Choose a straight (not tapered) style or a boot leg to balance curves. Accentuate the waist with a cummerbund or a sash. “If you lose definition of the waist, you’ll look shapeless,” says Kendall Farr, a New York–based stylist and the author of Style Evolution ($22.50, amazon.com).
To try: A style designed with a pleated satin cummerbund to beautifully accentuate the waistline.
Wear them with: A romantic silk blouse, a white button-down, or a sleeveless shell. All the pieces should be tucked in so as not to cover up the ornate waistband.
2 of 4 Kwaku Alston / Anja Kroencke
If You Have Full Hips and Thighs
Look for a boot cut or a wide leg “that flows straight down from the hips to the floor to create a long, clean line,” says Corinne Phipps, the founder of Urban Darling, a fashion-consulting firm in San Francisco. Keep the hip area free of bold accents.
To try: These classic trousers have a hip-balancing boot cut and satin stripes down the sides that add length, not width.
Wear them with: A fitted blazer or a top with exaggerated shoulders, which will play up your upper half and thus even out your proportions.
3 of 4 Kwaku Alston / Anja Kroencke
If You Have a Straight Figure
Lucky duck: Feel free to experiment with a range of cuts, including skinny, wide-leg, and high-waisted. If you want to add volume, try pants with pleating. “Use accents on the hips, like satin-trimmed pockets or sparkly piping, to draw the eye outward and give the illusion of more curves,” suggests Phipps.
To try: Like a tailored version of your stretchy skinny jeans, these tapered ankle-length pants will create the illusion of hips.
Wear them with: A body-skimming silk camisole and a long, slouchy jacket or cardigan to offset the trim fit of the bottoms.
4 of 4Kwaku Alston / Anja Kroencke
If You Have a Tummy
Try a slim cut with a flat front or a side zipper to bring focus to slender legs and downplay the middle, says Jeffrey Thorpe, the creative director of Magaschoni. Avoid pleats, pockets, or a cummerbund, which will bulk up the midsection.
To try: A roomy fit through the middle accommodates a tummy, while slim-cut legs show off your best feature. The almost-matte satin of the waistband will not highlight figure flaws.
Wear them with: “A flowy top with an interesting neckline to draw focus away from the problem area,” says Thorpe.