Which Coat Style is Best for Your Body?

Finding the right jacket for this upcoming season is partly about keeping warm, but if you’re being honest, it’s also about looking your best as you step out of your house. So how do you maximize your best assets and hide your figure flaws?

What jacket type is best for you?

The first place to start is with your body type…..

Hourglass Figure

Hourglass figures work best with coats that will highlight the curves of your waist.  Cropped jackets and those which are tapered, or flared at the waist level will draw the eye to your beautiful waist.

  • Knee-length jackets also work well on you, and belts also look fantastic to draw the eye in, and help accentuate your curves.
  • A fitted jacket with a belt is a great choice if you’re a curvy gal, preferably one that’s single-breasted.
  • Hourglass shapes also can wear any length jacket, so consider basing your choice on how tall you are.
  • If you happen to be on the shorter side, stay away from long jackets, and go for something shorter.

“Boy” Shapes

If you often compare your shape to that of a stick figure or a “boy,” the double-breasted military style jacket that stops just below the waist is a good idea because it can help add some volume and curve to your frame.

  • Blazers are also good when the weather gets warmer and you don’t need a full coat.
  • Another good idea is to buy a jacket that you can cinch at the waist, like a drawstring-waisted jacket. This helps to add the illusion of curves even on the days when you feel like a total rectangle.
  • Do not give in to the urge to wear a long trench coat, though, because that just makes you look even more rectangular.

Apple Shapes

Finding clothing to accentuate your narrow waist while not adding volume to your shoulders can be a challenge. This is why cinched jackets are a good and fashionable choice for this body type. They add emphasis to the narrowness of your waistline while lengthening your torso to keep you from looking like a linebacker. Trench coats are also good because the cut of the fabric helps to delineate where your torso ends and your waist begins, which adds length to your upper half.

Pear Shapes

The key to finding a jacket for a pear-shaped body is to find a jacket with a pattern.  Cropped jackets can add volume to your top half, which can help disguise a pear shape and help it pass for more of an hourglass.

  • If you want a longer coat, choose one in which the bottom half has a little bit of “swing” or “flare” to it so that it can just skim over the lower part of your body without highlighting it.
  • If your body is smaller on top and a bit curvier on the bottom, work with a straight-cut jacket where the hem falls just below the hip bones.
  • Jackets with straight lines in dark, solid colors are very flattering for pear-shaped bodies.  These jackets will elongate the figure and minimize width on the bottom half of the body.
  • Look for a jacket that has some nice detailing around the neckline,  to draw attention to the upper part of your body.

Full Figure

  • Full-figured women look best with longer lengths when it comes to jackets.  Longer jackets tend to  emphasize vertical lines instead of horizontal ones.
  • Invisible pockets also add to a overall polished appearance.  Patched pockets or pockets with too much detail will add width so they should be avoided.
  • For an extra-slimming look, choose a jacket in a dark color like black or gray. Solids rather than patterns work best for full figures, with pinstripes looking sharp in vertical lines.


Petite Figures

Avoid bulky jackets that take over your entire body.   Look past those puffy coats which have been popular in last few years. Instead to find jackets that are built for petites.   Go for something that is cropped or fitted so that it will show off your frame.

  • Do not wear a jacket that hits you below the knees
  • A fitted jacket with either an empire waist or a pretty belt is an excellent choice for a woman with a petite figure.
  • The hemline shouldn’t fall below the knees, as a jacket that’s too long will overwhelm and add unwanted bulk.
  • Both solids and prints are options that petite figures can wear.
  • Pretty neckline detailing such as ruffles or a slightly larger lapel are something that petites can get away with.

Slim Figure

Since slim-figured women can afford to add a bit of volume, jackets made of a heavier or thicker material are jackets they can also pull off.

Bright colors and bold patterns look great on straight bodies.

Chunkier belts and extra detailing can also work with a slim figure.

Don’t be afraid to add weight on top without looking bulky.  Try a scarf with a unique texture in complimenting colors, or work with fur to add texture.

Recognizing what body type you have will make it much easier to choose a flattering jacket, and once you’ve determined what looks best on your figure, the process becomes so much easier.


Yana Karpova For Vera Wang

Yana Karpova For Vera Wang

Pastaiga Latvia September 2012

Pastaiga Latvia September 2012