It's called "The Science of Sexy," which is written by Bradley Bayou, a prestigious Hollywood designer who has styled famous divas, such as Demi Moore, Queen Latifah, Drew Barrymore, and Halle Berry. Quite impressively for a man, Bradley understands the struggles of finding skinny clothes in a non-supermodel's world. He explains that the attire available in retail stores is often designed only to fit the tall and thin runway models of today, and ironically not the average 5'4, size 12/14 regular American gals who it is sold to.
Saying that, we often feel unattractive, uncomfortable, and unable to accept our bodies, because the clothing we find in stores probably don't flatter our body types best and play up our flaws, or make us appear larger or smaller than we actually want to be. And then when we look in the mirror long enough, we start to believe that's what our bodies look like, regardless of what Bayou points out is the "illusion" that our clothes establish.
But, just like we can choose certain clothes that make us look fatter or flatter than we really are, we can change into different clothes that can make us as skinny or as shapely as we like to be. Bayou points out we can "create an illusion of symmetry," meaning we can mold our bodies with a variety of different looks to appear more balanced, no matter what our body type.
In his book, Bayou gives you different sections i.e. metaphorical closets to go into, depending on your height, weight, and body shape. Of course, I can't cover all the possible size and shape combinations, but I can summarize the 4 major body types and the stars dressed by Bayou that best represent these body types. First, here's a guide to discovering which body type you fall into, according to the measurement instructions listed:
You're an INVERTED TRIANGLE (APPLE SHAPE), if your shoulder and bust measurements are more than 5% larger than your hip measurements i.e. 36 inch shoulders and 34 inch hips. You basically store most of your weight on your upper half (which can include your stomach) and most likely have enviably long, lean gams, in contrast.
You're a RECTANGLE (STRAIGHT SHAPE), if your bust, hips, and shoulders are approximately or exactly the same size, but with no tinier or visible waistline. Your waist would be under 25% smaller than the rest of your measurements i.e. 36 inch shoulders and over 27 inch waist.
You're a TRIANGLE (PEAR SHAPE), if your hips are significantly (over 5%) wider than your shoulders or bust i.e. 37 3/4 inch hips and 36 inch shoulders. You store more weight on your lower half i.e. hips, butt, and/or legs, in comparison to a smaller waist, shoulders, and stomach.
You're a HOURGLASS (MOST SYMMETRICAL), if your shoulders/bust and hips are within 5% of the same measurements, but your waist is a minimum of 25% smaller i.e. 36 inch shoulders and at the maximum, a 27 inch waist. You probably have a full bust, small waist, and curvaceous hips (lucky you!)
HERE ARE EXAMPLES OF WHAT TO WEAR AND WHAT NOT TO WEAR, ACCORDING TO YOUR BODY TYPE:
America Ferrara's dress on the left has wide straps that better proportion her shoulders and a v-neck, sweetheart neckline that brings out her buxom bust over her fuller stomach. The A-line bottom half curves hips, shaping a more hourglass silhouette.
The dress on the right, however, hides her excellent figure. The too form-fitting shirt causes her torso to seem shorter and stockier, and the too wide array of colours makes her appear wider.
Other celebs like you: Alyssa Milano, Angelina Jolie, Denise Richards
Reese Witherspoon's corset-like top lifts and separates irresistable cleavage, while the full, ruffled skirt bottom poufs out hips to sharpen her already itty bitty waist, giving her a womanly, hourglass physique.
As for the dress (or sqourt or pantsuit) on the right, the sleeveless arms make her shoulders and torso look more boxy and the baggy peasant top loses her figure, which explains the whole rectangle thing.
Other celebs like you: Demi Moore, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Coolidge
TRIANGLE (PEAR SHAPE)
JLo's puffed sleeves (on the left) - joining forces with the slimming black top - broaden her shoulders adequately to correspond with her wider hips, and the dark denim jeans slim her heavier lower half.
But the wide, flared pants (on the right) make her legs appear wider than they actually are.
Other celebs like you: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kelly Clarkson, Mischa Barton
HOURGLASS (MOST SYMMETRICAL)
Even the more "symmetrical" figures can have their issues. Salma Hayek - who looks stunning in the pink dress - also uses the plunging neckline and corset top to amplify her abundant bosom, cinched waist, and feminine hips.
The red dress's empire waist exaggerates her measurements to the point that her cups runneth over squeezed out (not in the sexy, push-up bra way), her waist creates small buggles, and her hips protrude more than they have to.
Other celebs like you: Jessica Simpson, Drew Barrymore, Kate Winslet
OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD (AND SHOULD NOT) WEAR:
too many colours
baggy peasant tops
anything clinging to your stomach
3. PEAR SHAPE:
side slits on skirts
skirts above and below the knee