Three Clothing Silhouettes and How They Affect Your Outfits

Three Clothing Silhouettes to Flatter Your Body Shape

Three Clothing Silhouettes to Flatter Your Body Type

If you have taken Simply Put Together or have gone through the Dressing Your Body Shape course inside the PMT Style Club, you know how valuable it is to pay attention to clothing shapes and silhouettes. Let’s talk about it today!

Each of our bodies is different and every garment’s shape is different, and not every garment is cut to flatter every body shape. So, understanding how different cuts will or will not work on your body is key! It makes it easier to shop and find clothes that work for you. You waste less time on clothes that almost certainly will not work on your shape and you can focus your energy on the clothes that more likely will. Plus, when you find more clothes that flatter you, shopping and style is just more fun!

Lately, I’ve come across a few pieces that I thought would be great examples to use to briefly talk through some silhouettes and what they can do for you!

SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.


Elevated Casual Outfit: blue and brown floral blouse + dark wash ankle straight leg jeans + brown suede flats + white earrings

1. V-Neck Peplum Top
A peplum top like this is great at accentuating and defining a waist. Or, if you don’t naturally have a defined waist, this can help create that definition for you. The waistband accentuates your waist, and since the peplum flares out a little, it creates a curve at your torso, nipping in at the waist and flaring out, like the shape of an hourglass. That really accentuates an hourglass curve that already exists, or helps make it look like you have curves if your waist is naturally straighter.

(But also note, if your midsection sticks out from the side, be mindful of where the waistband of a top like this hits you. If it cuts across you at the wrong place, it can accentuate a protruding midsection from the sideview!)

On top of that, the v-neckline and cross front provide some shape and movement, as opposed to a top that is just cut straight down the sides with nothing else going on in the front. The latter is like a rectangular box whereas the former adds shape and movement. If you are ever concerned about looking boxy, find tops that create a different shape for you. Don’t go for the basics that are literally cut like a long rectangular box at the torso. Rather, find tops with movement and an alternative shape. Remember, the problem isn’t you, the problem is the clothes! So, finding clothes in shapes that work better for you will change how things look. Also, for this top in particular, the peplum adds movement since it flounces a little, literally moving as you move.

If you don’t like this specific style of top, that’s fine. The point is not that every person should have this top! It’s just an example of a top that creates a waist-defining silhouette and has movement to help you start paying attention to the silhouettes of clothes.

Shop the Outfit:
Top: Kohl’s (exact—wearing size S)
Jeans: Nordstrom Rack (exact—wearing size 6; similar)
Flats: Nordstrom (exact—wearing size 9; similar, similar
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (similar—I wear size M)


Elevated Casual Outfit: black puffed sleeve long sleeve top + orange wide leg pants + black suede booties + grey crossbody purse + gold short pendant necklaceElevated Casual Outfit: black puffed sleeve long sleeve top + orange wide leg pants + black suede booties + grey crossbody purse + gold short pendant necklace close up

2. Wide Leg Pants
Wide leg pants have always had a place, but they are moving even more into the spotlight right now. They’re great for balancing out a wider top half. However, because they have more material than other cuts, they can make you look frumpy if not done mindfully.

One tip to try is wearing a more fitted top in order to keep your shape defined. If you pair an oversized top, which has a lot of excess material, with wide leg pants, which also have a lot of material, then it’ll be easy to look shapeless and like you’re drowning in fabric. So, if one part of your outfit has a lot of volume, try countering that by pairing it with something more fitted.

Another tip is to tuck in your top to define your waist. Again, with excess material around the legs, you want to do what you can to define your shape.

A third tip is that the pants need to fit well, period. Wide leg pants do not have to be completely oversized. Rules of proper fit are still required! I prefer ones that fall straight down from my hips rather than ones that are roomier around my hips, but that’s just me personally. And, it will depend on different materials. If the material is stiffer and there is a lot of volume around the hips, then it will widen your hips more than pants with softer materials that will fall more fluidly. Different fits will work better or worse on different body types, but it is just something to pay attention to: Not all wide leg pants are the same, so you need to make sure that they still fit you well!

And again, if you want to balance out a wider top half, these are great. If not, you can still wear them, but how to best style them will depend on your body type! (And yes, we do walk through the details of that in the Dressing Your Body Shape course inside the PMT Style Club.)

But, nuances aside, these three tips here are helpful for every shape!

Shop the Outfit:
Top: Kohl’s (exact—wearing size M)
Pants: Kohl’s (exact—wearing size 4)
Booties: Gap (exact—wearing size 9)
Bag: Nordstrom (similar)
Necklace: Nordstrom (exact; similar)


Nicer Casual Outfit: black puff sleeve sweater + dark wash bootcut jeans Wit & Wisdom + leopard print ankle boots + gold pendant necklace

3. Puff Shoulder Top
If you have a curvier or wider bottom half and want to balance it out, tops with puff shoulders like this are great for balancing out a wider bottom half. The puff shoulders add volume to your top half, which helps to balance out a naturally wider bottom half.

However, if you’re concerned about looking top-heavy, then you might want to avoid these kinds of tops OR balance them out with wider leg bottoms, like I did in the second outfit above with the wide leg pants and like I’m somewhat doing here with bootcut pants. (And remember to keep your waist defined and use the other tips I mentioned above!)

Now, whether this is your style or not is a different story! Again, my point is not to say that every person who wants to balance out a wider bottom half needs a top like this. It’s just one example of a silhouette and what it can do to help you start paying more attention to silhouettes so that shopping and putting together outfits that you like become easier.

Shop the Outfit:
Top: Kohl’s (exact—wearing size M)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact—wearing size 8)
Booties: (similar)
Necklace: Nordstrom (exact; similar)

Obviously there are a billion more silhouettes of clothes than these, but I hope this helps open your eyes a bit to how clothing shapes matter and how understanding which clothing shapes work for YOU can be really helpful.

And of course, if you want to learn which silhouettes work for your body shape and how to create outfits that best flatter your figure, you are totally invited to join us in the PMT Style Club which is NOW OPEN until March 9th!

There is a Dressing Your Body Shape course where I walk through all of it in detail, including picture examples on real-life straight and plus-sized women, and a cheat sheet of Outfit Silhouettes that work for your body shape.

One of our members Laura said, “The body shape outfit silhouettes are EVERYTHING!!! Knowing what shape or type of shirt I am looking for and then infusing my style personality has made it so much easier to shop online and to build outfits!!! THANK YOU FOR THIS and can you do more!?!?!”

And Tiphanie said, “Okay, so I just got done with the Body Shapes course. I just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was a rectangle shape. Turns out after measuring myself I am an inverted triangle. And now that I know that I can’t unsee it when I’m looking in the mirror. 😂 It’s very subtle but there. Mind blown but also a confidence booster now when thinking about what will look good on me and what will look less good.”

And Christina, who said, “I had no idea that I was an inverted triangle and a lot of the clothing I had just hanging in my closet were NOT conducive to my shape! Goodbye puff sleeve blouses with the tags still on! Lol They were cute to look at. Hahahah! I remodeled and revamped my closet from a literal boutique down to a capsule wardrobe. It was liberating!

Come learn which clothing shapes work for you, how to put them into outfits that will flatter you, and get ongoing support and coaching to help you work it all out and master dressing your shape.

Click HERE to enroll in the PMT Style Club while it’s open! Enrollment closes on Thursday, March 9th @ 11:59pm Pacific Time.

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