Dressing tips for a top heavy figure: make it work!

“No woman ever wants to look bigger.”

“No woman wants their hips to look bigger.”

“No woman wants “delayed” and “canceled” written on her crotch.”

Fair enough, they might have a point with that last quote, but Project Runway judges make a lot of assumptions with the first two statements. Seriously, slimmer does not equal better. And I’m not adverse to adding a little oomph to my hip area once in a while. Maybe that’s why I keep on considering Urkye’s Kieska dress and its hip-boosting pockets.

150_150_productGfx_43a9323cfc6ddbdd39abcd9c2b4f5d62I love how a rounder set of hips make your waist look smaller and balances out your bust.  Big pockets, puffy circle skirts and strategically placed peplums are various ways to achieve this effect.

Another expression of the thinner is better mentality is the common advice to wear an empire waistline “because the underbust is the smallest part of your body”.

First, I doubt that is true of most women, even those who are not hourglass and yes, even those who carry a little extra in their midsection. I’m overweight, I tend to gain weight in my middle and my waist measurement is still an inch smaller than my underbust. Unless your belly sits rather high, I think it is more frequent to have a waist measurement equal to your underbust than larger.

Second, even if your underbust is actually significatively smaller than your waist and that makes it your smallest bit in absolute terms, I’d rather focus on proportions. If you’re top heavy, your proportionnaly smallest part is your hips, which you might want to play up (with something hip-hugging like a shift dress) or down (as indicated above). If you chose to emphasize how narrow your hips are, you might want to balance your upper body with something like a trumpet hemline.

Finally, you might remember that infamous episode of Project Runway (season 9 episode 3 also known as the worst challenge ever), where the models walked on stilts. Well, on a top heavy figure, an empire waist might give the illusion that your breasts are sitting directly on your legs and that you’re walking on stilts. Case in point… this Pepperbery dress.

A dropped waist works the opposite way, elongating the torso – and lots of top heavy women are short-waisted- and putting the focus on your hips.

Now, I’ve already gone at length about my dislike of empire waistlines and I admit they can work in some instances so I’ll leave it at that! Oh the things you learn while watching reality TV…

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2 Responses to Dressing tips for a top heavy figure: make it work!

  1. Thanks for linking to my Project Runway recap! (That really was the worst episode in the show’s history.) Great post; keep up the great work! ❤

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