Whether it’s a muffin top, an oversized bottom or saggy bingo wings — everyone has an area of their body they’d rather do without.

Summer heat leaves many women, and men, with nowhere to go when it comes to dressing well without feeling like they’re letting it all hang out.

However, there are a few simple ways to highlight the features you love, brush over those you don’t — and keep cool at the same time, according to our fashion experts.

Leading Perth stylist Elizabeth Clarke advises reading fashion magazines for the season’s trends before hitting the shops.

“Adopt the trends you think suit you and your personal style and avoid those you know are not a good fit for your body type.

“They’ll give you an instant update without hijacking your personal style.”

Fellow stylist Jo Shields, who counts some of Perth’s most fashionable women among her clientele, says even women others may perceive to have the perfect figure have their bugbears when it comes to certain areas of the body.

“In general, my advice is to highlight the areas you think are your best and choose clothing that skims over or minimises those that you don’t, ” she says.

“If you don’t like to show your arms, you can still wear sleeveless and strappy summer tops, just throw on a sheer shirt over the top. This will cover the area without adding unnecessary bulk or heat.”

Picnic product manager and buyer Jana O’Callaghan says those with a tummy should avoid clothes, and dresses in particular, that cling to the stomach.

“Leggings or fitted pants with spandex can be a great option, as they fit comfortably around the tummy and tuck it in a bit, ” Ms O’Callaghan says.

She says asymmetrical dresses can also work well as they draw attention away from the tummy and create a vertical line. And she recommends avoiding pockets and embellishments which will add bulk to the tummy.

Ms O’Callaghan’s advice for bigger-busted women is to head for cowl and V-neck tops to balance proportions. Avoid busy prints, ruffles and detailing that will only draw the eye to the chest area. Women wanting to cover their arms should opt for loose, long sleeves to take the focus away from the upper arm.

Ms Clarke says contrary to popular opinion, a low neckline works to minimise a generous bust.

“A crew or high, round neckline will only make your bust appear bigger and lower than it actually is, ” she says.

Shirting is a big look this summer according to our stylists, who recommend loose, flowing shirts in light fabrics, half tucked into your pants or jeans at the front to create a “sneaky” asymmetrical line and make you appear slimmer.

Ms Shields says often those with a larger derriere are actually blessed with an hourglass figure.

“These women should always highlight and draw attention to the waist and choose clothing which skims over the bottom area, ” she says.

She says the pencil skirt is on trend this season and is great for those with more ample hips and bottoms.

“Pick a fabric with some structure and in a darker colour which will flatter the areas you want to highlight.

“Always go for smaller prints or block colours which won’t draw the eye to your largest area. If you’re larger on the bottom, wear the print on top and choose a plain colour for your bottom half, ” she says.

Ms Shields says the tight-loose rule applies most of the time when it comes to dressing to flatter your body shape.

“If you’re wearing something tight on top, always go loose on the bottom and vice versa.”

What's your shape?

Apple: Larger shoulders and or bust; excess weight often accumulates around the tummy.

Pear: Narrower shoulders and upper torso; weight gain can be seen in hips, legs and thighs.

Rectangle: Often a slim or athletic figure; this body type has fewer defined curves and extra weight does not show up in one prominent area.

Hourglass: Defined waist and curvy figure; extra weight shows up in both the bust and hip area.

What to wear

Big busts: Opt for V-neck tops, cowl or low, round necks in smaller prints or block colours.

Big tummies: Asymmetrical lines, ruching and looser styles, as well as leggings or pants with stretch that will tuck you in.

Big hips and bottoms: Avoid detail and too much fabric around the hip and bottom area and focus instead on the waist. Go for darker colours in structured fabrics for instant slimming.


© The West Australian

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