14 Fashion Dares (For Every Body Type!)

We’re in a new year with fresh possibilities abound, so why stick to our same safe bag of style tricks? Sure, some bold new silhouettes may seem like a risk, but we think it’s better to have worn and tossed than to have never worn at all.

So, we’re debunking all the trend myths that are holding you back. Ahead, 14 pieces that are challenging for each and every shape — and the secrets to making them work for you. 

Remember: Dressing for your body type is a suggestion, not a life sentence. It’s time to shake things up, break old habits, and perhaps pleasantly surprise yourself with these must-try trends just for you.


Botticelli Babe

Challenge: Oversized sweaters
Why it works: Larger-cut clothing can make you look boxy and bigger than you really are, but it’s all about the right proportions. Keep your oversized sweater roomy, but not too tented. Pair it with a slim-fit pant, low booties, or pumps, or, to accentuate the curve of your waist, a thin accent belt. 

Acne Shore Waffle Sweater, $320, available at La Garçonne .



Challenge: Shift dresses
Why it works: These kind of dresses won’t exactly add Marilyn Monroe-like curves to your frame, but you can still stock up on these effortless wardrobe pieces. Go for options with colorblocking and graphics that will add dimension to your linear body. 

Marc by Marc Jacobs General Navy Multi Caroline dress, $285, available Stylebop.


Short Torso

Challenge: Cropped jackets
Why it works: Despite what the measurements tell you, you can pair short (waist) and short (top) without actually stunting your height. The trick is all in the color combination. Choose a bold jacket and dark or monochrome pieces underneath, so you won’t be able to tell where your waist begins or ends. It’s all a wonderful illusion. 

sass & bide The Reformer jacket, $450, available at sass & bide.



Challenge: Vests
Why it works: It can be quite difficult to find a vest that not only fits, but doesn’t struggle to fasten over your largest measurement. However, a long, tailored vest is just the trick. Choose a larger cut that falls past your hips, and use it as a layering piece that can hang open over any chic ensemble.

See By Chloé 1-button wool gillet, $279.13, available at MyWardrobe.


Petite & Compact

Challenge: Ruffled
Why it works: Ah, ruffles. They can be the perfect accent, or they can straight up swallow you whole. Please go with the former for your small frame and look for understated, demure ridges that act as a sweet, not obnoxious, add-on. 

Thakoon Cami Ruffle Tank Dress, $490, available at Shop Nouvelles.


The Pear

Challenge: Printed trousers
Why it works: Printed pants definitely have an eye-catching kind of effect. Don’t shy away from it. Pick a print that’s impactful, yet compact. It will have the same wow power but won’t make you feel like your derriere is on display. 

sass & bide The stitch-up pant, $290, available at sass &bide.


Small Chest

Challenge: Deep V-necks
Why it works: You don’t need tons of cleavage (or a push-up bra) to make a flowing, V-neck look as sexy as ever. And for the not so faint of heart, dare to choose an extra-deep plunging neckline — it’s a risqué move that you can totally pull off. 

Mason 2-Tone V Neck, $288, available at Otte.


The Apple

Challenge: Ruching
Why it works: Skip pieces with all-over bunching or gathering that’s directly on top of your largest measurement. When ruching is used minimally and lies on the bias, it can actually help whittle your middle. 

Helmut Lang Oxide Print Jersey Twist Dress, $398.76, available at MyWardrobe.


Short Legs

Challenge: Full, midi-skirts
Why it works: For most women, a midi-skirt falls about mid-calf, but that may not always be the case for you. Choose one that’s high-waisted (perfect for your longer torso) and don a pair of your highest, super-femme heels (without ankle straps is best) to give a boost of height and lengthen your legs.

Mara Hoffman Black Wool Applique Skirt, $520, available at Bona Drag.


Ballerina Body

Challenge: Statement coat
Why it works: We think statement coats are an amazing wardrobe addition for just about everyone. So, don’t let your tall stature let you shrink away from a wild pattern or bold color. Ever. Embrace your height and graceful limbs in a look-at-me kind of coverall. 

Sonia Sonia Rykiel Dalmatian spot-print coat, $221, available at Matches.



Challenge: Peplum
Why it works: Your shape has been blessed with the very same curves that peplum provides — a narrow waist and voluptuous hips. But this kind of top will only help emphasize what nature has already made possible. And, really, what’s wrong with that?

Topshop Sleevesless Boucle Peplum Top, $50, available at Topshop.


The Carrot

Challenge: Cropped pants
Why it works: Instead of extending the line of your leg, a cropped pant cuts off exactly at your skinniest measurement. Or rather, just above it. Try rocking the 7/8 length with a layered-in pair of socks (solid or patterned — your choice!) that meets the botton of the hem and your favorite choice of footwear. 

J.Crew Cafe Capri in wool, $34.99, available at J.Crew.


Swimmer’s Shoulders

Challenge: Embellished shoulders
Why it works: Show off your elongated and strong shoulders this year with a sophisticated amount of oh-so-pretty embellishment that gently scoops across your décolletage — we couldn’t think of a better way to do it.

Burberry Brit Embellished Wool-blend sweater, $595, available at Net-A-Porter.


Soccer Legs

Challenge: Fluted hem
Why it works: To show off your powerful gams, you may usually opt for a shortened hem. However, this flirty, flared, and slightly longer option that falls at your calves can be just as flattering. Try it and see.

Dorothy Perkins Magenta Frill Contrast Dress, $89, available at Dorothy Perkins.

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

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