Yes, it’s important to shop for your lifestyle and personal style, but a big component of looking great and feeling confident lies in dressing for your body type. We’ve been in winter clothes for a while and now that spring weather seems to be here to stay and we’re shedding the layers we felt might have hidden our bodies, it’s more important than ever to understand how to dress for your body type.
First I’ll define the body shapes, and then give some basic easy to remember guidelines on how you can dress your body to flatter yourself best.
Not sure what your body type is? Here are a few guidelines to help you define your body type and dress to flatter it best. It’s definitely important to note that you could be a combination of a couple of shapes, so read the tips for all of them to get your best ideas. Something else to remember is that no matter what your size, you fall into at least one of the main body types.
Your Body Type
Triangle: (a.k.a Pear) Your upper body and shoulders are much smaller than your lower body. Typically, you wear 2 sizes smaller on top than bottom. Lucky you, you often have an amazingly tiny waist and flat stomach! The downside is that even if your legs are average length, they tend to look short.
I’ve had a lot of clients who think they’re “pears”, but they wear the same size top as bottom…not a pear.
Inverted triangle: (Strawberry) You’re bigger on top than bottom. Your width could be through your bust-line and torso and/or your shoulders. You may or may not wear different sizes on top than bottom. Also, you may or may not have the small waist the actual geometric shape indicates. Lastly, more often than not, you have long, lovely legs.
Popular magazine lingo dubs you as “athletic.” I can tell you this is my body type, but I was always picked last for sports teams!
Oval: (Apple) You carry your weight through your midsection or tummy. You may have thin limbs, narrow hips and a small seat.
Rectangle: Your bust and hips are about the same measurement, and you have little waist definition. The magazines often refer to you as “boyish,” which is very confusing as you may have a both a bust and hips. You may also be very slim.
Hourglass: Your waist is much smaller compared to your hips and bust which are fairly similar measurements. The moniker, “curvy,” is pretty accurate for you. You typically wear the same size on the bottom and top.
If you’ve read through these descriptions and you’re still not sure, ask yourself where you gain or lose weight. For example, if the first place you gain weight is your hips, you’re probably a triangle. As an inverted triangle, I lose weight fastest in my booty.
Easy body flattery strategies
- Along with puffed sleeves, ruffles, pockets and epaulets, any horizontal details on your upper torso will balance it with your lower body.
- Fit and flare dresses and high waisted flared skirts were made for you!
- Always remember: wear lighter colors on top, darker ones on bottom; however, if you follow my very first tip, you’re not limited to black skirts and pants.
- Your most flattering pant style should fit the widest part of your hips and then fall straight to the floor giving you a slim, elegant line.
- Mid to deep V-s are your perfect neckline! Keep details on your shoulders and upper torso to a minimum.
- Wear dark colors on top and light colors on your bottom half. To increase the flexibility in your wardrobe, play up your lower half by wearing light and bright colored, patterned or textured pants and skirts.
- Avoid wearing skinny pants and leggings which emphasize the difference between your top and bottom halves. Trousers and wide leg pants are better for you.
- Pockets on your hips and seat will help balance your top half.
- Flowing tops and dresses that hide your tummy are perfect for you! This doesn’t mean hide your body. Your clothes must fit you well, simply flowing over your mid section instead of hugging it.
- You’ll also look great in wrap styles and tops with ruching through the middle. Choose fabrics with a little structure to them, being cautious that your garments are never tight.
- Pants with a mid to high rise will flatter you nicely. Straight legs are your best pant silhouette.
- Avoid skinny pants and jeans.
- Your goal is to create some curves. Structured, fitted clothing such as fitted jackets and blouses, especially those that flare out at the bottom, will create the waist you long for.
- Circle, gored, and A-line skirts that flare away from your body will make your waist look cinched.
- Dresses and skirt/top outfits that have fullness above the waist and below the waist will make your middle appear small in comparison.
- Avoid garment that fit overly tight through your torso. They’ll only show how straight your waist is.
I don’t care if you’re a size 2 or 22, if you have a waist, you’ve got to show it off for your very most flattering look!
- Avoid flowy, boxy tops and dresses.
- Wrap dresses are one of your very best styles!
- Eye catching belts are your very best accessory.
- Choose clothes that skim your body. They’re not tight and they don’t hang off of you.
Feeling confident about the way you’re dressed each day is so crucial to your success. Yes, there are certainly many aspects to your wardrobe and image; however, being dressed for your body type can go along way toward both physical and psychological comfort.
I encourage you to get into your closet for an hour or two and analyze and re-combine the clothes you wear according to the tips I’ve given. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or if you’d like my help figuring out your very best styles. You can also schedule a free phone consult here.
At Last, a complete resource with all the stores with sizes and proportions to fit your unique shape!
No matter what your body type, in this guide, you'll find more shops and sites than you ever knew existed... that cater to just your size, height and shape!