I watch What Not to Wear (both the American and British version) http://tlc.discovery.com/fansites/whatnottowear/whatnottowear.html & http://www.trinnyandsusannah.com/live/content.php?Item_ID=12 as well as Tim Gunn's Guide to Style http://www.tv.com/tim-gunns-guide-to-style/show/69083/summary.html
I love watching the fashion improvements the experts make and how so many people blossom in ways that are more than just about the clothes. Their self esteem goes up and they are more confident by the end of the process.
I think part of the reason it's so hard to make these improvements by ourselves is that the presenters don't always clearly articulate exactly how they make their determinations of what looks good on different body types. We are all very emotional about our appearance so what we need are objective standards rather than aesthetic determinations. Often I will hear someone say that accessories and the size of prints should be related to our size but I'm never quite sure how to decide what that should be. I'm 5'2" so I worry about overwhelming myself with large accessories, but I often get compliments on the bigger bolder pieces. This weekend I finally figured out why. I'm reading a book called Fabulous Fit by Judith A Rasband and Elizabeth L. G. Liechty. It's for sewers but I'm trying to develop some fitting adjustments for a class I'll teach in the future. They have a great chart on bone sizes as they relate to height which I will share with you. It turns out that while I am petite as determined by my height I have a large bone structure. I hope this helps you to flatter your figure as well.
Petite Height (under 5'4")
Wrist Measurement 5 1/2" or less - Small bone size or frame
Wrist Measurement 5 5/8 - 6" - Medium Bone Size or Frame
Wrist Measurement 6 1/8" or more Large Bone Size or Frame
Height - Medium (5'4" - 5'7")
Wrist Measurement 5 3/4" or less Small Bone Size or Frame
Wrist Measurement 5 7/8" to 6 1/4" Medium Bone Size or Frame
Wrist Measurement 6 3/8" or more Large Bone Size or Frame
Height - Tall (Over 5'7")
Wrist Measurement 6" or less -Small Bone Size or Frame
Wrist Measurement 6 1/8" to 6 1/2" Medium Bone Size or Frame
Wrist Measurement 6 5/8" or more Large Bone Size or Frame