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Styling the Hourglass Shape this Fall

October 1, 2019

Hello there, gals! Today I have our fourth post in my fall mini-series about styling the unique body shapes or silhouettes this fall. Today we’re styling the hourglass shape or the X. If you missed the earlier posts, in which I styled the oval shape,  the triangle shape and the inverted triangle shape, you might want to check them out.


I’m attempting to style each of the body shapes for fall in this mini series. Now I’m no expert, but I’m simply offering practical style guidelines that will help you emphasize certain areas of your body and draw attention away from others in an effort to balance the body.

Remember, these are not hard-fast rules. Depending on your body variations and proportions, some of these may not work for you, even if you do have an hourglass shape.

The shape of your body is based on the visual width of your skeleton in the areas of your shoulders, waist and hips. So we’re simply attempting to give you a balanced framework with these styling tips. Of course, a pure hourglass shaped body is already pretty balanced. And you, lucky gal, get to simply accentuate that balance.

You can learn more about discovering your body shape and dressing your body shape in my previous posts.

HOWEVER, don’t forget to consider your body proportions. In brief, your proportions are based on the length of your torso and your legs. You might want to check out this post to discover your body proportions and this post to learn how to dress your unique body proportions.


In this case, the client has an hourglass or X shape. That means she is approximately the same width in the shoulders than she is in the hips and/or thighs. She also has a defined waistline. Finally, in a true X shape, her thighs are actually wider than her hips. But if her hips are wider than her thighs, she’s really more of an 8. See the difference?

the hourglass X or 8 body shape

When considering the following styles, just keep in mind your wider area: hips or thighs. Apply any styling tips accordingly.


I suggest you consider the following styling “rules” when shopping for clothes and styling your outfits if you have an hourglass body shape. But again, adjust as needed for your unique body variations and proportions.

  • you may wear horizontal detail at the waist to accentuate
  • look for a-line skirts or skirts with flare
  • straight and bootcut jeans are best to give balance
  • when wearing skinny jeans, add a long cardigan to smooth over hips and thighs
  • add detail to upper body and keep the portion below the waist simple and detail-free
  • draw attention up to the face by wearing wider necklines such as wide Vs, square, scoop and sweetheart necklines
  • tops and jackets should end around the waist or hip bone
  • if tops or jackets end lower, make sure they are tailored to accentuate waist, but not too flared at hips or thighs
  • if you wear a longer boyfriend style jacket or blazer, wear a belt beneath it at the waist
  • steer clear of anything boxy or square
  • straight or bootcut trousers will be best
  • wide waist bands will accentuate and slim the waist
  • have waist bands taken in if needed to help trousers fit well
  • wear flat front trousers, no pleats or bulky pockets here
  • steer clear of gathered skirts with lots of poof, but you can wear soft pleats
  • choose fit and flare or wrap dresses that accentuate your shape
  • look for dresses with wasit shaping such as ruching
  • if you want to wear a pattern below the waist (plaids or florals) make sure it is a dense or busy one so it “reads” as a solid rather than a print
  • if you wear a pattern below, take the lightest or brightest color from the bottom and wear it up top to draw focus up


Let’s look at some of the types of outfits my client could wear. All of these items are appropriate for the X or hourglass shaped body. But remember, take your body proportions into consideration as well. That could change things.

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!

Finally, I did go with one retailer per bulletin board this time. That just makes things simpler for me as I’m putting these looks together. But I did use a variety of retailers and brands.

modern ankle jeans // charming shell in woodland berry // shetland wool blazer // soft pebbled leather belt // penny keeper driving moccasins // garden flowers scarf // knot stud earrings // sparkly tortoise necklace

The dark wash jeans help minimize focus to the hips, as does the straight cut of the jeans. Because the blazer hips at hip length, it will be best for you to tuck the shirt or shell into the jeans (even partially) and belt the jeans. Finally, draw attention upweards with an open neckline, a pretty necklace and/or a colorful scarf.

wrap dress // suede pumps // shapewear // necklace // earrings

When selecting a dress, look for one that accentuates your hourglass figure. That could be a chic fit and flare dress, a wrap dress or a ruched sheathe dress. You just want one that accentuates your waistline. But be sure to begin with good shapewear underneath and finish off the look with pretty nude colored heels, if possible.

trousers // cami (just for modesty with this sweater) // sweater // snakeskin heeled loafers // plaid pumps // necklace // earrings

These pants are straight with just a bit of flare at the ankle. Perfect for the hourglass shaped gal. It’s ideal for sweaters and tops to hit at the waist, but many don’t. So the next best thing is to select a sweater like this one that is cinched at the waist and doesn’t add any extra detail at the hipline. Aren’t both of these shoe choices great? I couldn’t decide between them!

bootcut jeans // v-neck t-shirt // basket weave scarf // oval buckle leather belt // booties // leather crossbody // earrings // bracelet

You can definitely still wear other jeans silhouettes, especially if you’re not concerned about broad hips or thighs. But if you’re trying to minimize hips or thighs, you’ll look your best in bootcut or flare jeans. If you’re not used to tucking your shirt, try a partial front tuck with a belt. It may take some time to get used to, but you’ll find that it accentuates your waist nicely while still giving you a little give.

NOTE: If you really prefer not to tuck your t-shirt, you might consider this knotted longsleeve tee. It hits just at the hip bone and creates a lovely silhouette.

straight leg cords // pullover sweater // shoes // shoulder bag // scarf // necklace // earrings

This is such a chic and classic outfit. Unless you’re planning to tuck your cords into boots, you’ll look your best in these straight legs. If you do want to wear boots, you might want to try these cord jeggings. This sweater works well because it ends at the waist or just below. You can wear the scarf at your neck or to add color to your handbag.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post, especially if you have an hourglass body shape. Remember, to apply the other styling principles that are specific to your body proportions and unique body variations. You can read that entire style series here. And you can catch up with previous posts in this style series for fall here.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll do the best I can to field them. Have a blessed and lovely day!

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Blessed for My Day

I’m not really a people pleaser, but I don’t like to be left out, made fun of or ostracized for my standards or way of life either. And so I sometimes like to stay under the radar, so to speak, with my allegiance to Christ and the Bible. Can you relate?

But Jesus told His disciples that we are in fact blessed when others pick on us or persecute us because of our stand for truth and godliness. He encouraged them – and us – to be glad and joyful when that happens.

Today let’s let our lights shine. No, we don’t have to stand on a street corner and preach. But we can live loud and clear that we love God, trust in His promises and walk according to His Word.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~ 5:11-12

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xoxo, Kay
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5 thoughts on “Styling the Hourglass Shape this Fall

  1. Hi Kay,
    Thank you for the styling tips for the hourglass figure…I’m an 8! I am saving this to my Pinterest board.
    I look forward to your posts each day!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have given me validation! I had previously been labeled a “pear”, but I just couldn’t get my head around the prescribed ‘looks’. I KNEW I looked better with a defined waist, and/or a belt, among other things. Your Hourglass description and looks are SO MUCH MORE “ME”! I feel so much better about dressing myself without questioning “the rules”. I’m so happy to be one of your gals! ? thank you, again!

    1. Hi Betty. I’m so glad this post was helpful and clarifying for you. Yay!! I’m very glad you are enjoying the blog. Thanks for reading and letting me know. ?