Apparel fashion trends are mainly about colors, fabrics, patterns and silhouettes, among other design elements, and any of these four basic components can make or break your look depending on your type of shape.  People are also of four basic shape types, and each one can be styled differently to achieve the most flattering look.

Going way back to Project Runway week 3, models on stilts show a perfect example of how styles work with one’s shape. Take for instance, the work of designers Julia and Joshua.  With daddy-long legs, as seen in the extreme lithe rectangular shape of the moco-jumbies, vertical stripes made a dramatic effect.. These models exhibited the long lean and straight shape, which would look wider if camouflaged with lots of fabric. If one should wish to use stripes, it can be used to detract from an unwanted look and enhance what you desire instead. You can get very creative.

In this case, more width can be achieved by optical illusion when placing the stripes horizontally as opposed to placing them lengthways. Vertical stripes can be a solution for the plus size person wanting to look slimmer. The red number created by the winners Laura and Anthony detracted from the long and narrow silhouette through their styling with the voluminous pants and over skirt.

Choosing the right style for your shape is all about balancing your figure proportions with correct style lines, fabric patterns and color choices or combinations. You ladies with the hourglass figure, where the bust and the hips are approximately the same measurements, you have it made since you can wear almost any style and it is very easy to find your size..

If you are a Pear shape women, or “slim-thick”, typical of most Caribbean and Latino women where the hips are wide and the bustline smaller, if you desire, you can create more width to your top through the use of lighter or brighter colors, while making the hips appear smaller by using darker colors,   though many may be guilty of accentuating the larger curves with bold color choices such as white.

Quite the opposite to the pear-shape, is the Inverted or full-top shape, full-busted women with a narrower width at the hips.  If you fall under this category, most likely your legs may be may be slimmer as well.  Choose styles that add width to your hips and legs, no pencil-pants here! If your ankles are thin, choose hem lengths that stop at the knee, the widest part of your calves, or covering the ankles, no where in-between.  Stripes and styles lines look best when they are lengthways or diagonal at the top only.  Where possible, chose styles that are close-fitting at the top from shoulder to waist, widening out at the hips, such as princess-lines and flared skirts or flared pants. Alternately, you can chose styles that taper freely from the bust to the upper hip and flaring out below.

When you have a very full waistline, as seen in the Round or square figure, keep the focus away from the stomach area by refraining from the use of belts and lines across.  Accentuate the positive which is usually the shoulders or bust, and use stripes lengthways, diagonally, or in a downward “V”.  It is wiser to choose fashion trends that are only suitable for your shape than to follow one that emphasizes the bad. Do not use printed fabrics that place large patterns around the waistline.

Fashion styles come and go, one season your silhouette may be in, the next season it may be out, but you can always make up for it by concentrating on the colors of the season while keeping your own style, for it’s an evolving fashion world, where individual style is fast becoming an acceptable trend of today.