Conventionally flattering outfit proportions create a streamlined silhouette with a long leg line. They celebrate the female form by accentuating the curve on the bust and hip and defining the waist. At one point in time conventionally flattering proportions were the only way to look stylish. Outfit proportions that strayed from the benchmark were deemed less flattering, or even unflattering.

My word, how things have changed. 

Now we’re living in a fashion era that is ultra accepting and encouraging of all sorts of outfit juxtapositions and silhouettes. Less conventional proportions that are just flattering enough are equally stylish and modern. In fact the edgier and more fashion forward the outfit, the less conventionally flattering the proportions. We’re trading off accentuating the hourglass female form in order to look more interesting, and be more creative with our wardrobe items.  

And it’s in this tradeoff between flattering and edgy outfits that you will define your own figure flattering priorities. You’ll wear less conventionally flattering outfits up to the point that the most important proportions of the outfit — your priorities — are still flattering to your eye. And this is where the PERSONAL in personal style becomes all important because figure flattering priorities differ between people, and your own priorities may change over time. 

I did a bit of soul searching when I revisited my own figure flattering priorities and discovered that it’s more than just a visual thing. It’s also an emotional thing. I’ll wear an outfit that is less conventionally flattering because it’s fun, trendy, modern, unexpected and refreshing to step outside the box. But I won’t wear something that makes me feel physically unattractive and out of control just to be daring, fashion forward and distinctive.

Here are some specific examples:

  • Visually, creating structure around my shoulder neck point is a figure flattering priority of mine because if I don’t, my neck looks too long and my narrow shoulders disappear in the outfit.
  • My second priority is to create a regular-to-long leg line, which is a little trickier when you prefer to wear flats.
  • And third, I stay away from outfits that are overly drapey and oversized. As a control freak, an outfit with a good amount of structure makes me feel in control of the things around me. I lose that sense of control in an outfit that is too unstructured.

Over to you. What are your figure flattering priorities? Do you wear less conventionally flattering silhouettes and outfit combinations in order to look more edgy and different? Or do you feel your best when dressed in a more conventionally flattering way.