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I have the body of a boy! Please Help!11/08/99

Dear Experts,

Hey! My name is McKenna. I have a question about fashion. I am 5'9 but I am straight up and down. I'm not skinny, but I'm not fat. I just don't have a defined waist. I feel like I look like a boy. I'm sorta rectangular. So, I was wondering what kinds of shirts and pants would make me look less wide in the middle and have a defined waist. Thanks a lot.

Darbi: Bargain Expert

Dear McKenna,

Hey! This is your fashion expert Darbi here to rescue you from a possible fashion fiasco! Have you ever tried wearing jean bibs? I have found that these do wonders for most gals! They are so cute and dont' really emphasize too much so you don't feel self conscious when you wear 'em.

Also, baggy clothing (i.e. big sweatshirts, t-shirts, baggy jeans,etc.) may only make you feel more tomboyish. So try to avoid those items.

I would suggest going to the mall and trying on the following items: boot cut jeans/pants, a tube top with an unbuttoned shirt over it, knee length skirts, and fitted sweaters. I would steer clear of drawstrings and I might even try some higher waisted pants and see how they work (they might define you waist more, since low riders don't).

Overall though, YOU are your best judge. Only YOU knows what looks and feels good for yourself. Just have a ball trying it all! Let me know how everything goes and what you find to work for you! Thanks for your exceptional question!

Till next time, keep steppin' in style!


Chako: Urban/Street Wear Expert


I have a similar "boyish" type body. You want to flaunt what you got!

Try fitted v-neck tees and loose fitting or flared pants; the shirt will accentuate your waist and bust (no matter what size) while the pants will give you some shape.

You can also use your height to your advantage and wear pedal pushers or cigarette pants.If you stick with a monochrome color scheme you'll look smooth and streamlined, whereas a multicolored outfit could prove too forced or harsh.


Kym- Accessories Expert

Dear McKenna,

You should start off with a few form-fitting pants. I personally recommend bell bottoms because these pants are wide on the bottom and will definitely give you a defined-looking waist.

If you don't go for bell-bottoms, try some boot cut jeans or pants.Basically, your are going for pants which are tight on your waist and loose near your feet.

In terms of your top half, you should wear shirts on the tighter side with those super-cute one-inch slits on the side. These will give you a shapely look because it won't hide you waist completely. Most of these shirts have the three quarter-length sleeve. Not only will you find your waist, but you'll also look oh-so-stylish doing it!


Amanda: Latest Trends Expert


Being tall is definitely a great feature you have already, so don't be ashamed of your body.

Try looking for boot-cut jeans or flare jeans. I find that they give my lower body a sense of shape. And, I also like to buy my jeans from The Limited or Express.

Normally when I buy my jeans from those stores I can fit into one size smaller...that not only makes you feel great, but they fit snuggly and make you look defined.

As for tops, look for them in the clingy styles. Baggy shirts or loose fitting shirts will just make you look either frumpy or give you an indefinite shape.

Try looking for your tops in darker, more suttle colors. As I've always said...the darker the slimmer anything will look!;o)


Madelin- World Expert

Dear McKenna,

One way to create a contrast and give you a curvy look it to wear patterned skirt/pants and a plain top. Nice bright funky colours give depth, where-as blacks and pastels make you look slimmer and have a longer more unbroken line, so try and steer away from these.

Flares are really good to create the illusion of being curvy, and coupled with peasent type shirts, and other tees where the definitions of you body aren't clearly seen, they can make you look like a whole different gal!


Maddie: Vintage/Thrift Expert


A staple of the lanky girl's wardrobe is the A-line skirt. The name says it all; that is the effect that it will have when you wear it.

Another suggestion is to wear shirts that flair at the bottom hem. Both of these pieces tend to give thinner girls the appearance of larger hips, and ultimately, a waist.

I would also like to remind you to that your less curvy figure is not completely a curse.

I am personally rather curvy for my mere height of 5'. Shopping for pants is something I tend to avoid as much as possible, since it only means frustration when a pair of pants will accomodate my hips, only to leave ridiculously large space around my hips, or when my hips will not allow a pair of pants to fit altogether.

Love your body, girl!


Felicity: Plus Size Expert

Hi McKenna,

What you want to do is draw attention away from your middle section. Designing is the key here. You have two options.

First, you could dress from head-to-toe in a single color. This will elongate you and accentuate your height. Try and find a top with a bit of detailing which will draw the eyes upward or a skirt for the same purpose.

Your other option would be to do something similar, but with different colors. The new jeans with the detailing at the bottom are great for this (check them out at Lane Brynat)! Pair them with a great pair of funky shoes and you are set! Scope out a shirt with detailing set on or above the chest (LB also has some great turtlenecks with this styling).

You want to try and stay away from anything that is cut too "boxy." Find shirts that are a bit fitted.

Dresses can be tricky. You wouldn't want anything with an elevated waist, as it will make you look even more rectangular. Look for something that cinches in at the waist. Again, detailing can make a difference here too.

With jeans, you will want to stay away from anything that is terribly baggy. They can make you look even more square. Even though you may feel as though wearing anything fitted will accentuate parts of you that you'd rather not, go and do it! Why look as though you're wearing a tent?!

Enjoy fashion!!


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