4 Ways to Make Your Clothes Fit Better

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

No matter how much exercise I do, or how much weight I gain or lose I will always be a girl with curves.

It’s just the way I’m shaped. I have a small waist and larger hips. Broad shoulders and a bust. And that means that sometimes I have difficulty getting clothes that fit me perfectly.

I’ve also learnt over the years that some styles suit me better than others. It’s not that I can’t wear them. No ones stopping me. It’s just that I when I look in the mirror I feel happier in certain styles than others. Well fitted or body con dresses, v necklines, 3/4 length sleeves, fitted waists and A-line or full (but not too gathered) skirts that fall just below the knee are my go to clothing that I can throw on without thinking about it.

Sometimes, though, there are clothes that don’t fit those categories that are just TOO CUTE and I must have them anyway. There’s always the risk that those things might stay unloved in the back of my wardrobe because every time I try them on I look in the mirror and go “Ugh”. But fortunately I’ve learnt a few tricks over the years to make clothes fit better, and suit, my curvy shape a little more.

So today I thought I’d share some tips, or what I believe they’re calling hacks these days, on how to make your clothes fit and flatter.

The Not Fitted Dress

If you’ve a curvy shape you might find that fitted dresses from a lot of mainstream shops don’t quite fit on the waist.


Fitted Dress without belt

Oh no, what a disaster, how can we fix it? This dress is just too beautiful to leave behind!

Well, you could get it tailored. but if you want to wear it RIGHT NOW, just grab yourself a belt. Wide elastic belts work, but I find change the look of a dress more than adding a skinny belt does. A skinny belt draws attention to your waist. Any extra fabric that might blouse over the top looks more like a design feature and less like an ill fitted dress.

Fitted Dress with Belt

The Too High Waistband

Oh yeah, as well as curves, I also have a long body. This means that I’ll often find dresses that fit fine, but the waist band is just a bit too high. It makes me look like I’m wearing a kids party frock, not really the look I’m going for.

high waist band without belt

This one is where your wide belt comes into its own. I use both a leather obi belt from ASOS and a selection of elasticated belts to fix this problem.

Put the belt on so that the top of the belt just covers the waistband and you’ve automatically dropped the waistline a couple of inches.

High waist band with wide belt

The Baggy Cardigan

Brr, it’s a bit chilly out today, better take a cardigan. I often find that even fitted and cropped cardigans sometimes don’t look quite right. The sort of cardigan that’s loose enough to wear over a dress can hang open and hit at the wrong point on your hip making you look boxy. Unless it’s exactly the right length even wearing it done up isn’t always a guarantee of a great fit.

Too Baggy Cardigan

But never fear! You can turn any waist length cardigan into a fitted wrap cardigan, by using a brooch.

Here I just pulled the left side across to the right, then pulled the right side over the top and pinned it on my left hip with a brooch. I find this stays put. You could pin both sides if it didn’t feel secure and it slipped while you wore it.

Wrap cardigan with belt

The No Neck Neckline

There’s a reason that I started cutting the necks out of t-shirts and turning them into Bardot tops. Those high round necklines just don’t suit me. They make my bust look odd and my neck look short (it is short, but I don’t want to advertise that thanks, I want to pretend I am gazelle like)

This particular top isn’t *too* bad. Most of my really round neck ones have ended up in the sale pile in the end, but it still looks better with a necklace. I also use this with roll necks or polo necks because I love the look, but still look stubby necked!

As you can see this works both with a chunkier necklace, like my Nanas vintage beads, and something more delicate, like this ceramic deer pendant from PinPin Finds. The basic idea is that the necklace has the same effect as a v neck top, visually elongating your neck and breaking up the bust line.


So there you have it, 4 tips to broaden your clothing choices, if you’re a long-bodied, curvy-hipped, short-necked weirdo like me!

Wardrobe tips and tricks to make your clothes fit and look better. No sewing required!
13 Responses
  • Ev
    February 17, 2016

    Great post! 😉


  • Emily
    February 17, 2016

    Love this! You’re a clever lady. I do tend to shy away from high necked tops and dresses but might give the necklace trick a whirl. Thank you!

    • Gemma
      February 17, 2016

      It really does make a difference!

  • Suzanne
    February 17, 2016

    Loved these tips!


  • AnneMarie
    February 17, 2016

    These are fabulous! I’ve done a similar technique with cardigans before, except I’ll tie the bottom of the sides together or higher up to make it a cropped cardigan. I really like the idea of using a brooch, though-that looks a lot classier! I think I really need to get a wide belt, because I don’t have any and that simple feature can really change up an outfit! Thank you for this post!

  • Jessica
    February 18, 2016

    I have the same issues, so this was really helpful! I particularly like the bit with the cardigan, I’m definitely going to have to give that a try very soon.

  • Victoria
    February 19, 2016

    What lovely styles! I do sometimes have the same problems, my hips are large and the waist is small, so there are often dresses that I love but that don’t fit well at all. I do it the same way, use some cute belts – and these small things make such a big difference!

    Thanks so much for this post <3
    Victoria from Vintage Blog Vintagemaedchen

  • Alice
    February 19, 2016

    Good to know. Nice tips for a better life. Thank you!

  • Kathleen
    February 20, 2016

    Great post! By showing the ‘bad’ version next to the fab version you really notice the difference! Love, Kathleen x

  • Georgina
    February 20, 2016

    That cardigan trick had never occurred to me. I am doing this forever now.

  • mysweetiepiepie
    February 22, 2016

    I’m surprised what a difference such simple and clever tricks can make. I’m going to have to rethink some of my less favorite closet inhabitants.

    Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas :+)

  • jasonwilliam
    February 25, 2016

    This is called inspiration there is so much to learn from you, the sentences which you have written generates positiveness in every women feeling them to look better in their clothes.

  • Maritha
    April 10, 2016

    I’m actually a SHORT-bodied, curvy-hipped, short-necked weirdo, but especially the brooch-cardigan hack has been really super for me! I’ve lost some weight recently, mostly around my waist, and I’ve got more than one beloved cardigan that still fits great over the bust but are ridiculously big around the waist – not pretty – and the brooch hack takes care of it in notime. Wohoo! THANKS! 😀