Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets

Design Idea CADS Necklace

by Barbara van Look, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Fashion magazines continuously show consumers what jeans or dress to wear, or what lipstick to choose--but what about accessories? Give your customers confidence by encouraging them to choose jewelry which suits not only the shape of their faces, but the shape of their bodies, too. Your guidance can give them the illusion of a little more height, create a slimming bodyline, balance a pear-shaped figure and complement a particular professional or casual look. Help your customers look their best--and feel more confident about purchasing from you--with these tips for choosing jewelry and accessories.

Get the Look

The keys to helping your customers feel more attractive and confident is helping them highlight their assets and keep attention away from features they wish to minimize. Observers will naturally pay more attention to parts of the body that are embellished with jewelry.

Balance Their Figures

Determine your customers' overall body shape--you can then make recommendations for helping them look their best. You can experiment on them and show them how different jewelry styles change the way they look. Remind them that they're not stuck with black, especially if they have more generous proportions. Other good colors for minimizing areas of the body are dark brown, navy blue and olive green.

Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets Pear: Pear-shaped figures often have a slender and elongated torso with a small bust and noticeably larger hips and thighs
  • Encourage A-line skirts, empire waistlines and minimize attention to the lower half of the body
  • Draw the eye away from hips and thighs using long necklaces chunky earrings, bracelets and cocktail rings. Carry purses tucked under the arm.

Apple: Apple-shaped figures often have a full, round midsection with slender lower legs.
  • Recommend soft, draping fabrics and avoid shapeless, loose clothing. Emphasize the bust line, neck and face--or the shapely calf and ankle.
  • Short chains, embellished décolletage and eye-catching earrings pull the eye upward. Anklets, embellished shoes, boot chains and other foot accessories move the eye downward, keeping attention off the midsection.
Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets

Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets Hourglass: Hourglass-shaped figures often have a narrow waist with a bust line and hipline roughly equivalent in size.
  • Suggest tailored and softly structured clothing, drawing attention towards the head and feet while covering arms with 3/4- or full-length sleeves
  • Keep jewelry high on the neckline or wear bold earrings to pull the eyes upward while attention-getting footwear pulls eyes downward

Straight: Straight figures (also called "boyish") have few visible curves from the shoulders through the hips.
  • Encourage wrap or surplice tops with separate bottoms, rather than a monochromatic dress. Peplum skirts and bolero jackets add curves. Avoid tube dresses and boxy jackets.
  • Draw the eye to the waist with highly embellished belts. Add the illusion of curves by wearing bands on the upper arms.
Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets

Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets Inverted triangle: Inverted triangle figures often have wide shoulders with a slender waist and noticeably smaller hips and thighs.
  • This body type needs attention drawn to the lower body, with bright colors and flare legs
  • Draw the eye to the lower body with embellished footwear, anklets and toe rings. Use minimal jewelry around the face and neck, though bracelets can be worn. Carry purses with long straps that dangle below the hipline.
Use Statement Jewelry

Wearing the right jewelry is important--and so is wearing the right amount of jewelry. Too much jewelry worn together doesn't let you control where the eye goes, so your customers look less than their best. Encourage them to wear one statement piece and keep the others in supporting roles. Help your customers choose the styles that suit them with these tips:

Earrings: Eye-catching earrings move attention to the face and add definition to the cheekbones. Use size, color, sparkle and movement to draw the eye away from the midsection, hips and thighs.
Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets

Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets Necklaces: Make a short neck look longer with long, thin chain or cord necklaces--they pull the gaze downward along the line of the throat and body--paired with short or stud-style earrings to keep the eye moving vertically with a majority of attention on the face. Encourage bola-style, "U," "V" or "Y" shapes that are in proportion to the size and height of the customer: necklaces should end at the navel or above. Long necklaces should be worn outside of high collars and openly across boatneck necklines and the décolletage.

Bracelets: Help draw attention away from the torso altogether with bold styles of bracelets. Thicker, heavier bracelets are ideal for larger, thicker wrists. However, if your customer has fine wrist bones, avoid chunky styles that overwhelm her wrist--regardless of her size.

Brooches: Are ideal for pulling attention upward, downward and side to side. Pull the eye away from the hips with a brooch at the neckline or in the hair. Balance an imbalanced bust line by pinning an eye-catching brooch on the smaller side.

Rings: Short fingers and hands have a solution: cocktail rings! Especially ideal for larger women with generous body proportions, cocktail rings draw attention to the jewelry and minimize attention to the hands wearing them. Just make sure the rings are proportional to the hands wearing them.
Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets

Bridal and Formal Wear

Special occasions aren't a time to ignore these basic style rules--formalwear even offers your customers more options than casual or professional attire.

Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets Earrings: Linear earrings that follow up the outside of the ears or dangle to the shoulder help make round faces look longer and leaner.

Necklaces: A plain gown or dress can showcase an intricate statement necklace, while a large pendant can help balance a heavy skirt. Lariat necklaces, like long 1920s-style opera length designs add length to the torso and an upscale elegance to a dress.

Belts: Glittery, sparkly or colorful sashes at the waist draw attention and create curves. Minimizing an apple-shaped midsection? Try a sash in a dark, rich color to create a defined waistline--embellish it with matte-finished beads for added elegance.

Gloves: If your customers are self-conscious about their arms, formalwear offers gloves as an additional way to balance their figures and conceal problematic areas. Long sleeves aren't required and, yes, you can wear a bracelet over your gloves or embellish them with hot-fix flat backs!

Shoes: Adding height with heels is a basic for dress shoes. However, pointy tips make legs look slimmer while eye-catching embellishments draw the eyes downward, away from problem areas.

Veil and Hair Accessories: Fingertip- and elbow-length veils work for balancing a skirt-heavy design or adding fullness to a minimal bust line. Chapel-length veils which touch the floor give added height, as do tiaras and other hair accessories.

Whether you're designing high-end formal jewelry or causal accessories, knowing how to guide your customers to styles that suit their body type can add to their enjoyment of your creations. Add to your customer's confidence and style and they'll keep adding to your bottom line.

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Style Snapshot: Figure-Flattering Jewelry--Slimming Style Secrets
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