I hear from women all the time that they want to put off shopping until they’re happy with their body. So instead of feeling good, they end up feeling frumpy–and not losing the weight.

The thing is, your body shape is your body shape. No matter how much weight you lose, you’re still going to have hips and breasts and a belly. Your arms might not be toned and your abs probably won’t look like a six-pack (unless your body fat is in the single digits).

Instead of feeling unhappy in your body, embrace your body type and start dressing for your shape. Once you nail this, it doesn’t matter what you weigh; what matters is how you dress yourself.

I’ve identified six different body types in my work with clients. Women in each of these categories has their own set of challenges when dressing, and I’ve found that each has her own set of self-conscious messages she tells herself when dressing.

Bottom-heavy. These women have butts, plain and simple. They carry their weight from their hips to mid-thigh and often have a difficult time finding pants that fit at both the waist and rear.

Not curvy. Often called boy-shaped, these women are small chested and have narrow hips and straight, undefined waists.

Front-heavy. If you carry your weight in your belly, you may consider yourself front-heavy. No amount of crunches seems to make that little stomach pooch go away.

Top-heavy. These are the big-chested women. And as much as they’re envied by other women, those with large chests have their own set of problems when trying to dress for their figures.

Too short or too tall. These women have a difficult time shopping off the rack. Either clothes need to be hemmed to fit properly or tall items fit awkwardly in other areas.

Proportional/hourglass. Even those who you think have it all still struggle finding styles they’re comfortable in. Either they’re not made for someone with hips and a waist or the styles aren’t flattering in other areas.

My best advice for shopping when you don’t love your body?

  • Don’t try to hide who you are. Loose and baggy clothes won’t hide your hips; they’ll make them look even bigger. The same goes for large breasts.
  • Bring attention away from the areas you want to hide. If you feel like your hips steal the show, wear bright and bold tops or accessories that draw attention away from your midsection.
  • Cinch your waist to create curves. If you want curves, make them yourself. Wear tops that fit around the middle or cinch your dresses with a belt to appear as if you have a slender waist.
  • Put undergarments to work. We live in a world of push-up bras and Spanks. Put them to use, if you’re feeling especially self-conscious about the body you have.

I know body image is something we struggle with our entire lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I encourage you to embrace what you have and shop wisely to dress for your body style.

If this is something you struggle with, I’d love to help. Schedule a call with me and let’s figure out what will make you look at feel your best.