A guide for determining your body type
In the world of fashion, plus-size or not, most rules and guidelines center around understanding your body type and how to play up your best features. Dressing for your specific body type is the best way to ensure the clothes you’re wearing are correctly fitted, comfortable and flattering. If you aren’t sure what your body type is, though, it can be hard to start building a wardrobe you feel great in. Take a look at this guide to some common body shapes to help you determine yours:
Hourglass body shapes are perhaps the most well-known. Women with hourglass bodies have a small defined waist with a bust that’s proportionately sized with their hips. Women with hourglass bodies have great natural proportions but can also sometimes struggle with finding clothes that fit their hips and bust without being too large around their smaller waist. If you have this body type, play it up by wearing clothes that nip in at your natural waist and fit closely around your curves. High-waisted skirts and wrap dresses look great on hourglass figures.
Also known as a pear shape, triangle body types are characterized by a thinner upper body and bust, a defined waist and wider hips. Women with this body type can use clothes to draw attention to their upper bodies by wearing shirts with patterns and detailing that highlight the shoulders and neckline. Also, wide-leg pants and jeans look particularly great on triangle figures.
To learn how to dress your triangle body shape, read our article.
The inverted-triangle body shape is a little less well-known but has a lot of beautiful traits. Women with an inverted-triangle body have broader shoulders, a less-defined waist and more narrow hips. Ladies with this body type can use belts above their hips to create more of an hourglass shape, and they look great in sheath dresses that fall in a straight, fitted line from their shoulders to their thighs.Women with an inverted-triangle body shape can also use interesting necklines, like scoops and V-necks, to give their upper torso a more proportionate appearance.
If you have an oval body type, you may have heard it referred to as an apple shape. Oval body types have a wider midsection with a slim lower body. To play up the best parts of an oval shape, you’ll want to highlight your great legs and narrow hips. Downplay excess weight around the middle of your body by using structured garments, paneling and belts to create a more defined waist. Try pairing a long slim pant with a structured blazer that hits right at your hips and nips in at the waist. You’d also look great in a universally flattering bright A-line dress.
Diamond body shapes are somewhat similar to an oval body type, but they have the added characteristic of dainty shoulders that are narrower than the hips. Women with a diamond body shape should also use structure and fit to create a defined waist and downplay a larger midsection. If you have this body type, try creating visual proportion between your shoulders and hips by wearing a jacket with structured shoulders or using ruffled or ruched fabrics near the shoulders and neckline.
Still interested in more details? Take a look at our valuable tips and ideas on what to consider when it comes to dressing for your body type. Our “How to Dress Your Body Type” 4-Step Infographic series covers taking your measurements, identifying your body shape, choosing the appropriate shapewear, and then dressing for your body type with prints & colors.
What shape are you? Tell us in the comments below!