In Style June 1999

Asset Management

Tall or small, curvy or boyish-whatever your shape, dress to make the most of it.  Here’s how stylists outfit seven famous figures.

Dressing like the stars means working with your figure, not chasing unflattering trends or hiding behind loose layers.  We asked stylists what these great-looking actresses-all with very different bodies-do to get it right. -Joanne Mattera  


petite and curvy  
Winona Ryder works her 5-foot-4inch sexy figure to full advantage by choosing monotone dresses and gowns that define her waist and play up her full bust.   Emphasizing the waist also lengthens the leg, as do side-slit skirts, slim pants, and high heels.  She also sticks with sophisticated styles to avoid that “too cute” look.  

   Day - A lean sheath score on two counts-seaming shapes the waist, and it’s cut just above the knee to show off legs.  Adding a pair of nude heels makes the legs look even longer by letting the eye run all the way to the toes.  

red dress- Laundry by Shelli Segal polyester-spandex sheath, $180;Bloomingdale’s.  Kate Spade bag, $255; Neiman Marcus.  Ann Taylor leather sling backs, $98; 800-342-5266.  

   Night - Knits work with curves, and slim pants worn with heels stretch the silhouette.  

black pant set-Lance Karesh camisole, $174; Saks Fifth Avenue.  Katayone Adeli pants, $238; Barneys New York.  Gimara at Fragments bag, $70; 888-637-2463.  Enoz Angiolini sandals, $80; 800-260-2227.

Kate’s classic shape is shared by Sophia Loren and Liz Taylor, says stylist Jane Ross.  All three choose clothes that gently hug the body (but nothing too tight).  And they often focus on one great feature.  “If your legs are good, show them.  If your breasts are good, show them.  Just don’t show it all at once,” says Ross.  

Day A shaped shirt shows off the waist while a slim skirt skims the hips and behind.  The skirt’s side slit draws attention to gorgeous gams, made sexier with the help of a heel.  

skirt Carrie Rosten Cie chambray shirt, $98;  Chaikem and capoone skirt, $165; Barneys New York.  Ottavia bag, $250; Fragments, 888-637-2463.  Ellen Tracy shoes, $155; Macy’s.  
   Night The all over pattern on this figure-following sheath keeps the eye moving.  Its V-neck sets off cleavage, but otherwise it’s modest.  “Less flesh, more woman,” says Ross.  

black dress Mark Wong Nark dress, $363; Tom Mark, 323-939-9710.  Kate Spade bag, $240; Neiman Marcus.  Nathalie M shoes, $165; Charles David, 310-659-7110.  

sensuously rounded

Ashley Judd shows off her classically proportioned figure to best advantage by balancing fitted tops with bottoms that float over her behind.  “She looks great in pants,” says Garth Condit, particularly lower-waist styles that de-emphasize the curve of the hips.  And bare, slim tops (and dresses) bring the focus upward to her well toned shoulders, back and arms.  

   Day The right fabric lets a skirt slide over your shape, hiding and revealing in equal measure.  “Credpe does this well,’ says stylist Vicky McGarry.  So does silk, as in the skirt pictured here.  A ribbed shell show off the bust and waist.  



yellow and black outfit Parllet tank, $110; Macy’s East.  A/X Armani Exchange skirt, $98; 800-717-2929.  Ursule Beaugeste bag, $185; Giorgio Beverly Hills, 800-446-7446.  Fortuna Valentino shoes, $240; 212-941-5811.  
Night This lean, sequined shell draws the eye up toward the face, while the pants, with their non clingy cut and flat front, put just the right amount of emphasis on the curve.  

gray-pink outfit Katheryn Dianos top, $160; Henri Bendel and Anika.  DKNY trousers, $245; Bergdorf Goodman.  Franchi bag, $65; Lord & Taylor.  Nine West sandals, $69; 800-260-2227.  


“She has a gorgeous body with so many strong points,” says stylist Phillip Bloch of Jada Pinkett Smith.  Still, to make the most of her 5-foot frame, the actress knows to avoid anything baggy or overpowering, like long jackets or elaborate accessories.  To lengthen the look, Bloch says. “we usually keep top and bottom pieces the same color.”  And , of course, she depends on her heels for extra height.  

Day “Day is simple,” says Bloch.  “Jada might wear a skirt and a little knit top.”  Anything that’s close to the body is the perfect choice.  As Bloch suggests, monotones are the best way to stretch the look, but tone-on-tone works well too, as with these shades of blue.

skirt and top Laundry by Shelli Segal scoopnecked top, $138; Neiman Marcus.  J. Crew skirt, $48; 800-562-0258.  Via Spiga denim bag, $142; at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.  Sigerson Morrison mesh mules, $243; 212-219-3893.  

  Night This wildly patterned dress is short enough to show off great legs, and bare enough to put the focus on shapely arms and shoulders.  The diagonal banding from the bodice to the neckline draws the eye upward, acting as a subtle height enhancer.  

short dress Girlfriend silk-Lycra slip dress, $200; Bloomingdale’s, Sakes Fifth Avenue and Henri Bendel.  Hype silver satin sandals, $75; 323-586-4600, or at select Nordstrom stores.  

small & perfect
“She’s a modern girl and she wears modern, unfussy clothes.” says Ross of Gwyneth Paltrow.  Such simple lines are perfect-they don’t swallow up her slim frame.  The shoulder- and back baring dresses Paltrow favors give her a sexy look.  “If you have a well-defined back and shoulders, you can wear a low-cut dress.  You won’t have cleavage, but you’ll have the shape to carry the décolletage.” says Ross

   Day A stretchy knot tube top is a great look: It puts the focus on the shoulders.  Choose one with drawstring to ensure a perfect fit.  “More voluptuous women just can’t wear strapless as well,” says McGarry.  Not only are slim pants fresh, but they also flatter a slender body. 

pants & tube top Mary Jane Marcasiano knot tube, $100; DeJong’s, 812-423-1161.  Joseph cotton pants, $225; 212-327-1773.  Kate Spade tote, $195; Bloomingdale’s.  DKNY calfhair mules, $135; Dayton’s.  
   Night A dress with any detail at the bosom-shirring, embroidery, beads-enhances the area.  Straps don’t always flatter narrow shoulders, so Ross suggests a halter to maximize the shape of the shoulders and breasts. 

pink dress Diane by Diane Von Furstenberg silk georgette dress, $220; Henri Bendel.  Patty Shelabarger at Showroom Seven Tongs, $175; Scoop, 212-925-2886.  

“She’s glorious.  So tall.  When she dresses up, she’s usually in something beautiful and classic,” says Ross of Kristen Johnston.  She sticks to lean details (think Geena Davis).  Johnston can pull off both long and short lengths and is often in heels.  “She doesn’t have to wear them,” says McGarry.  “But with them, she’s smashing .” 

   Day Simplicity rules.  Condit likes a V- or round-necked sweater and pants, both cut close to the body.  For shoes, flats are a chic option.  If you do go with heels, don’t choose anything too delicate or chunky.  

pants and blue top Autumn Cashmere top, $95; Fred Segal, 323-655-3734.  Bebe pants, $108; 800-808-2323.  Kazuyo Nakano leather bag, $215; Barneys New York.  DKNY calf slides, $120; Bergdorf Goodman.  

   Night Condit suggests something long that plays up the upper body.  The feminine print and pretty details of this dress won’t overwhelm someone who is very tall.  And flats, like the beaded thongs (bottom), are a great alternative.  

dress Parallel silk dress with glass beads, $222; Parallel, Los Angeles, 310-276-7033.  Sergio Rossi crystal thongs, $450; Sergio Rossi boutique, N.Y.C., 212-396-4814 

model thin
“She looks great in clothes,” says McGarry of Lara Flynn Boyle.  That’s because she never loses herself inside them, choosing tight like fuzzy fabrics, patch pockets and chunky knits and still look runway ready.  

Day “Sweaters are a good day-into -evening look,” says Condit.  And a chunky ribbed knit amplifies upper-body curves.  When balanced with something fitted-a knee-length skirt, perhaps-it’s very figure-friendly.  
skirt & top Mary Jane Marcasiano sweater, $100; Linda Golden, 610-658-0992.  Chaiken and Capone denim skirt, $165; Intermix, 212-249-7858.  Summer Tompkins at Apropo tote, $55; Begonias, 516-374-6730.  Cole Haan sandals, $175; 800-201-8001.  
Night Sexy, slinky gowns are always a smashing choice.  Stay away from bias-cut satins, however, since they emphasize thinness.  Pleated or fluid shirts or dresses are a nice way to enhance curves.

dress Pixie Yates sparkle denim dress, $160; Barneys New York.  Chateau Robert pashmina shawl, $250; 212-628-1663.  Revivals bag, $200; Joseph, 800-890-5470.  BCBG Max Azria Footwear sandals, $156; 888-636-2224.