Finding a Flattering Coat

Studio 5 Beauty & Style Contributor Holly Stone shares some strategies that will help you choose a flattering coat that brings out the best in your body type.

Finding a Flattering Coat: The Full Figure

A flattering coat for a full figure is one with a long, clean silhouette, a length that emphasizes the vertical lines, and a few details that pull the look together. Full figured women usually look best in a coat that reaches down to the mid-thigh. This length makes for a flattering coat because it creates a clean, vertically-oriented silhouette without being so long that it overwhelms the rest of the outfit. To keep the lines long, opt for invisible pockets that blend right in to the contours of the coat. Although pocket flaps can seem like an attractive detail when the coat is on the shopping rack, once you put the coat on you’ll see that they interfere with the clean silhouette, creating a less flattering coat. As a full figured woman, you’ll be rewarded with a great look if you choose a coat that has a large or even oversized lapel; this detail will help create balance with the body’s curves. There’s more than one way to create balance with a lapel; drawing the eye towards the lapel with a brooch or other small embellishment can actually make a coat with small lapels more flattering to a full figure, so if your heart is set on dainty lapels, you can still look graceful.

Finding a Flattering Coat: The Slim, Straight Figure

There’s one word to describe the most flattering coat for any woman who has a slim, straight figure with small curves: volume. If your figure is closer to Twiggy than to Marilyn Monroe, a flattering coat will add a little bit of heft to your body’s top half; the contrast will draw attention to your slim hips and graceful limbs. When you add an extra touch of volume to her top half with a double-breasted coat like a pea-coat, the positive effects will be instantly obvious! For an extra boost, pair your flattering coat with a bold scarf; because your figure is petite, you can get away with an extra long or bulky scarf without looking or feeling puffy.

Finding a Flattering Coat: The Pear-Shaped Figure

If your curves are more substantial on the bottom half than on the top half of your frame, a flattering coat can make all the difference in the world. A straight-cut coat will create long vertical lines that emphasize your height instead of your width. In addition to that strong vertical line, opt for a coat that flares out slightly towards the bottom. The extra ease will create a flattering coat that skims your curves instead of clinging to them. It’s also a great idea to choose a coat that has eye-catching details down the front, or around the lapels. Bright or unusual buttons or trim will draw onlookers’ attention to the center of your torso instead of to the edges, which further enhances your vertical line, and spells great news for your figure.

What coat length is right for me?

Short, three quarters or something in between? Here’s the scoop on getting the proportions right.

• Cropped looks are great for accentuating an evenly balanced figure, particularly if you have a petite frame or want to show off your waist.

• Semi-cropped designs hit a few inches below the natural waistline and can help even out your proportions if you’re long- or short-waisted.

• Three-quarter length coats are a good choice if you want to hide your bottom or tummy. They should end just above the top of your thigh.

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