Women's Style Inspiration  / Dressing for Your Shape  / How to Dress For Your Hourglass Figure

How to Dress For Your Hourglass Figure

If you’d describe yourself as a “curvy gal,” this article is for you.

Model with an hourglass body shape
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There’s something special about an outfit that’s meant to fit your unique body type. This guide will show you the best ways to highlight an hourglass-shaped body simply by choosing the right clothing. Once you have all the information, dressing your shape becomes easy. Keep reading for clothing suggestions, style tips, and general guidelines to help you think like a stylist and create outfits you can’t wait to wear. 

What is an hourglass figure?

Here are some characteristics that often apply:

• Your shoulders and hips are about equal width.

• You have a defined waist.

• You likely have a larger bust and derrière.

• You describe yourself as curvy.

The hourglass is just one of the body types we’re highlighting. (Think you might actually be an applepearrectangle, or something else? Watch our body measurements video to find out. We also have style tips for tall body typesplus sizes, and petite figures.)

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3 tips to dress for your body type

If this sounds like your shape, we’re excited to teach you the best ways to dress your frame. But first things first: Here are three all-encompassing ideas every body type should keep in mind.

1. Balance it out

Body shape is almost entirely based on your bone structure—not your weight. Use your outfit to balance your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.

2. Draw the eye

Use lines to focus the eye where you want it to go. They can help you create curves, lengthen, or emphasize your favorite parts of your body.

3. Think about color

Your eye is also drawn to patterns and light, bright colors more so than solid black or navy. Keep this in mind when choosing separates.

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What to wear if you have an hourglass body shape

Now that we’ve established a baseline, let’s get specific. Here are the best tops, jackets, pants, dresses, and accessories to complement an hourglass-shaped frame.

Best tops for an hourglass figure

The good news: Fitted and structured tops look naturally great on your frame.


1. Wrap
The perfect top to highlight the good stuff. (We mean your waist!)


2. Keyhole
A subtly sexy detail to accentuate your curves without being too revealing.


3. V-neck
This neckline draws the eye toward a defined midsection.


4. Peplum
This top mirrors your shape—a defined waist with volume in the shoulders and hips.

Best jackets for an hourglass figure

Your jacket choice is determined by what you want to highlight: your waist, your curves, or your legs.


1. Moto
A classic moto is a great fall layering piece with some edge.


2. Belted
Draw even more attention to your waist with a belted detail.


3. Cropped
The hem lands above your hips to accentuate your bottom half.

Longline belted

4. Longline belted
A long jacket creates the illusion of longer legs.

Best jeans for an hourglass figure

Show off your hourglass waistline with this wardrobe essential.


1. High-waisted
This rise accentuates your defined waist for a flattering fit.


2. Flared
This silhouette beautifully balances curvier hips and thighs.


3. Wide-leg
Like flared jeans, this style lends proportion to your lower half.


4. Skinny
A close-fitting style shows off your natural curves.

Best pants for an hourglass figure

What do all four have in common? They showcase your waist.


1. Belted-waist
If you haven’t guessed by now, belts are your best friend.


2. Stretchy
These pants follow your curves for a more comfortable fit.


3. Flowy
This style accentuates your waist and leaves room for your curvy hips.


4. High-waisted
A flattering and comfortable rise for women of all ages.

Best dresses for an hourglass figure

From professional to casual to special-occasion options, these are the best hourglass flattering dresses to look for.


1. Jumpsuit
Okay, not a dress, but jumpsuits still show your curves and add volume to your lower half.


2. Wrap
Creates a focal point to a typically loose-fitting garment.


3. Fit-and-flare
This dress is constructed to highlight the waist and flow effortlessly from your hips.


4. Sheath
It may be form-fitting, but this style leaves enough room for comfort.

Stylish accessories for an hourglass figure

It’s all about where you want people to look.


1. Belts
If your clothing doesn’t give you a defined waistline, a belt can do the trick.

Pointy-toe shoes

2. Pointy-toe shoes
A pointed toe always makes your legs look longer—whether heeled or flat.

Statement earrings

3. Statement earrings
Wear your favorite pair to pull attention toward your gorgeous face and neckline.

Nude pumps

4. Nude pumps
On top of pairing well with everything in your closet, nude shoes are leg-lengthening.

Best swimwear for an hourglass figure

Go for structured pieces that accentuate your waist.

Bold prints

1. Bold prints
Tropical patterns play up your curves without overpowering your frame.

High-waisted bottoms

2. High-rise bottoms
Put the spotlight on your waist with this vintage-inspired style.

Constructed tops

3. Constructed tops
Underwired bikini tops provide much-needed security.

Rouched one-pieces

4. Rouched one-pieces
Hugs your curvy shape and supports it.

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3 outfit ideas for an hourglass body

General tips are great to have in your back pocket when shopping, but seeing them in action makes it easier to visualize what will look best on your frame. Check out three outfits we’ve built from the items suggested above that look great on an hourglass figure.

Everyday outfit

We love a cool third piece, particularly a moto jacket in an unexpected color. This pale, dusty rose can work with many things in your closet. Don’t believe us? Look how well it matches an olive V-neck cami, statement earrings, and snakeskin belt. The jacket is not the center of attention, but it’s definitely complementary. Same with a classic pair of dark, skinny jeans—both are excellent (and flattering) staple pieces.

Sophisticated workwear

Have a presentation or big meeting on the books? A power outfit helps give you confidence. A printed blouse with high-waisted pants and a comfortable pair of heels is a foolproof combo. Keeping in mind this outfit is for the workplace, a keyhole neckline that draws the eye up without showing too much skin is perfectly appropriate. We finished the outfit with pointed-toe shoes and tapered pants to create a long line from your waist to your toes.

Out on the town

When dressing an hourglass frame, we like to focus on the bust, waist, and hips—a jumpsuit showcases all three of them. The open neckline draws the eye to your collarbone and bust, a fitted bodice shows your curves, and a wide leg adds volume and comfort to the look. Not to mention it’s the perfect piece to carry a bold print. If you’re making a statement with pattern, keep the accessories pretty neutral.

Want to know more?

We’ve compiled answers to some FAQs about dressing an hourglass body shape. Click the questions below for more style advice.

How do I dress conservatively with an hourglass figure?
Are shorts flattering on an hourglass shape?
How do I find a button-down that fits my chest?
Does loose or flowy clothing look good on an hourglass?
How can I find jeans for an hourglass figure?
Should I wear tight clothes to show off my shape?

It’s up to you how you want to highlight your hourglass-shaped body, so choose outfits based on your level of comfort. You already have curves and a defined waist, so look for clothes that work with your body to complement your natural shape.

Want more style tips? Visit our other body shape pages and find out which looks work best for your frame. 

Find your new favorite must-haves with personal styling.