our everyday life

Good Clothing Styles for Boyish Figures

by Tarah Damask, studioD
Keira Knightley wears clothes to flatter her boyish frame at The Wrap's Awards Season Screening Series of "Anna Karenina" in Los Angeles.

Keira Knightley wears clothes to flatter her boyish frame at The Wrap's Awards Season Screening Series of "Anna Karenina" in Los Angeles.

When pulling on to your boyish body type what you thought was a stellar outfit, you may find your shape disappears. The goal is to create a balanced proportion with equal weight distributed on top and bottom, with a narrowed waistline. While this may seem impossible, creating the appearance of a more womanly figure and contoured waistline is all in the ensemble. Awareness and adoption of proven guidelines will help you achieve the look you want every time.

Tops and Dresses

Whether you are pulling on a top or a dress, the trick is to adds bulk or visual weight to the chest area. For example, a shirt with bow detailing at or just above the chest creates the illusion of a fuller bust. Or, use color-blocking and paneling to your advantage. A dress with paneling that curves inward at your midsection creates the look of a curvier waist. As for necklines, sweetheart and deep v-neck shapes add interest to the top portion of your frame. Dresses and tops that are cinched at the waist, from peplums to ruched midsections, create a flattering effect.


With a straight figure, adding a little fullness on your bottom half can create the illusion of a slim waist and curvier hips. If you are a fan of shorts, pull on a pair that hits no lower than your natural waistline -- look for pleat detailing for a little extra volume. If you love skirts, go for an A-line or gathered-waist silhouette. While jeans may seem like a nightmare, reaching for straight-legged or skinny styles, particularly in bold colors, can showcase your slim hips rather than camouflaging them.


The best outerwear option is a coat with a narrow waistline. Whether your coat is cut this way, or cinched in with a belt, this style will create a hemline that flares, balancing out your bottom half. Create the illusion of an hourglass figure with puff shoulders or epaulets on top. Visual details near the waist, such as flap pockets, bows or embroidery, will also add dimension to your boyish figure.


When you are showing a significant amount of skin during swimsuit season, it is all about using lines and fabric weight to create the appearance of a curvier figure. For a one-piece, look for a halter style with a V-shaped neckline, and seaming that slopes in toward your sides at the midsection. A bikini with a ruffled top and bottoms also creates volume. In addition, bold prints and horizontal lines promote the look of a curvy frame.

About the Author

Tarah Damask's writing career began in 2003 and includes experience as a fashion writer/editor for Neiman Marcus, short fiction publications in "North Texas Review," a self-published novel, band biographies, charter school curriculum and articles for various websites. Damask holds a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of North Texas.

Photo Credits

  • Jerod Harris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images