How to Dress for Your Shape

body-shapes-and-dress-silhouette-guideBeing well-dressed and fashionable is important to every woman, no matter what her age or size. Finding and honing your sartorial skills increases dramatically once your body type is correctly assessed. The following is an all-inclusive list of the various body types and the best clothing options for each woman. After reviewing this list, women will have the confidence necessary to look their best once they know which clothing options work best for their specific size.

Though still up for debate, the general rule of thumb is that there are four categories used to define women’s body types. Most women fall into one or a combination of two. Determining your place in either one is simply a matter of knowing your measurements and your level of comfort when it comes to pulling off many of the looks involved in each category to achieve the best look possible.


Getting dressed is a whole lot easier when you know what pieces work best for your shape. Most women fall into one of four categories: circle (also known as ‘apple’ or ’round shaped’), triangle (‘pear-shaped’ or ‘bottom heavy’), hourglass (‘full-figured’ or ‘curvy’), and rectangle (‘straight up-and-down’ or ‘boyish’).



The Circle

Women that tend to carry extra weight around their midsection (or have recently had a baby) should opt for clothes that conceal this area as much as possible, while showing off their arms and legs to keep everything in balance. So it should go without saying that any clothing or accessories that draw attention to your midsection are a no-no. However, fret not, for there are plenty of other options available to incorporate into your wardrobe to maximize your appearance.

Slim-Cut Pants:
These type of pants are a great way for women with a circle (also commonly classified  as ‘apple’ or ’round’) shape to look longer and leaner. Slim-cut pants will elongate the legs, taking the focus away from the midsection, and when paired with low-cut or scoop-neck tops, will bring attention up towards the bosom.

Tunic Blouse:
These blouses, preferably those that sport pleats or sleeves with serious volume, are a modern way to tackle the problem of a protruding midsection in style.

Empire-Waist Top:
Another excellent option that stresses the rib cage area over the midsection, this top is designed in such a way that the waistline falls right under the bust.

Shift Dress:
When worn with heels as high as you can manage, a shift dress is the perfect type to give you a structured look that gives a slimming illusion to other areas of the body.

Now that you know which options work best for your body type, it is also important to know what to avoid. For circle women, steer clear away from jackets that are too short, which will give a boxy appearance. Pleated skirts are also not flattering to your frame.


The TriangleDress For Your Body

The triangle (or pear-shaped) woman typically has shoulders and torsos which are narrower than her hips and should dress appropriately so that her bottom half won’t appear even larger.

Wide-Leg Pants:
To elongate the legs and create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette, triangle women should wear wide-leg pants, preferably darker in color to maximize the effect.

Tailored Jacket:
Accentuate those shoulders with an immaculately tailored jacket, that showcases the top half of the frame, while simultaneously evening out the proportions of the lower body.

Boatneck Top:
As a triangle woman, fuller hips can utilize a boatneck top to broaden the shoulders and create the illusion of a more curvaceous woman. An A-line cut is advised as it allows a less triangular look.

The styles to avoid for a pear-shaped woman include skinny jeans and pants of any kind. Avoid clothes that are not tailored to the frame, such as oversized sweaters and shirts. Also, fabrics like silk and clingy skirts are to be avoided as well.


The Hourglass

Naturally curvy, with an ample bosom, narrow waist, and full hips, women with an hourglass figure are evenly proportioned and so must select clothes that accentuate the curves instead of go against them.

Wrap Dress:
It seems as if the wrap dress was designed specifically with curvaceous women in mind, as it hugs the frame in all the right places. Women possessing an hourglass figure simply cannot go wrong with this option, so invest in a few of them!

Wide-Leg Jeans:
Although women with an hourglass figure can pull off most styles of pants, those that offer wider-cut legs will make the waist appear even that much smaller.

Fitted Tops:
Women with an hourglass figure can opt for fitted cardigans, low halternecks, or square neck tops as well that will play up their figures in the best light.

Even women with hourglass figures cannot get away with any type of clothing. Clothes that are shapeless will only make a curvy woman look bigger, so avoid those baby doll dresses and large tunic dresses that do nothing to to flatter this type of physique.


Dress For Your Body2The Rectangle

Often described as having a boyish body, the rectangle woman must dress in a way that creates the illusion of curves to fill out up-and-down frame.

 Boot Cut:
This is the perfect fit for the woman that lacks curves as it helps to create a silhouette of shapeliness with the wider hems.

Fitted Jacket:
To get the appearance of hips that look fuller, the rectangle woman should opt for fitted jackets to add a bit of curvature to her look.

Flared Skirt:
This cut helps to create a figure that is more in line with the hourglass woman, as the flouncy hem works well with the tapered waist.

Women in this category should avoid either dresses that are overly tight, too flowy, or lack structure. In essence? No Empire-waist tops.

Now, armed with these fashionable tips for every body type, women can discover (or re-discover) the highs of shopping yet again.