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.
Excerpt: Chapter One
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.
Pears should always wear dark colors on the bottom, taking advantage of the slimming effect of black, charcoal, navy, brown, and other deep tones. Low-rise pants work wonders to minimize your hips and help create a more balanced look. Straight-leg pants or ones with a slight flare do the same by adding width to the bottom of your leg, making your hips look smaller by comparison. A-line and circle skirts are perfect for you, because their shapes skim right over your trouble spots.
Stay away from pants with side pockets and pleats, because they just add extra bulk to your bottom half. By the same token, drawstring pants, with all that extra fabric gathered around your midsection, make your hips look big and broad. And we won't even talk about what they do to your butt!
Pants with a tapered leg are a don't unless you want to look like an ice-cream cone -- and I'm guessing you don't. They make your legs look too skinny from the knee down and make your thighs and hips look wider. Please take a pass on this dated trend.
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE PEAR
Best Feature: Upper Body
Your upper body should always be your focal point when you're planning an outfit. Since your goal is to minimize your lower half with simple, dark, solid bottoms, have some fun with your tops.
Look for brighter colors, proportional prints, and sexy necklines. Try a fitted top when you want to look curvy, and a looser, straighter style when you want some camouflage. Wear small shoulder pads -- yes, shoulder pads -- to broaden the top half of your silhouette and offset the fullness of your hips. Play with necklaces and earrings, because they'll draw attention upward. Also, consider your hairstyle in relation to your lower body. A fuller, sexier do just might give you some additional balance by adding volume to your upper half.
When choosing skirts and dresses, always try an A-line first. This style is a reliable classic, and it's tailor-made for your body.
Mix-and-match separates are custom made for the pearshaped girl. No matter how big the difference between your top and bottom, you can buy exactly the size you need. You might also consider looking for tops one day and bottoms the next, making shopping a lot easier.
You are tall and slender -- the Nicole Kidman of your neighborhood. Your breasts are small, your waist and hips are narrow, and your legs and arms are long and lean. But what only you realize is that your willowy stature makes it difficult to find clothes that fit properly. If a size is small enough for your slim frame, odds are it will be too short in the legs and arms. On particularly bad shopping days, you have to sneak into the men's department just to find pants that are long enough.
Your goal is to make sure you wear clothing that is suited to your body type. You need pants and jackets that are long enough to cover your limbs, and you want to create proportions that keep you from looking too lanky. Your tops should always be a bit on the longer side, to balance the length of your legs.
When it comes to skirts, you shine in long ones, because your height allows you to wear them with grace. But stay away from the super-short mini. Though shorter skirts that reveal your slender legs are fine, a micro-mini will make you look like you're walking on stilts.
You can wear pants in just about any style -- as long as they' re long enough. They should be three-quarters of an inch above the heel in the back, with a break in the front and a hemline that covers the top of your shoe. Avoid buying a too-short pair just because you like them and they fit everywhere else. Unless there's enough fabric in the hem to lengthen them, they will never be more than well-fitting pants that are too short. Also beware of pants that have an extremely flared leg. They add too much weight to the bottom of your slender frame, throwing you visually off balance.
Though it's fine to flaunt your height with stilettos and the like, keep in mind that flats and lower heels are always a winner for the willow. They're chic and classic, and will keep you from towering over your shorter friends on days when you prefer to blend in.
In choosing outfits, try separates that cut your long frame in half. A flowy skirt with a high boot can bring interest to your lower body. For contrast, add a fitted tank or long-sleeved knit top. If you love wearing dresses, try belted styles that tie at the waist to play up your lean middle.
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE WILLOW
Best Features: Height and Long Limbs
You're blessed with a willowy look -- go ahead and flaunt it.
High-end designers cut and style their clothing with your body type in mind. Instead of searching for days to find three pairs of so-so pants that fit your budget, spend the sum total on one perfect pair that costs a bit more. You'll acquire a ward robe of great-fitting clothing over time.
Go for contrast when you dress, layering to your heart's content. Your lean frame can handle the extra coverage, and you'll add style and dimension to your look. Try pleated skirts for fullness, textured fabrics for interest, and jackets and shirts with large collars and exaggerated cuffs. Wear lighter, softer colors. You have less to minimize, so darker shades can work against you by making you look too tall or too lean -- and, yes, sometimes that is not a good thing. Also avoid super-snug clothing, because it can take you from slender to rail-like.
Go for prints and patterns
As a willow, you're among the lucky few who can wear large prints, so wear them with wild abandon. They're striking, and you carry them well because they won't overwhelm your tall frame.
You have a curvy figure, with a full bust, small waist, and full bottom. Some people accuse you of dressing too sexy when you're not even trying. You make a magnificent Marilyn Monroe at Halloween, and you have the most sought-after body in history. Embrace those curves! Women spend tens of thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgery trying to get a body like yours.
For starters, invest in a pencil skirt. It's sexy yet classy, and the slightly tapered bottom will show off your curvy figure. Team it up with a contrasting belt that defines your slender waistline and draws attention to it. Look for fitted tops that nip in at the waist and stop somewhere between the waist and hips, bringing the eye to one of your best features. Avoid full or blousy styles that can hide your body.
You have the option of going for a sexy look, like a low-rise pant with a flared bottom that will minimize your hip area and balance your hourglass curves. Play it up with a low V-neck or scoop top that reveals a hint of cleavage. Or you can take the more classic route with a higher-waisted pant or skirt that shows off your small waistline. Add a tank or spaghetti-strapped top that shows a little skin, or choose a long-sleeved fitted knit or body-defining T that's tucked in. You're one of the few body types who can pull this off, because of your minimal waist. The idea is to define your hourglass figure without getting carried away. Your curves should whisper, not shout.
Avoid cropped tops at all costs. They may show off your small waist, but they'll draw too much attention to your bust and make you look top-heavy. Also stay away from the opposite extreme: long, boxy tops. They disguise your curves and aren't even remotely flattering. The same goes for loose-fitting dresses that hide your narrow waist and make your body look shapeless. And to keep from looking like a double-wide, make sure your tops don't stop at the point where your hips are the fullest.
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE HOURGLASS
Best Features: Curvy Body and Small Waist
Your natural curves give you built-in sex appeal. Your bust, waist, and legs are your best arsenal, so use them well. Fitted clothing that hugs your curves will always be your best choice. You can be fitted and tasteful at the same time by wearing tops and dresses with a bias cut. They wrap and hug your best features, and fall a bit looser everywhere else. Stretchy fabrics are good, too, since they find your curves and show them off.
Wear shoes that are hot and sexy to showcase your legs. Add a fun belt or sash to play up and accentuate your small waist. Less is really more when it comes to prints and patterns, so it's best to wear solid colors on the top and bottom. Sometimes, just seeing the silhouette of your body is sexy enough. Bring in the prints with smaller, detailed accessories.
Wrap it up -- i'll take it!
A wrap dress is one of the most flattering styles an hourglass can wear. It's made to follow the lines of your body, showing a hint of cleavage, highlighting your waist, and baring your sexy legs.
You have a rounded figure, with a fuller bust and midsection, heavier arms, and shapely lower legs. You wonder why you never see your body type addressed in the fashion magazines. After all, the average American woman wears a size 14 or 16 -- depending on which survey you read -- yet women in the media are usually no bigger than an 8. Now you can be as dazzling as the slinky girls, because plus-size fashion has evolved beyond the big-and-baggy look.
The key idea for the apple is to create lines where none exist. Since your body is round, drawing lines and angles on it with the right clothing will help to counteract it, creating the shape and curve you strive for.
Try a V-neck top with an empire waistline. The V will slim your bustline, the seaming under your breasts will provide lift and support, and the fabric below will fall loosely over your midsection for the perfect concealment. Fabrics that are more substantial are good, because they drape nicely over anything you want to hide. Tops with long sleeves are always a plus, but they should never cling to your fuller upper arms. Loose, flowy fabrics like silks, rayons, and gauzy cottons also make the grade. Wear a stretchy fitted tank or T-shirt underneath to add support, hide any bumps and bulges, and provide these lighter fabrics with a solid foundation.
Pants and skirts that fall in a straight line from the hip down and skim over your middle are smart choices. Keep in mind that anything that clings too tightly to the fuller parts of your body will put emphasis in the wrong places.
Prints and patterns can actually distract from the things you want to conceal, so they can be assets to the apple. Feel free to wear them with confidence, and break them up with a solid color here and there. A slightly larger print is best, particularly when the colors are low-contrast and the pattern is consistent. Smaller prints can make you look bigger, so stay away from them. Consider narrow vertical stripes, too, which create slimming lines on your body.
Stay away from pleated pants, pants with side or cargo pockets, or any style with detail or embellishment around your middle. This is not an area where you want to focus attention. Above all, don't wear tapered pants. They'll just make you look top-heavy and exaggerate your fuller figure.
The most important tip I can offer the apple is this: Don't hide your body where you don't have to. Every woman has some part of her that she's proud of, so find yours and flaunt it. Because you have the ability to look majestic, there's no need to take cover under oversized tops and dresses that drag you down. Besides being incredibly boring, these styles make you look bigger and unfinished, and you're way too fab for that!
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE APPLE
Best Features: Fantastic Breasts and Shapely Lower Legs
I've never met an apple who doesn't have a gorgeous bustline, so don't be afraid to show a little cleavage when you're dressing up. And if you're one of the lucky ones who have great calves to match, kick up your heels and show your legs off for all they're worth!
Besides highlighting your legs by baring them from the knee down, your style objective is to wear clothing that offsets the roundness of your shape. Look for tops with a square or rectangular cut that stop just below the waist to counterbalance your fullness and conceal your tummy. Also try tops and skirts with asymmetrical hemlines. Their angular seaming and details intersect and cut the bodyline to flatter you from head to toe.
Clamdiggers are perfect for you, because they stop at the knee and bare the lower part of your leg. They're a great alternative to shorts for the summer months. Separates are also a great way to break up your bodyline. For evening wear, a skirt-and-top combo may work better than a dress, because it's easier to find flattering individual pieces seemingly custom-fitted for your top and bottom halves.
"X" marks the spot
Wrap tops and halter dresses are perfect for the apple, because they create the line of the letter "X" across your middle. The X brings the eye into the centerline of your body, minimizing your torso with its diagonal lines and offering flattering camouflage.
Do you feel boxy instead of foxy? Feel boyish no matter what you wear? Do you get more compliments when you're in your boyfriend's or husband's clothes than when you're wearing your favorite dress? You're a rectangle, with shoulders, waist, and hips that are all about the same width.
You'll be amazed at how you can change the look of your body and create a more feminine image. Start by wearing belts. Skinny, wide, or in between, they're your best choice for accentuating -- and creating -- a waistline. Choose wrap tops and dresses that gather or tie at your waist, drawing diagonal lines that point right to it. Corset tops are also good, because they cinch in your middle and create the illusion of a curvier figure .
Drawstring pants are wonderful for you, because the gathering creates fullness in the hips to give the illusion of a waist. Don't wear extremely low-slung pants, because they'll make you look like a box. A slightly higher rise will give the illusion of the waist you're missing.
Boxy sleeveless tops are a no-no for you. They draw horizontal, masculine lines on your body, and you don't want more of those. Also avoid loose-fitting dresses. Their shapeless style will make you look ... well ...shapeless. And always make sure your jackets don't have wide lapels that add unnecessary width and squareness to your upper body.
Team them with capris to bare some skin on the bottom, too. Gauzy, flowing fabrics and silks and satins are always great choices. Curvy cuts, soft ruffles, and fluted edges all work overtime to balance your straighter lines. Show off your feminine side by wearing skirts and dresses, especially ones with asymmetrical hemlines. When you are wearing masculine styles like blazers and trousers, add something feminine to soften the lines -- a flower pin, a colorful high-heeled shoe, or a sexy lace camisole. Your waistline should be your focal point as often as possible, so your closet should be stocked with expressive belts, fitted tops and jackets, and skirts that have a higher waistline.
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE RECTANGLE
Best Features: Arms and Legs
The key for the rectangle is to soften the lines of your body whenever you can. This means paying attention to fabrics and cuts and avoiding those that add unnecessary hard angles to your frame. Showing some skin is a good way to add softness, so choose sleeveless tops that are cut to bare more of your shoulder.
Be a Princess
Tops and jackets with princess seams are a must for your figure. They can be found in the front or back of a garment, running vertically to the waist to create a formfitting shape. Princess seams flatter you with a narrowing effect, making you look more like an hourglass than a rectangle. Success!
You have wide shoulders and a large bust, with narrow hips and killer legs. Your pear-shaped friends envy you for your slender bottom half, but they don't know the other half of it. You, too, struggle with balance -- it's just upside-down -- because you carry most of your weight on the upper half of your body.
The good news is, there are lots of ways to draw attention to your lower body and create the illusion of equal proportions. Think bright bottoms. Pants and skirts in vivid colors and prints will offset the size of your top half. Pleated and tiered skirts do the same thing by adding fullness to help balance your upper body. The flowing shape of palazzo pants is also a smart choice, because the wide legs run from hip to hem and fill out your lower half.
A short skirt is fine for the diamond, but keep the length within reason. A too-short skirt or dress will make your top half look larger compared with your slender legs, and the trade-off just isn't worth it.
Tops for the diamond are best in V-neck and scoopneck styles that draw attention away from your broad shoulders. Avoiding boatnecks, horizontal stripes, or any kind of intense pattern on your top half will keep it looking leaner. These add unnecessary width to the shoulder line and draw attention to your larger torso. Epaulettes and shoulder pads are out for you, because they magnify your upper body.
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE DIAMOND
Best Feature: Sensational Legs
As a diamond, you should focus on the lower half of your body when getting dressed. Keep the top half simple and muted, and go to town on the low down. Printed skirts and pants, shorter hemlines, and sexy shoes are everything you need to show off your legs. Minimize your shoulders and bust with deeper necklines, and camouflage the fullness of your arms with draped sleeves in any length.
Try a top that falls below your hips, creating the dropped-waist look without wearing a dress. Pair it with a tube skirt, which is shaped like a long tube and hugs the body, tapering slightly from the knee down and ending at the ankle. The coverage will fill out your bottom half while providing a lean, sexy look at the same time.
If the diamond were stranded on a desert island with only one dress to wear, it would be one with a dropped waist. Reminiscent of the twenties and thirties, this is the classic flapper-style dress. The loose-fitting top hides your fuller upper body, bringing your great legs front and center.
You're actually in a class by yourself. You can have any of the body types addressed above, but the one characteristic that sets you apart is your short stature. You might have a stocky, athletic body, or you could be a petite version of the willow. No matter how you're built, one thing is certain: If you gain five pounds, it looks like ten.
To make up for your lack of height, you wear three-inch heels to the grocery store -- just because. You struggle with the proper skirt length for your frame, and pants are always too long. Since it's not likely that you'll be having a leg lengthening procedure in Switzerland anytime soon, you're anxious to find out what you can do to look longer and more proportional.
You can magically add inches to your height by wearing all one color. (This is called monochromatic dressing.) It makes your body look like one long, lean line, because there are no other colors to break it up.
Surprisingly, longer pant lengths will create height by visually elongating your leg, and are better still when paired with a medium heel. Keep pants simple and darker in color, with a flat front and a side or back zipper, because they provide an uncluttered line for your lower half. Choose a medium-low to a higher waist, since super-low-waisted pants will make your legs look shorter than they are.
When shopping for both tops and bottoms, look for seaming that adds vertical lines, which will make you appear taller. You're better off with patterns that are small and delicate -- just like you -- so avoid prints that overwhelm your short frame.
If you have longer hair, try wearing it in a cute, messy updo or a high ponytail that can work for day or night. Both will add some height to your frame. If you prefer a shorter hairstyle, that, too, can make you look taller because the length won't compete with your petite body.
Keep jewelry and purses simple and in proportion to the rest of your body. Choose small, delicate bracelets and necklaces. If you like long earrings, make s u re the length is no more than one inch. Look for a scaled-down handbag, such as a clutch or pochette. The point is to complement your body, not make it disappear under piles of accessories.
STYLE SOLUTIONS FOR THE HALF-PINT
Best Feature: Your Petite Frame
For the half-pint, proportions are extra important. If an item of clothing is just a few inches too long or too short, it can make or break the big picture. You may want to put your tailor on retainer, because the subtle details -- a nip here or a taper there -- can help to finesse your overall style.
Keep things slim on your bottom half. A straight or boot-leg pant with a longer hemline will do wonders. When it comes to dresses and skirts, shorter styles work best as long as you've got the legs. If not, stick to styles that stop around the ankle, but no longer. Pair everything with some kind of heel to give you additional height.
On top, fitted works better. Solid colors rule most of the time, so when opting for a pattern or a print, keep it very simple. A vertical stripe works well, because it will help lengthen your torso. Just keep in mind that you don't have the size to carry off anything too big or bold. Add your own spin and interest to an outfit by finishing it with some funky accessories.
Stay out of the children's department
Unless you're shopping for something simple like a T or tank, don't be tempted by the scaled-down sizes in the children's department. Most kids' clothes look like kids' clothes, and you're not fooling anyone but yourself.
Foolproof Solutions to Common Concerns
There are many proportional issues that have been causing women angst since the fig leaf went out of style. But there are just as many solutions to correct them. When you follow the dos and don'ts for the body you're in, you'll start looking and feeling the way you've always wanted to.
Following are the most common concerns expressed by women about their bodies -- and the best ways to correct them. This is the before-and-after magic of the right choices in clothing.
Wear V-neck and deep scoop-neck tops. By showing more skin around your neck, you create the illusion of greater length.
Try medium to long earrings. The longer line of this accessory can visually lengthen your neck.
If you have the face for it, cut your hair a bit shorter. A cropped style will open up your neck and show it off.
Avoid turtlenecks -- mock or otherwise. They make your head look like it's sitting right on your shoulders.
Keep your hair on the longer side. It will balance the length of your neck.
Wear turtlenecks galore. Covering up your neck with fabric will help avoid the swan look.
Try shirts with higher collars, or turn up a traditional collar. The height of the collar will cut the long line of your neck in half.
Wear V-neck tops. The V draws attention down your body and away from your broad shoulders.
Wear spaghetti straps and tank tops. Straps cut the shoulder line in half. The broader the shoulder, the thicker the strap.
If you're relatively slender, try a tube top. It echoes the horizontal line of your shoulders to keep you in visual proportion.
Wear tops with raglan sleeves, which have a diagonal shoulder seam. Their slanted lines counteract your shoulders' strong horizontal lines.
Wear dark-colored tops. A dark color can minimize just about anything.
Wear unstructured jackets and tops. They soften your hard shoulder line with their relaxed look.
Avoid jackets with lapels that point up to your shoulders. This is the equivalent of drawing an arrow to your shoulders that says, "I'm a football player."
Wear off-the-shoulder and boatneck tops. The horizontal line adds width and focuses attention on your neck and shoulders.
Wear shoulder pads. You can buy a pair to your upper frame. Look for small ones that add subtle width that attach to your bra straps with Velcro.
Wear sleeveless, boxy tops. They create a broad, square shoulder line where you don't have one naturally.
Wear horizontal stripes. They visually broaden your shoulders.
Have fun with epaulettes, ornamental shoulder tabs that you see on military uniforms or safari shirts. They bring attention to the shoulder line, making it appear wider.
Look for jackets with wide lapels. They add volume to your frame, filling out your upper torso.
Wear tops with patterns, ruffles, cowl necks, or pockets over both breasts. Embellishments play up your bustline by bringing attention to it.
Wear tops with horizontal stripes. Horizontal stripes make anything look larger, including breasts.
Wear boatnecks and off-the-shoulder tops. The wide necklines open the width across the collarbone.
Work wonders with a halter. It gives you a lift and pulls the breasts together for a sexy finish.
Always wear a padded cup or push-up bra. It can amplify your smaller bust and add the cleavage you're longing for.
Wear fitted tops. They will hug any existing curves and show them off.
Wear V-neck and scoop-neck tops. These draw vertical or slanted lines down the center of your body, minimizing your bust.
Wear wrap tops. These create a cross-your-heart visual, distracting the eye from the heavy bust and making your waist look smaller in the process.
Wear small collars and skinny lapels. They draw attention away from your breasts.
Wear tops with loose-fitting sleeves. A loose-fitting long sleeve does the job well, and a three-quarter sleeve has the added advantage of baring the smallest part of your arm.
Add a wrap if you must go sleeveless. Cardigans, blazers, ponchos, and wraps are all stylish ways to cover your arms.
Wear off-the-shoulder tops. They play up your shoulders and neckline, while covering up and distracting from your fuller arms.
Wear the same color on the top and bottom. Monochromatic dressing gives the illusion of a longer torso by creating a clean, uninterrupted line along the length of your body.
Wear narrow belts that are the same color as your top.Matching belts to tops will visually lengthen your torso.
Choose low-waisted pants. The lower the waistline, the longer the torso appears.
Wear tops with vertical stripes. Vertical lines elongate the torso by forcing the eye to look up and down.
Shop for tops in the petite department. The proportions of petite tops are shorter, so you get a length that fits you properly.
Wear high-waisted pants. A higher rise elevates your waistline, shortening the length of your upper body.
Wear pants without cuffs. Cuffs shorten the length of your leg, making your waist look even longer.
Wear wide belts that are the same color as your pants. Matching belts to pants will add visual length to your legs by creating a continuous line of solid color.
Choose skirts and dresses that end just below the knee. This length will make your legs look longer, balancing the length of your torso.
Have fun with layered tops. Adding visual interest with tops of varying lengths detracts from your long waist.
Wear high-heeled shoes that are the same color as your pants.The expanse of a single color will lengthen your legs.
Wear a girdle. It will hold the tummy in, smooth any rolls, and whittle a few inches off your waistline.
Wear dresses and tops with empire waistlines.The seam on an empire waist lifts the bust, which elongates the tummy. This style also provides superb coverage.
Wear flat-front pants with a bit of stretch. They create a clean, smooth line and offer the slimming effects and comfort of stretch.
Shop for tops with ruching. Gathers and pleating in the fabric along the seams hide problem areas in the tummy and waistline.
Wear your tops long and untucked. This eliminates the gathering around the belly that occurs when a shirt is tucked in. The top should be long enough to cover the pooch, and drape loosely to avoid any clinging.
Wear pants with a V-shaped yoke on the back. The yoke sits just below the waistband on the back of a pair of jeans. It works to minimize your bottom, just like a V-neck does to minimize your top.
Select pants that sit slightly lower on the hips. The higher the waist, the bigger the butt looks.
Always wear pants with back pockets. Pockets provide a visual distraction from a larger bottom. Keep their size in proportion to your the width of your bottom.
Wear jackets with a defined waistline that are long enough to cover the hips. You can create the look of an hourglass figure and cover up your problem spot.
Fashion your own butt by wearing high-waisted pants. They lift and separate the rear just like your best bra enhances your breasts.
Wear pants that are fitted in the seat. They give the illusion of a butt by hugging even the smallest curves.
Try pants with smaller back pockets. They will make your rear seem larger by comparison.
Wear boot-cut pants. The flare will put your lower body into proportion with your hips, making your thighs look slimmer in the process.
Choose skirts with a slight A-line. The shape of this skirt prevents the fabric from clinging to the parts that you're trying to conceal.
Avoid shorts and skirts that stop at the fullest part of your thigh. They can make your legs look heavier by emphasizing their broadest point with a horizontal line.
Wear wide belts and choose wide waistbands on pants and skirts. Wide belts add visual width to slender hips, giving you volume where you need it.
Choose pants with pockets. These add size and fullness to the hips. Cargo pockets and elaborate pockets that sit higher on the leg and closer to the hip are best.
Wear slightly tapered pants. The slim lower leg plays up your hips and makes them appear wider.
Wear longer, flared pants. This tip works like an A-line skirt for your ankles. You get coverage and no cling.
Wear sling-back shoes. They make the front of your foot look longer, minimizing the fullness of your ankle. The back strap rides low, so it will not call attention to your ankle's widest part.
Look for dark-colored boots that hug the ankle tightly with elastic panels. Any bunching around your ankles will add to their bulk. A tight, streamlined boot will make ankles look slimmer, just like a corset.
This book is not called "The Constitution of Style." Amendments are always allowed, and there are exceptions to every rule. If you can pull off a look that's on your don't list -- fantastic. This means you're learning to see what looks right on your body no matter what the experts say. And that, girls, is what real style is all about -- knowing what works best for you.
Excerpted with permission from "Sam Saboura's Real Style," by Sam Saboura. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House. Copyright © 2005 Sam Saboura.