An athletic body definitely has its perks. But like anything else, it too has its drawbacks. As a girl who has always been more muscular than skinny, I totally get it. So here’s to all the ladies out there who have muscular calves, a wide back, broad shoulders, a blocky waist and thick thighs. I say it’s time to embrace these amazing gifts that we were given!
Not so fast, right? I know —- much easier said than done. Although others may envy our sculpted arms, shapely legs and capped shoulders, we typically see them as obstacles to getting dressed in the morning. Denim, tall boots, structured blouses and blazers simply aren’t our friends. Am I right?
For years, I simply avoided wearing clothes and settled for my yoga pants — seriously! But eventually I became so frustrated that I decided to sign up for an Image Consulting course to learn how to dress what I thought was a “difficult” body type.
This course was absolutely life changing. Suddenly shopping was so much easier and I no longer dreaded getting dressed in the morning. Finally, after many years, I learned to embrace the body I was given.
If you struggle with finding the right styles to flatter your figure, be sure to check out my tips below:
- Minimizing wide shoulders and a large chest
Opt for tops with a V-neck rather than button ups or structured blouses. Loose fitting fabrics such as silk or cotton with stretch will be more comfortable. Also, go for jackets with less structure, like blazers that have stretch or are cotton-based. Boyfriend blazers with an unstructured collar are great! Here’s another tip: add a scarf or a long necklace to draw the eye away from your shoulders and down toward the midline of your body. This will create a longer, leaner look.
- Finding the right pair of tall boots
All of those years of ballet, soccer and running finally paid off. Now you have gorgeous calves that look super fly in heels.
On the downside, they can also make boot season a challenge. Your best bet is to go with a style that has an extended calf or elastic at the back. There are plenty of options out there. My favorite boot is the 50/50 tall leather boot by Stuart Weitzman. You can also opt for a bootie instead.
- How to wear a dress when you have a wide back
Picture this scenario: You are in the fitting room and you’ve got the dress on, sort of. Everything fits great but that darn zipper is stuck.
(This is the result of all that competitive swimming you did as a teen or those back-widening lat pull downs at the gym). I have to admit that this actually happened to me recently. I couldn’t get the dress over my head! Talk about embarrassing! I took this as my cue that the dress simply wasn’t meant to be.
When it comes to dress shopping, your best bet is to go with a style that has a lot of stretch. Marciano and Bebe have a lot of great options for curvy girls.
Here’s a tip that will save you a lot of time and frustration: Make friends with the salesperson and tell them exactly what you need. Stores like Saks Fifth Avenue have salespeople whom are knowledgeable about how each brand fits. Even though the price point may be higher, you may have more luck in finding something that you feel amazing in. Also, don’t forget to check the sale rack at the end of the season. You never know what gems you might find at a fraction of the price.
- How to fake a narrow waist
Girls who are muscular and athletic typically have a straight body type. This means we simply lack those “Kardashian-esque curves.” Let’s be honest though: a very small percentage of women have the highly sought after hourglass shape. With that said, there are still a few tricks you can use to fake a narrow waist. If you workout, you can start by building up your shoulders and back to give the illusion of a smaller waist. Or, you can simply belt your top/dress, tuck in your blouse, wear a pencil skirt or a pair of high-waisted pants. The key is to show off the smallest part of your waist.
- Yes you can wear jeans, girlfriend!
I know what you are thinking. Girls with muscular quads simply can’t wear jeans. Well, I’m here to tell you that you absolutely can! The key is to finding the right ones. And if you’ve got shapely legs, you should definitely show them off. I recommend skinny jeans with stretch or a straight fit that skim your legs. Add a pair of heels and your legs will look amazing! Alternatively, a wide leg or bootcut will also look great with a pair of heels. I suggest avoiding the boyfriend cut or cropped jeans unless you are pairing them with heels and/or you are tall. They tend to cut you off and add unwanted volume. Also, if you like the faded or distressed look, just note that although trendy, they will draw attention. So be mindful of where you want that attention to go 😉 There are many brands of premium denim that offer fits for different body types. A few of my favorites include: Citizens of Humanity, Paige, Fidelity, Rag and Bone and AG.