4 Classy Ways to Show Off An Hourglass Figure

The classic “problem” of a curvy figure is that clothes that look cute on your petite friends can wind up looking a bit trashy on you. The situation can seem a bit lose-lose — when you wear baggy clothes, you look way heavier than you actually are, but if your clothes are too tight you find yourself on the receiving end of some leering or judgmental stares.

It can feel like frumpy and trashy are your only two options, but there is a way to dress beautifully and still look like a class act. Finding the perfect balance of figure flattering and classy can be a real challenge, but when you achieve it the results are incredible. Here are some of my go-to outfits for showing off your figure in a ladylike way.

1. Fitted Top With a Full Skirt

This feminine silhouette great way to show off a tiny waist, and it works whether you are an hourglass or you are top-heavy and looking for a way to bring balance to your look. I love a full skirt that sits at the natural waist because not only does it make your waist look even thinner than it already is (the full skirt has a way of creating that illusion!), but it also offers complete coverage of a larger behind. I am especially full figured in that area, and while I’m not afraid of fitted skirts, there are some situations in which I’d rather keep this asset* hidden.

*Pun fully intended

You can also pull off this look with a skirt and top combo. One color head to toe will bring the most balance to the look. If you are trying to de-emphasize your chest, go for a darker color on top and brighter color on the bottom.

Above: Here, I mixed patterns. Already, I’m breaking all of the fashion rules when it comes to dressing curves. Since each pattern has a different scale, they pair well together.

PSST – This wrap skirt is one that I made myself! I’m not an expert seamstress when it comes to clothing, but it’s pretty hard to mess up a skirt like this since it adjusts to your body. A wrap skirt is a great beginner project, which is super convenient since wrap skirts look great on everyone!

[Check out this pattern]

2. Fitted Skirt With a Blousy Top

This is a great office look — the looseness of the top can help offset the fitted skirt. If you are more top heavy, this look might throw your body off balance a bit. If you find this to be the case, try a dark color on top and lighter color on the bottom to bring things back into proportion.

Wearing a skirt that hits below the knee can lengthen the line of your body and make you appear taller as long as you pair it with heels. Flats with a long skirt will have the opposite effect. I’m getting ahead of myself though — more on skirt length in a bit!

3. Fitted All the Way

One of my favorite looks, this will always be the most impactful way to show off your figure. There are a few tricks for pulling this off.

First, choose thicker materials and opt for high-quality items that have lining (and make sure you are wearing the proper undergarments). Fitted is a world away from tight. Well-made garments will skim your curves and show off your figure. Tight or thin clothes can reveal too much. You don’t want people to see the curve of your stomach, the curve of the front of your thighs, or the cellulite on your legs.

It’s important that you get the length of the skirt right. If you are wearing heels, a just-below-the-knee length will be very old-school glam (as mentioned earlier, this will make you appear taller when paired with heels!).

Just above the knee is okay too, and will allow you to wear the outfit with either heels or flats. Personally, if my skirt is anything more than just above my knee I prefer flats. Heels and a short skirt is a bit too much for work or church. Of course, if you are on a hot date or going out for the evening with your girls, you might be able to break this rule.

4. Anything With Peplum

Peplum is a super classy touch, and it’s a great way to add some extra style to an otherwise tailored look. You can find peplum tops of both the casual and formal variety. Here are a few of my favorites.

Above: An H&M Blazer over my green dress turns this into a chic but smart office look. I absolutely LOVE this blazer. Finding one that fit me was a challenge in itself. Truthfully, this blazer fits me SO well that I have to turn the sleeves inside out to get them off my wrists. But it’s totally worth it!

Above: This peplum top was $3 at Greene Street and is originally from Target. I love it when a comfy and casual top has great details that keep you looking dressed up.

What are your styling secrets for showing off your curves? Share them in the comments below!

Things I Didn’t Know About Motherhood

Motherhood is an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Despite having many friends who became mothers before me, and despite listening to them tell me about their experiences, there was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood. There were parts that were way more difficult than I anticipated, but there are also parts that are so much better than I could ever have imagined.

I’ve only been a mother to baby Alexa for just under two short months, but in this brief time period I’ve experienced so many highs and lows. Here are some of the challenges I’ve encountered in this journey so far!

Postpartum recovery can be lengthy and difficult.

I knew going into my pregnancy that there would be a recovery process after giving birth, but I didn’t realize how challenging that would be. After giving birth, the bleeding can last for several weeks, and everything hurts down there. It’s difficult to move around. Specifically, if I was seated and holding the baby, I had to ask someone to take her so that I could stand up. I couldn’t stand up and hold the baby at the same time.

Trying to keep up with things while I was recovering was incredibly difficult and overwhelming. The first night I came home from the hospital I started crying hysterically. I was sore, exhausted from the lack of sleep in the hospital, and I felt like my husband, Juan, was doing a much better job than I was of taking care of the baby. Fortunately, I had some great friends and family members that came over during this time to help clean, bring food, and hold the baby. I have no idea how I would have gotten through this without Juan’s paternity leave – and I have a newfound admiration for single mothers, because this was challenging, even with all the help.

Once I had fully recovered, taking care of things got a lot easier and I began to find my groove. Parenting still has its difficult moments, but it’s much easier now that my body has healed.

Taking care of a baby is incredible, but it can also be isolating.

During my maternity leave, I got to experience what it would be like to be a stay-at-home mother. Juan’s paternity leave was shorter than my leave, so I had about three weeks of taking care of Alexa on my own during the day. I had some absolutely incredible moments, but I can definitely see that taking care of a baby is isolating. It’s easy to get sucked into the baby vortex and fail to spend time with family and friends. It’s easy to get stuck in the house all day, as taking the baby with you can turn even a simple outing into an event.

I definitely recommend scheduling visits with friends and family and taking your baby out of the house, even if it’s challenging. Being able to spend time with others and go places is an important part of self-care. Don’t neglect your self-care just because of the baby. And make sure that you take some time away from your child to do some of the things you used to do for yourself. For me, that means leaving Alexa with my husband on Saturday for a few hours so I can go thrifting and grocery shopping on my own. It also looks like taking the time to write and journal in the morning before she has woken up for the day.

Breastfeeding can be incredibly hard.

In the hospital, I had a difficult time getting Alexa to latch. The nurses had me waking her up for feedings, and she was so tired that she had no interest in eating. She latched exactly two times, and both of those were times when the lactation consulting helped her do it. I wasn’t able to get her to latch myself, which led me to decide that I wanted to pump and feed her through a bottle.

I was advised to pump every three hours around the clock. This alone proved to be a difficult struggle – who wants to sit there with a breast pump all day, especially when no milk is coming out yet?

At the pediatrician’s office, I started crying when he asked me how I planned to feed her. We talked and it became clear that I didn’t really want to give up breastfeeding just yet. Since Alexa was over 9 pounds, he told me to take her home and for the next two days offer her nothing but breastmilk, even if she cried and refused to eat. We would check in two days later to see how she did.

Fast forward to later that night – Alexa is crying uncontrollably and refusing to breastfeed. I’m falling apart because I feel guilty letting her starve. Juan wanted to cave in and give her formula. Finally, my mom came over to help and with the aid of a nipple shield, we finally got her to latch.

Once she latched, there were still many challenges. The first challenge is cluster feeding. She tends to sleep pretty well at night, but that means that during the day she is making up for it with extra feedings. She can feed for 45 minutes and then half an hour later she’ll be ready to feed again. Making this even more challenging is her love of using me as her pacifier – she loves to comfort feed, and she could do this for hours on end. All of this leaves me feeling like a human milk machine.

Since I’m planning to go back to work, I had to figure out how to pump as well. To make pumping less of a hassle, I invested in a hands-free portable pump, which was a game changer. I hated pumping, but with this pump I am able to get some chores done at the same time. The only challenge is that I’m supposed to pump after each feed, but Alexa is often awake and requiring attention. The one thing I can’t do while pumping is hold my baby, so right now my pumping is a bit sporadic. When I return to work and she is in daycare, I’ll be able to adhere to a consistent pumping schedule.

I’ve grown to love breastfeeding her – especially since I learned to how to feed her while lying down in bed. I often will lie down in bed the afternoon with a tv show on and allow her to comfort feed a bit, which helps her fall asleep for a late afternoon nap. This has become one of my favorite parts of the day.

Leaving your child at daycare is super emotional

As of this writing, I have one week of maternity leave left. I am dreading having to drop off baby Alexa at daycare next week. We really love the daycare we selected, but I still feel the dread. I’m going to miss the long hours spent with her during the day, and I don’t want to pass her off to someone else who will get to enjoy her while I’m at work all day. Before giving birth, I didn’t think this was going to be difficult for me to do — I thought I might enjoy the break. But now that I’ve met my child, I have no idea how I’m going to be able to be apart from her during the week. Since I work from home, my plan is to prepare dinner during my lunch break so that I have the entire evening to savor my time with her.

Your Motherhood Journey

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your journey with motherhood? Do you identify with any of the ones I shared? Let me know in the comments!

On Weight Gain and Body Acceptance

Over the past few years, I’ve put on a lot of weight. It actually started with a medication that I had to take for bipolar disorder. One of the side effects was that I put on a few pounds. But it wasn’t until recently, when I got pregnant with my first child, that the weight really started to pile on. During my pregnancy, I was a bit overwhelmed at the rate at which I was gaining weight, and it was hard to prevent it from happening. I was constantly hungry, and as my pregnancy progressed, I replaced going to the gym with more leisurely walks because I was constantly winded and tired from my workouts.