How to Pick the Perfect Jacket for Your Body Shape

Spring is a great time to stitch up a new jacket or two, because the fabrics are fun and they don’t need heavy linings or insulation.

Consider four body types, labeled for convenience with geometric shape names, and some fashion-forward jacket shapes that are flattering to each type. As you choose favorite styles remember that it’s best to pick shapes that draw attention to your best feature. A jacket should always fit smoothly over your curves with room for clothing underneath. Try to avoid over-fitting your smallest features. These jacket shape suggestions will work if you are curvy, thin or somewhere between.

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Left to right: hourglass, triangle, inverted triangle, oval

In a classic hourglass shape, the upper body and lower body are similarly proportioned and the waist is smaller. To flatter an hourglass figure, choose jacket styles with princess fitting lines that allow the jacket to gracefully accentuate your waist while fitting smoothly in the shoulders, bust and hips. Belted jackets also highlight a small waist as it flatters your other curves.Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 10.15.32 AM How to Pick the Perfect Jacket for Your Body Shape

A triangular body shape is scaled smaller in the upper body than in the lower body. Sometimes the difference is a couple of sizes. Choose jacket styles that fit cleanly in the upper body with darts or princess lines, and then extend into a designed flare or peplum below the waist to accommodate a fuller hip. Or choose a cropped jacket that features well-designed slits at the hem. Feature a fun closure at or above the waist to bring up the eye.

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An oval shape has little to no definition at the waist and often the hips and shoulders are scaled smaller than the abdomen. Choose styles that fit cleanly on the natural shoulder and bust area but don’t hug the center of the body. A cardigan jacket or kimono-band style falls softly to the hips. Or choose a soft bomber-style jacket that extends below the waist. Keep closures smooth and simple, such as a zipper or frog, to reduce bulk in the mid-section.

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Inverted triangles are scaled larger in the upper body and narrow to the lower body, again often with a differential of several sizes between the top and bottom. Flatter an inverted triangle with jackets that feature soft shaping in the full shoulder and long vertical seams that smoothly taper through the hips. Raglan sleeve cardigan styles and jackets with square armholes and narrow shoulder lines keep the upper body minimized. Narrow lapels, funnel necks and kimono bands that draw the eye to the face are also good choices.

Screen Shot 2018 01 29 at 10.15.51 AM How to Pick the Perfect Jacket for Your Body Shapeby Rae Cumbie

 How to Pick the Perfect Jacket for Your Body Shape
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3 Responses to How to Pick the Perfect Jacket for Your Body Shape

  1. Jeanne Jabour says:

    For the oval shaped figure, the absolutely last shape to wear should be a bomber jacket which puts added bulk with the gathers and horizontal band circling a rotund middle or hip area! This shape is not at all flattering. Instead the eye should be drawn to some line or design element that causes the eye to focus on the design element (like the bow tied in the first jacket this author suggests) or shape. For example, exaggerate the overlapping front piece of a jacket by cutting the edge from the neckline to the hem into a “>” shape (a “V” shaped edge that is turned on its side “”) with a decorative button closure in the bottom of the V. This tricks the eye to follow the shape instead of seeing the rounded middle underneath the shape.

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