BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

23 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
TV and radioA to Z indexTalkLifestyleLifestyle homepage

BBC Homepage
TV and radio

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

Women's legs

Style guide

Looking good is all about making the most of yourself. If the mirror takes a step back when you look into it, don't make excuses. Learn to work your wardrobe to your advantage. Look better today with these basic style rules.

The style basics

  • Recognise your assets and choose clothes which flatter this part of your body.
  • Show off your breasts OR your bum, never both in one outfit.
  • If you have love handles or a round tummy, wear textured fabrics and wrap-around tops.
  • If you have a short or wide neck, wear tops that are open at the neck, rather than high or round ones, to lengthen and slim your neck.
  • If your clothes are too tight, you'll look fatter not thinner; straining fabric is a style no-no.

How to wear colours

  • Only wear shiny fabrics and bright colours on areas that you are sure can stand up to being in the limelight.
  • If you have sallow skin, dark circles or bags, don't wear black near your face, it only draws attention to it.
  • Combining black with bright colours makes the black look boring and the colours look cheap.
  • If you're petite or of larger build, avoid a dramatic contrast between top and bottom as this will cut you in half.

Your bra

  • Always make sure your bra is lighter or the same colour as the clothes you're wearing.
  • If you have big breasts - it's essential to wear a bra that fits you properly; a good bra will lift the boobs and give definition to the waist.
  • Balcony bras look great on girls with large chests.
  • Avoid thin back straps unless you are totally fatless or you will end up with unsightly back bulges under your clothes.
  • If you have small breasts - spaghetti straps will offer enough support. it's all right to show the straps off under spaghetti strapped tops and dresses, as long as the bra is pretty.
  • If you want to create cleavage, wear 'chicken fillets'.
  • Small breasts look good in bras with 'chicken fillet padding' and a draw-string front.

Your knickers

  • Wear flesh-coloured underwear under white, light or see-through clothes.
  • If a skirt is see-through but not figure-hugging, opt for big, flesh-coloured knickers rather than a G-string.
  • If you have obvious cellulite on your bum, avoid G-strings at all costs when wearing thin fabrics.

Making the most of accessories

  • If you've got a large chest and you're embarrassed to show off too much flesh in a v-necked top, wear a large necklace to cover the area.
  • Never wear a scarf or necklace over the top of a roll-neck jumper.
  • Don't wear long pendants that nestle in your cleavage if you have big boobs.
  • If you have a double chin or your face is chubby, opt for longer earrings.
  • If you have a short neck, avoid large, choker-style necklaces.
  • Chunky costume jewellery is a stylish way to add colour and individuality to your outfit.

Choosing the right pair of shoes

  • If you have thick ankles, don't wear delicate, strappy heels, ballerina-style shoes or ankle straps which cut across the ankle.
  • If you have skinny legs, avoid thin, teetering heels or they'll look like they're going to snap under the weight of your body.
  • If you are pear-shaped, avoid dainty kitten heels.
  • Trousers and jeans should fall to the bottom of the heel.
  • Black shoes look best with darker colours - don't wear black shoes with light-coloured clothing unless they are extremely dainty.
  • Don't wear black shoes with bright colours as they make your outfit look cheap.

Compiled by Abbie Fereday based on BBC's What Not to Wear programmes.

Back to top

In Lifestyle

Personalised style rule generator
Test your taste in clothes
Get confident
Your weight

Elsewhere on

The Clothes Show video clips
Entertainment news
Woman's Hour

Elsewhere on the web

London Fashion Week
Federation of Image Consultants
Clean Clothes Campaign
The BBC is not responsible for content on external websites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy