ISO the Hourglass Silhouette

With 1950s fashions at the top of the trend list this fall, it only makes sense to stop for a minute and celebrate one super look, the hourglass silhouette, that really hit its stride during the decade.  Women that have hourglass shapes—Marilyn, Scarlett, Selma, America—tend to make jaw-dropping appearances, captivating everyone with their natural dimensions. 

Research indicates that this body type is actually the least common, and maybe that’s why it’s so coveted.  Only about 8% of women actually have a true hourglass silhouette, their bust and hips being roughly the same diameter with a waist curve at least nine inches smaller.  However, luckily for the majority of women, clever designers have devised myriad ways to tease out an hourglass silhouette.

Now, there’s no question that you can’t magically change your body’s natural shape, but with a little shopping savvy you can get the curves you’re after.  One of our favorite ways of supplementing hourglass curves is picking an evening gown with a dramatic mermaid silhouette A fit-and-flare style gracefully fills in any gaps you might have in your curves, and the more dramatic the flare of the skirt, the curvier you’ll appear.

Since an hourglass shape emerges when bust and hips are roughly the same size, your goal is to balance your bust and hips by either enhancing or minimizing what’s unbalanced.  There’s several things you can do to make this work for your shape.  If you have too much on top, look for a dress that plays down the bust and avoid plunging and low-cut necklines that draw attention to your chest.  If you’re rounder on the bottom, achieve balance with a dress that plays up your waist curve and gives way into a flowing skirt.  Of course, you can always try undergarments that shape, smooth, boost, and curve, and in this day and age, there are hundreds of products that get the job done in a simple, behind-the-seams way.

Year after year, the hourglass ceases to fall out of fashion.  And although those women with these natural curves tend to make us a lil’ green with envy, we can’t help but appreciate the beauty of this silhouette, too.  Long live the hourglass!


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