New Year's Resolution 2017: Celebrate the Body You Have by Knowing How to Dress Your Body Type

RACHEL COMEY Wallace Wrap Dress. Nordstrom. $675.

RACHEL COMEY Wallace Wrap Dress. Nordstrom. $675.

Happy New Year, Dear Reader! It's nice to be back with you again. As we head into the New Year, it's all about resolutions. Seeing so much messaging about self improvement can either be motivating or oppressive. Sometimes, it's a little bit of both....

Because of this, I am diving full force into the celebration phase of the season. Learning how to love the body you have and dress it accordingly is a powerful tool in this world and my hope is that this is just one of the tools in your arsenal to take over the world this year. 

As a personal stylist, I spend a great deal of my time having really intimate conversations with women about how they see themselves and how they think others see them. Not surprisingly, those two images aren't always aligned. After all, we are often our own worst critics. Lucky for me, I am an independent observer with the opportunity to release women from a sizable portion of this self defeating baggage. 

One of the big wins right now is the ever growing selection of apparel for women of all sizes. We're also finally seeing celebrities of various body types flaunting the bodies they have, rather than the bodies they want. Sure, there's still much further to go. But, for now, it's something to embrace. I'm also loving that more of my favorite brands and retailers are expanding their sizes. From Boden to the Limited and more, we're seeing pieces up to size 16 and 18, rather than the cap at 14 of years past. 

Beyond sizing, celebrating the body you have is really about dressing for your frame. Now seems like a great time for a refresher course on how to do that. Have more questions? That's what I'm here for!

How to Dress Your Body Type 

Science tells us that people like to symmetry. We just do. When dressing your body, we are going for the illusion of symmetry. At the moment the hourglass is the "ideal" female silhouette. To be clear, I'm not saying that any silhouette is better than any other, but that's all the rage right now and I want you to know how to make your body look it's best. You can choose to go with that strategy or skip it. Or, you can make different choices everyday. (That's what I do.) Some days, expressing yourself may actually not be flattering for your figure, but still nourishing to your soul. Others, it's all about being the bombshell in the room.

The goal is to trick the eye into thinking that we are all hourglasses. Regardless of your approach, in the words of GIJoe, "knowing is half the battle." So, here we go!

Nanette Nanette LeporeCascade-Ruffle Floral-Print Dress, Orange. Neiman Marcus Last Call. Was: $129. Now: $62.

Nanette Nanette LeporeCascade-Ruffle Floral-Print Dress, Orange. Neiman Marcus Last Call. Was: $129. Now: $62.

1. Triangle: Your shoulders are smaller than your hips. 

Approach: Balance out your frame either by drawing the eye up with color, print, texture or skin OR by minimizing your bottom half with dark fabrics or for best results, do both.

Cleo Jacquard Sheath. Anthropologie. $158.

Cleo Jacquard Sheath. Anthropologie. $158.

2. Diamond: Your hips and shoulders are likely aligned while your waist is your widest part.

Approach: Draw the eye inward toward your spine using bright and light colors, texture, print and show off your slender arms and legs.

Jesse Kamm Sailor Pant. The Dreslyn. $395.

Jesse Kamm Sailor Pant. The Dreslyn. $395.

3. Inverted Triangle.: Your shoulders are wider than your hips (aka "swimmer shoulders")

Approach: Draw the eye down by wearing colors, texture, print on the bottom or minimize your top half with dark colors and simple cuts or, for best results, do both.

Mock Turtleneck Maxi Dress. Available in pink, black. H&M. $29.

Mock Turtleneck Maxi Dress. Available in pink, black. H&M. $29.

4. Hourglass. Your shoulders and hips are balanced and you have a well defined waist.

Approach: Show off your shape, especially your waist. 

Eva Longoria Power Ponte Peplum Top. The Limited. Was: $99. Now: $79 plus an additional 50% off. 

Eva Longoria Power Ponte Peplum Top. The Limited. Was: $99. Now: $79 plus an additional 50% off. 

5. Rectangle: Your hips and shoulders are aligned while your waist is not clearly defined. 

Approach: Give the illusion of curves with pieces that draw the eye to multiple locations including feminine details and cuts. 

That's your bare bones approach to choosing pieces that especially flatter your frame. Of course, there's much more where that came from. Have questions? Reach out and remember: the most important voice you hear all day is the one in your head.