Style Must-Haves for All Figures

Ever wish you had a shopping list of what you should and shouldn't wear? Billie Causieestko, the Miss Universe stylist has heard your prayers. Here, in an excerpt from Universal Beauty: The Miss Universe Guide to Beauty (Rutledge Hill Press), she lists the must-haves for all women according to body type.

Your moment in the spotlight really is just that — a moment. Experts say that it takes just a few short seconds to make a first impression. A few seconds to make or break that job interview, win over the crowd at that fabulous cocktail party or ace an office presentation. Which means, like it or not, the clothes you choose to wear on these momentous occasions are everything. The trick, however, is looking beyond clothes that are simply fashionable — and selecting ones that truly flatter your body. Who cares if a pair of jeans looked hot on a runway model if they don't look hot on you? As the stylist for Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, Billie Causieestko is charged with making women of all different shapes and sizes look amazing on a daily basis — whether they're sipping champagne at a club in New York or addressing a roomful of ambassadors at the United Nations. Now, she shares a bit of her wisdom with us.


The Tall Girl's Shopping List

  • Men's trousers: They look great paired with a fitted feminine top, a string of pearls and strappy sandals.
  • Long gowns: Look for one with flowing fabric that swings around your long legs. For an especially dramatic formal look, try a dress with a short train.
  • An Empire waist: For those who are low on curves, it can add the illusion of fuller breasts and hips.
  • Accessories: Though you don't want to pile it on, longer bodies can get away with more jewelry, belts and bags. A belted monochromatic suit is an especially flattering look.
  • Watch out for... Very short skirts, which can look cheap and scream "teenybopper" on long legs.


The Short Girl's Shopping List

  • Slim pants and skinny jeans: They elongate legs, especially when paired with a great pair of heels and a tunic on top.
  • High-waisted pencil skirts: Particularly great for less-curvy types, they make your lower half look lean and long.
  • Skirts with front or side slits: This cocktail-party favorite makes legs look longer by showing them off.
  • Deep V-neck tops: Besides being a sexy option for evening, they direct eyes downward, creating the illusion of a longer torso.
  • A long chain necklace: Worn as the centerpiece of your outfit, it helps lengthen the torso.
  • Watch out for... Too many accessories. Piling on the bags and baubles can overwhelm a petite body.


The Ruler-Shaped Girl's Shopping List

  • Wide-legged pants: Wear them with a corseted top or cinched jacket. These classic pairs fake an hourglass shape.
  • Slim, high-waisted skirts: Whether worn at the office or at an evening event, they create the impression of rounder hips.
  • Sleek mules: Sexy heels make straight legs look a little more shapely.
  • Jersey knits: Fabric that drapes easily over the body accentuates subtle curves.
  • Bias-cut skirts and dresses: Asymmetry lends shape to a sleek physique.
  • Plunging necklines: They look beautiful — not vulgar — on those without a lot on top.
  • Watch out for... Oversize clothes or boxy tops and jackets.


The Curvy Girl's Shopping List

  • Well-tailored suits: Clothes with a structured silhouette emphasize the body's natural shape.
  • Trumpet skirts: Provided you're not very round at the belly, skirts that are fitted at the hips and thighs — and flare out at the bottom — elongate the torso, drop the waist and flatter your curves.
  • Cinched jackets: Tops that hug your middle show off your hourglass shape, as long as they don't amp up your cleavage too much.
  • Watch out for... Tops that are too revealing. If you think you're putting on too much of a peep show, you probably are.
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