How to Balance proportionally when the body doesn’t cooperate.

I was speaking with a business lady recently and she asked how to give balance to your appearance when one part of your body is differently proportioned than the rest. Her challenge is the most common for women—having a triangle figure with the hip area being wider than the top. All different figure types have to use camouflage to make their bodies appear balanced and in proportion.

Shoulder pads visually widen the shoulders, balancing the upper body with the lower body.

The lady with whom I was speaking was very trim but her upper body was small in proportion while her hips were considerably wider than her shoulders. This is where you become a camouflage artist!

First of all, it helps to choose a darker color for the bottom than the top. This lady had dark hair so black is an excellent color for skirts or slacks.   Dark colors recede and while bright colors advance. To make her upper body appear larger, a bright or light color could be used.

Shoulder pads are back in fashion this fall so adding shoulder pads would be great tool to be fashionable while helping balance the upper and lower portions of the body.

Great business dress to hide wider hips. Skirt could have less flair.

A flaired skirt is a wonderful technique to accentuate the small waist and upper part of the body while masterfully hiding the disharmony of the two portions of the body.   You can add a cropped jacket to this grey dress and transform it from an excellent office to dinner dress to a great professional business-meeting look.

Trousers for the triangle need to fall straight from the widest part of the hip to the floor. Wider trousers should just clear the floor so they appear one continuous line, adding visual height and a clean line. No tapered pants for this body as they accentuates the width of your hips.

Straight trousers with a suit jacket nipped at the waist minimize hips and show off waist. Neck accent draws attention to the face–where you want it!


You can also use color contrast or decorative accents to draw the eye up to your face. After all, you want the attention on you, not on any “flaws” you perceive might be there.

Remember that you are beautifully and wonderfully designed. Be the most beautiful you can, just as you were intended to be!   Beryl Pleasants


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