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.
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.
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.
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.
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.