Contrary to popular belief, every woman can achieve an hourglass silhouette just by dressing smartly. You can try these simple tricks (sans the constricting girdles) for starters: see how your shape instantly changes with the right fabric and cut! 

1. Use strategic colorblocking techniques. 

Reach for pieces with side panels that taper toward the waist. These panels will guide the eye into seeing a slimmer waistline and wider hips. 

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2. Opt for A-line silhouettes.

That said, choose fit and flare dresses that come in stiffer fabrics (no jersey, please!). These dresses will hug your natural waist and will flare out toward the hips to replicate an hourglass shape. This trick also works with fitted tops paired with flared skirts. 

3. Maximize your off-shoulder pieces.

Off-shoulder tops will not only accentuate your décolletage; they will also help draw a horizontal line across the body’s widest part a.k.a. your shoulders, making your waist smaller by comparison. 

4. Make use of accessories. 

Cinch your waist with a belt (or with a bum bag!) to break the torso, especially if you have a boxy silhouette. But mind the thickness of the belt, too. If you’re on the petite side, opt for slimmer belts so the accessory won’t overwhelm your frame. 

5. Opt for high-waisted garments. 

Wearing mom jeans, paperbag trousers, and wide leg pants that sit on your natural waist will create a slimmer waistline for you while also elongating your legs. Neat!


6. Embrace the power of prints. 

Stripes can easily help you play with your curves. If you want to look slimmer, go for vertical stripes; but if you want to accentuate your curves, opt for horizontal or diagonal stripes. By wearing diagonally printed stripes on your bottoms, your hips will instantly look fuller.

7. Add volume where it counts. 

Do you want it to look like you have a fuller bust? Do you need to bulk up the lower half of your body to balance the look? Adding frills and ruffles will do the trick!

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This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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