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PICS: Super-stylish outfits for your body type

Last updated on: January 15, 2014 10:10 IST

PICS: Super-stylish outfits for your body type


Pernia Qureshi
  • Does my bum look big in this?
  • Does this top make me look fat?
  • Is an apple-shape a bad body shape to have?
  • What exactly is a pear-shape body?
  • How do I select something that looks flattering on me?

Stylist Pernia Qureshi's new book Be Stylish with Pernia Qureshi addresses some of the most basic style questions.

What are the dos and don'ts for an apple- and pear shaped body?

We bring you an exclusive excerpt from the book:

Apple frame: not as poisonous as you think!

As you progress through life it only becomes more difficult to obtain or maintain the kind of six-pack washboard stomach that we're bombarded with in magazines and movies.

For anyone who has ever smelt a jalebi, or considered, however momentarily, children, then this is an unachievable ideal.

A lot of Indian girls are apple. The downsides are your rounded middle and big bust, but the upsides far outweigh these: slim hips, small bottoms, and lithe limbs.

My suggestions below are essential reading for apple figures because they skim over your doughy centre, saving you several hundred abs crunches per week and giving you the appearance of a skinny core rather than spherical fruit.

Tops: Avoid, at all costs, plain top layers which cling to your middle.

I include in this: tight vest tops, short t-shirts (which inevitably ride up), and stripes.

Frills can also be fiendish by widening your bust -- so keep away.

Instead opt for tops with ruching, a wraparound cut, and made from reasonably structured material which will stay in place.

Floaty tops also look heavenly on you; providing they're cut just beneath your bust (empire line) and don't inadvertently cling to the wrong places.

Don't be afraid to flaunt the cleavage which accompanies your larger bust; the flesh you'll flash in a v-neck will work wonders in balancing out your curvy bits.

Excerpted from Be Stylish With Pernia Qureshi by Pernia Qureshi Rs 299) with kind permission of Random House India

Purchase a copy of Be Stylish With Pernia Qureshi here!

Image: If you have an apple-shaped frame, opt for an empire cut top with a deep neckline.
Photographs: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images


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Dresses: Apple figures are made for dresses, and you'll have a wealth of styles at your sassy disposal.

Opt for wrap dresses which drape distractedly over your thicker middle and tie at the side, drawing attention to your waist.

I think every woman needs at least one Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress; they're feminine, ultra-flattering, and effortlessly fuse evening and office wardrobes.

As well as the wrap dress, an apple figure can do little wrong in a plain shift dress worn to mid-thigh; it will forget your frumpy middle and celebrate the slim arms and legs. Once you're clad in a great fitting shift, all that's left to do is accessorize!

Skirts: One of the reasons why the wrap dress is so perfect for apple shapes is because of its voluminous skirt which flows out of the empire line.

So I would advise that you also look for similar 'A-line' shapes for your separate lower half.

I'm afraid that pencil skirts or anything bodycon will cause problems as they'll maliciously cling to the stomach area.

So think big and wear skirts on your waist rather than hips. It can also help to accentuate your waist area (therefore dividing your middle) with a belt; just don't wear it too tight or allow it to slim down onto your stomach.

Trousers: Trousers can be tricky for apples to master, but there are some incredibly forgiving styles out there at the moment. Seek out flat-fronted styles which fasten at the side, and the higher the waistline the better.

The cleverest apple frames understand that to pull off trousers with a-pommes (get it?) they have to disguise their midriff with a longer line top. Kurtas are your best friend in this occasion (when aren't they!).

Swimwear: On the beach, a one piece is your closest ally if you have skinny skinny legs. If you have a broader torso then let the attention shift towards those beautiful lengthy pins! Avoid a sarong and opt for a shorter kurta so that your legs are still ultra-visible.

Jeans: Ankle skimmers, skinny jeans. But the waist cannot be low or hipster.

Make sure that your sides are snugly tucked in the jeans.

Muffin tops peeking over your waistband is sartorial suicide and seriously uncomfortable.

Key item: Short shift dresses with sleeves in a soft material.

Image: Opt for A-line skirts and wear them on your waist rather than on your hips.
Photographs: Angela Weiss/Getty Images

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Pear: no nightmare!

Classically feminine, possibly the most ubiquitous female shape is the pear.

How do you know if it's you?

Well the chances are you've got narrow shoulders, a small bust, and slim waist.

But below the hips it's a slightly different story -- your thighs will be wider and, along with your bottom, this is probably where you'll find you put on weight most easily.

In fact, it's pears who are most likely to ask: 'Does my bum look big in this?'

It might do... just a little... but if you follow my guidelines below, that dreaded question will soon be far from your mind.

Tops: As with everything, it's important to focus on the beautiful parts of your body; the parts that you don't realize every woman in the room is secretly coveting.

For most pear frames this will be your top half, which is usually beautifully slim. Pear-friends, I have one only edict for you: show this off!

Ensure that the tops you buy emphasize your loveliest part and avoid hiding this in billowing, unfitted fabrics -- smock tops may serve only to emphasize your widest feature: hips, so better to keep things ultra-fitted up top.

Your top half is the first thing that the eye sees, so make sure it's beautiful, and the eye will pass over the more shapely bits underneath.

'Bodies' are everywhere at the moment (no, not humans, but those tight tops which fasten between your legs) and while they can be fiddly on loo-breaks, they're a great option if you have a smaller torso.

Plus, they fit snugly into those A-line, prom shaped skirts which I'll be recommending below.

Even if you're not a fan of your arms, keep them covered in tight fitting cardigans and jumpers which won't swamp you.

Dresses: Strapless prom dresses are the most beautiful and classic dresses for pear-shapes.

Skimming the waist and kicking out at your hips, no one knows if it's the cut of the dress or your hips which is giving such a beautiful shape.

It's a classic example of dress and frame working beautifully to accentuate and yet disguise in the right places. 

Image: Strapless prom dresses are the most beautiful and classic dresses for pear-shaped bodies.
Photographs: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Tags: PICS

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Skirts: As a pear, your weight will fall to your thighs, so your approach is as simple as this: steer clear from anything too short or tight.

Instead, make sure your skirts have plenty of movement and don't cling to your larger lower limbs (pleats can help create movement).

A-line skirts worn at the waist will accentuate this slim part of you. Ensure you don't wear any designs with pockets or embellishments, as these will draw attention to your widest parts.

Trousers: Smart pears wear pants or jeans that kick out on the bottom.

A flared leg draws the eye away from your hips and creates a more flattering line for your whole body. Keep your trouser-palate to the darker end of the spectrum and you cannot fail.

Conversely, keep away from Capri or tapered pants which drive the eye right to the hips. I recommend pallazo pants and wide leg trousers.

Swimwear: Girls with bigger hips call for thick-sided bikini bottoms made of a reasonably strong material.

Keep a short, sheer sarong at hand for your cover-up -- you can loosely knot it at your waist to keep your jelly at bay.

Key item: Pallazo pants or wide-legged trousers.

Image: Pallazo pants have been big this season in India. As it so happens, they are also they're the best thing you can wear if you have a pear-frame body.
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/
Tags: PICS , Capri

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