A Capsule Wardrobe for an Hourglass Figure

A Capsule Wardrobe for an Hourglass Figure


Understanding what complements and contradicts your body shape can make it easier to build a capsule wardrobe with outfits that better suit your figure; giving you the confidence you need to express your personal style. It's not about confining yourself to only wearing clothes that conventionally "flatter" your body; rather, it's a way to understand how to style outfits that better suit your preferences.

Historically, an hourglass figure is the body shape considered to be the most "womanly." Defined by its curvaceous yet well-balanced silhouette, an hourglass figure is regarded as the traditional feminine ideal.

As someone with an hourglass figure, I've noticed there is very little style inspiration for the hourglass bodies and even less style advice that isn't outdated or fatphobic. With the hourglass body shape being one of the hardest to dress for, this capsule wardrobe should help!



Characteristics of an Hourglass Body Shape

The hourglass body shape is characterised by balanced proportions between the shoulders and hips, with a well-defined waistline that is significantly narrower than the bust the hips. Hourglass figures often have a fuller bust with curvy hips and thighs, and soft, rounded shoulders. Tailored or close-fitting clothes look particularly good on this body shape, while boxy, loose-fitting clothing will overwhelm the figure—if not styled with care.

There are 3 main body types—endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph—with several different shapes—apple or oval, pear or triangle, rectangle or straight, diamond or rhomboid, athletic or spoon, hourglass, and inverted triangle.

It's important to note that these body shapes are general classifications. Many individuals may not fit perfectly into one category and instead will have attributes from more than one body shapes. Understanding your physique can help you to make informed choice about the clothes you wear.



A Capsule Wardrobe for an Hourglass Figure

A Capsule Wardrobe for an Hourglass Figure


  1. Blazer
  2. Wrap Trench Coat
  3. Fitted Cardigan
  4. Cropped Vest
  5. Tie-Front Top
  6. Tailored Blouse
  7. High-Waist Jeans
  8. Midi-Length Dress
  9. A-Line Maxi-Skirt
  10. Monk Strap Shoes
  11. Loafers
  12. Handbag
  13. Layering Chain
  14. Pendant Necklace
  15. Hoop Earrings

This is an example of a capsule wardrobe for an hourglass figure using my all-year wardrobe. I have an hourglass figure that I know exactly how to dress for depending on whether I want to emphasis my curves or hide them.

For this capsule wardrobe, I've chosen clothes that accentuate the curves of the hourglass body featuring tie-front tops, cropped knitwear, tailored trousers, and fitted dresses. These items all mix-and-match well together to show off the beauty of this figure's natural curves.

These outfits would typically be referred to as "flattering" the hourglass figure, which is a term I absolutely loathe. It's often a word subconsciously used to mean "slimming," and while wearing certain styles can make an hourglass figure look bigger—that isn't a bad thing!

But dressing to highlight you body's natural feature isn't either, which is why I've chosen to enhance the beauty of the hourglass figure with this capsule wardrobe. Understanding how best to style this body shape will also help you to disguise it, if that's what you'd prefer to do.



Outfit Inspiration for an Hourglass Figure

A Capsule Wardrobe for an Hourglass Figure

How to Dress for an Hourglass Body

Choosing clothes for an hourglass figure can be challenging, as the curves that define this body shape can make it difficult to find the perfect fit. Many outfit styles run the risk of hiding the well-defined waist, full bust, and shapely hips of an hourglass shape underneath boxy fits or straight cuts. Embracing tailored pieces make dressing for this body type easier, with outfits that are both timeless and versatile—no matter your personal style.



Well-Fitted Basics

Every capsule wardrobe should start with a foundation of form-fitting basics. When it comes to dressing an hourglass body, a well-fitted bra is an absolute must. It helps maintain balanced proportions and ensures that clothing sits beautifully on the body.

A properly fitted bra is not just about comfort and support; it plays a crucial role in shaping and highlighting the natural curves of an hourglass body. Wearing a correctly sized bra will completely change how each outfit looks and feels.



Classic Tops

When choosing tops for an hourglass figure, look for tailored shirts or blouses, wrap tops, and slightly cropped knitwear. These timeless and versatile options will hug the waist, emphasising the hourglass silhouette.

V-neck and scoop-neck tops are an excellent choice as they draw attention to the d├ęcolletage, creating a balanced appearance when paired with tailored bottoms. For larger busts, opt for material with a bit of stretch to allow a close fit without sacrificing comfort.



Tailored Bottoms

To create a polished look with minimal effort, choose tailored bottoms to draw attention to the waist, providing a defined silhouette. High-waisted jeans, wide-leg trousers, and pencil or A-line skirts will all accentuate the curves of an hourglass shape.

Pair these tailored bottoms with tucked-in shirts or form-fitting tops to created a balanced silhouette and provide a harmonious look that highlights the hourglass shape without overwhelming it. Avoid adding volume to the waist with pleats, ruffles or large waistbands as this will hide the body's natural shape.



Cinched Dresses

Dresses are a fantastic way to showcase an hourglass figure by accentuating the waist and highlighting the natural curves—and there are so many options to choose from! A-line, Fit-and-Flare, wrap, peplum, and bodycon dresses are all excellent options.

With an hourglass figure, it's important to focus on waist-defining styles with complementary necklines and dress lengths. Choose V-neck or scoop-neck dresses that or fall just below the knee or are midi-length, depending on the silhouette required.



Structured Jackets

An hourglass body shape requires a structured silhouette to maintain a balanced silhouette. A belted trench, wrap coat, fitted blazer, pea coat, or cropped jacket are good choices as they provide definition that draws attention to the natural curves.

It's important to choose outerwear that allows for layering during colder weather while still maintaining a well-defined waistline. Experiment with different styles and lengths to find options that work for different outfits and style preferences.



Layered Jewellery

Jewellery is a powerful accessory in any capsule wardrobe. Layering necklaces will create a focal point that guides the eye towards the neckline, enhancing the balanced proportions of the hourglass figure. It's a simple yet effective way to improve any outfit.

Whether opting for a bold pendant or delicately layered chains, well-styled accessories not only add a touch of personal style but will also highlight the natural hourglass silhouette. Learn how to create a jewellery capsule with tips for layering necklaces.