11 Types of Clothes That Give You a Perfect Hourglass Figure

A perfect hourglass figure is all about glorious curves. So, it’s important to make sure your clothes celebrate them effectively. Think highlight, not hide! The goal is to emphasize those enviable curves and play up your petite waist. Here are 11 types of looks that can take your body’s curves to the next level and create a perfect hourglass figure.

1. Strategic geometric looks

woman portrait wearing blue dress and sunglasses

Use geometric designs to your advantage. | iStock.com/patronestaff

Use geometric shapes and patterns to your advantage to help create the illusion of a perfect hourglass figure. What does that mean exactly? Well, look for lines that narrow at the waist, visually slimming that area even more.

2. Wrap dresses

Street Style Day 4 - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul Autumn/Winter 2016

Wrap dresses look good on everyone. | Timur Emek/Getty Images for IMG

The classic wrap dress is ideal for an hourglass figure as it naturally draws attention to your waist, thus accentuating your curvy shape. Bias-cut frocks are also a good bet. Look for details like waist ties, most commonly seen in wrap dresses, or ruching at the waist, which will likewise emphasize a beautiful shape. A V-neck is also great to flatter your bust and elongate your silhouette.

3. Belted sweater dress

elegant young lady in black dress

Add a belt to a classic sweater dress. | iStock.com/jacoblund

A bodycon sweater dress accessorized with a thin belt at the waist is a beautiful way to really draw attention to your hourglass figure. And feel free to experiment with colors and textures, just so long as you don’t go too bulky.

4. Fitted button-down or blouse

Single calm business woman with folded hands

A fitted button-down is super sophisticated. | iStock.com/UberImages

Wearing the right style of top gets your hourglass figure started on the right foot. Much like a wrap dress shows off your waist, so too should shirts and tops. Button-downs and blouses should be well-tailored and nip in at the waist for a fitted effect without adding any additional bulk to the chest area. Also, it’s best to go with soft fabrics, such as lightweight stretch cottons, jerseys, or silks rather than linen and stiffer, starched cottons.

5. Crop tops

woman in stylish vintage white blouse with denim jacket

Go for a slightly shorter top. | iStock.com/Ales_Utovko

Before you rule out a crop top, give the piece a chance. A cropped, stretch-knit, or decorative top worn with a high-waist skirt or pant exposes just a sliver of midriff and it’s incredibly flattering (and quite style-forward) for it. You’re showing off the thinnest place on your body, and the result is a perfect hourglass frame.

6. V-neck sweater

business woman with smartphone

V-necks elongate you. | iStock.com/ajr_images

Lightweight, figure-hugging sweaters are another hourglass-perfecting piece that you can wear with everything from jeans to a suit. An oval- or V-neckline will serve you (and your bust) best here, as turtlenecks and square necks can often cause the illusion of top-heaviness.

7. Belted coats and jackets

beautiful woman standing in the airport hallway

A belted coat gives you an hourglass figure. | iStock.com/CreativaImages

For outerwear, definitely seek out a well-tailored coat that has a defined waist in the form of a belt or a tie. Form-fitting A-line coats and trenches are both good options, whereas puffer coats and boxy, straight coats without a belt will hide your waist.

The same goes for suit jackets and blazers. You’ll want them to follow the line of your body and draw in at the waist. Shorter, cropped jackets often work nicely, too, as they highlight your waist.

8. High-waist, wide-leg trousers

Woman walking in a hurry on the sidewalk

Pick the right pants. | iStock.com/Sjale

When it comes to your lower half, the best thing you can do for your hourglass frame is to elongate your legs. So, when it comes to trousers, a high-waist, wide-leg trouser is both chic and flattering. Extra bonus points if the trousers have a belt, which will only accentuate your waist more.

9. High-rise, straight-leg jeans

woman in casual clothes, smiling

Straight-leg jeans always look good. | iStock.com/grahamkoskei

When it comes to jeans, the best thing you can do is just skip all the low-rise cuts as they can make your hips look wider and your legs shorter; the same goes for tapered legs as they can throw off the balance of an hourglass figure. Mid- to high-rise pairs, preferably ones that are wide-legged or straight cut in a stretch denim or fabric that follows your curves, will be the most figure-enhancing for an hourglass silhouette.

10. A-line, knee-length skirts

brunette woman in elegant vintage blouse with bow

Try an A-line skirt. | iStock.com/Alter_photo

You’ll want to favor skirts that sit high at your waist and hug your hips before draping naturally downward. Straight pencil skirts and fuller A-line skirts can both work well for hourglass figures. With straight skirts, just make sure the fabric stretches and drapes well. Thicker, stiff fabrics are less forgiving and can create boxiness, which you don’t want. Ruffles, pockets, and other embellishments at the hips should also be avoided, as this will create bottom-heaviness that ruins an hourglass silhouette.

11. Shapewear

Blue bikini Underwear

Shapewear is a smart choice for all women. | iStock.com/nuttapong

The right shapewear is essential for any body type, but it can be crucial to enhancing an hourglass frame — especially when you’re wearing items such as sweater dresses. Contouring shapewear will further nip in your waist, boost your bust, and smooth out any lumps and bumps you want to de-emphasize. Consider it your secret weapon to playing up those killer curves.