How To Create An Hourglass Figure

Everyone has their own body shape, but the curvy hourglass figure is one of the most popular body figures many women love to achieve!


Strongly associated with the ultra-feminine silhouette–tiny waist, big hips, full chest and shapely legs, less than 10% of the population actually naturally possess these proportions! But there are many ways to create the classic hourglass shape with clothes and styling tips!

Before you get started, equip yourself with three simple tips:

  • Shapewear is your secret weapon.

    Get the right shapewear to enhance the hourglass frame. Contouring shapewear will nip in at your waist and smooth out any bumps you want to deemphasize.

  • Fit matters.

    Draw attention to all the right places when you wear fitting tailored clothes to mimic the hourglass look. Know your measurements and understand your body shape and what you’d like to highlight.

  • Accessorise with belts.

    Accentuate the waist area with belts of every material: woven, patent, and even leather! It creates an illusion that highlights your waist, perfect! You probably already own a belt or two, and if you’re looking for more, get one thin belt and one wider (corset or obi) belt.


Next, raid the Infinite Wardrobe and find pieces that help create that hourglass figure:

1. Hourglass fave: Strategic Geometric Shapes and Patterns


Create the illusion of the perfect double-cherry figure that is narrow at the waist while visually slimming that area. Think of dark or contrasting panels that deemphasize bumps you dislike.

2. Hourglass fave: Flattering Wrap Tops and Dresses

aijek-marjorie-wrap-dress-red-1 (1)
We Love: Marjorie Wrap Dress Red by AIJEK

If there’s something distinctive about the hourglass figure is the defined waist. Add waist ties or ruching at the waist to naturally draw attention to your waist and accentuate your curvy shape. The flattering v-neck is also easy to show off layering necklaces!

 3. Hourglass fave: Peplum Styles

What’s not to love about peplums? They draw attention to your torso and adds more volume to your curves while balancing out the hip-to-shoulder ratio. While all peplum tops may look the same at first glance, find the right peplum for your body shape. (What’s my body shape?)

  • rectangle: where the peplum sits right at your waist
  • strawberry: where the peplum sits below the waist
  • pear: where the peplum sits right at your waist
  • apple: where the peplum sits below the waist
  • double cherry: the fewer the frills, the better the peplum style

4. Hourglass fave: Classic Belted Dresses

cameo-vanish-midi-dress-1 (1)
We Love: Vanish Midi Dress by CAMEO

It’s illusion at play: Create an hourglass shape that comes in and out again with clothes that nip at the waist. A figure-hugging lightweight dress can be accessorized with a thin belt at the waist for work sophistication or colour block with a thick corset or obi belt to break the monotony. Do note that your corset or obi belt has to be the darkest shade, followed by your bottom, then your top!

5. Hourglass fave: A-line Outerwear

We Love: Long Trench Coat by NINE WEST

For outerwear, opt for a coat with defined waist in the form of a belt or a tie. Form-fitting A-line coats and trenches are always flattering. Avoid puffer coats and boxy, straight coats without a belt.

Similarly, try suit jackets and blazers that follow the line of your body and draw in at the waist. Shorter, cropped jackets work nicely as they highlight your waist.

6. Hourglass fave: Lightweight Fitted Button-downs

We Love: Matilda Shirt by RYDER

The right style of top is always the first step to nailing that hourglass figure. Much like a wrap dress, shirts and tops that are well-tailored and nipped in at the waist can achieve the same likeness! Go with soft fabrics without adding any additional bulk to the chest area. We love silk and stretch cottons rather than linen and starched cottons.

7. Hourglass fave: Crop tops

We Love: Fundament Top by CAMEO

A cropped stretch-knit worn with a high-waist skirt or pants is incredibly flattering and style-forward. Show off the thinnest place on your body to achieve the perfect hourglass frame. If you like to create the illusion of top-heaviness, choose turtlenecks and square necks. If you prefer to highlight your shoulders-to-hips ratio instead, choose oval- or V-necklines.

8. Hourglass fave: High-waisted trousers

We Love: Rooftop Polka Dot Pant by THE FIFTH LABEL

To achieve the hourglass figure with your bottoms, the best thing you can do is elongate your legs! Skip the low-rise cuts as they make your hips look wider and your legs shorter. High-waisted styles are both chic and flattering for the hourglass silhouette. Bonus points for slits to show off those gams and belts to accentuate your waist more.

9. Hourglass fave: A-line Midi Skirts

We Love: Sophia Skirt by FLYNN SKYE

Ah, the universally flattering style: full A-line skirts. They sit high at your waist and hug your hips before draping naturally downwards. Avoid thicker and stiff fabrics that can create boxiness or ruffles and pockets at the hips that ruin an hourglass silhouette. Skater dresses and A-line midi skirts are easy picks to go with your favourite lightweight tops.

So chart your way to fit and flatter with Style Theory’s Infinite Wardrobe and fast-track to an hourglass figure!


Discover new ways to make every day worth dressing up for with 20,000+ designer outfits from the Infinite Wardrobe to add to your daily rotation!

style theory fashion a to z

Get to know fashion the Style Theory way;  Introducing the Style Theory’s Fashion A to Z Dictionary, where we’ll share our collection of style experiments that unlocks new possibilities for everyone, one letter at a time. Check out our Fashion A to Z articles here.

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