Tim Gunn: How to Dress for Different Body Issues

The Project Runway style guru answers all your style conundrums. This month, he talks about looks that work for everything from skinny legs to athletic frames.

Most Popular

Slim Pickings

"I have skinny legs. For years I've been self-conscious about them. But now I'm finding the courage to wear skirts. Any advice on what cut of skirt and shoes I should wear so that my legs are not so noticeable?"

At this point in my life, I'm grateful for any part of my body that's skinny! At the same time, I have empathy for anyone who is self-conscious about body issues. So wear your skirts to the knee. If you wear them higher, then you may exacerbate the thinness of your legs. If you wear them longer, then you risk looking dowdy and matronly. Regarding footwear, boots are very in this season, and you're lucky enough to be able to wear any of the on-trend styles. (Many women's calves are too wide to accommodate high boots.) Enjoy!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Hard Body

"I'm a firefighter/EMT, and I've come across some fashion issues as a result of bulking up at the gym for my career. My body has taken on an athletic, masculine form, yet I still maintain my feminine features. I can't find any silhouettes that flatter my figure. Any advice?"

Believe me, I feel your pain. What's wrong with retailers these days? How many women are a size 6? The key to getting your fashion correct has to do with the harmony and balance of three key elements: silhouette, proportion, and fit. With pants, you will be best served by those that fall straight from the widest part of your hip (no flare or taper). If you choose a dress, I recommend wrap styles because they can be adjusted to accommodate the particulars of your shape, and they're feminizing, too. You should avoid anything that is menswear tailored, boxy, or oversized. Silhouette! Proportion! Fit!

Most Popular

Classic and Eclectic

"I love classics like striped shirts, polos, and chinos. But I can never incorporate these pieces into my everyday style without looking like a J.Crew catalog. Can you suggest some pieces I can wear with these classics without abandoning my more eclectic side?"

Frankly, I aspire to look like a J.Crew catalog model, so perhaps I'm the wrong person to respond to your question. In fact, I find it difficult to conjure what you can pair with a polo other than chinos or denim. I suggest that you channel your inner eclecticism through the use of accessories, especially jewelry. Consider one-of-a-kind pieces that really speak to you and resonate with who you are. The same is true for shoes, handbags, and other accessories like scarves. I love a scarf: It can be used as an ascot, it can drape from your shoulders, it can be used as a headband, and it can be tied around your waist as a sash. Just be you!

GOT A STYLE DILEMMA?

Send Tim your questions at marieclaire.com/asktim.

Celebrity
Share
See President Obama's Epic Mic Drop at the White House Correspondents' Dinner
​Going out with a bang. ​
In 2013 Cyrus and Hemsworth called off their engagement but there is clearly no bad blodd between the two. In subsequent interviews both stars have proclaimed only the utmost respect for one another.
Celebrity
Share
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth Spotted Canoodling in Australia
The pair is spending a lot of time with the Hemsworth family.
Celebrity
Share
What all the A-List Guests Wore to President Obama's Final White House Correspondents' Dinner
Everyone's looking extra fancy. ​
Celebrity
Share
Kate Hudson Butchered the Pronunciation of 'Louboutins' and It's Absolutely Adorable
​Watching this on a loop and dying laughing. ​
Celebrity
Share
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Make The Coolest Biker Gang
Just look at those leather jackets​.​
Celebrity
Share
Chrissy Teigen Giving Luna a Bath Is the Most Adorable Thing Ever
​Too cute. ​
Celebrity
Share
Kesha Posts Touching Thank You to Fans After Releasing First Single Since 2014
"I've never been so full of gratitude in my entire life."
Celebrity
Share
Yolanda Hadid Responds to Rebecca Romijn's Comments About Gigi and Kendall
​"They accomplished more at half your age in the fashion industry​."​
Celebrity
Share
Victoria Beckham "Never Felt Comfortable" As a Spice Girl
The Spice Girls' former manager opens up about Posh.​
GIF
Celebrity
Share
Justin Timberlake Beat Everyone to the Punch with the 'It's Gonna Be May' Meme
Preemptive meme-ing.​