At The Shirt Company, we love to preach body positivity and health at any size. We encourage you to love yourself even when you’re having the most Bridget Jones of moments – battling with your thighs, huddling under your duvet with chocolate, and drinking wine in pints – and ask you: What more could you accomplish if you stopped focussing on your size?
There’s a thread of old feminist thought that says taking pleasure in being admired for the way we present ourselves just perpetuates our own oppression. But now, feminism has evolved to include (and embrace) feminine frivolities like heels and lippies and showing off our waists – whether or not our waist sizes conform to society’s often unrealistic standards or not.
So, we’re here to help you show off your beautiful shape without succumbing to feeling bad about your body, but instead embracing it! Autumn/Winter 2018 is full of new clothes inspired by empowering themes, but sometimes it’s an old feminine favourite that can feel like the biggest wardrobe win: We’re talking about defining your waist and showing off your figure — without any pressure to hit the gym — just as it is.
When you define your waist, you create a sense of balance between your shoulders or bust and your hips, whatever your size. Here are our top four tips to help you do just that… So go forth and look and feel beautiful!
These babies do more than just hold up your jeans…
It doesn’t matter if your feminine figure happens to be straight up and down – a belt will do the hard work, giving you the look of a defined waist even if there’s nothing there!
Creating this definition is as easy as nailing the right belt for your body. If you’re on the slimmer side, choose a skinnier belt that sits comfortably under your bust line to create the look of a sleeker, longer torso (like the top image). If you’re on the curvy side, a chunkier belt looks super sexy worn just slightly under the waistline to balance your proportions.
Alternatively, a belted shirt is a chic way to work this style into your wardrobe. Featuring a belted waist and covered buttons, styles such as our Josephine shirt will give a shapely feminine look. Contrast the flared silhouette with a sleek pencil skirt for a sophisticated look.
Well-placed prints draw attention to your most slender bits with clever colouring and some eye-catching arrangement. The general rule of thumb is: if you are petite, more dainty prints will suit you better. If you’re a fuller-figured lady, bolder prints are your best option.
Wearing a well-fitted printed skirt or pants with a white shirt, such as our crisp cotton Colleen, or our infintiely practical jersey shirt, Patricia, works as a visual trick to draw attention to one’s waist while making it look smaller. Prints create the illusion of volume, so sticking to one print on the bottom paired with neutral on top will help to balance proportions.
Add a Blazer with Bite
Introducing the hardest-working piece of clothing in any modern woman’s wardrobe: the blazer.
Immune to come-and-go trends, the blazer is a favourite staple of style icons like Meghan Markle, Mossy, Olivia Palermo, Victoria Beckham, Gwynnie, and Ines de la Fressange (we could go on!) and adds a polished touch to any look, whether that’s paired with distressed denim or a button-up blouse for the office.
A well-tailored blazer can also work wonders for the female figure. Find one that’s specifically built for feminine forms, featuring a nipped in waist, a structured silhouette, or innovative darting that allows the fabric to take on a shape that fits your body well. The right one will add definition to your upper body.
Wrap Yourself in Style
The wrap shirt? A blouse of this brilliance could only have been designed by a female, and by a female in the 70s (that would indeed be Diane von Furstenburg in 1974, when her figure-hugging jersey wrap dress became a cult item – see photo with gorgeous mutt!).
Not only is the wrap style minimal and effortless, it is also astronomically elegant. Contemporary iterations like von Furstenburg’s leather wrap dress as seen on Olivia Palermo (below) put the classic waist-emphasising theory to use with fresher results.
Work a waist-defining wrap shirt or dress into your wardrobe and you’ll be sure to rack up all the likes.
Our easy-fit Miranda (pictured above in ivory) is a prime example – and your new best friend for date night, with a plunging neckline, high-contrast piping accents, a layered wrap front, and romantic bell sleeves. Alternatively, our best-selling Abigail works wonders at work, and looks fabulous teamed with fitted trousers for a smart-meets-sexy style win!