14 Outfit Tips and Ideas for an Hourglass Body Type

Silvana Patrick
by Silvana Patrick
10 Minutes

There are so many nuances in body shape since everyone is built differently.

In this tutorial, we’re going to look at ways to find balance with hourglass body shape outfits. Let's get started.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

The fashion industry doesn’t cater to curves, but we can get around this with thoughtful wardrobe choices. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

The hourglass figure golden rule: follow the natural silhouette of the body by proportionately dressing the top and the bottom while highlighting the waist. 

1. Bras

When the bustline sags, the hourglass figure feels heavy and boxy. The band should carry some of the weight so that your straps don’t dig into your shoulders. 

When trying on a new bra, remove the strap if possible to determine if the band is effectively supporting the bust. 


2. Underwear

A bikini or hipster are great options because they provide moderate coverage while accentuating your curves. 


Bodysuits and shapewear can provide added support and coverage to the stomach area while smoothing out and defining the waistline.

3. Tops

Knit tops are ideal for hourglass figures because they have a midweight that defines your curves instead of hanging straight, like woven tops do.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

If you don’t like the bodycon fit, choose knits with a lighter drape.

Look for tops that have a wrapped waist, ruching or a belt to highlight your shape.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

For a larger bust, avoid tops with large pockets on the chest or embellishments between your shoulder and bust.

Avoid a horizontal line against the widest part of your hips by having your top sit a little above or below that point. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

4. Knitwear

A lightweight, form-fitting sweater is the best option since it highlights your curves. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

5. Jackets for the hourglass figure

Form-fitting, belted or single-breasted jackets are perfect for the hourglass figure.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

Avoid trendy, boxy jackets as they hide your waist and make you appear heavier.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

6. Coats that compliment the hourglass body

The best coats for hourglass figures have lots of vertical and princess seams.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

Avoid boxy coats and breast pockets.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

7. Perfect pants for the hourglass figure

A high-rise trouser will draw the eyes to your waist, the narrowest point of the hourglass figure. But be cautious if you have a short torso.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

Wide legs and loose fitting trousers in fluid fabrics that go straight down to the floor are best.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

Slightly tapered pants are also great. Look for pants labeled “curvy fit” to avoid a gap in the back.

You can also go with pants that have an adjustable waistband for the perfect fit. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

Since the goal is to maintain balance, consider what top you’ll wear so that you don’t become top or bottom heavy. 

Wear pants with diagonal pockets or none at all, as side-entry pockets tend to pull and pucker.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

8. Skirts

Try A-line skirts or skirts cut on the bias. Fuller skirts will highlight the small waist of an hourglass figure.

Look for circle or pleated skirts. Pleats should start directly on your waist, and your shirt should be fully or partially tucked.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

9. Dresses 

Shift and wrap dresses are great as they create a nice silhouette, accentuate the waist and don’t make the midriff too boxy.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

Ruffled details and padded shoulders are great for the pear shape and give structure to a round shoulder.

Opt for A-line skirts and dresses as they bypass the hip area while cinching the waist. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

10. Shorts

With shorts, length and fabric are even more important. The shorts on the left end at the widest part of my leg, which, combined with the pleats, make me appear bigger.

Although the option in the middle has a good length, the fabric is too thick, which creates bulk around my hips. The option on the right is slimming and complimentary. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

11. Jumpsuits

With jumpsuits, small pleats around the waist can give a nipped-in look.

Belted and form-fitting jumpsuits are best at showing off the natural body line. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

12. Necklines

Higher necklines like turtlenecks, mocks and crews flatter a small bust and a long neck.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

More open necklines like Vs and scoops are better for a larger bust and shorter neck. 

Hourglass outfit inspiration

If you have rounded shoulders, look for tops with structured shoulders, such as boatneck tops.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

13. Sleeves

The best type of sleeve is a fitted one that follows the body’s natural curve.

If you opt for cap sleeves, make sure to balance the extra volume, avoiding embellishments as well as loose, white sleeves that draw attention to the upper body.

Hourglass outfit inspiration

14. Styling tips for the hourglass figure

The hourglass figure is delicate and can be easily overwhelmed, so don’t go overboard with accessories. With a full bust, avoid bulky scarves and necklaces. 

Hourglass outfits

A great tailor can make your wardrobe feel customized to you. For button-front shirts, you might have to size up and have your tailor take in the sides. 

I hope these general guidelines will help you find clothes that make you feel put together if you have an hourglass figure.

Which hourglass outfit tip was most useful for you? Comment down below.

Next, Transform Your Outfits With The Law of Opposites.

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation