How To Dress For Your Unique Body Type

Did you know that the majority of South African women are curvy or plus sized? And we come in a variety of shapes!

Thankfully, in recent years, the sea of fashion has flowed in a more inclusive direction!

As a direct result of that revolution, every Academy of Fashion Styling fashionista and stylist can keep up with the hottest trends – no matter their shape. After all, every female body is beautiful and should be adorned that way.

Wondering how to style all shapes and sizes – petite and beyond? We at AFS have put together a guide to styling your diverse clientele, and yourself.  Truly enjoy and flaunt your best qualities whether your body shape is Hourglass, Strawberry, Pear or Apple – or everything in between!

Au revoir insécurité.

Plus Size Styling – Apple and Pear

There are no longer any colour limitations but let’s face it – everyone looks slimmer in darker hues. More importantly, adding pops of colour to a dark ensemble with some candy-apple-pink lipstick and a pair of statement heels makes the world a prettier place.

Do note that the key to a flattering garment comes down to the way fits the physique – and the garment’s colour.

Nipping your waist with a belt works great too! Style your frame with boned and structured bodices that tighten your torso and add a dramatic slim-lined silhouette.

Flattering Colours

Black clothing has an undeniable power over the eye. Subconsciously, black denotes strength and authority to all of us. It even influences what onlookers see. Consequently, by accentuating your client’s favourite features this way – she’s bound to go about her day feeling both edgy and sophisticated.

Does your client crave more colour? Do you?  Play around with shades of oxford blue, pastel purple, bumblebee yellow and crisp white!

You’ll want to combine flattering styles for your figure type with styles that make you look longer and leaner. Deep tones matched with bright bursts of base colours create the perfect air of elegance and whimsy. More importantly, they look great with every skin tone.

Also, it will brighten up your day!

Curvy Styling – Hourglass and Inverted Pear

The most prominent style challenge facing curvy women is finding pieces that accentuate their curves but do not over or under do it.

In a perfect world, the style and cut of all clothes would flow with natural curves for the most flattering look. Sadly, the world isn’t perfect – but your wardrobe can be! So, even if a garment is on trend, think twice about buying it if it hides your lovely shape.

Play with wider necklines like bateau, squared or cowl necks. These will emphasise your bust and draw attention to that flawless face! Coats and cardies that flare from the waist are perfect for you and do justice to your figure.

Style Tips

Style will always trump fads and trends – and under-wire will ALWAYS be a saviour to the stylish masses. Moulded bras within your tops will boost your bust, drawing form!

Now, for a chic everyday look, cropped shirts, and lacey blouses are a great way to go. Pair it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of pants to keep all your bits tucked in. High-waisted items help give you a slimmer silhouette. For top-heavy girls, opt for plain crop tops and printed trousers.

Denim jackets never go out of style, so dust off yours and prepare to make it a closet staple. Is it slightly oversized? Great! It’ll balance your figure and a more risque outfit perfectly.

Slim Styling – Every Shape

Glam up your frame with structured dresses and tops, clear cut fabrics are great for creating sophisticated looks. Highlight your waist via structured jackets and coats, try a sharply tailored jacket or a flared

If you’re a leggy girl, pieces like; bubble skirts, flare skirts, and A-line skirts are always a plus. Alternatively, skinny jeans and pencil trousers are great on slim and tall women as they give the body extra oomph while showing off leg length!

Sexy spaghetti straps work wonders for your shapes as do racerback singlets. A great way to create the illusion of curves via layers (a number of fitted tops over each other).

When choosing shorts, go for the shorter ones, the well fitted – not too loose and not too tight – short shorts around the hips. Avoid very wide leg shorts – at all cost.


Because we’re all SO different, your colour palette should always be your choice. What is key is that you understand how you feel and look when you are wearing certain colours and that you integrate them in a strategic way, rather than buying everything you see.

That said, trying out new colours is always a confidence boost! Green, yellow and everything in between is trending this year. If you’re not a fan of overtly brighter tones, try pastel shades of blue and pink to add a romantic feel to your everyday look.

The Academy of Fashion Styling

Our latest course offers a fabulous opportunity to Be Your Own Personal Stylist.

Are you interested in style and all things glam? We are! Check out our available courses on and contact us today!

And remember to accessorise!