How to Dress for Your Body Shape

It’s not always easy to find clothes that fit properly with the way things are made these days, is it? Luckily, there are some tricks we can use to figure out what garments would be the most flattering.

One of those tricks is to style yourself according to your body type. We get that you already have your own sense of style and may be content with how you dress. That’s cool! But if you’re curious about how to accentuate some of your body’s best attributes, then you’ll probably be interested in this.

Below are the descriptions of five typical body shapes for women (though way more exist), and some of the ways you can dress to flatter your figure if you fit into one of these categories.

We know your clothes and shape don’t define you, but we’ll still share some tips about how to play up your fabulous features!

  1. Pear

    Ladies who are pear-shaped typically are smaller in the waist, wider in the hips and butt, but are also slimmer up top in the chest and shoulders. Some pears may also have broad shoulders. Go for fitted tops in light fabrics that highlight your waistline as well as looks you can layer like cardigans. Your neckline is your friend.
    Embellishments and high-necked garments draw attention to your upper body, giving it definition. Outerwear or blazers should touch right above the hips. A-line skirts and dresses accent your body perfectly, showing off your curves while slimming your silhouette.  
    High-waisted pants and bootcut jeans are awesome for you. Wide hems on your bottoms (pants, skirts, etc.) complement the top of your body well. Avoid baggy clothing altogether and busy patterns on your hips.

  2. Apple

    Apple-shaped women hold the bulk of their weight in the torso, and have legs that are usually slim. Large breasts, a small tush, and wide midsections are also characteristic. Since the waist is less defined, create one with wrap dresses or empire cuts, which will also disguise a pooch if you have one. You want to lengthen the torso and show off those pretty legs with straight leg or skinny jeans!
    Rock V-neck tops or dresses which are a match made in fashion heaven for your figure. Anything with ruched detailing will also add definition. Try to avoid boxy, formless shirts, dresses, or outerwear that will overwhelm your shape instead of complementing it.

  3. Hourglass

    An hourglass figure is curvy up top, curvy in the bottom, and defined at the waist. Usually these gals are proportioned equally in the top and bottom, no matter their size. Curve-accentuating styles look great on hourglass women.
    Skip the high necklines, heavily embellished bottoms, and formless tops. Opt instead for peplum tops, pencil skirts, and A-line cuts which are tailored perfectly for your shape. Knee-length or high-waisted skirts work best.
    Wrap dresses and tops, V-necks, and halters are made for you, but low-rise jeans, not so much. Go for skinny or straight-legged jeans. Try to stay away from empire or straight cuts as they’ll make your waist look wide. Ditch knit fabrics that are too tight (ahem, jersey knits). Lightweight fabrics and prints are fab!

  4. Rectangle/Athletic

    This body shape has measurements that are around the same in the shoulders, hips, and waist. Best features? Your legs and arms. You want to keep the top and bottom halves of the body balanced too.
    Strapless and off-shoulder looks are wonderful for you! So are halters, racerbacks, and tanks – whether they’re tops or dresses. Since curves aren’t defined, you can create them by wearing belts, peplums, or fitted tops. To avoid a straight look, rock a fitted bottom (leggings, skinny jeans) with a top that flows, or alternate the balance with a slim-fitting top paired with a flared bottom.  
    Embellishments like ruffles and collars accentuate your upper body. Pencil skirts or long skirts that sweep the floor are also winners for you. If you’ve got great legs, flaunt them with slits or shorter hemlines. And go coo-coo for accessories! Stay away from baggy styles, crop tops, or square-shaped necklines.

  5. Carrot/Wedge

    Also called the inverted triangle, this woman is wider in the shoulders and chest than in the waist and hips. Usually, her legs and bootie will be slim, but she may be broad-shouldered or busty.

    To give the illusion of a shapely bottom and curves, rock some chic mid or high-rise jeans. You can’t go wrong in maxi skirts or wrap dresses either! Experiment with V-necks, big belts, and open-shoulder looks to soften your broad shoulders/upper torso.  
    While A-line cuts or wide bottoms are a killer look for you, try to steer clear of pencil skirts and skinny jeans as they’ll make your legs look extra slim and your top too heavy. In wintry weather, pea coats are the perfect piece of outerwear for you.

While we know that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes, this sample guide can help you have more fun with fashion. Stay beautiful, ladies!

Do you know your body shape? Do you fall into more than one category as a tall, petite, or curvy gal? What style tricks have you found are the most flattering for your figure?