Shapes of Women: Hourglass

by Karen

Here is a one in a series of articles about the shapes of women and what outfits flatten those shapes. For many of us out in the real world, our shape is not the same as the model in the picture. We have more or less curves, broader hips and/or shoulders, longer or shorter torsos, bigger or smaller breasts – we will start with the Hourglass or Figure 8 shape today.

nataya ballerina dress in black

I know you have heard of 36-24-36 as the optimal size measurement of a woman, but that is just not the case. This shape, the hourglass/figure 8 can fit any size. The shape is made up of roughly equal measurements of the breast and hips with a smaller waist; think about a violin and the curves that form the body of that instrument and you will have an idea of what I am talking about. The beautiful woman, shown here on the right, is a great example of the hourglass shape in a real size woman. Notice her cinched waist and proportionate hips and shoulder areas. It might also help to think of actresses with this figure and the different sizes they are; Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Monroe are two with entirely different size needs. Johansson is of a smaller size than Monroe was, but their shapes are the same, for example. Back in the day, corsets helped women keep this shape, but now, unfortunately, as women age and mature, have children, or their metabolism slows, this shape tends to turn into a rectangle. We lose our thinner middle as we mature. Now, I'm not promoting going back to the restrictive nature of the corset or anything, as that is not healthy. I am say that until our shapes change, and they will all on their own, until that happens, look for clothes that accentuate the breasts, abdomen, and hips. You really should flaunt these curves. A few dresses that meet the needs of women with an hourglass shape would be:

Vintage Fashion Dress
Sue Wong Vintage Long Dresses

 Each of these dresses promotes a lady's small waist in a different way. Try dresses on that are like this and really see how wearing the right style for your shape changes the way you look and carry yourself. In the next part of shapes of women series, we will go over the shape of rectangle. Lots of women fall into this shape and are lost when picking out clothes. Don't worry, I will give you several great examples to play with, so finding your next outfit will be a breeze.

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