No matter how much exercise I do, or how much weight I gain or lose I will always be a girl with curves.

It’s just the way I’m shaped. I have a small waist and larger hips. Broad shoulders and a bust. And that means that sometimes I have difficulty getting clothes that fit me perfectly.

I’ve also learnt over the years that some styles suit me better than others. It’s not that I can’t wear them. No ones stopping me. It’s just that I when I look in the mirror I feel happier in certain styles than others. Well fitted or body con dresses, v necklines, 3/4 length sleeves, fitted waists and A-line or full (but not too gathered) skirts that fall just below the knee are my go to clothing that I can throw on without thinking about it.

Sometimes, though, there are clothes that don’t fit those categories that are just TOO CUTE and I must have them anyway. There’s always the risk that those things might stay unloved in the back of my wardrobe because every time I try them on I look in the mirror and go “Ugh”. But fortunately I’ve learnt a few tricks over the years to make clothes fit better, and suit, my curvy shape a little more.

So today I thought I’d share some tips, or what I believe they’re calling hacks these days, on how to make your clothes fit and flatter.

The Not Fitted Dress

If you’ve a curvy shape you might find that fitted dresses from a lot of mainstream shops don’t quite fit on the waist.

Boo.

Fitted Dress without belt

Oh no, what a disaster, how can we fix it? This dress is just too beautiful to leave behind!

Well, you could get it tailored. but if you want to wear it RIGHT NOW, just grab yourself a belt. Wide elastic belts work, but I find change the look of a dress more than adding a skinny belt does. A skinny belt draws attention to your waist. Any extra fabric that might blouse over the top looks more like a design feature and less like an ill fitted dress.

Fitted Dress with Belt

The Too High Waistband

Oh yeah, as well as curves, I also have a long body. This means that I’ll often find dresses that fit fine, but the waist band is just a bit too high. It makes me look like I’m wearing a kids party frock, not really the look I’m going for.

high waist band without belt

This one is where your wide belt comes into its own. I use both a leather obi belt from ASOS and a selection of elasticated belts to fix this problem.

Put the belt on so that the top of the belt just covers the waistband and you’ve automatically dropped the waistline a couple of inches.

High waist band with wide belt

The Baggy Cardigan

Brr, it’s a bit chilly out today, better take a cardigan. I often find that even fitted and cropped cardigans sometimes don’t look quite right. The sort of cardigan that’s loose enough to wear over a dress can hang open and hit at the wrong point on your hip making you look boxy. Unless it’s exactly the right length even wearing it done up isn’t always a guarantee of a great fit.

Too Baggy Cardigan

But never fear! You can turn any waist length cardigan into a fitted wrap cardigan, by using a brooch.

Here I just pulled the left side across to the right, then pulled the right side over the top and pinned it on my left hip with a brooch. I find this stays put. You could pin both sides if it didn’t feel secure and it slipped while you wore it.

Wrap cardigan with belt

The No Neck Neckline

There’s a reason that I started cutting the necks out of t-shirts and turning them into Bardot tops.ย Those high round necklines just don’t suit me. They make my bust look odd and my neck look short (it is short, but I don’t want to advertise that thanks, I want to pretend I am gazelle like)

This particular top isn’t *too* bad. Most of my really round neck ones have ended up in the sale pile in the end, but it still looks better with a necklace. I also use this with roll necks or polo necks because I love the look, but still look stubby necked!

As you can see this works both with a chunkier necklace, like my Nanas vintage beads, and something more delicate, like this ceramic deer pendant from PinPin Finds. The basic idea is that the necklace has the same effect as a v neck top, visually elongating your neck and breaking up the bust line.

 

So there you have it, 4 tips toย broaden your clothing choices, if you’re a long-bodied, curvy-hipped, short-necked weirdo like me!

Wardrobe tips and tricks to make your clothes fit and look better. No sewing required!