The Essential Must-Have Pieces for YOUR Body Type

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While there's no denying that we love (read: are addicted to) shopping, we've all experienced those days when the dressing room is a VERY frustrating place. You know the feeling: suddenly, that top that looked so cute on the hanger doesn't fall quite right, or those perfectly distressed jeans fit perfectly through the hips, but gap at the waist. Sound familiar? We feel you.

Luckily, we talked to fashion's fit and styling experts for the inside scoop on what works for your body type - whether you're petite, tall, curvy or straight-figured, these are the no-fail pieces that will work for your shape every time!

1. Petite
Essential Pieces for Your Body Type - Petite
For petite girls, the most flattering pieces are the ones that create the illusion of lengthening a short frame. Mariana Leung, a technical designer, fit consultant and founder of the blog Ms. Fabulous, says it all comes down to two essential basic pieces: jeans and heels.

"Short gals look great in skinny jeans that you can extend with a great heel. If there is one shoe that a petite girl needs, it would be nude platform heels," Mariana says.

When shopping for jeans, brands like Topshop that offer a petite inseam with a leg-lengthening high waist ($70, Topshop) are your best bet. When picking the perfect pair of nude heels to have on hand, look for a pointy toe ($36, Charlotte Russe) - it will create the illusion of extending your legs for miles! Other petite girl essentials? The vertical lines on V-neck sweaters ($45, ASOS) and A-line mini skirts ($58, Bloomingdales) add long lines to a small frame!

2. Tall
Essential Pieces for Your Body Type - Tall
When you're 5'8" or over, there really isn't a lot you can't pull off - for tall ladies, it's more about finding the right pieces to fit your longer proportions. To avoid the cropped look, shop jeans with long inseams - a straight leg ($70, Topshop) is timeless and perfectly balances out your leggy silhouette! Having a tall frame means you can rock the midi and maxi items we all wish we could pull off - a cozy maxi cardigan ($64, Lulu's) and statement-making midi skirt ($51, ASOS) are right up your alley!
3. Curvy hourglass
Essential Pieces for Your Body Type - Hourglass/Curvy
Genesis Chavez of curvy-girl shapewear brand Hourglass Angel says that when it comes to flattering a curvy figure, it's all about the waist.

"When you dress, you'll want to emphasize your narrow waist without adding too much extra bulk or attention to your bust or bottom. Wear attire that lengthens your torso and legs like high-waisted pants and form-fitting jackets," Genesis says.

On your next mall run, look out for waist-defining shapes, like a military-style coat ($108.50, Torrid) with structured tailoring or high waisted pants with leg-lengthening stripes ($35, ASOS). Dresses look killer on your curves too! For a major va-va-voom effect, a bright, floral printed wrap dress ($90, ASOS) is a must-have.

4. Curvy hips
Essential Pieces for Your Body Type - Curvy Hips
For ladies who are more on the pear shaped side with a curvier booty or hips, Christy Monaco, a stylist at The Stylist Online, says that pieces that add balance to your figure are key.

"These women should steer toward straight leg pants since these women often have trouble finding pants that fit through both the waist and hips. A-line and circle skirts fall beautifully over these women's hips," says Christy.

Adding balance to your figure doesn't mean having to wear plain black pants for the rest of your life! Straight leg pants with a subtle pattern in a dark color ($49.90, Zara) are just as flattering. For a more eye-catching look, a brightly hued skater skirt ($32.90, Forever 21) flatters your hips while still allowing you to wear bright colors. A patterned, statement-making sweater ($29.90, Forever 21) is the perfect way to balance out curvier hips by drawing extra attention to your top half!

5. Straight-figured
Essential Pieces for Your Body Type - Straight Figured

"For straight-figured women, the best clothing shapes are those that help create definition in the waist. Vertical necklines on tops and adding belts to either above or below the natural waist actually help with that effect. Also, ruching details or wrap dresses or tops work wonders for these women," Christy says.

If your goal is to create the illusion of curves, a chic belt that pairs with anything is essential - we love the effortless look of a tie belt ($27, ASOS)! A sweater with a V-neckline ($59, Urban Outfitters) creates an hourglass shape on your frame. To get the wrap shape like Christy suggests, consider trying an on-trend wrap mini skirt ($44, Boohoo) or a floaty, feminine blouse ($68, Nordstrom)!


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