Women with an hourglass figure have shoulders and hips that are relatively the same size with a considerably smaller waist. The best way to dress an hourglass figure is to wear clothing that draws attention to the waist, flatters the chest area, and draws attention to other narrow parts of the body. Excess fabric on the top, such as ruffles and thick knits, is best avoided. Pants that have a waist and that do not sit too low on the hips flatter the hourglass shape, as do boot-cut legs and flared skirts.
The hourglass figure is sometimes recognized as the ideal female shape. A woman with an hourglass shape is usually very curvy and voluptuous on the top. The key to playing up the curves on top is to flatter and accentuate them without overloading them. A high-cut neckline usually just adds bulk to the bust area
V-shaped necklines or slightly scooped necklines are a better choice for an hourglass figure. The point of the V shape draws attention to a woman's face and neck. A V-shape or rounded neck will also give the bust area some definition instead of causing it to look like a single mass.
An hourglass shape looks best in a fitted jacket or top that isn't too tight or snug on the body. A jacket with rounded princess seams will draw attention to a woman's smaller waist. Wearing a belt over the jacket or around the waist of a dress or top will also nip in the waist, making it more noticeable.
Some women with hourglass figures may have arms that are wide at the bicep but narrow by the wrists. A woman can dress to make her arms look thinner on the top by wearing a shirt with bell-shaped sleeves that are wider at the bottom than the top. Flared sleeves can trick the eye into thinking the top part of the arm is thinner than it actually is. For best effect, the sleeves should flare around the elbow, not the wrist.
The same trick works for the bottom half of an hourglass figure. Flared or boot-cut pants can make a woman's hips look narrower, as can a skirt that flares out around the knees. Bottoms should sit between the waist and hips and shouldn't have too low of a rise, as very low-rise pants can make the hips look extra wide. Jeans and pants with a shaped waist may flatter an hourglass figure better, as they do not gape open when a woman sits down or expose too much of her backside.