Body Shape: Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure

Do you find fashion unforgiving? Perhaps clothes look great on hangers but don't suit your figure. The trick to always looking fabulous is to make your style match your physique rather than the other way around. You can't make clothes look flattering if it's designed with a different body shape in mind, no matter how hard you try. Select garments that complement your proportions, and you can't go wrong.

Hourglass body shape (triangles contrasting) — Hourglass-shaped figures have a narrow waist, and the bust and hips are a similar size.

Classic hourglass figures look amazing in '50s-style dresses with nipped-in waists. Wide belts emphasize curves, and pencil skirts draw attention to shapely hips. Fitted clothes that glide over the body are flattering, and skinny jeans can look great with a loose top. However, avoid teaming baggy bottoms with a tunic top. Aim to define your waist and highlight your bust and hips rather than hiding them.

Apple body shape (triangle plunging) — Apple-shaped figures have narrow hips, and broad shoulders and bust.

If you have an apple-shaped figure, your arms, shoulders, and legs are your best features. You can wear loose tunic-style dresses with leggings, and peplum dresses look great on your frame. If you want to create the appearance of curves, make your waist seem smaller by tucking a loose top into high-waisted trousers with a flat front. Avoid thin belts; always select wide varieties for a flattering appearance.

Pear body shape (triangle rising) — Pear-shaped figures have smaller bust measurements than hips.

Fitted clothes that skim your waist and hips, rather than hugging them will look best. If you're wearing a short top, pair it with bootcut jeans. Skirts that gently flare suit you; avoid those that generously stick out. Steer clear of shoes with ankle straps; they'll make your legs look wider. Also, layered asymmetric clothes that drape flatter your frame.

Straight body shape (rectangular) — Rectangular figures have waist sizes less than 9 inches smaller than the bust or hips.

Keep frills, ruffles, and layers for your bottom half; wearing them higher on your body will make your figure seem unbalanced. Gypsy skirts, boho tunics, skirt hitches, and embroidered details on the thigh area or below look great, and pockets on dresses and jeans flatter your physique. Keep clothing worn on your top half elegant and streamlined; simplicity is the key.

When you match your clothing style with your figure or body style, you will look and feel terrific. Remember to balance your frame when you dress. Aim to play up the parts of your body you especially like and play down those you don't want to emphasize. Always choose garments that suit your physique, and you won't find fashion disappointing.

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One Response to Body Shape: Tips to Make Your Style Match Your Figure

  1. Patricia M Burckhardt says:

    Your explanation is great. I always thought I was more rectangular but with your explanation, I’m an apple. Go figure. I’ve always had wide shoulders but narrow hips and my waist has always been larger than I wanted. Now I know what to aim for when looking for clothing. When I was young, I was very thin but I always had bigger shoulders and narrow hips so I got so confused with any other explanations of shapes. Thank you Mayra.

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