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Do You Have an Hourglass Figure and  Are Top Heavy?

The good news is the fashion industry creates clothes just for your hourglass body type. The bad news is they assume that your are not going to be very busty. Finding clothes that fit your waist will result in the top being too tight. If you fit your chest, the waist and hips are too big.  

To make things more challenging, you probably look "top-heavy". So, how do you balance it out? The key is camouflage. No, not the army kind; the optical illusion kind. To balance your body out, you need to add a bit more volume to your lower half. Don't worry. I am not suggesting that you gain weight in your hips (you'd probably just gain in the boobies anyway), but that you give the illusion of more volume in your lower half. Wearing A-Line skirts or straight-legged pants will give this illusion.

There are also things that you can do with your upper body to balance out your shape. First and foremost, be sure to wear a bra that fits. When in doubt, go for a bra fitting. The band should be snug (not tight) and the breasts should fit the cup without spilling out over the top or sides. Also, wearing darker colors on the top gives the illusion that the top is smaller (dark colors recede), while wearing something lighter on the bottom will put the focus on your bottom half (light colors highlight).

More tips for the top-heavy hourglass figure:

  • Florals are trending for spring. But if you're top heavy, keep the flowers on your skirts, not your tops, to give your look more balance.
  • Speaking of florals, check the proportion. Small flowers on a big woman looks childish; big flowers on a small woman will overwhelm her.
  • Believe it or not, empire dresses de-emphasize a large bust by making waist look longer, thereby bringing balance to the silhouette. Really!
  • A too tight jacket or one that doesn't close, draws attention to a large bust. When shopping for jackets, always fit the largest body part.
  • 3/4 length sleeves are still in fashion. If yours make you look like you've outgrown your clothes, roll them or have altered to the elbow.
  • Spaghetti straps are not your friend! You'll look more polished with wider straps that covers a support bra.
  • Soft A-line skirts balance out a heavy bust on hourglass figures without adding bulk. Not too short, though or you'll look top heavy.
  • Pencil skirts on hourglass figure are usually flattering. The exception is when you're top heavy, then they can throw off your proportion.
  • A large bust can make you appear heavier overall, so choose a dress that cinches your waist to give it definition.
  • If you wear wide-leg pants to balance a heavy chest, be sure they fit the waist and butt. Otherwise you will look like a dumpy-butt.

No one has a perfect body. The key is to dress the body that you have in the most flattering way for your body type.  If you have a specific question, feel free to email your question and we will get a response to you.

For help finding the right outfit for work, contact Polished Professional Image. Call Bonnie at 312 909-8351 or email

Visit our archives for more fit suggestions:
Help Dress My Bit of a Belly
Help Dress My Petite Body




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