If you are wearing a correctly fitting bra, your breasts should sit mid point between elbow and shoulder (no lower). Keeping your breasts up firmly supported will give you the illusion of more of a waist, separating the distance between bust and hips.
Remember to tighten the straps up every couple of washes, otherwise you start losing the support.
As the bra stretches with age, don't forget to start doing it up on the tighter hooks to keep your breasts properly supported.
You may like to minimize the size of your hips by using detail at the shoulders to balance.
Puffed sleeves on tops
Gathered/ruched sleeves on tops
Fluted/flared sleeves that end just below your bust
Shoulder details - from epaulets to sequined shoulders, these details rock on your body.
Wide necklines also flatter as they draw a line out and up. Try boat necks, sweetheart necks, large cowls and wide v-necks.
Avoid tops that have narrow v-necks, dolman sleeves, raglan sleeves and heavily gathered necklines, which can all reduce the width of your shoulders.
If you're looking at clothing styles to suit your A (pear) shape, make sure that you take the fabric into consideration.
Look for fabrics that drape softly over your curves without clinging. Fabrics that stand out from your body will make it look bigger.
Look for fabrics that are not shiny (over your bottom half), so satin is not great for you, and sequins should definitely be avoided on your bottom half.
Leather is too stiff a fabric to work for your shape too, it will add unnecessary bulk (unless, it's that really buttery soft leather, which you can get away with wearing).
Fabrics need some weight, anything too flimsy will show up every lump and bump.
You may find denim jeans very hard to buy, the fabric is stiff and your shape is often not catered for by clothing designers. Look for softer denims with stretch, they are more likely to work better for you.
What is a focal point? It's the most obvious point on your body that your clothing and accessories draws your attention to. To figure out where your focal point is, stand in front of a full length mirror, close your eyes, then open them and see where your gaze is drawn to.
You can use focal points to distract people from looking at parts of your body you'd rather others didn't notice. You can do it easily with colour - we often do this unknowingly - we wear a pair of black pants and a coloured top, which draws attention to our top half.
You can also do it with coloured scarves and jewellery, coloured shoes or any other sort of design detail.
To draw attention to your face wear darker neutral colours on your body, then choose a scarf or coloured jewellery to draw attention up.
To distract from your stomach, keep your top and bottom in the same neutral colour, then wear coloured shoe and a scarf or necklace which picks up the colour in the shoe to draw attention to your face.
Just make sure you put your focal points where you want others to look.
The rise on a pair of jeans (or trousers) is the seam that goes between your legs, up the zip and up to the waistband. We often hear of low rise, medium rise and high rise - but what do they mean?
These are fairly arbitary measurements, a low rise is expected to sit down low, just above the pubic area, medium rise should sit around your belly button and high rise just below your rib cage.
But, given that women have vastly different rise measurements, ignore what the label on the jeans says and try them on. Someone with a short rise will find that a medium rise label will be a high rise on their body, whilst a woman with a long rise will find that a high rise will sit lower at around the medium rise spot, whilst what is supposed to be a medium rise will sit very low on their body.
So it's always best when trying on jeans to try on all the different rises and find out what works for your body. Sit down and see, does it come down too low at the back and expose your underwear?
The wrong rise will feel uncomfortable on your body, or include too much or too little fabric for you.
Most women who have an A shape body have a small waist. This provides an excellent area to highlight with belts.
You will need to try on a variety of belts to find out which work best for you, wide or thin, but creating a focal point at your waist with a belt will draw attention away from your hips.
If you don't want to draw too much attention don't contrast the colour of the belt to your clothes. If you want to highlight it more, think about an interesting belt buckle or a different coloured belt from your clothes.
Just remember, that a great fitting bra that keeps 'the girls' up high will make you waist look slimmer and create a flattering silhouette.