Hi! Get ready because this is a fun one! Let’s jump right in to learning about what to wear with an hourglass body shape and how to style this shape to make it look it’s best!!! Even if you are not an hourglass shape you will probably enjoy learning about it!
The hourglass body shape is the most symmetrical body shape of them all. Most of us desire to have this shape and really, if you think about it, all of the other body shapes are trying to achieve this shape by dressing in a way that creates more balance or symmetry in the body.
The hourglass shape is when the bust and hips are the same measurement and the waist is a significant amount smaller and very defined. The difference between the measurements should be around 10 inches. If your measurement is close to that then I would say you could consider yourself an hourglass shape.
Weight gain tends to be all over instead of a certain part of the body.
If you want a printable list of items from this post you can download this PDF!
Before we get started I want to explain that these recommendations are meant to help you and not be hard and fast rules that you HAVE to follow! Use what recommendations work for YOU! Even though you might fit into this shape description you will still be shaped just a little bit different than someone else in this shape. Get what I’m saying? So, please take what works for you and just have fun with it. Fashion and style should be fun and not complicated so do what works for you and what you prefer.
Also, if you want to check out the previous post in this series called Body Shapes click the title below. And if you are visual and want to check out the video to this post I have provided that below as well!
Hourglass Shape Style Focus:
- Keep the waist defined.
- Balance everything and don’t over accentuate your curves.
- Go with the flow of your body.
- Be careful not to add bulk to your top, waist or bottom.
What & How To Style
Open necklines are the best options for an hourglass shape. The open neckline is more streamlined with the body shape and causes the eye to move down towards the waistline. It also keeps the top from looking too heavy and adding bulk to the top half of the body. This does not mean that you can’t wear round necklines, the open necklines just look the best.
- Round – style with a fun necklace to break up the neckline a bit.
- Off-Shoulder -not good with broad shoulders
- Boatneck – not good with broad shoulders
The sleeve should follow the curve of the arm and keep the body balanced. Adding extra bulk with puff or balloon sleeves is not recommended. If you add something minimal that comes away from the body just make sure you balance it with the lower part of your body.
- Any Length
- Bishop – has a gathered elastic or plain banded cuff and is fitted at the armhole but widens as it goes down the arm and reaches the cuff. This is a great option for a balloon sleeve look without being too overwhelming
- Cap – not great for broad shoulders
- Minimal Puff – small and simple to not add bulk to your shoulder area.
Blouses, Tops and T-Shirt Styles
The top, blouse and t-shirt styles for the hourglass shape should also keep in line with the body’s shape and not over accentuate the curves of the body. Any of these options should fit close to the body and not be too loose fitting.
The That’s A Warp outfit above shows a wrap top with slender sleeves paired with a pair of bootcut jeans and a heel to show off the larger opening in the leg. These are the perfect pairing to create a symmetrical look from top to bottom on an hourglass shape.
- Fitted Tees and Shirts – these should also stop at the hipline to go completely over the curve of the top half of the body.
- Wrap Tops
- Front Key Hole
- Fitted Sweaters – try to keep knits simple and light. Try to avoid too chunky styles.
- Smocked Top
- Fitted Button Shirt -(stops at the hip)
- Add A Belt
Other Tees & Tops
Jackets, Blazers & Cardigans
Jackets and blazers should skim over the body and look fitted. The jacket or blazer should have a curve at the waist to keep the waist defined. They also look best if they are not cropped and stop right at or past the hips.
The Easy To Work From Home outfit has a moto jacket paired with a jumpsuit that is perfect for the hourglass shape. The top is V-neck, the waist is belted and the legs are straight and somewhat loose. The moto jacket is slender and shorter in length which exposes the shape of the jumpsuit underneath and just adds a flattering layer to the outfit. Wear flats, heels or even platform sneakers if you dare!
- Single Button Fitted Blazer
- Moto or Leather Jacket
- Peplum Hem Jacket or Blazer
- Belted Blazer
- Utility Jacket with cinched waist
- Collarless and Fitted Blazer
- Denim Jacket
Other Jackets & Blazers
The best cardigans to wear for an hourglass shape are going to be ones that have more structure and are lighter weight knits. These styles usually also have a more fitted sleeve which would keep you in line with your sleeve recommendations.
I would recommend staying away from chunky and oversized knits so you don’t add bulk to your body. The length should stop around the hip area but if you wanted to wear a longer knee-length or duster style make sure it’s lighter material, a little sheer and skims over the body.
When choosing which style bottoms to wear, think about the top you have on and how you can balance the bottom to this top and maintain your curves. For example, if you have a fitted peplum top on, you could choose high-rise flare legs to help bring the bottom half into balance.
Mid-rise to high-rise bottoms for the hourglass body shape look the best and help keep the curve of the hips while still bringing in the waist. If you are short waisted a mid-rise pair of pants or jeans will probably look comparable to a high-waisted pair on someone who is not short waisted.
Pants and jeans will have some similarities but there are some style pants that do not exist in the jeans category so I am going to split them into two categories.
- High Rise
- Straight & Loose – not too flowy
- Paperbag Waist
- Mid Rise
I think if you keep the denim simple without lots of rips, front cargo style pockets or embellishments then you can wear just about any style. There are lots of Best Styles and a few Others that you can consider.
The Peplum Top & Jeans outfit above is one of my favorites. I love the one shoulder that creates an asymmetrical neckline, the tie waist and the peplum hem! I paired this top with skinny jeans and block heel sandals to create balance and a really great outfit for the hourglass shape. The dark wash skinny jeans are perfectly paired with the block heel to achieve that balance with the top that might appear a little heavier with the one sleeve.
- High Rise
- Mid Rise
Most lengths of skirts will work on the hourglass body shape. There are some styles that look the best which may also dictate a specific length but it normally would be up to you on what you prefer. I will say that super short skirts can make your body look out of proportion so be aware of that.
The Ready For Summer Outfit is so fun with a pink denim pencil skirt and a one shoulder tank top tucked into the skirt. Feel free to add a belt if you like but I love it just like it is shown.
- Tulip – belt-like at the waist and has a narrowing hemline. The usually have fabric that crosses in the front similar to a wrap skirt.
- High-Low Hem
I don’t want to make shorts too complicated so I am just giving you some basics of what to look for in a pair of shorts. Just keep in mind that you want to create good proportions and go with the flow of the body shape.
- Pull-On – Elastic Waist & Loose Legs
- Denim – high waisted and legs that fit and are not too loose fitting.
- Short Lengths shorts can be worn but just like skirts sometimes this can make the body look out of proportion.
The paperbag shorts in the On Trend For Summer outfit above is a great option for an hourglass shape. The shorts are high waisted and look best with something tucked in. The bodysuit stays tucked so is a great option to pair with your high waisted items. The bodysuit also has the square neckline that is perfect for the hourglass shape.
There are LOTS and LOTS of dress option that would work for an hourglass shape. The hourglass shape actually looks best in a dress.
I love a good t-shirt dress and when I saw this one I though it was the perfect t-shirt dress option for the hourglass shape. It’s cute and casual while still flattering the hourglass figure and is perfect for everyday wear.
- Fit & Flare
- Belted or Tie Waist
Jumpsuits and Rompers
When choosing a jumpsuit or romper, make sure you evaluate to top and the bottom. These both should still follow the recommendations from above for necklines, sleeves, tops and bottoms. Just remember to look for ones that easily flow over your curves and do not add too much bulkiness. They also need to have a cinched waistline with a belt or elastic to keep the waist defined.
- Belted, Tied or Elastic Waist
- Straight Or Loose Legs
- Simple on top and bottom
- Utility style if the waist is defined and it’s more fitted.
Other Jumpsuits & Rompers
These are my best suggestions for the hourglass body shape. Just keep in mind your body proportions when you are choosing what works for you. Also, stay true to your own personal style when you are choosing what to wear. If there is something you are not comfortable in and don’t like wearing, then honestly don’t wear it. You should feel comfortable and love what you wear and there are plenty of options that you should be able to find something that works well for you!
I enjoy watching your videos and have learned a lot. I have an hourglass figure. I am 5’5″ and my measurements are 39-30-39. So, I have a waist but it’s not that small. When I wear a blouse or knit top, should I leave it out or still tuck it in. I have a lot of pants and shorts that are low so maybe I need to buy higher wasted. I wanted your opinion.
Sorry for the late response! I took a few days off over the holiday weekend. Thank you so much for watching my videos! I am so glad you have learned a lot! Honestly, you need to be comfortable with what you are wearing and if leaving things untucked is better for you than just stay away from any really loose fitting tops that will distract from your shape. The low rise jeans don’t look as good with tops tucked into them but you could do a front tuck with your tops to visually bring the eye towards your waistline. Some tops like a wrap or peplum don’t need to be tucked in because they have a pretty shape. A high-rise works really well on your body shape as long as you are not short waisted. I would encourage you to try a pair on and tuck a top into them and see how it looks! The mid-rise jeans that are around a 9-9 1/2 inch rise might work as well. Thanks for reaching out and you can always email me with any other questions through the contact page at the top and very end of the main menu of my website. Have a great week!