Fashion is ever evolving, and trends are always changing and even coming back. No matter what new trends there are, one thing remains constant : your body type! Knowing how to dress for your body type is the key to great style overall. When you know how to dress your body type it makes shopping, choosing trends, and getting dressed much easier. Because it’s such an essential part of your style, we decided to dive into some must-know details for every body type.
Don’t know what your body type is? No problem! This post will help you figure which one you are, and then give you the top tips for how to style outfits and dress for your body type.
STYLIST TIP: take a look at the celebrities listed in this post for your body type, and observe their outfits and style. This is a really great way to gain further insight on how to dress your body type!
An hourglass body type is often referred to as a ‘curvy’ shape. With an hourglass shape you have a defined waist. In addition, the bust and hip measurements are a close match.
Scarlett Johansson, Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Hyland
How to dress:
The main goal when dressing an hourglass body type is to accentuate, or even enhance, your naturally balanced shape. This means clothes that fit close to the body (without being skin tight) are ideal. I always recommend opting for clothing and outfits that further enhance your naturally defined waistline. This will really flatter your figure!
The pear body type has also been called a triangle body type. When you have a pear shape, your waist and hip area is wider than your bust and waist. Generally, those with a pear shape have a narrow waist and shoulders.
Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez
How to dress:
When dressing to flatter a pear body type the focus is to create the illusion of balance between the top and bottom half of the body. Since your bottom half is wider, dressing to bring MORE attention to the top half is an easy way to do this. This can be done a number of ways. For example: wearing a bright color/pattern on top, while keeping the bottoms dark or neutral. Wear items that fit somewhat close to the body on the bottom half: this avoids adding too much bulk or weight. As far as the top half, however, you can have fun with voluminous sleeves and things to create that balance.
If you have an apple body type it’s likely you don’t have a naturally defined waistline. Most women with an apple body type have a larger bust, and you may even have broad shoulders in comparison to your hips.
Tyra Banks, Mariah Carey, Kate Winslet
How to dress:
Since an apple body type doesn’t have a naturally defined waist, a way to enhance your figure is by dressing in a way that will give the illusion of a shape. The easiest way to do this is by wearing clothing that offers definition at the waist! Use a belt or find clothes that have a waistband built into the garment itself like peplum tops. In addition to focusing on creating definition at waist area, I also recommend opting for necklines that are open like a scoopneck or v-neck. While you want to give the look of a defined waistline, since this is likely where you carry your weight it’s important that you don’t have ALL of the attention at that area of your body. This is why an open neckline is essential – it helps to draw attention away from the waist while keeping the illusion of balance in play for your body shape.
If you have a rectangle body type you may have referred to it as straight, another common way to describe the shape. You have a rectangular body type if your hip and shoulder measurements are about the same, with little (if any) difference in the waist measurement in comparison to the others. Makes sense, right? Most women with a rectangle, or straight, body type carry their weight pretty evenly. While a rectangular body type is quite different from an apple, the commonality they both have is that there’s not much of a waist definition in either shape.
Anne Hathaway, Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman
How to dress:
The main don’t for a rectangle body type is wearing shapeless clothing. If I’m being really honest shapeless clothing isn’t great on any body type, but it’s even more crucial to avoid it when you have a rectangle shape. As far as the do’s for your body type, many rectangle shaped women like to dress in a way that gives an illusion of curves. One really easy to way to do this is by simply dressing to define a waistline. Yep, you can probably tell that this is a great style hack for many body types! I also often recommend experimenting with different necklines like halter, strapless, etc. These different necklines are great for a straight body type because they give the look of a larger bust (if you don’t have that naturally).
Now, if you’re not really into the idea of creating the look of a curvier shape you can stick to enhancing your naturally long, lean body type. You can do this by wearing garments that offer long lines like a long cardigan or vest. If you opt for this method of dressing, it’s still important to make sure you create SOME waist definition so your shape isn’t overwhelmed or lost.
An inverted triangle is essentially the opposite of a pear shape. Meaning your shoulders are broader than your hips. Your bust is likely larger, in proportion with your shoulders.
Gigi Hadid, Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore
How to dress:
For your particular body type, the best way to flatter is by establishing balance between the top and bottom half. While you don’t have that natural balance, you can dress to look more balanced. Woohoo! The main things to focus on here is bringing more focus and attention to your bottom half. This is a sure fire way to create that balanced illusion. Opting for dresses or skirts with an a-line or more voluminous shape, colorful/patterned pants, etc. are really fun ways to add more focus to your bottom half. That being said, keep your top half a bit more neutral. Avoid tops that have any volume at the sleeves or bust area.
Remember: no body type is “most ideal”, so appreciate your body shape and use these tips to your advantage. You’ll be stunning no matter what. 🙂
Contributing expert: Chi Li, author of successful fashion blog Petite Dressing who specializes with dressing for your body type.