Figuring out your body type is in many ways one of the key requirements to growing up. You need to learn what works for you, what doesn’t and how to flaunt what you’ve got rather than crying over what you don’t. I’ve got a curvy body type. I’ll never have that supermodel waif look or the slim athletic build. I’ve got boobs, I’ve got hips. Embracing the fact that even a plain v-neck shirt can make me look like a hoochie mama has been part of growing up, maturing and realizing what does and does not work for the body – and assets – I’ve got to work with.
Recognizing your body type might be one thing, but coming to find a style icon when you’re not a size 0? It’s tough! I searched, searched and then searched some more to find examples of classy – yet not too buttoned-up – examples of famous curvy women who were stylish, elegant and refined. When most things you can find for curvy women revolve around Kim Kardashian (whom I begrudgingly applaud for being comfortable in her – albeit much too exposed for my taste – skin), this can be quite a challenge…
And who did I come to call my curvy style muse? Salma Hayek.
Salma Hayek, even before marrying one of the world’s richest and most plugged in fashion execs in Francois-Henri Pinault, had a style which celebrated her curves rather than trying to hide them. Her style game has been greatly increased since marrying the man who controls such brands as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Gucci – but she still always manages to flaunt her assets in an appropriate, sexy and refined manner. Everything this refined girl ever wanted!
Let’s look at some of her “rules”, shall we?
Rule 1: V-Necks are Your Best Friend
There is literally no more flattering neckline for a girl with a larger chest than the v-neck. It balances out the body and if well cut is also a nod to the cleavage underneath without being overtly sexual. I find a lot of v-necks recently are very deep and that having a good stock of lightweight camisoles on hand for more conservative occasions such as the office to be extremely helpful.
Rule 2: Emphasize the Smallest Part
Take a look at the picture above of Salma on the red carpet in Cannes. Her small waist is emphasized through the clever use of panels and a flattering v-neck. This is a great trick that I use on a daily basis. Girls with boobs tend to wear clothes that just drape and aren’t cut for them, which is often the worst thing you can do as it packs on the illusion of pounds and will not help camouflage whatever it is you are trying to hide.
Rule 3: Even Conservative Can Be Sexy
Salma is a key example that even the most conservative of clothes can look vamped up on a curvy body, a great reminder to love your body type… And also to be aware of the power you hold! I’ve worn sweaters that looked great on friends but made me look like I should be at the nightclub looking for a man – never appropriate for the office!
Rule #4 : Make it your own
There’s no point in just copying someone else’s looks. You have to learn the basics for what works for your body and then customize it to your personality, lifestyle and reality. Salma wears lots of skirts and heels which may not be entirely practical if you’re running around all day. Or her jeans and casual looks might be too casual for you. So to leave you with inspiration in making your curvy body look as amazing as possible, here are some of my favourite looks of Salma’s over the years. Be it yachting chic or just casual glamour… She’s definitely got style to spare!
Who are your fashion icons? Do you have a muse, and if so how did you find her? We’d love to know!