How to Dress: No Nonsense Advice for the Discerning Dresser



I think I need to start this article with a disclaimer: when you hear the phrase ‘how to dress for your body shape’, I know what comes to mind. Words like ‘apple’, ‘pear’ and ‘ruler’, that’s what. But don’t worry this isn’t one of those articles. I won’t be laying down the laws of dressing an hourglass figure. I am going to be giving some nice, friendly advice that can be applied to everyone, regardless of their size and shape.

Yes there are four categories of ‘body shape’ and, yes we mostly all fall into one of those categories, but let’s face it, life’s too short to follow boring rules like dressing for your shape all the time. For example I have a killer rack but I don’t like to rub them in other peoples faces so my favourite thing to wear is a button up shirt buttoned all the way up. But according to the “rules” as an hourglass lady I should be wearing scoop neck tops all the time to emphasise my best assets. Well I am sorry rules, I just don’t like scoop neck tops.

So here is my advice on how to dress no matter who you are:

Dress for Your Body

This is the closest I am going to come to telling you how to dress for your body shape. It is of the utmost importance to consider the shape your individual body when you get dressed in the morning. Nothing is worse than seeing someone with a luscious behind squeezing it into an extra small pair of jeans because in their minds they have the bottom of a pre-pubescent school girl. Take the time to get to know your body and what you like about it, then wear clothes the right size to flatter it. Cut the label out if you don’t want to admit you are really a size 14; do not squeeze yourself into a 12 just to stroke your ego. You will look like an overstuffed sausage, and nobody wants that.

Dress the Whole Package

An amazing outfit can be completely ruined  by unkempt, greasy hair or a pair of shoes with a hole so big your little toe pokes out. You absolutely must consider your whole body as a package. Doing your hair, painting your nails, coordinating your socks with your tie, are all little touches that can really pull a look together. Instead of hearing ‘Gosh, you look nice today (insert your name here)’ from your ever supportive mum, you will hear ‘Gosh (put your name here too), you look so incredible today! Where did you get that sweater/lipstick/pair of amazing glitter shoes’ from strangers on the street.

Dress for the Occasion

This is a mistake I am often guilty of. The number of times I have put something on for work to have my boyfriend tell me it isn’t really acceptable are countless. Sometimes I am just too bold and I need to reign my style back. A job interview is not the right place to experiment with that glitter eye shadow palette you have been dying to try out. Your BFF’s wedding is not the occasion for your most attention grabbing designer gown. If you aren’t sure if something is ‘too much’ to look professional or what outfit is appropriate for a casual weekend BBQ, ask a friend for advice. After all what is a friend for if not to stop you looking like a fool in your most alluring party dress at a serious work dinner?

Dress to Have Fun

Getting dressed isn’t one of those boring, mundane daily tasks like brushing your teeth or taking care of the kitty litter. Getting dressed is fun. Putting together an outfit is a chance for you to express yourself and be creative. Clash those prints, experiment with fancy headwear, try a floral print pocket square. Basically don’t be that guy wearing the same grey suit every day, show some personality. Unless your personality is that of a grey suit then by all means go ahead.

Dress for You

Don’t dress for your significant other or to one-up that bitch in the office who looks good in absolutely everything, dress to make yourself feel good. This is the number one most important thing to consider when putting together an outfit. Does this fuzzy pink jumper with 3D cats and mice all over it make me happy even though my boyfriend says it is disgusting? If the answer is yes, you damn well wear it anyway.


Remember fashion is meant to be fun, embrace it, use it for the tool it is, a means to make you look and feel even more amazing than you actually are.

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

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