Dress right for YOUR body type…Accentuating your best features!
Hello fabulous women! I am so excited to connect with you and share this life changing information! These tips are the foundation for daily fashion fabulosity for each of you… INDIVIDUALLY! As women, we come in all shapes and sizes. There are limitless options out there when it comes to fashion. However, every option is not for everybody! So, how do you find clothing that flatters your specific body shape? How do you dress right for your body type? The secret is to know your proportions and to use fashion to accentuate your best features…while camouflaging everything else! 😉
THERE ARE FIVE MAIN BODY TYPES
Most women have a specific body type and fall into one of five categories:
Rectangle/Ruler – Your hips and bust are balanced; like a cylinder. Your rib cage defines most of your shape, as there is no waist definition to add curves. Your bottom is more flat than round. You tend to gain weight in your torso first, then your upper thighs and arms. Your lower legs are always shapely and one of your best assets. If this is your body type, you want to proportionately dress the top and bottom of your body while enhancing your waist. To create a more curvaceous effect, add volume (or the illusion of volume) proportionately to your upper and lower body by mixing and matching separates. Cinching your waist and exaggerating curves will avoid a lanky or boyish look.
Pear/Triangle – The hips are significantly larger than the bust. Your waist is nicely defined and you have an elegant neck and proportionately slim arms and shoulders. Your legs are noticeably wider and fuller compared to the rest of your body. You tend to gain weight in your bottom and legs, followed by your tummy and upper body. Your waist is your best asset. If this is your body type, you want to strive to create the illusion of balance between the bust and hips. You can also wear clothing shapes that make your hips and bottom look slimmer.
Hourglass – The hip and bust measurements are well balanced. Unlike other body types, the hourglass figure has a significantly defined waist. Your curves are flattering in the right places. Your upper body is proportionate in length to your legs, which are shapely. You most likely have a rounded bottom. This is the ideal body type for all women. If you are fortunate enough to have this body type, dress to flatter your curves and not flatten them. Proportionately dress the top and bottom of your body while accentuating your waist. Avoid anything that makes you look “boxy”. Use your waist as a focal point when dressing. Wear snug clothing and accessories around the thinnest part of your waist. Directing your attention here will allow your curves to stand out even more.
Inverted Triangle – Also known as an athletic body type. You have a proportionately larger upper body. You have broad shoulders, ample bust and a wide back. Your hips are slim and your bottom has a tendency towards the flat side. Your waist is subtle and you have a tendency to gain weight in your belly and upper body. Your legs tend to be your best asset. The key to dressing this body type is to balance your broad shoulders, chest and back with your narrower lower body to create more of an hourglass effect.
Round/Apple – You have large bust, narrow hips, and a full midsection. You have a tendency to gain weight in your stomach, back and upper body. Your waist is undefined and the widest part of your frame. You may have a full, shorter neck and full face. Your buttocks are somewhat flat and your legs are slender. Your legs tend to be your best asset. The key to dressing this body type is to de-emphasize your midsection and create a more defined waist.
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR BODY TYPE
Learning how to determine your body type is the first and most important step! Start by taking a self-analysis of your unclothed body in a full length mirror. What features stand out the most? This is a crucial phase of the process because it lays the foundation for a lifetime of wardrobe success by learning what is most flattering for YOUR body! Pay attention to your curves. Look at how they connect your bust, waist and hips. Once you have established your body type, then have fun shopping and building your wardrobe with clothing that complements your shape!
HOW TO DRESS YOUR BODY TYPE
Learning how to dress your body type is not as complicated as you may think. There are ideal clothing shapes that best compliment each body type. Understanding what those clothing shapes are will allow for you to look your absolute best at all times! Now that you have narrowed down your specific body type, every shopping experience from here on will be purpose driven. You will no longer waist valuable time, because you will know specifically what shapes to look for and what shapes to avoid.
If your body type is an inverted triangle, also known as the athletic body type, you want to balance your broad shoulders, chest and back with your narrower lower body to create more of an hourglass effect. To achieve this, choose clothing that adds curves to your hips and bottom, while creating a more defined waist. The above examples provide a visual of appropriate clothing styles for the inverted triangle shape.
- Wear tops with narrow v-necks and nipped in waists that flare slightly at the hip.
- Look for shirts with vertical details on the upper body. A cinched waist and flared bottom will add curves to your hips.
- Wrap-style tops, tailored shirts and jackets and dark colored tops will accentuate your waist and help balance your bust with your hips.
- Choose bottoms that will enhance your lower body and help balance your upper body. An example would be pants with embellished or flap-style pockets or jeans with whiskering at the hips. Boot cut or wide legs and cargo pants add curves to your lower half.
- Full or a-line skirts fill out slight hips while balancing your upper body. Ballerina type skirts add curves to your lower half and balance your broader, upper body.
- Lastly, it is also smart to wear solid colors around your bust and go for patterned, textured or colorful bottoms.
If your body type is a rectangle or ruler, your hips and bust are balanced and your waist is not very defined. The key to dressing a straight body is to proportionately dress the top and bottom of your body while enhancing your waist. The above examples provide a visual of appropriate clothing styles for the rectangle shape.
- Look for tops that will add curves to your upper half and create a defined waist. Off the shoulder shirts and wide necklines lengthen your shoulders and create the illusion of a smaller waist. Enhance the effect with a wide belt and padded bra.
- Flowing tops with draping in the body and sleeves and wide banded waists create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
- Shirts with fitted waists and embellishments around the shoulders and bust will give you a more curvaceous appearance.
- Choose jackets with a pocketed of flared bottom to add curves. Draw attention to your bust with pockets or details.
- Choose pants with a wide waist band and full or slightly flared legs. Flap rear pockets, pronounced hip pockets and cargo pockets will add curves to your lower half. Boot-cut or flared jeans with a low to mid rise waist will add fullness to your bottom.
- Opt for full, tiered or bubble skirts of any length. Pair with shirts that provide an equal amount of volume to your bust and shoulders to create an hourglass effect.
- Use shape wear. A rectangular body benefits from shaping undergarments. An example would be to wear a bra that adds a cup size. It will balance out your angular features.
If your body type is a pear or triangle, your hips are significantly larger than your bust and you have a nicely defined waist. If this is your body type, you want to strive to create the illusion of balance between the bust and hips, while accentuating your defined waist. The above examples provide a visual of appropriate clothing styles for the pear shape.
- Wear dress shirts with structured or princess shoulders and a darted waist. Find wrap shirts that emphasize your small waist with full or structured shoulders and a wide neckline. Wear a padded or push up bra for an added effect.
- Off the shoulder shirts or shirts with wide necklines and a fitted or cinched in waist will widen and draw attention to your slim shoulders and emphasize your small waist.
- Wearing jackets with full or structured shoulders and a nipped-in waist in “hip-length” balance out the upper body with the hips. Draw attention to your bust with pockets or details.
- Wearing tops that accentuate the shoulder and bust area creates balance between the upper and lower body. Tops with puff, flutter, princess or ruffle sleeves are examples of clothing that place emphasis on the bust area for a more dramatic effect.
- Look for bottoms that minimize your lower half. A-line skirts and lightly gathered skirts gently skim your bottom without adding volume.
- Choose simple, dark colored slacks with no (or minimal) pockets with a mid-rise waist. Wear relaxed fit slacks or dark washed boot-cut or trouser-cut jeans that fall straight down from the widest part of your hips. Avoid whiskering and embellished or small rear pockets.
- Skinny pants that hug your ankles can make your lower body appear like that of an upside-down triangle…unless you pair them with a top and/or jacket that camouflages your hips.
- For you “young” pear body types…if you have a flat stomach and aren’t shy about showing it, crop tops make your chest look bigger in relation to your waist.
If you have an hourglass body type, you are the envy of most women! You have a narrow waist with equal hip and bust measurements. All body types, through clothing, attempt to create the illusion of an hourglass. The key to dressing this body type is to proportionately dress the top and bottom of your body while accentuating your waist. The above examples provide a visual of appropriate clothing styles for the hourglass shape.
- Tailored clothing is typically more flattering. Shapeless or draped clothing tends to over focus on the bust and make hourglass shapes look heavy or pregnant.
- Look for tops that will accentuate your waist and maintain the balance look of your figure. For example; belted tops, form-fitting tops, wrap-style tops, tops with banding or nipping at the waist and tailored shirts and jackets
- Tops that add volume to the bust and shoulders with a snug fitting empire waist create a dramatic hourglass effect when paired with proportionately voluminous bottom.
- Choose fitted dress shirts with darted waists that conform to your natural shape. Avoid boxy styles. Wide belts over shirts and dresses are a great way to show off your waist. Keep in mind to always try to maintain balance since it is your best feature.
- Hourglass body types tend to be busty. Wearing a supportive bra will perk up your chest and enhance your appearance in your clothing. Play up your nice legs by exploring various skirt lengths.
- Embrace v-neck dresses and tops..they are more flattering. Just be sure you do not show more cleavage than appropriate to the situation. Having an hour glass body type does not mean the clothing choices should be distasteful. If a hemline is too short or neckline is too deep or inappropriate, leave it on the rack!
If your body type is an apple or round you want to de-emphasize your midsection and create a more defined waist. This can be achieved by choosing clothing that adds curves to your lower body and tops that taper to a waist. The above examples provide a visual of appropriate clothing styles for the apple or round shape.
- Look for tops that taper your upper body while creating a more defined waist. Ex. square, v or u necks; wrap style tops and jackets; tops with vertical details.
- Wear tops that “skim” over love handles or flare at the hips, like tunics and flowy tops with an empire waist…ensuring that the waist begins just below the bust and flows outwards.
- Choose tailored jackets with a nipped waist and flared bottom. The first button should be below the bust.
- Avoid dresses and belts that pinch at your waist. This will most likely accentuate curves that you may not wish to show off.
- Round body types tend to be busty. It is important to wear a supportive bra to make your chest appear perky and not droopy. If you haven’t done so, schedule a professional bra fitting…it makes a significant difference and your chest will thank you!
- Wear bottoms that minimize your lower half. Ex. full, tiered, flared or bubble skirts. Choose pants with full or wide legs; or with pronounced hip and/or rear pockets to add curves to your lower half.
TIPS FOR ALL BODY TYPES
It is important to choose your colors and patterns wisely. For any curves, handles or bumps that you would like to hide, wear solid or dark colors over them. You can also draw attention away from unwanted curves by enhancing a feature that is further away. Wear bright colors or patterns on features you wish to accentuate…this draws attention away from the features that you don’t like.
One point to consider is that some women are a combination of two body types. If this is you, consider the rules for each of the body types you may have and apply them to those areas. Just be mindful to accentuate your best features and camouflage your not so flattering features. Also, always strive for balance with your garment choices.
Regardless of your body type, making your legs look longer is generally flattering. Also, it is important to ensure that your clothes fit properly. Clothing that is too tight or too big will not necessarily make you look better. If your clothing is too big or pants or skirts so long that they are hanging past your shoes, please have them altered. It makes ALL the difference! Otherwise, you will appear sloppy or look larger than you actually are!
There is no best or worst body type. All body types have pros and cons. Knowing your body type is about dressing to look YOUR best. These tips are not strict rules that you have to follow. However, if you desire to look your best at all times, it would be wise to consider :). If you are honest with yourself, you will agree once you have applied these tips! The mirror does not lie! 🙂 So till next time fashionistas…stay fabulous!