Clothing Masterclass – Curve-tastic Style: Volume and proportion

Written by Wendy Mak

Have you ever thrown on a top and a bottom and wondered why it didn’t work? Read on to fix it!

In my experience, one of the biggest reasons is volume (too much) and proportion (lack of). This concept has a HUGE impact yet many women aren’t aware of its effect.

When we have curves or are self-conscious about a specific area, we usually tend to cover it up by wearing something quite loose. For example I know I hate tight tops at the moment as I’m still carrying half of the turkey from Christmas lunch around my waist (no, still haven’t managed to start my New Year diet as yet) so I am sporting a bit of a muffin top. And couple the loose top with a loose skirt, rather than hiding the turkey rolls I actually end up looking quite like a ham instead!!

The reason is because when everything I wear is loose, I have no shape and you can’t see my curves. If you can’t see my curves, I look like a square Gumby-esque block, and trust me – that’s not aspirational. Definitely not sexy.

In essence the idea is this: if an item is fitted at the top then keep it looser at the bottom, and vice versa!

This way, at some point you will see my shape / curves whether it be in the top half or bottom half, instead of no shape at all.

To help illustrate this rule let’s welcome back the beautiful Tanya.

In the first example below, as two separate items the top and skirt are both individually terrific, but worn together Tanya lacks a little shape as she has a loose blouse with a loose skirt.

13 01 13 Proportion square silhouette


Compare that with the second example and you’ll see how different the outfit looks when we have a more fitted (but not overly tight) top instead. We instantly see more of Tanya’s great curves, and yet nothing we wouldn’t want to have on show is visible, and all it took was the change of a top.

13 01 13 Proportion Fitted top skirtSkirt, blouse & shoes from Diana Ferrari

In the reverse of this proportion rule, if Tanya was wearing the red blouse from the first example, I would simply make sure she had a more fitted skirt at the bottom, such as the one in the Curve-tastic Best Skirts post, or perhaps a pair of straight legged jeans – and the outfit will work (promise)!

So the next time you throw on a top and bottom, consider the proportion of the outfit and stay looking Curve-tastic!

By | 2017-09-05T07:26:06+10:00 January 21st, 2013|Fabulous Fashion, How to fashion|10 Comments


  1. Lauren January 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I personally love dresses! I tend to go for dresses with versatility, something I can cinch in at the waist with a glitzy belt and some killer heels for night time, or with flats and a cardi for a more casual look. It all sounds very clichéd, but it’s my go-to, and it works!

    • Anonymous January 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      I’m a dress girl too Lauren! I find it much simpler and easier for my body shape (curvy but short) and I hear you on the versatility!! ~ Wendy

  2. Virginia January 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    I am a separates kinda-gal. And I’m pleased to say I have experienced the joy of discovering my curves through guidance I received during my Smitten with Style wardrobe and shopping session. Out went the A-line and fuller skirts – its pencil skirts and slimming pants for me, with tops that work for my larger bustline. With still much to learn, these Curve-tastic Masterclasses shed welcome light on the finer points of styling.

    • Anonymous January 21, 2013 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      HI Virginia, I DEFINITELY agree that just changing the shape of a skirt or pant can make a world of difference, so glad to hear that your session with Jenny was useful in that regard! And so happy too to know you are enjoying the posts so far! ~ Wendy

  3. Kristy January 22, 2013 at 4:28 am - Reply

    I’m a separates girl, mostly trousers, especially for work. I used to pair with fitted tops as a rule, but struggling to come to terms with my post-baby shape which now includes a muffin top as well as some serious saddle bag action! Might have to book in for the next masterclass!

    • Anonymous January 22, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

      Hi Kristy, tops like the red one in this post which are a little blousier will definitely be the way to go as it will hide muffin tops – choose bottoms that are made of a more structured fabric (so stay away from soft fabrics like in the skirt above) and you’ll find that to help camouflage the bottom half too! Hope that helps ~ Wendy

  4. Kelly Barker January 22, 2013 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Due to my figure I have never had the confidence to wear dresses. I am usually size 18 but I am 5 months pregnant and due to this I am finding more loser clothing is better. Not because I have put on weight yet but I hate the tight feeling of some clothes- hormones I know 🙂 I actually find it so hard finding clothes that fit my size and for many pregnant women out there they find it hard to find clothing which fits over our bump. Do you have any suggestions about what we could use to ensure we can still dress for work but feel comfortable with a pregnancy body? Any help would be fantastic thank you!

    • Anonymous January 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Kelly, congratulations on the pregnancy!! What an amazing time! Many of my clients choose to try and buy as much as they can from non-maternity ranges to get their dollar go further. Blue Illusion sells some great stretchy pants in good basic colours and loose dresses, and you can also find some great things through online or mail order – try a brand called Postie which is really nice and easy to wear and quite on-trend too. Also take a look at Ezibuy – there’s some good things from the brand Capture there in terms of dresses. Of course take all of my suggestions with a grain of salt at the end of the day – given I have not met you in person I can’t be sure these will definitely work for you or appeal to your personal taste / style – but I do hope it gives you a starting point. ~ Wendy

  5. admin January 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t help myself, I had to award 2 x vouchers this post for both Lauren and Virginia’s comments!!! Congratulations and thanks for staying connecting and conversing together!! ~ Wendy

    • Virginia January 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Wow, how exciting! Thanks Wendy.

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