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Tips for dressing an oval body shape

woman wearing an empire waist top

If you have an oval body shape, you are most definitely not alone – in fact, it’s one of the most common body types for women to have. And as with any body type, feeling good about the way you dress takes understanding how to use clothes to highlight your assets and downplay the areas you aren’t so crazy about. But how do you know if you have an oval body shape? Read on for how to determine whether your body type is oval-shaped and how you can dress to show it off to the best of its potential:

How to know if you have an oval body shape

The best way to determine your body shape is to first take your measurements. Use a cloth measuring tape to calculate your hips, waist and bust (check out our infographic to learn exactly how to measure yourself). Then, use those numbers to identify your body shape. If your waist measurement is larger than those of your bust and hips, you have what’s considered an oval body shape – visually, people with this type carry weight in their tummies.

Define your waist

If you have an oval, or sometimes called “apple,” body shape, your waist isn’t naturally defined. That’s often true of women with rectangle and even inverted triangle body shapes, too, and it can be easily fixed using clothes. Find tops and dresses that help you create an hourglass shape by cinching in at the waist (or appearing to) and flaring out over the hips. This includes A-line skirts and dresses, wrap tops and dresses, and anything that’s belted at the waistline. If you want, use shapewear to define your waist underneath your clothing. Corset tops in particular are amazing assets for women with larger tummies.

A-Line Skirt

Consider empire waists

For any body type, it’s important to highlight your smallest body parts. That’s why women with oval body shapes often benefit from emphasizing the thin area just beneath their bust. Do this by embracing tops and dresses with empire waists. Choose garments with interesting necklines or details that draw the eye up and detract from a wider tummy area.

woman wearing an empire waist top

Elongate your gams

Some of your best features as a woman with an oval body type? Your legs. Show off your shapely gams by wearing clothing and shoes that slim and elongate them. Boot- or straight-cut jeans and trousers are very flattering because they create a straight line from your hips to your shoes, making your whole body appear taller and slimmer. Also, embrace shoes with heels for some added length – wedges are especially comfortable during the warmer months but heeled boots are lovely in colder weather.

Play with prints and colors

Prints and colors can be used strategically to highlight your favorite body parts. Opt for colorful or printed pants and skirts with solid-colored tops to add some visual balance between your upper and lower half. Look for dresses and tops with engineered or block prints (such as dark side panels) that can help you look long and slim.

woman wearing a tiger print tunic

Remember: Confidence is the most important thing you can wear to look great!

Want to explore the other body types? Here’s more:

3 thoughts on “Tips for dressing an oval body shape

  1. Love these shirts.. what website do I find them???

    1. Hi Cathy, Check out MonroeandMain.com for all our flattering, versatile fashions. Here’s a link to our tops: https://www.monroeandmain.com/Clothing/Tops/index.cat

  2. I love the up- to-date styles you carry in plus sizes. Which are very hard to find in department stores. You keep me looking Fabulous!

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