Looking good in clothing cut for an X figure can be very difficult when you yourself have a V shape, and the problem intensifies if you like body-hugging clothes. While there is nothing that will suddenly shrink too-broad shoulders, there are several ways to help balance your figure, both literally and by fooling the eye.
Perhaps the most obvious course of action is to add some padding, anywhere from a tiny bit to a noticeable curve, depending on your comfort level. A panty with padding that enhances both the hips and derriere is a great way to get believable shape. Some newer styles have two large wrap-around pads rather than four small area-specific ones. If you have a V figure and like fitted straight clothing, you should consider a bit of padding as essential. (1)
If after adding some gentle roundness to your lower body your shoulders are still the obvious strong point of your silhouette, you have two more choices: You can chose clothing whose silhouette helps balance your body, or you can simply try to fool the eye by choosing certain patterns in the clothing.
First let’s look at clothing that helps balance your body. Choosing dresses or skirts that have some fullness to them will obviously put some X into your silhouette, especially if you’ve already added some gentle padding. If you have a narrow waist and hip area, skirts that noticeably puff out below the waist with pleats or gathers are a great way to add some balance. Even if you prefer pants, there are styles with which are cut to look full through the hips. Or, if you prefer very slim pants, you might choose a tunic top and then belt it so that it flairs out in the hip area.
Fooling the eye is one of the oldest tricks in the visual design world. If you have running-back shoulders and prefer pencil skirts, you need to at least look for skirts with patterns that will pull the eye away from your predominant shoulders. A skirt with horizontal striping is one way. It can be one or two broad stripes or an all-over narrow stripe, either way the design will pull the eye down while the horizontal nature of the pattern will make your shoulders less of a show. A border print running along the hem is another way to give balance to your shoulders. (2)
A few other tricks for fooling the eye are color block dresses, which keep the eye busy seeing sections separately so that the visual flow from broad shoulders to smaller hips is broken up. Sweetheart and similarly open necklines are also good at fooling the eye because the focus is on the open area which cuts the width of the shoulders into visible and invisible. (3)
Many of the IGIGI dresses have a dark top and full colorful skirt, making them perfect for adding visual bulk to your lower body. Many Kiyonna dresses have sweetheart necklines and wrap shapes that add lower-body fullness. Neither of these brands is particularly cheap, but it’s far better to have half the number of outfits, all of which are complimentary, than to have a closet bulging with less complimentary clothing. (4)
In summary, it doesn’t make sense to expect clothing made for X shapes to look good on a V, but with a bit of thought and some carefully chosen pieces you can soften your silhouette, either by adding some padding, by wearing clothing with fuller lines through the hips, or simply by adding visual interest on your lower body to take the attention away from your shoulders.
Have a stylish month!