Are you an apple or a willow? Have a flat chest or a high waist and can't find clothes that fit right? Style guru Sam Saboura, host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover," offers tips and tricks for real women with all different body types to dress their best.
You can read an excerpt from "Sam Saboura's Real Style: Style Secrets for Real Women with Real Bodies" below.
How many times have you shopped for hours, only to end up frustrated and discouraged? You think that nothing out there is made for your body. Nothing looks good, no matter what the cut or shape. In fact, nothing fits properly at all. Before you know it, a bad shopping day turns into a bad self-esteem day.
You start believing that your hips are too big or your boobs are too small or your butt is too wide or your legs are too short. Your arms are too flabby or your shoulders are too sloped or your belly is too round or your waist is too long. You're convinced you'll have to go naked for the rest of your life -- or at least go on a diet or go to the gym, because something just isn't right.
Wrong! You're just not shopping for the right body.
Until you identify your body type, you have no way of knowing what styles are best. To get on track, you have to figure out exactly what kind of body you have. When you do, you'll have a clear picture of what to wear for the way you're built and what to avoid at all costs. More important, you'll stop wasting money on clothes that still have the tags on and are too old to return. Reality check: These are not "inspiration pieces." They are just mistakes.
Before we go any further, I want to stress one important thing: No one -- I repeat, no one -- is one stock body type. Every person is completely unique and made up of a combination of many different types. So don't worry if you can't find your exact figure in the following list. Just select the basic shape that seems closest to yours, and use it as a general guide.
I also want you to keep in mind that your body is what it is. Sure, you can lose a few pounds or build some muscle or step up your aerobic exercise, but you can never transform the lush curves of an Oprah into the lean-limbed grace of an Audrey Hepburn. And you don't have to.When you realize this, shopping will be fun and enjoyable -- the way it's supposed to be.
Your figure is smaller on the top and wider on the bottom. Your shoulders are narrow, your breasts are small to average, your waist is slender, and your hips, thighs, and bottom are full. Your goal is to visually alter the proportional differences between your upper and your lower body to create a sense of balance.
Boatneck and off-the-shoulder tops are great choices to create a more pronounced horizontal shoulder line and balance the width of your hips. Avoid tightfitting tops (I'm not talking about fitted here -- I mean super-snug), which will exaggerate the difference between your top and bottom halves, and -- you guessed it -- make your hips and butt look huge. The same thing happens when you wear a belted dress or cinched waistline.