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May 12, 2010

Top 3 Summer Trends for Every Body Shape

Want to wear shorts and floral prints but don't know how to pull off the look? One celeb designer shows how every figure can make it work.

girl with white shorts striped shirt and jacket

SPORTY SPICE: A neon-lined anorak teamed with sexy cuffed shorts smooths the segue from spring to summer. Jacket, $138, DKNY Active; tee, $24.50, Gap; shorts, $58, Kenzie.

Photo Credit: Sarah McColgan

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Summer is almost here, and with it come all the fun warm-weather fashion trends. That is, if you can pull them off.

Fashion designer Bradley Bayou — who has dressed the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé Knowles, and Debra Messing and has a new ready-to-wear collection that hits QVC on May 20 at 9 a.m. EST — tells Marie Claire how to do just that, no matter your body type. Check out his top tips for three of summer's biggest looks.

"Although hot pants and boy shorts were big on the runway, they are certainly not for everyone," Bayou says. Still, a great pair of shorts — he adds that there is a style out there for everyone! — paired with a blazer and a button-down is a good way to spice up your summer work gear.

  • For pear-shaped or inverted-triangle bodies, choose a short with pleats and fuller legs.
  • For petite figures, try short shorts to make your legs appear longer.
  • For tall figures or those with long waists, choose a longer, flowing short — the added length will balance your frame.
  • For curvier figures, choose shorts that give you coverage and stop at a narrow point in your leg, such as at your lower thigh.

Floral Prints
"This is a great way to add a feminine touch to your outfit, and this trend will work on every body shape, regardless of weight and height," he says of the trend. "Just pick a floral print that matches the scale of your frame. For example, if you're petite, choose a small, delicate floral pattern in lieu of a large print, and vice versa." Another tip? "Be sure to use it to your advantage. A print is a focal point of an outfit and will draw attention to wherever you place it, so let it show off your best assets!"

  • For pear-shaped bodies, place the print on your upper body to balance your hips and draw attention to your face.
  • For inverted-triangle bodies (large bust and narrow hips), place the print on your lower body to balance your broader shoulders.
  • For rectangle bodies, create the illusion of a defined waist by pairing the print with a piece that is cut to bring out your hips or shoulders.
  • For hourglass bodies, pair a printed dress — the pattern should be balanced on top and bottom — with a belt to accentuate your waist.

The military look isn't going anywhere just yet. "It will carry over from spring to summer and can be used in a variety of ways to update pieces you already have in your wardrobe," the designer says.

  • For inverted-triangle bodies, avoid military jackets with structured shoulders or heavy detailing on the shoulders that will draw the eye outward and make you appear top-heavy. Instead, choose one that has pockets at the hips or opt for military cargo pants because the bulky hip pockets will balance your broad shoulders.
  • For pear-shaped bodies, choose a military jacket with epaulets or structured shoulders to balance your hips.
  • For rectangle bodies and hourglass bodies, pick a jacket that pulls in to give you a defined waist, and if you choose pants with bulky pockets, balance your frame by adding a top with a structured shoulder.

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