Hi gals! I mentioned to my email subscribers yesterday that I was spending the day with a friend helping her pick out some new clothes for her specific body shape. We had a blast shopping together. And I actually ended up being more help than I had imagined, after doing my research and getting my cheat sheet prepared. Ha! So today I thought I’d share with you all my attempt at styling the oval shaped body for fall.
The game plan
Last year I did a style series called Dressed for My Day…My Way, in which I nailed down how to distinguish the various body shapes and how to dress them. So you might want to check out those posts if you haven’t already. And if you’re an email subscriber and have the code (it’s in the daily emails) you can access the freebies that go with these posts.
Everyone seemed to enjoy that series and I got a lot out of researching and writing it. But yesterday was my first attempt at dressing a body shape different from my own hourglass or X. I had such fun doing it that I think I’m going to put together style ideas for each body shape over the next couple of weeks. These will be posts like today’s, in which I provide style “bulletin boards” with fall fashions for the rectangle (H), hourglass (X), triangle (A) and inverted triangle (V). Today I’m sharing a set of style bulletin boards for the oval (O) shape.
My friend is an interior designer and needed outfits that look professional, current and youthful. She’s in her 40s and a recent empty-nester. Like me, she identifies as a classic style essence, but doesn’t want to look frumpy or matronly. To earn her clients’ trust, she needs to look modern and even a little edgy. But comfort is important to her, too, since she frequently has to get down on her hands and knees or up on ladders.
Before we began shopping, my client (well, that’s what I’m calling her in this post!) and I talked about some rules for dressing her body shape. We also talked colors. She chose black, grey and brown as her neutrals. She selected red, blue and potentially teal as her signature colors.
Basically, an oval body shape is characterized by little to no waistline. Hips and shoulders are generally in proportion, but the middle is slightly wider or more pronounced. This is actually the rarest body type, and often an oval shape will turn into an H or rectangle shape as she loses a little weight. But the style tips are similar for both body shapes.
Often, but not always, an oval shaped woman also has a large bosom. So there’s the need to work around that, too.
The Cheat Sheet
Before I met my client at the mall, I reviewed my own blog posts from last year and came up with a cheat sheet for our day. Here are the rules we tried to shop by for the oval body shape:
- bypass the waist – don’t belt or draw attention there
- draw focus to the face and legs
- look for open necklines, preferably v-necks
- stay clear of closed or high necklines
- look for empire waistlines, just below the bosom
- look for dresses or skirt hems to finish at the knee in order to show off calves.
- pants & jeans should fall in a straight line from hips – no skinny jeans or tapered pants
- no pleats at the waistline
- select straight, bootleg or trouser fit jeans and pants
- wear heels if possible or pointy toe flats
- select blouses with soft drape in the front
- avoid pocket detail near the waist or hips – no cargo pants
- absolutely NO tapered leg styles of pants
- look for longer line jackets and cardigans that skim past the waist
- wear jackets and cardigans open to create slimming vertical lines
- wear brighter cardigan or jacket over darker tops or dresses
- steer completely clear of horizontal lines – waist bands and stripes and seams
- utilize the column of color under a third piece
- put details above the bust to draw attention to face
- utilize vertical lines through the torso when possible
- put detail under the knees with interesting hemlines or shoes
- place horizontal lines at shoulders or just under bust
- look for high rise jeans for support and slenderizing shape, but you won’t tuck into them
That’s basically the very list I jotted down on notebook paper and carried with me for our shopping trip. It really helped to have those “rules” as we looked at things.
Style Bulletin Boards for O or Oval Shape Body
Let’s look at some of the types of outfits my client and I put together. In fact, some of these are the exact items she purchased. But all of these items are appropriate for the O or oval shaped body.
All of these are shoppable bulletin boards! Just shop through the captions or the shopping widgets below them. These are affiliate links, so if you purchase anything through them I potentially earn a small commission, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting what I do here!
It’s amazing the difference straight leg jeans make for the oval shaped body. And the good news is that styles have moved that direction. Even cropped or ankle length straight jeans work beautifully, especially since it’s smart to draw attention to the lower legs. (Oval shaped bodies often have beautiful legs!)
Go wild with your shoes! Because my client needs comfortable shoes, but also wants to look current and fashionable, we chose wedge heeled sneakers. (She actually got taupe or black, but these would be great for a second pair.) Fun!
I titled this bulletin board wrong. It’s supposed to be Office Professional for the Oval Shape this Fall. Oops. Several of these items are Nic & Zoe. It turns out that most if not all of Nic & Zoe styles are absolutely perfect for the oval shape. I own and love these pants, so yes, other body shapes can wear them, too. But the straight leg is perfect for oval shapes. And they do a great job with flowy tops, geometrics and toppers for the oval shaped silhouette, too. They’re a little pricey, but do go on sale occasionally. And these are versatile pieces that get the job done.
This geometric faux wrap sweater will look gorgeous worn loosely over this straight silhouette skirt. It creates pleasing diagonal lines right where you need them. And the skirt hem hits at the knees to show off those gorgeous legs. Add interest with leopard print heels and big earrings.
Also, if you choose to wear dainty necklaces instead of a large statement necklace, layer on several. This necklace set works beautifully.
An open neck is usually best for the oval shaped silhouette, but if you must go with a closed neckline add a v-shaped necklace. This dress works well because of the distracting geometrics and the ruching at the waistline. Also the hemline is perfect. The shoes also come in nude if you’d prefer.
I really meant to add this long black cardigan to this bulletin board. Or a long cardigan of a different color would work well, too.
Finally, I have one last easy casual look for the oval shaped silhouette. This look would still work well for my client on work days. But it’s also perfect for more casual outings.
I really enjoyed helping my friend pick out some new clothes and put together outfits. So I’d like to do it again! If you have a different body shape – inverted triangle or V, triangle or A, rectangle or H or hourglass or X and would like to share a little about your lifestyle and style aesthetic I might style my next bulletin boards for you! Just share a little about your lifestyle, style essence and colors…and of course your body shape…for me in the comments. Then when I style that shape, I might pick you to style for!
I hope this post was helpful. Even if you’re not an oval maybe seeing the outfits worked through like this helped you see what different styling methods accomplish for the silhouette. Let me know if you have questions.
Have a lovely day, dear gals!
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Blessed for My Day
Yesterday on my way home from the mall I took a wrong turn. I ended up driving in the opposite direction of my home. But instead of getting flustered I just pulled into a parking lot and put my address into the GPS app on my phone and made the necessary adjustments.
As I drove the new route home I tried to pay attention to the roads and sites around me. I wanted to learn from my mistake so that I wouldn’t make it again. I don’t want to use a GPS forever! Eventually I want to be able to get around without it.
We all take wrong turns in life occasionally. Especially as we begin a new season of life, a new relationship or job. But the key is to learn from our mistakes and correct our course. Let’s pay attention to the directions God gives us, the precepts of His Word and how they direct us so we can live more consistently in line with His ways.
At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever … Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. ~ Daniel 4:34,37