How to Style, Wear Color, and Dress For Your Body Type

Updated on November 22, 2019
abrodech profile image

Anya Brodech is a salsa/Latin dance teacher, empowering all women to look and feel beautiful, inside and out!

Three Things to Consider When Dressing for Your Body Type

Before we dive in, there are several things that you need to think about:

  1. Identify your body type if you haven't done so already.
  2. Look at your closet to see what kinds of clothes you already own so you have something in mind as you read this article and generate some outfit ideas.
  3. Recognize what your needs are and what kind of lifestyle you have in order to determine which of these options is the best fit for you.

Peplum Dress: A sexy pink figure flattering peplum dress that graces your curves just so
Peplum Dress: A sexy pink figure flattering peplum dress that graces your curves just so

How to Dress Well by Wearing the Right Clothes for Your Body Type

  • Hour-Glass/Curvy:
    • Wear dresses and skirts that highlight your waist and make it look narrow and the rest of your curves even better.
    • Dresses/skirts with a peplum help accentuate your waist but make sure that the skirt/dress is long and hits you at the knee or lower in order to look balanced.
    • Full minis also work as long as they’re not too puffy, and wear them with a fitted tee, creating a look that highlights your waist.
    • A-line skirts and dresses flow away from your body, helping camouflage any “problem” areas you may have around your hips, and create an hourglass shape by accentuating and defining your waist.
  • Petite:
    • It is best to wear slim-fitting pants and skirts with structured tops in order to show off your body and not be overwhelmed by or lost in your clothes.
  • Slender/athletic:
    • Wear straight dresses that are short and show off your legs.
    • Dresses/skirts with a peplum add curves.

Favorite Color

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A neon do: Cute neon orange and grey dress
A neon do: Cute neon orange and grey dress

How to Wear Neon Colors: Neon Do's

  • Tone Down Neons by Wearing Them with Neutral Colors: Pair neon's with white, grey, or other neutral colors for a refreshing, but not overwhelming, cute look.

  • Wear Neons with Darker Colors: Pair a cheerful neon color with a more serious darker color like navy blue to help counterbalance the brightness and tone it down a bit.
  • Wear One Neon Color at a Time: Only wear ONE neon color per outfit in order to avoid visual over-stimulation. The exception to this is accessories; for example, you can wear a neon-colored skirt and a neon bag, shoes, necklace, or bracelet.
  • Wear Neon Accessories: Neon accessories like shoes, bags, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and/or belts are a great way to add some punch to an otherwise ordinary outfit or to crank it up a bit if you are already wearing a neon-colored clothing item. Just be mindful of how many accessories you wear and avoid going overboard. Usually, one or two neon accessories per outfit is enough.

Neon accessories are a way to add oomph to an otherwise ordinary or not-as-exciting outfit
Neon accessories are a way to add oomph to an otherwise ordinary or not-as-exciting outfit

Neon Don'ts

  • Don’t Wear Neon with Black Stripes: Avoid wearing neon colors with black stripes because you’ll look like Halloween or bumblebee. What am I concerned about is wearing something that has black stripes with neon in between. The exception to this is if you are wearing a solid color neon item with a striped skirt.
  • Don’t Wear Two or More Neon Pieces Together: Unless you’re going to a rave, concerned about being visible from a mile away, in a crazy music video, looking to blind people who look at you, or desperately seeking attention (see photo below); DO NOT WEAR NEON ON NEON! It’s waaaay too much!!
  • Don't Wear Super BRIGHT Obnoxious Neon Colors: Be mindful of others around you and don't wear neon colors that are obnoxiously super bright like traffic-cone orange or highlighter yellow because you will blind and overwhelm those looking at you. This is especially important if you are on a romantic date or night out where you are in close proximity with your significant other, so if they "can't wait" to rip off your clothes, it'll be because they can't handle the bright color in their face anymore!!

This music star is the epitome of a NEON DON'T! Wearing neon, on top of neon, with neon hair just makes you look ridiculous and is guaranteed not to let anyone take you seriously about anything while you're wearing that kind of crazy outfit.
This music star is the epitome of a NEON DON'T! Wearing neon, on top of neon, with neon hair just makes you look ridiculous and is guaranteed not to let anyone take you seriously about anything while you're wearing that kind of crazy outfit.

Skip the Rainbow

Avoid wearing more than three colors (in term of solid-colored pieces) in one outfit in order to avoid looking like a clown or a rainbow.

Neon Comfort

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Sexy sweater dress
Sexy sweater dress

Colors by Season

Be mindful of the season. Color is fashionable year-round; however, you must be careful in choosing materials/fabrics that appropriate for the season you are currently in.

  • Summer: Flowy and thin fabrics are great for spring and summer.
  • Fall and Winter: Go for wool or cashmere. You can mix and match types of fabrics (light with heavy), as long as the difference is not too drastic between them and they are from the same “season” so to speak (so don’t wear a thin summery skirt with a heavy wool sweater). Use tights, long socks, and boots to help you transition from warmer to colder weather. You can also wear a colorful coat and/or scarf/half/gloves to brighten up your day!

How to Wear Color for Anyone's Skill Level

  • Beginner: Wear one colorful piece with an otherwise neutral outfit. You don’t have to show it off if you’re ready for it. It can be as small as a colorful bag, belt, scarf, or jewelry. If you’re feeling bold, you can wear bright/colorful shoes with an otherwise neutral outfit in order to give it some punch.
  • Intermediate: Wear a colorful printed/patterned piece (like a skirt) with a solid piece (like a tee or sweater) that matches one of the colors found in the pattern. Then add an accessory that also goes along with one of the colors from the pattern (doesn’t have to be the same color as your solid piece).
  • Advanced: Wear a monochrome outfit, but in different shades of the same color, preferably with different textures/materials. Accessorize with contrasting or neutral colors in order to avoid looking matchy-matchy. An exception to this rule is if you have one big colorful piece (like a dress), you can wear matching shoes with it. Another idea is to wear two-colored pieces together and accessorize/accent with a third color. They can both be bold, or you can mix/match with warm and cool colors (like a bright red skirt with a light blue top).

How to Wear Color to Work and Make it Office Appropriate

  • Experiment with Color: Try wearing a pastel or boldly colored suit for a modern take on a traditional cut. Avoid anything patterned (beyond a pinstripe), unless you work in a fashion-forward and/or liberal environment that is accepting/tolerant of that kind of thing. Otherwise, stick to your basic plaids and pinstripes, but only with neutral colors.
  • Try a colorful sheath dress or top and layer it under your blazer or cardigan.

Wearing Color to Work

Are you ready to start coloring your office wardrobe?

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Where to Buy Colorful Clothes

Just about any women's clothing store will have an assortment of colorful clothing.If you're looking for office wear, I recommend Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Express. For more casual clothing, Ann Taylor LOFT; for more sexy clothes, Body Central and Express

© 2013 Anya Brodech


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    • abrodech profile imageAUTHOR

      Anya Brodech 

      4 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      My advice is intended for women everyday, not for raves

    • Michaela Osiecki profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      Multiple pieces of neon is totally appropriate to wear to a rave, which is what Nick Minaj's outfit resembles here.

      Also, almost no one fits exactly into one predetermined "body type" so there "rules" are socially accepted guidelines at best.


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