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The best sweater style for your body

Julie Bielenberg is a Denver-based writer who served as managing editor for a regional home and lifestyle publication before starting Tweeter Communications, her editorial services boutique. With a BA in journalism from the University of...

Sweet sweaters

It's fall and that means it's time to bust out the heavier clothes. You certainly don't want to look too chunky or bulky by choosing the wrong sweater for your body this season, so follow these simple rules to find the best sweater style for your body.

While it's tempting to buy and wear the latest trends, it doesn't make sense to do so if it's not right for your body. Fall 2011 is a rarity as so many styles are en vogue at one time. Follow these tips to don the best sweater for your body.

Pear-shaped body

Pear shaped sweater

Famous pear shapes

Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce

This body type is heavier on the bottom than on the top. Think Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce. While these ladies have fashion houses knocking down their doors to dress them, you don't. However, take some cues from these women. Rarely do you see these celebrities rocking a sweater covering their tushies. Choose sweaters that end at your waist. If it goes any longer, it will accentuate your derriere. The goal when dressing a pear shape is to create balance. Here are some sweater ideas that will work best with this body type.

  • Larger necklines are flattering on pear shapes. Choose a sweater with a wide v-neck, large cowl, boat neck or a sweetheart neck. A-line sweaters also work very well.
  • Find a short-sleeved sweater that has puffed sleeves to draw attention to the embellishments. Gathered sleeves also look great.
  • While shoulder pads are still not en vogue, more structured clothing is big for fall 2011. Look for sweaters with shoulder details -- anything with a little bling such as sequins or epaulets.
  • Try a mesh-stitch zip cardigan, mixed cowlneck sweater or a button drape neck sweater that goes over the waist and features a larger neck

Hourglass-shaped body

Hourglass shape sweater

Famous hourglass shapes

Christina Hendrix, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek

Christina Hendrix, who stars on the television drama Mad Men, has made this body shape one of the most enviable of all. Her style is impeccable and her costume designers take full advantage of her hourglass figure. Wearing structured and colorful frocks, this startlet is ironically en vogue even though she's playing a character 50 years in the past. Salma Hayek and Halle Berry are also excellent examples of an hourglass body and consistently in trend. Here are some tips to emulate these star styles.

  • Wrap sweaters are a must! You want to highlight every inch of your hourglass body. A wrap sweater will help accentuate a full bust, a tiny waist and a nice bottom.
  • Look for sweaters that have buttons or embellishments right below the bust line. This will draw attention to your nice assets and give you a little extra flair.
  • Remember structure and formfitting. Pick a sweater that's not too baggy or loose. This will highlight your amazing figure.
  • Look for goregous autumn colors and faux wraps that end at the midsection.

Apple-shaped body

Apple shape sweater

Famous apple shapes

Drew Barrymore, Elizabeth Hurley, Jennifer Hudson

This body type tends to carry most of the weight in the mid-section. Many pre and post-natal women fall into this category. An undefined waistline and love handles are also very typical of apple shapes. When choosing a sweater for an apple-shaped body, it's hard to hide the excess weight, so be careful. You want to highlight your best features and cover up those less desirable spots. Follow these simple steps.

  • Stick to sweaters with v-necks, large necks such as cowls, boats and squares that will draw attention upwards.
  • Do not purchase sweaters that stop right before the midline that will accentuate the larger waist. Instead, pick sweaters that go over your stomach.
  • Button-down sweaters or even sweater jackets that go past the stomach and even down to the knees will work great. Leave them unbuttoned or open if they squeeze too much at the midsection.
  • A pleated cowlneck sweater with both length and a wide neck, a ribbed shawl cardigan with length or a tie front cardigan that goes just past the waistline are all great choices for the apple shape.

Rectangle-shaped body

Rectangle shapes

Famous rectangle shapes

Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Keira Knightley

This body type is typical of a supermodel, just a straight stick with no hips. A rectangle body can also be referred to as a boyish figure, as there are no curves involved. While you might be a skinny mini, you still might struggle in finding that perfect sweater that creates the illusion of a great figure for your body. Here are some ideas for sweaters this fall.

  • You're lucky in that you can pull off a bulky sweater with heavy materials. Go ahead and get that extra-comfy sweater and wear it with skinny jeans or a great pencil skirt.
  • Belted sweaters and cardigans will look fabulous on a ruler or rectangle-shaped body. Cinch in that waist to create a more womanly figure.
  • Wrap sweaters are in style and on trend for this season and perfect for this body shape! They will create the illusion of curves and keep you nice and warm this fall.
  • A tie waist belted sweater jacket or tight fitting heavy material turtleneck are great choices for this body shape.

More fall fashion ideas

Tips for wearing kimono sleeves
Poncho looks
Fall trend alert: Colorblock heels

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