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A picture of four sexy female butts over white background

MainimageIf you’re the recipient of an hourglass figure you’re probably the envy of all your friends and, you’re a rarity with only 8% of women possessing your shape. Despite your fortune, it is not uncommon for you to experience the some of the same dressing issues that every other woman experiences. In addition, overtime hourglass shaped women tend to lose their waist as their vertebral spaces diminish and extra weight gain is distributed around their middle. At that time, an hourglass often morphs into a rectangle.

Distinguishing characteristics of the hourglass shape are:

  • Your bust and hips are similar in width from viewed from the front
  • You have a defined waist usually at least 9 inches smaller than your hips.
  • You’re endowed with a good sized bust and shapely hips

A good thing to bear in mind is that an hourglass figure doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a size 2. You can be a petite hourglass or a full-figured hourglass. What makes the hourglass body type is having the same width bust and hips with a defined waist.

Since this shape is the most desired in the Western world, there’s little to do except highlight the waist and coordinate well.

Here are the main aims to keep top of mind when dressing the hourglass:

Your upper body

  • Support your assets with a bra that has great support to make your bust area look amazing and lengthen your torso.
    ~ Adjust the straps to ensure the correct left after each wash and whenever possible hand wash your lingerie in cold water to maintain their shape and condition. Never place a bra in the dryer; always hang it up to dry.
  • V-shaped and scooped necklines are among your very best choices.
    ~If you are larger than a DD cup and prefer to downplay your size, avoid necklines that add width and/or highlight fullness i.e. boat and wide scoops.
  • For most business occasions avoid wearing necklines that show cleavage. A hint of cleavage is good, but showing off too much may make you look less than professional.
  • Sleeves that are set-in with high armholes and have tapered or slim sleeves will best highlight and keep your waist whittled.
  • Look for fitted garments in soft fabrics that will conform to your curves. Stiff fabrics and boxy styles are not for you, as these may make your bust area look out of proportion with your hips.
  • Keep your upper body uncluttered. Since your bust area is already generous, over-accessorizing, large prints or too much fru-fru can just be all too much.
  • When it comes to jackets those with defined shoulders, but not those that extend past your natural shoulderline, will highlight your waist and serve you best.

UpperBodySource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Your waist

Look for garments that highlight your waist via shape or design elements e.g. ruching, side tie, waist panel, etc. Wrap dresses especially amazing for this body type since it skims the curves while showing off the bust and waist. When you are wearing an oversized or shapeless top, add a belt to cinch your waist.

Hourglass waistSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Your lower body

  • You have a beautiful natural womanly figure, and that means skirts and dresses are always going to be your best bet when trying to impress. From short flippy A-lines to figure-hugging pencil skirts, you can go ahead and have fun. From fluid fabrics which skim your curves to body-hugging stretch fabrics that will give your look some varvoom, all the way through to an A-line with a cinched waist, you have all the possibilities on the side of your shape.
  • Balance is always the key; if you decide to wear a very full skirt ensure your top has enough width in or across the shoulders to maintain your hourglass shape.     
  • When wearing pants, your defined waist will benefit from a high waist especially when it sits on your natural waistline. 

pants and skirts for hourglass figuresSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Celebrity inspiration

As always, it’s always helpful to look to celebrities for style inspiration; sure we may not have the money, opportunities or stylists they do but we can learn and get direction for our own wardrobes from them. Remember too that they also make mistakes (or their stylist does) and we can learn from those as well.

Here are some of the celebrities who share your goddess shape: Kate Winslet, Dita Von Teese, Salma Hayek and Beyoncé Knowle. 

Hourglass celebritiesSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4 

Having an hourglass shape is pretty much like naturally hitting the jackpot. When showing off your bust, hips, and small waist, you can pretty much get away with anything. So embrace your curves and show them off while you have them and never forget that chicness should always be top of mind when dressing your shape.

Important: This information is only pertains to the hourglass body shape. Your body has many other characteristics that also need to be taken into account and can alter some of the recommendations. Prêtàstyler is the perfect tool for finding your perfect garments and making you look fabulous from top to toe.


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Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP


  • Doka says:

    Dear Ann, thank you very much for this information. Having an hourglass shape with the measurements 38 – 28- 38 I don’t feel I hit the jackpot at all in terms of buying clothes. I hardly find anything that fits in the bust area, so I have to size up with the result that the waist isn’t accented anymore and the back and shoulder area are not fitting. The same with pants: if they fit in the hip and leg area, the waist is too wide. Maybe the industry thinks it’s not worth to produce clothes vor only 8% of women… I can hardly ever order something online if it’s not stretchy. The only advantage is that I can’t spend too much money on shopping clothes, because i don’t find a lot that fits my body ;-)
    Did you see that you mentioned the triangle shape in this sentences:
    “Distinguishing characteristics of the triangle body shape are..” and “Important: This information is only pertains to the triangular horizontal body shape”
    I guess these are sentences used in the description of every body-shape and you maybe didn’t notice that you didn’t alter them.
    Thank you for all your good advices which I estimate a lot.
    Best wishes, Doka.

    • pretastyler says:

      Hi Doka,
      Thank you for the catch on the two references to triangular shape; yes these were two sentences I copied over to save time.
      It’s interesting to hear your comments regarding your difficulty buy clothes that fit. I expect that this is most likely due to the house muse each brand uses.
      Alterations are a fact of life for most women who wish to look their best in clothes. I too being a triangle almost always have to have the waist taken in.

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