Tall, athletic, voluptuous, petite… bodies come in all shapes and sizes and dressing for them means paying attention to proportion, detail, cut, and fit. But one thing is for certain – whatever your build, natural elegance all comes down to confidence. Four diverse women show why what makes you unique can ultimately be your biggest style weapon.
Originally published in the July/August 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia
Nadine Abdel Aziz
“I am 1.8m tall and have always been skinny; I have a fast metabolism. Growing up I was a non-stop eater, especially when it came to junk food. I’m more health conscious now and work out a few times a week but it’s all about balance. Sometimes a steak and salad would do and other times, all the burgers and pizzas in the world are not enough! For me, balance is about being disciplined during the week and ‘cheating’ on weekends.
“Snug, tailored pieces work for my hourglass body type. Stretchy materials hug my body, while soft fabrics like knits and silk blends gently drape over my curves. I love wearing low necklines, pencil skirts, and skinny jeans, especially paired with high heels to add extra length to my legs. I avoid low-rise pants since they make my hips look wider and my legs shorter. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect body.’ What makes your body perfect is your perception of it. When we interpret our body image as ideal, that is what you will project and others will perceive it as such as well.”
Also Read: Why Vogue Arabia’s Latest Issue is Dedicated to Body Diversity
Amna Al Haddad
“As a child, I was quite slim but as teenager, I had a love/hate relationship with my body. I’ve always had wide shoulders and an athletic shape. It was only when I changed my mindset and started to exercise out of love for my body, its longevity, and its health, that I felt at home in my own skin. I’m still trying to figure out what clothes work for me. I enjoy wearing maxi dresses, coats, and training clothes. A stylist once pointed out that I should wear skirts, so I experiment with that too. Anything square-shaped makes me look bulky and bigger than I am.
“Everyone has a different body type, different gene makeup, and different hormonal factors that affect weight distribution. We’re all on our own journey to discover what works for us – and it’s a beautiful experience once you see what your body is capable of and when you take care of it from a place of love. Your cells react to words and thoughts. If you say you want to ‘lose’ weight, you’re sending a message to your subconscious that you have lost something and want it back. But if you use the word ‘release,’ you tell your body that you are letting go of something you no longer need. Find an activity you like and explore what your body can do. You will be amazed by how strong you really are.”
Marc Jacobs Beauty ambassador
“I was always insecure about the way I looked. I once jokingly asked my mother what I needed to do to look like a specific cover star and she replied, ‘The world already has one of her. It needs someone who looks like you.’ It was like a light went on. I realized that your individuality is your weapon and the moment you start loving yourself, the world will reciprocate.
“I’m hourglass petite and love to contrast silhouettes such as a fitted body suit with a sheer, flowing coat with exaggerated sleeves. I also prefer anything high-waisted, symmetrical, or cinched at the waist. Boxy shapes, horizontal prints, and midi dresses don’t work on me. Women get bombarded with so many images per day that we eventually start believing that that’s what the ‘ideal’ body looks like. We need to realize that there is no one ‘perfect’ body. We define it for ourselves. As long as you are healthy and fit, you must embody your individuality unapologetically. Don’t change to fit the fashion, change the fashion to fit you.”
“I’m curvy and tall with broad shoulders; everything is longer than ‘normal.’ I think most of us tend to focus on what we don’t like about ourselves, as opposed to what we do like. I started embracing myself in my late twenties – and that’s when I started thinking about creating my brand. I wanted to tackle the challenge of not finding clothes that fit. I still have days when I want to be a certain size – that never goes away. But I’ve accepted myself and I love myself.
“I like wearing clothes that flatter and accentuate my shape. Midi dresses are my go-to, as are long tops and structured blazers. I avoid wearing A-line dresses or skirts and wider pleats. There needs to be an awakening that there is beauty in every shape and size, you just need to see it. Acceptance of who you are, what you stand for, and how you look all contribute to the energy you bring to a room. The world is becoming more inclusive – follow people and brands that inspire and empower. Don’t just wear trends because they are in season. Wear what suits you. Black is not the only color! Experiment with cuts and shapes – you’ll be surprised that a style you never thought would work on you, actually does.”
Now Read: Shape Shifters: How Ashley Graham and Paloma Elsesser are Championing a Body Revolution
Photography: Ziga Mihelcic
Styling: Keanoush Da Rosa
Hair: Blowout & Go
Makeup: Mariam Khairallah, Cheryl Leonard at MAC Cosmetics
Style assistant: Mallory McLane
Producer: Danica Zivkovic