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Hour Glass Figure - Fit tips

Updated on October 4, 2011
Empire waist, top emphasized.
Empire waist, top emphasized. | Source
Princess line with emphasis at the bust.
Princess line with emphasis at the bust. | Source

Female figure

Hour glass, coke bottle, feminine, curvy, all of these terms refer to the female figure but many of these figures only exist in the imagination. There is no perfect hour glass figure. The trick is always to play up or minimize, through garment construction for the illusion of the perfect male appreciated figure to exist, - the classical hour glass.

Lots of women have some asset that can be enhanced to an hour glass figure and others have some asset that needs to be down played to create an hour glass figure. But most of the female population are not blessed with the exact measurements that naturally make up this high class illusion.

The hour glass figure usually starts at the bust line, then is cinched in at the waist line and flows into rounded hips and buttocks, but normally there is one element that needs some assistance in attaining this sought after figure.

Wearing the right clothes make the difference. Knowing some tricks of garment construction is an asset and knowing your body is paramount if you want to be a "perfect" hour glass.

Fit tips

  1. Your body, know your body measurements, - bust, waist and hip.
  2. How to take measurements - measuring tape and in your undergarments
  • Bust - place the tape in one hand and hold it at the highest point of your breast, circle around your back, meet the tape, remembering to put your arms down
  • Waist - bend to one side, natural waist ( this is normally at the belly button as well), wherever the indention occurs place the tape in that area, the meet the tape
  • Hip - at the largest, most generous point circle the tape around hip and buttocks pulling it around to meet at the front.
  • Length - from waist to floor, drop tape to floor holding the larger digits at the waist and tip angled on the floor.

Remember to write the measurements down. If need be you can measure your upper arm, typically the most dominant one - the one you write with, and your thighs.

  1. Adjustments
  • Pick the body feature that you would like to enhance, then develop the look you want around this feature

2. Garment construction

  • Once you know the feature you want to emphasize start looking for a garment.

3. Designer size fluctuations

  • Every designer has their own standard measurements. So depending on the designer you need to be aware of the fit of a particular designer.

Lining in garments also affect the fit. So when purchasing remember to pay attention to the fit.

Body types

  • Apple / Round - top heavy, normally large breasts and stomach / waist area, with slim hips and thighs
  • Pear - bottom heavy, normally small breasts, and waist, with large hips and thighs.
  • Square - straight up and down, normally there is no real waist line, with shoulders and hips being about the same in measurements.
  • Close hour glass - top and bottom halves close in inches about a variable of 3 to 5 inches, with a waist a few inches indented from the hips and breasts.

Knowing your body type is helpful when fitting your clothes, because each shape needs corrective help if you are trying to look your best in your garments. Actually square and CHG figures are easier to dress, and the tricks are simple.

This is one of the reasons why separates are so popular. It makes choosing the right size piece easier when it comes to a better fit and a better look. But this is not always possible, and this is where you need to know what your shape is and what looks best on you, especially when you are trying to emphasize what you consider your best feature.

The Square needs a waist, so a garment that cinches the waist emphasizes bust and hips, creating a waist line.

The CHG - close to Hour Glass doesn't need much help other than making a decision about what area of the figure you want to emphasize, for example enhance bust line, if smaller add padding or through cut of garment, or the hips, down play through cut or color. Choice is yours!

The Pear, depending on whether the females perception - does she like her romp or not, this is how she decides to down play or leave alone. Playing up her waist and bust line.

The Apple or Round normally needs to down play the top part of the body.

Nordstrom fit suggestions


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    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 6 years ago

      Thanks kerlynb - it's good to know, most women need to learn and appreciate their body, then enjoy themselves shopping for what best suits them.

      Thanks kschimmel - fit, i know what you mean, if most of us would appreciate our own bodies instead of allowing the garment industry to tell us what to wear we would be better off.

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Comprehensive info about fit--I wish more women understood how to select clothing for their figures. When I worked in a bridal salon I realized how delusional many women are about their bodies--selecting the most impossible styles instead of working with their body.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      Now I know I'm hour-glass figure! Geez, it to me a while to learn that. At least now I know which clothes I should be buying and which ones I should be avoiding. Thanks Celiegirl :)