This spring and summer, fashion is all about proportion. There are lots of new lengths, from short and cropped tops to long skirts and flowing pants. So how do you know which new trends will look good on you? Here are a few tips to get you in shape for a new season.
There is one universal rule that seems to work most of the time when it comes to putting together separates: The shorter the top the longer the bottom. It seems to work for one of this season's biggest statements: crop tops with ankle-skimming skirts and pants.
If you don't like short tops, then you can always layer a thin body-hugging camisole underneath the shorter top to give the illusion of coverage. Stick to a camisole in the same color family as your top.
Keep in mind that if you are short-waisted and like to wear long tops, then you should opt for shorter bottoms. The opposite is true for long-waisted women -- long bottoms should be contrasted with shorter tops.
And do make sure that your tops do not end at the widest part of your body, especially if you are wearing two very different colors. Colorblocking may be all the rage right now, but if it draws attention to the biggest part of your butt, then it's not blocking anyone's vision of your least flattering asset.
Don't try to wear long jackets with the new longer skirts. Too much fabric will weigh you down. Keep it on the light side, especially for the spring and summer months. If you like the new boxy jackets, then stick to a slim silhouette underneath -- a streamlined sheath dress or a slim pair of pants and fitted top.
And just because longer skirts are a big trend doesn't mean you can just go with the flow on this one. You still need to be conscious of where those hemlines hit your legs and make sure that you stick to the most flattering length. Again, as mentioned above, you do not want any hemline to end at the widest part of any of your body -- especially your calves.
Balance is key when it comes to wearing wider-leg pants. With culottes and palazzo pants, an oversized top is too much. Try pairing these new trends with simple jackets and tops. Team with a pair of stacked platforms or embellished sandals.
The shirtdress and the wrapdress are two great options for a variety of body shapes this spring and summer. These two silhouettes can be adjusted to determine where waistlines appear, whether belted or wrapped. These dresses are great for downplaying problem areas such as large stomachs and thighs. Just be sure to choose fabrics that are soft and flow over those areas, not ones that cling to them.
Use colors and prints to your advantage. There are many fresh interpretations of traditional patterns this season that will add an instant update to your wardrobe. Don't be afraid to try something new. But remember that wherever you wear eye-catching colors or prints, you will attract attention to that part of your body.
It's fun to experiment with new shapes and silhouettes, no matter what your body type is; however, there are a few ways to keep it all in perspective and not blow it out of proportion. After all, looking our best is what it's all about.
Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at creators.com.