The hourglass figure has been considered a beauty ideal for centuries. It was always thought as a sign of femininity.
During the Victorian era all fashionable women strived to achieve this look. Wearing corsets and other garments that would reshape their body to that of an hourglass figure. But with that most of them paid a price. Long term use of corsets would bring medical problems due to the shifting of their organs.
Over time women that did not have an hourglass figure have come up with ways to achieve this look with out the use of corsets. Though there are women that still use them for entertainment or to acheive a certain look, they are no longer the only solution.
How to determine if you have an hourglass shape?
A woman with an hourglass figure is a woman with a very curvy body. Broad hips and large breasts that are essentially the same measurement. The waist known as a "wasp waist" has a measurement that is over 50% less then their hip/breast measurement.
Essentially have the look of an old fashion hourglass, thus the name of this particular body type.
How to create or enhance an hourglass shape?
The key thing to creating the illusion of an hourglass shape or enhancing it is:
A well fitting bra.
Every woman should always wear a well fitting bra no matter your shape. But lets be honest here a majority of women walk around daily in the wrong bra size.
Going to Victoria Secret and having a sales person wrap a tape around your breast does not mean getting a proper fit. No offense to the girl's at Victoria's. But I have gone into a few of the store's just to test their skills, I have asked for a fitting and to date I have yet go into one that has giving me my correct bra size. Anyway, bra fitting is for another post, so lets move along.
After a proper fitting bra is all a matter of buying the right style and design of clothing that will flatter your curves.
V-neck shirts, wrap style designs and generally designs that nips at the waist are the types of clothing you want to look for. Belts are great accessories to always have around.
Two great examples of flattering styles are this great Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress:
and this Issa London dress:
Both dresses have the v-neck, wrap around waist and also a fluid bottom that adds fullness (but not too much. Too much fullness around the hip will make you look fat) and movement.
For those of you with the curves in all the right places for this body type and do not have to really do much in the illusions department (didn't you know? we women are magician's too), try one of these numbers:
Tadashi Shoji Pleated dress:
or Phoebe Couture Mixed Media Dress:
Both of these dresses have the v-neck element to them and hug the body giving emphasis to those kicking curves.
A few famous women with hourglass figures: Marilyn Monroe, Scarlet Johansson, Rita Hayworth, Sophia Loren