Dressing for Your Body, Which Happens to Be Awesome: Hourglass Edition

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This week, we're talking about dressing your hourglass shape, because your hourglass figure is fantastic and you really should embrace it every day. (For past episodes of this column, about your legs, height, bra size, et cetera, click here!)

That said, you're not born with curves, and you're definitely not born knowing how to dress them. I know I had to change my personal style on the regular when my body kept changing shape, and it was tremendously inconvenient (#puberty). If you're anything like me, your wide hips and full chest didn't become entirely apparent until somewhat recently. So here we are with these great bods, feeling a little baffled regarding how to dress them (kind of like when you get your braces off and feel like you've completely forgotten how to chew). Never fear! CollegeFashion to the rescue!

Hourglass girls have the classic "bombshell" shape: Think Marilyn Monroe, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé. While you're known for your hips and chest, it's the space between that really defines the hourglass shape — a relatively small waist is the often overlooked but vital element to the hourglass look.

There have been whole studies dedicated to the hip-waist ratio of sexually appealing Neanderthal ladies, and you've got what it takes (although, hopefully attracting Neanderthals isn't on your to do list. But it might be. #CollegeBoysAreCavemen). Point being, your hourglass figure is something to embrace, because it's awesome. You just might want to know how to most appealingly clothe yourself. If that describes you, read on!

Tips for Dressing your Hourglass Body

1. Define your waist.

Look for shirts or cardigans that can be belted at the waist, and then find some very snazzy belts. That'll emphasize whichever curves you're trying to flaunt.

2. Pick your battles.

My mother always told me to only show off one body part at a time (Actually, my mother always told me "You're wearing that?? Why don't you put on a sweater?") While I pretty much always took my sweater off as soon as she drove away (oh, high school memories), she had a good point: Only really flaunt your top half or your bottom half at a time. This is good advice for anyone, but it becomes especially useful with your body type.

3. Accessorize lightly.

For some reason that genuinely mystifies me, I've found that smaller, more delicate jewelry looks better on those of us with hourglass shapes. That said, the plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data', so take this advice with a grain of salt.

Outfit #1: Flattering Fall Fashions

hourglass figure flattering outfit casual


Sweater - Modcloth, Earrings - Nordstrom, Jeans - Topshop, Shoes - Topshop

Maybe midterms are getting to me, but I can imagine curling up in the library with this sweater. Everyone knows that college libraries are a place to see and be seen, right (except on days when I want to wear sweatpants, in which case I tell myself nobody has ever cared or will ever care what I'm wearing so what's the harm)? This cardigan over a basic tank is super-flattering on your hourglass shape because it accentuates your waist and shows off your curves with jeans that are super form-fitting. These shoes take the studded trend into the fall, and the earrings are just dainty and delightful.

Outfit #2: Modern Marilyn

flattering hourglass outfit dressy


Dress - Modcloth, Jacket - Hollister, Lip gloss - Sephora, Earrings - Nordstrom, Bag - Mango, Shoes - Nordstrom

Marilyn Monroe is the hourglass icon. Emulating her in any sartorial sense is a killer move, especially for you. That said, it's 2012 and we can step this up a little bit. This dress is a wild attention-grabber, between its bold color and exciting hemline. While you're showing some skin on top, the dress goes a little longer than your average going-out dress, so things balance out. These shoes and purse make me instantly think 'Old Hollywood', and a denim jacket, red lipstick, and studded earrings keep things modern.

What do you think?

What's your favorite way to play up your shape? What shape should this column tackle next? Who's your favorite hourglass bombshell? Answer these questions and more in the comments!