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New Year's Resolution: LEARN TO SHOP YOUR SHAPE

Happy Monday! In response to last week's weight loss posts, I got to thinking there are probably a handful of readers not concerned about losing weight or working out. Maybe it's not your body - it's your CLOTHES. Perhaps in 2011 you want to get out of your wardrobe funk and stop buying clothes with no personality. Or maybe you're sick of hiding behind your clothes and you're ready to buck up for some flattering pieces. I am by no means a fashionista but I promise you - there is life after elastic waistband yoga pants and tennis shoes without breaking the bank.

I know a lot of women who try and try to get out of their fashion rut only to fall back into what's comfortable. And usually that's not the most flattering. I believe a lot of women fall victim to this because either 1) a shopping spree is not in the budget (understandable), 2) they don't want to come face to face with the voice in the mirror screaming "hippo," (hate that) and/or 3) they don't want to confront the inevitable - the size on the label. Yes, this can be a disconcerting number but in all honesty, the secret to making it onto the best-dressed list has nothing to do with what size you are; it's knowing how to SHOP YOUR SHAPE.

The first step before you even hit the stores to update that blazz-eh wardrobe is to know what your shape is and how to choose pieces that will flatter your figure. Do you know what yours is??? Find out below...
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Do you have an average-size bust, a rounded, undefined waistline, full upper thighs and a compact rear-end? If so, you're an APPLE.


Shop your shape: Your shape is similar to the letter "O." You have a divine rear and strong shoulders. Tops and dresses with deep V-necklines will play up your collarbones and cleavage and make you look leaner, while empire waistbands will create an imaginary waist. Flowing fabrics in an A-line cut will glide over your middle nicely. Opt for mid-rise pants to avoid muffin-top. Don't be afraid of prints and patterns to create an optical illusion of your waist.

Just say no to: Fitted button-front tops.

Essentials for your shape: 1) Drapey top with an embellished neckline - you want the beading or jewels to catch the eye and keep the focus on your face, 2) Flat-front boot cut pants - the slight volume at the calves and cuffs will balance out a larger mid-section.
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Do you have a bust and hips even in width, little waistline definition, a flattish backside and distinct shoulders? If so, you're a RECTANGLE.


Shop your shape: Your shape is similar to the letter "H" with a very athletic, boyish look. Fake some curves and flaunt your fab mile-long arms, legs and torso in daring shapes, such as wide-leg pants. Incorporate super-feminine, soft fabrics such as satin and lace with flirty details. And don't be afraid of stripes - your frame was meant for them! Fake a waistline with belts and wear heels to push out your tush.

Just say no to: Loose, boxy shapes that make you look like you're swimming in your clothes.

Essentials for your shape: 1) A ruffled top - you need items that bring your frame softness and a ladylike silhouette, 2) Faded slim-cut jeans - you need fullness to truly look "womanly" so strategic fading over the hips, thighs and butt is a must.
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Do you have narrow shoulders, a slim waistline, fuller hips and thighs, and a round bottom? If so, you're PEAR-SHAPED.

Shop your style: Your shape is similar to the letter "A." Add width up top to balance out your bottom half by choosing wide scoop necklines, large lapels, and exaggerated shoulders on shirts, sweaters and jackets. Most pear-shaped women have trim middles (lucky you!) so you want to bring focus to your smallest part and choose tops that skim your torso rather than balloon around it. Add interest above the waist with bold prints and chunky necklaces. Long jackets or cardigans worn open can help camouflage the hips area.

Just say no to: Low-rise pants and anything with pockets, pleats, whiskering or other details near the hips and thighs.

Essentials for your shape: 1) A twill aviator-inspired jacket - you want something with an oversized collar to broaden your shoulders and flap pockets to add volume. A belted middle with define your assets, 2) Full-leg mid-rise trousers - aim for a straight line from hip to hem to narrow your frame and minimize curves. Always choose a dark color on your bottom half.
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Do you have a full bust and/or broad shoulders, a well defined waistline and narrow hips? If so, you're an INVERTED TRIANGLE.

Shop your shape: your shape is similar to the letter "V." Most likely you have slim limbs and a toned tummy. Go ahead and show them off! Stock up on tops and blazers that are tailored through the middle and have moderate V-necklines. Floaty skirts that swish just below your knees will give you toned legs and better proportions. Mid-rise pants are best choice.

Just say no to: Top and sweaters with high scoop necklines and any sort of ruffles. You don't need anything more to make your upper half seem larger. Avoid pockets, buttons and beading on the chest of any jackets or tops. High-rise pants make hips look bigger, low-rise pants create a muffin top.

Essentials for your shape: 1) A tweed 3-button blazer - you want a structured fit that contains your chest, 2) A patterned A-line skirt - you want to refocus attention onto your lower half. Lighter shades work best for you, 3) Flat-front boot-cut pant that sit just below the waist.

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