Certified image specialist and author Lizandra Vega says that the hourglass is the ideal shape to dress because just about any shape or pattern will complement it, but she does offer some guidelines. Although they won’t make you look bad, circular, wavy or swirly patterns will reinforce your curves, as will horizontal stripes. On the other hand, geometric patterns will balance exaggerated curves. Vertical, diagonal or asymmetrical stripes minimize curves. Lines that meet at the waistline, like a V shape, accentuate the waist. So, choose your pattern depending on the part of your body you want to show off. Singer Faith Evans enhances her assets with this geometric print top, which balances her top with her bottom half.
Florals and Stripes
Natasha Fussell, stylist for Lonnys.com, says that when women with hourglass shapes mix prints, the best way to go is with stripes on top and a floral on the bottom. These patterns contrast each other, but coordinate and flatter any figure, she says. Celebrity wife Jessica Seinfeld makes the most of this look. Her top is floral but also striped, bringing attention to her fabulous arms. Her short floral skirt adds a pop to the outfit.
At the Waist
A small waist defines an hourglass shape, and Fussell says an easy way to successfully mix patterns is to cinch a print dress with a leopard belt. The belt adds an extra pop of pattern and edge against the feminine dress. Actress Alicia Witt masters this look — with her own twist — by adding a multi-colored, circular-patterned belt to a glamorous striped, flowing dress.
Solid On the Bottom
Another great way to mix patterns on an hourglass shape is to go with a pattern on top and a solid on the bottom. A loose, printed top with a lightly patterned jacket or blazer, or even a cardigan, can look hot with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings, Fussell says. For example, pair a paisley top with a thick, boxy striped blazer. Because the bottoms are form-fitted and solid, the patterned top evens it out and disguises any flaws or uneven contours, she says. Actress Christina Hendricks looks red carpet-ready in a horizontal-striped top, balanced with a solid blazer and dark skinny denims.
The only way to get this look wrong is to go overboard and mix too many prints in one outfit. Here, TV personality Kim Kardashian shows how to work a bold floral print skirt with a solid blazer, keeping it classy and elegant. Kardashian is doing it right, according to Fussell, who says to avoid small prints and go with big, bold prints. With small prints, the eye is directed in too many directions, making you appear bigger. As the saying goes, “go big or go home.”