Knowing your body shape makes it easy for you to identify what clothes work best on you. One body shape is not better than another — this is just a short guide to finding out what will be most flattering for you. The following are common women’s shapes.
How to Find Your Body Shape
Use a mirror: Stand in front of a full length mirror in your underwear or in form-fitting clothes. You’ll be able to see your body shape outlined in the mirror. If it’s not entirely obvious, you can use an erasable marker to outline your body onto the mirror and compare it against our handy image below.
Body shape calculators: Westfield New Zealand has an easy-to-use body shape calculator, where you input your bust, waist, and hips measurements to find out your body shape.
Types of Body Shapes
Pear-shaped ladies have a smaller bust and wider hips. They tend to carry their weight in their hips, thighs, and butt.
In contrast to apple-shaped ladies, pear shaped ladies might be less prone to heart disease because their fat is concentrated around the less-dangerous hip area. However, they tend to be more prone to osteoporosis because of the additional weight on the thighs.
Concentrate on adding volume to the upper body, while reducing visual weight at the bottom with slim-fitting darker trousers.
Rectangle Shaped Women
Rectangles can be either thin rectangles or larger rectangles, but either way this body shape is characterized by a straight silhouette — chest, waist, and hips are stacked in a straight line with similar dimensions. This is also referred to as a “straight” or “column” body type.
Rectangles should pay close attention to their Body Mass Index (BMI) within healthy range, whether or not you’re a thin or a larger rectangle.
Rectangles can play with textures and patterns as they can pull off almost every clothing option. For thinner rectangles especially, embellished skirts and tops will add interest to your frame. For larger rectangles, boatneck tops and pencil skirts would be great options.
Inverted Triangle Shape
Seen frequently on athletes like swimmers, this body shape is strong with broad shoulders. Your bottom half is smaller than your top, with little definition between your waist and hips.
Your small waist could mean that your risk for heart disease is lower.
Inverted triangles should look for v-shaped necklines on tops to draw attention down from broad shoulders, and wear a-line skirts to balance out the lower half of their bodies.
The Classic Hourglass Shape
Think actresses like Mad Men’s Joan Hendricks or Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara — hourglass shaped ladies have small waists and larger chests and hips.
Hourglass-shaped ladies tend to have more estrogen because of their rounded hips, and might be more likely to get pregnant easily .
Hourglass ladies have figures suited to clothing like wrap dresses, pencil skirts, and skirts with flounced hems. Clothes should hug the body but not be too tight or constricting.
Apple or Round Shape
Apple body shapes tend to have smaller busts and shoulders, and slender legs that would look great with skirts. Most of the weight is concentrated in the stomach and hip region, where there is little definition between the two.
A larger waist in comparison to the rest of your body could mean a greater increase in abdominal fat tissue, which is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease, among other health problems, according to the American Cancer Society.
Apple-shaped ladies can choose to show off their slim pins in flirty skirts or adding definition to their waist with a belt. A-line skirts and dresses with nipped in waists would look very flattering on apple shaped ladies.
Shape and Style
Once you know your shape, keep in mind the styles that are most flattering as you assess your closet and shop for new items. Dressing to highlight your shape can help you look and feel your best.
Learn about how to measure your body to get the best clothing fit.
- How to Dress an Apple Shaped Body
- How to Dress a Pear Shaped Body
- Styles for Hourglass Shaped Women
- Styles for a Straight or Rectangular Figure