show off your legs!

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