| Jennifer Heck |
BERLIN (dpa) – Blazers and sports jackets are all-rounders that you can wear to a formal business occasion, an evening event or a casual party. But a blazer is not just great for looking good at almost any social meeting. According to leading stylists it can also be excellent at disguising problem zones.
Triangular – or pear shaped – women have proportionally smaller shoulders than hips, explains style coach Lisa Zimmermann. “That focuses attention on the waistline and hips,” she says.
Dressing for pear-shaped women means drawing more attention to the shoulders by wearing a jacket with wide shoulders, for example.
“As soon as you balance out the width of the shoulders, the hips don’t look so wide,” explains Zimmermann. “It’s an optical illusion.”
Style consultant Cornelia Gumm advises women with this body shape to choose clothing with an accentuated waistline. This will draw attention to the waist and result in an overall more feminine figure.
For men with a pear shape, body fashion critic and book author Bernhard Roetzel recommends wearing a jacket with wide shoulders.
“Preferably a single breasted rather than a double breasted jacket,” he says. A jacket with a long lapel will also help to create the effect that the torso is longer than it is. It’s also worth wearing a jacket that reaches down to your bottom.
Women with an inverted triangle shape have a wide bust and proportionally narrow hips. Dressing for an inverted triangle figure means minimising the width of the shoulders.
Zimmermann advises choosing a blazer with plenty of flowing material. There’s no need to draw more attention to the shoulder area by wearing padding.
Men with an inverted triangle shape are often quite athletic, with a wide back and proportionally smaller bottom half.
Roetzel says this type of man can wear almost anything. The problems, however, start when buying other clothing. “Because most ready to wear clothes don’t fit this shape,” he says.
Hourglass figures have a proportionally balanced top and bottom, with equally wide shoulders and hips.
Zimmerman says the best way to dress this body shape is by matching the contours as much as possible. She recommends wearing a tight fitting blazer with a figure-hugging cut.
Men with this figure should also wear jackets that closely match their shape.
“If I stand in front of a mirror with my arms by my side I should be able to see a waistline roughly at the height of my elbows,” says Roetzel. But if an hourglass type wears a blazer without a waistline, he can look more like a rectangle.
Women with a wide waist, bust and thighs are an oval body type.
According to Cornelia Gumm they should wear thin materials to prevent them looking a size larger than they are. Dark and matte colours also look better on oval types.
If a blazer is combined properly with other clothes it can help make you look taller. “You can create the optical effect of looking longer by using the same colour continuously in a line,” says Gumm. The way to achieve that is to wear a matching pair of trousers with a blazer.
An alternative is to wear a black pullover, black pants and a monotone blazer. The black area will form a continuous vertical line while the blazer will provide some colour to “ice the cake”.
Roetzel recommends men wear a double-breasted jacket, or as an alternative, a jacket with a waistcoat or a tank top. That will help differentiate the large area of the upper body from the vertical line. A tie can achieve the same effect.
Zimmermann says it’s extremely important that the jacket fits perfectly, is made from good fabric and covers the stomach area fully.
There’s one rule to follow for every figure type when looking for the right jacket. “Subtract 100 from your height in centimetres. That will tell you how long the jacket should be,” explains Roetzel. Unfortunately it’s quite common for both men and women to wear jackets that are too big as well as sleeves that are too long.
Photos show how a jacket can enhance the style or attire of the wearer. PHOTOS: EPA