The Perfect Suit for an Hourglass Body Shape


Every woman aspires to the Hourglass shape – except for the women who actually have that body type. A true hourglass, with her generous thighs, wobbly tummy, short waist and ample bosom, can be more difficult to flatter than, say a catwalk-ready Cornet or a perfectly proportioned column. But, when the Hourglass gets it right she is truly a knockout. And there is one Hourglass lady who set the benchmark for you all – the indisputable Queen of Curves, Marilyn Monroe.

Here, she models pretty much the perfect Hourglass suit. The jacket is cropped so as not to swamp her torso, with two buttons that help to elongate her short waist. Narrow lapels help to broaden her shoulders and three-quarter sleeves show off her slim lower arms whilst covering fleshy biceps.

When asked to describe an Hourglass, many of us conjure up an image of her wiggling around in a thigh-clinging pencil skirt. This image is born of decades of misdirection by the fashion press. The figure that you are picturing in your mind is the Vase. She is similar to an Hourglass but stretched – with slimmer, longer legs. The true Hourglass has short legs with a gorgeous derierre and chunky thighs. You can, on occasion, get away with a pencil skirt (always with heels!) but the ideal skirt for you is the one that Marilyn wears in this photo. It’s in a sturdy fabric that will contain your tummy – fitted at the top to cup and flatter your bombshell bottom and then flaring out to gently veil your thighs with a hemline resting on or just above the knee to show off your shapely calves. Cute sling backs with a chunky heel finish the look to perfection.

Inspired? Here are some suggestions for skirts and jackets that will make your Hourglass figure look sensational!


  • Reply January 13, 2014

    caia mangelsdorf

    Sorry, can’t find the hyperlink to the suggestions.

    • Reply January 13, 2014

      Trinny and Susannah

      Hi Caia,
      Try refreshing the page.

  • Reply January 14, 2014


    Do you have any ideas for casual dressing for an hourglass? Especially while wearing flats.

    • Reply January 14, 2014

      Trinny and Susannah

      Hi Kate, the Hourglass is notoriously difficult to dress in casual outfits – your shape is just too ultra-feminie for sportswear! Pedal pushers with wedge heels can look great on you or soft, flowing trousers with a longer top (always waisted!) and a cropped jacket. You always need to up the ante when it comes to casual. For more ideas have a look at our book ‘The Body Shape Bible’. We will put this on our list of topics for a future blog post too! x

  • Reply January 16, 2014

    Felicity from Australia

    Well, that explains that! I’m a true hourglass. I did not realise I’m not supposed to be wearing a pencil skirt — even though I use the Body Shape Bible as religiously as others use the 2,000 year-old one! How could I have missed that specific insight? I’m hitting the palm of my hand against my forehead. When I wear a pencil skirt it pulls across my thighs, creating horizontal waves between them. I never feel comfortable in them. So, I’m off shopping for some skirts that flip out at the bottom. Thanks, gurus!

  • Reply January 21, 2014


    Thank you! Could I offer an idea for a future post? I learned from the Body Shape Bible that I am a skittle: petite with a long torso, long neck, short legs, and tiny ankles and feet. I am slim, I work out and I have a reasonably nice figure, but find it difficult to wear fashionable trousers (anything skinny, tight or straight), let alone shorts in the summer. I know that wearing boots helps, because they make my calves straighter and similar in volume to my thighs, disguising my child-sized ankles. But I’d love some suggestions for skittle-shaped women. I want to stop hiding my lower body when everybody else is wearing shorts, my legs are always paler than my upper half! Please help me :-) Thanks

  • Reply March 13, 2014


    The hyperlinks aren’t showing up for me, despite refreshing the page. I am also a true hourglass shape and I need all the help I can get!

    • Reply March 13, 2014


      That is odd – and annoying for you Christine. They are definitely there. Sometimes the issue can be with an incompatible browser. Have you tied using an alternative browser? Ones that work well for us include Firefox, Chrome and Safari. x

  • Reply April 12, 2014


    Not getting the links either … using chrome.

    • Reply April 14, 2014

      Trinny and Susannah

      Damn! That is weird. They show up fine for us in Chrome. Have you refreshed the page? x

  • Reply May 16, 2014


    T&S, the link just isn’t there. [I’m a web designer, and I checked the underlying code.]

    I’m another true hourglass, complete with extra padding, and very non-hourglass tree-trunk legs), so any style tips you have will be appreciated. I live a very casual life and don’t want to look like a sexpot.

  • Reply January 10, 2015


    I resent the implication that a true hourglass has a “wobbly tummy” and “chunky thighs.” That is not correct at all! Hourglass simply refers to the bust-waist-hips ratio and doesn’t preclude you being tight and toned at all.

  • Reply January 17, 2015


    T and S: I am from Argentina, therefore, not a native speaker; what does ‘pedal pushers´ mean?

  • Reply January 17, 2015


    Dear T and S: I am from Argentina, therefore not a native speaker; I read your answer to Kate but I don`t know what `pedal pushers`mean, could anyone please tell me? Thank you

    • Reply January 19, 2015

      Trinny and Susannah

      Hi Ana, Good question! Pedal Pushers are fitted trousers that stop just below the knee, at the widest part of your calf. x

  • Reply January 20, 2015


    Thank you so much for your answer! Last question: I am thin but short, would that kind of trousers suit me?
    Greetings from the end of the world!

  • Reply August 25, 2015


    Thank you ladies, can’t believe that at 53 years of age you have taught me how to be comfortable in my own body. Totally amazed at how many items l kept in my wardrobe that l never felt good in. Can you please give me a heads up on stores in Victoria Australia that can help out a hour glass figure

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