Universally Flattering Clothing Hacks For Every Shape And Size

Do you enjoy fashion, but feel uninspired to put an outfit together? Perhaps you are unhappy with your current wardrobe or unsure how to put pieces together due to body changes. Maybe you just feel as though your style is changing. If any of the above sounds like you, you might not be feeling your best right about now. As the saying goes, if you look good, you'll feel good, and if you feel good, you'll look good. 


However, just because you aren't totally loving everything in your closet at the moment doesn't mean it's time for you to start from scratch and invest in an entirely new wardrobe. If you are looking to update or revive your clothes, here are some simple tips and tricks you can follow to make sure that you're looking and feeling your best. Embrace the clothes you already own, and maybe even invest in a few new pieces as well. 

Tailor your clothing for the perfect fit

There is a misconception among some fashion enthusiasts that designer clothing, or clothes that cost more, fit better than fast-fashion pieces. While the detailing and silhouettes of designer garments may generally be more consistent or intentional to ensure a specific fit, you can still achieve a polished, sleek look with more affordable finds, and even the clothes you already own. 


Do your research and invest in the services of a tailor to give your wardrobe an update. Tailoring your clothing to fit better instantly elevates your look, and if you are tailoring or altering clothes you already own, the price of an alteration is likely much less than that of new clothes. You may also want to keep the option to tailor your clothes in mind if you find a piece you love at a great price, but it doesn't fit exactly to your liking. 

Avoid trends if you don't feel comfortable

With the saturation of social media, particularly in the fashion influencer space, it seems like "clothing hauls" and "viral" garments have caused trend cycles to speed up at an almost alarming rate. If you find that new trends emerge just as you are beginning to adopt earlier trends, you may want to be more mindful about what trends you participate in, especially if you are in the midst of fine-tuning your personal style. 


Consider if you're uncomfortable or don't feel like what you're wearing really reflects your style or personality, even if the outfit is fully on-trend. You may feel like objectively cool clothing is just not flattering on your body, even though the outfit doesn't necessarily look "bad." Sometimes, discomfort can manifest in how you perceive yourself. So, avoid trends that you're not comfortable wearing in order to keep your closet streamlined, as well as prevent you from overspending and waste. This will also ensure that the clothes you do wear are always a great fit, because they reflect your personal style and make you feel confident. 

Focus on fit, rather than size

If you have ever gone shopping and noticed that sizing from store to store can seem vastly different, you're not just imagining it. Clothing sizing has become inconsistent over the years as retailers make adjustments to their sizing as a way to distinguish and cater to their customers. This is why, if you shop at a variety of stores, you may currently have pieces in your closet that are two or maybe even three different sizes, though they were purchased around the same time. 


Although it can be difficult to ignore, the best thing you can do for your confidence when shopping is to try not to focus on the size listed on clothes, but rather, on how the clothes fit. No matter the item of clothing, if something fits well, it's more likely to look flattering on your body. And with sizing generally being so inconsistent, paying attention to the fit of a garment should be the priority.

Pay attention to textures and fabrics

Once you've determined the key pieces you want in your wardrobe, you may want to give some thought to the types of materials you wear. Choosing the right fabrics and materials can help to ensure a flattering look on any body type, as fabrics can have an effect on silhouette and the overall look of an outfit. For example, fabrics like silk sometimes easily wrinkle, and may not be ideal if you are trying to achieve a more structured, polished look. 


Then there are materials like faux fur or shearling, which can add unwanted bulk if you prefer sleeker silhouettes. If you prefer a more flowy vibe, heavier wool may not be for you, as more structured textiles may be too stiff for your style. Of course, you may also use a variety of fabrics and textures in one outfit to make a statement, like mixing up a monochromatic look with clothes that are made from a variety of fabrics. 

Take your undergarments into consideration

In a perfect world, we might all be utterly and completely happy in our own skin, at all times. If you ever feel dissatisfied about your body image or are not feeling entirely confident, especially when you're getting dressed, that's okay. No one is perfect, and you can't expect to be confident 100 percent of the time. However, do keep in mind that you wear the clothes, and the clothes don't wear you. 


Sometimes, even a simple thing like choosing the appropriate undergarment for your outfit can make a huge difference in how something fits and how you feel wearing it. For example, investing in a great-fitting bra and avoiding common bra mistakes will ensure that you are secure and supported when you wear certain shirts. You may also want to think about seamless underwear, or even the color of underwear you choose, depending on the fabric of the pieces you're wearing. 

Think of how a piece can elevate what you already own

While purchasing a new piece of clothing isn't necessarily a bad thing to do, even with a closet full of clothes, mindlessly buying new pieces that may not match anything you currently own almost guarantees a bad or unsatisfying outfit. Feeling like you don't have any options, or being overwhelmed by all the options you do have, can cause you to end up wearing whatever seems "easiest" or is closest to you — which could lead to a disjointed outfit that may not feel flattering at all. 


To avoid the dreaded feeling of having "nothing to wear" while looking at an overflowing wardrobe, try to be more intentional when you find clothes you might want to purchase. Before buying something, think of at least three outfits you could make with it using clothes you already have at home. 

Get creative with alternative ways to wear your clothes

There are many ways to repurpose your clothes or wear pieces in creative and unexpected ways. Think Julia Stiles in the movie "Save The Last Dance," wearing a cardigan as a head wrap. If this level of creativity sounds like it's right up your alley, you might also want to take stock of your current wardrobe and try some fun, DIY projects to adjust old clothes you don't really wear anymore. 


If this seems too advanced for your liking, you can also consider things like turning a dress into a skirt by wearing a sweater and tucking it into a belt, to give the illusion that you've tucked it into a skirt. You can even go simpler than that and just wear a sweater over your shoulders for a chic alternative to just packing a sweater in your bag in case you get cold. 

Focus on what you like, not what you don't like

In the past, the idea of "finding flattering clothing" has often been framed as a process that involves hiding some part of your body, or attempting to alter your appearance through the way you dress. However, if you want to approach the idea of dressing in a more positive way, you might consider choosing clothing that enhances your body, or at least the parts of your body that you love and want to show off. 


You can highlight your long legs by choosing mini skirts or high heels. Show off your curves with fitted pants or v-neck shirts. You can also bring more attention to your beautiful face with bold lipstick and a monochromatic outfit, making the focal point of your look a vibrant hue on your lips. Getting into the mindset of enhancing, rather than hiding, can help you put together outfits that feel flattering, rather than stifling.  


Wearing accessories might just be the easiest and most versatile way to update your look and breathe new life into your tried-and-true outfits. Choosing different combinations of accessories like hats, jewelry, or even shoes and bags can really enhance or change the vibe of an outfit entirely. If you already have pieces in your wardrobe that you love to wear and feel are flattering, adding accessories to your looks can give you much more wear out of your favorite pieces. 


For the most part, accessories are already quite versatile, so adding a few new ones to your wardrobe may really help or inspire you to create new outfits from clothes that you might not have paired together before. For example, a wide-brimmed, wool hat can add an autumn vibe to a floral dress that you might have otherwise only worn in the summertime. 

Don't forget to have fun

Getting dressed in the morning shouldn't be stressful. If you are mindful and intentional with your shopping choices, as well as how you approach things like sizing and fit, you might find that over time, it will become easier to put great outfits together. Though some might say that fashion comes with a set of rules, at the end of the day it's just clothes. You don't need to be super serious in your approach to fashion! 


The idea of what's flattering should not depend on your body type. Your clothing should be a way to adorn your body, not a way to camouflage it to conform to an ideal standard of beauty. Getting dressed with a positive mindset means choosing garments that make you feel good, self-assured, and like you are showcasing your personal style. Showing up in any outfit as the most confident version of yourself might just be the most universally flattering clothing hack there is.