Dress for your body type: Business Edition

Balancing professionalism at work while infusing your stylish diva nature into your business attire can often be a daunting task. Dowdy suits from our grandparents era come to mind and the horror of ill fitting blouses haunt the soul. However, all is not lost. Here are the guidelines for dressing for your body type while incorporating the trends of the season.


Bananas, apples, pears- all these fruits can become confusing, but the simplicity of it all is: do you carry more of your weight in your upper body? If so, drawing attention from your middle area while highlighting your attributes such as your bust and legs, is key to sealing your status as style queen of the office. You’ll want to gravitate to dresses and shirts with an empire waist that draw in under the bust and floats away from the body to camouflage any unwanted bumps. Accentuating the legs with A-line skirts also draws the eye away from the trunk of your torso. To ensure you are following the dress code of an office environment, highlight the bust not with a revealing blouse, but with a statement necklace that focuses the eye around the face. When selecting these items keep in mind winter whites. White will never go out of style and this season continues to assert itself as a must have color in your wardrobe.


BCBGMAXAZRIA Camber A-Line Skirt


The most common body type for women, a pear-shaped figure carries more weight in the thighs and hips. The objective with a bottom heavy figure is to keep the focus on the upper body, highlighting it to balance out the proportions between your hips and shoulders. Wear blouses in bright hues to cast attention to your top half and printed dresses to camouflage the hips. This season menswear prints are on the rise, so do not hesitate to venture out of your comfort zone with tartan prints and the classic houndstooth as these patterns stay in tuned with an office environment while staying on trend. Streamlined pants in basic colors are your friend, therefore avoid pockets or details that add emphasis to this area. Incorporating a tailored blazer into your wardrobe adds definition to the shoulders, while emphasizing your narrow waist.

houndstooth dress

Lauren Ralph Lauren Houndstooth Dress


A boxy shape closely resembles a rectangle. Focusing on creating and enhancing the waist is one of the main focuses for this body type to create the illusion of a fuller figure. Wrap dresses are your friends, embrace them. Drawing in at the waist, this style succeeds at creating a cinched in waist and the presence of fuller hips. Stick to knee length dresses and skirts as this cut is very professional and very stylish. Designers Jonathan Saunders and House of Holland featured the modest cut in their collections this season, giving a nod to ladylike styles.

wrap dress

Karen Kane Cascade Wrap Dress


It is easy to overwhelm a small frame with too many fabrics and ill fitting cuts. A cropped blazer works well with a smaller frame. It doesn’t overwhelm the body while adding definition and form. Ensure that the end of the jacket hits a little bit above your natural hip as you want to avoid cutting the body in half, shortening your appearance. High waisted pants and skirts are ideal as they elongate your form, creating the illusion of longer legs. Skirts and dresses should stop at or just above the knee, as you can pull this off more easily without stepping into the danger of appearing inappropriate. Invest in an emerald hued item as this is the color of the season. The rich color offers a muted tone to an outfit which is a plus in an office setting since louder colors are not always appreciated.

cropped blazer


Photos courtesy of Bloomingdale’s

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