4 key body shapes and how to dress for them

How do you choose the clothes that are just right for you?

Do you go by intuition, or do you find yourself just buying the same styles over and over because you know they just work for you?

Have you ever been in a shop and seen something that you really like, only to find that once you take it home for some reason it isn’t quite you…?

How about those things that you wear that just feel right, and you know you look great? Why is that?

In this article I’ll hopefully take away a bit of the guesswork when it comes to choosing your perfect outfit by going through the 4 main body shapes and how to dress for them.

What are body shapes?

They refer to the shape that’s made when we look at a front on silhouette.

The one we probably all already know is the classic hourglass figure. This is referring to a particular body shape that is wider at the top and the hips, with the waist being slightly smaller.

The 4 body shapes

4 key body shapes

How to work out which one you are closest to using measurements.

No body shape is right or wrong of course, and once you have an idea of which one you are closest too there are a few simple rules of thumb you can follow that will make sure you always pick that killer combination of clothes and accessories that will make you look and feel fabulous.

Here’s how to work it out using the numbers…

Get a tape measure (a cloth one is easier to work with) and take the following measurements.

Shoulders: Have someone help you measure from the tip of one shoulder all the way around you. The measuring tape should be high up around your shoulders so it almost slips off.

Bust: Pull the measuring tape taut across the fullest part of your bust and around your back. Don’t squish your breasts! IF you do you are pulling the tape too tight.

Waist: Measure your waist just above the belly button, this is the smallest part of your natural waist.

 Hips: Start just below the hip bone on one hip and wrap the tape measure around the largest part of your butt.

Once you have your measurements you can use them to quickly work out the body shape category you fit into.

How to dress for each shape

Let’s get a quick explanation of each shape, look at the calculations with your measurements to work out if you are that shape, and go through some quick pointers about how to dress for success with each one.

Inverted triangle

body shape inverted triangle

The inverted triangle is the most athletic of the body shapes, with shoulder broader than hips.

With this shape it is worth focusing on the arms and shoulders.

Tips for looking amazing: Fitted jackets with a nipped-in waist and a flared bottom.

Why: The defined waist and flare over your hips create the illusion of lower-body curves and will help balance out your broad shoulders.

Other great choices are pencil skirts and skinny jeans, which will accentuate the length of your legs and show off your overall shape.

What to avoid: If you have patterns or ruffles or layers keep them to the lower half of the body and keep the upper part more simply dressed.


body shape rectangle

This is like an hourglass figure, but without the defined waistline. Your main assets are your arms and legs.

Tips for looking amazing: Skirts or dresses with volume-increasing details like ruffles, bows, or embellishments.

Why: These fill out your hips and balance your upper body.

Other great choices are dresses that add definition to your bottom and necklines that add meat to the upper body.

Strapless, sleeveless and sweetheart lines really compliment this body shape.

To show off your arms consider blazers, long jackets and capes to accentuate their shape.

What to avoid: Try to avoid creating imbalance between the upper and lower half of your body.

Triangle (otherwise known as pear shaped):

body shape triangle

This shape is where your hips are wider than your shoulders.

Tips for looking amazing: Fit-and-flare dresses.

Why: They will show off how little you are on top and are roomier from the waist down for your curvier bottom half.

Other great choices are A-line skirts or dresses with patterned or ruffled tops. These add definition to the upper body and look great.

Loose tops with skinny jeans can help to create an hourglass illusion.

Crop tops, sweetheart, V or deep-V, scoop or boat necks will balance your bottom out.

What to avoid: Unless you like the look then avoid tight tops and loose bottoms as they will accentuate your shape.


hourglass body shape

This body type is the most balanced, with top and bottom parts of the body in proportion and with a well-defined waistline

Tips for looking amazing: Wrap tops and dresses.

Why: They accentuate your waist and enhance your hourglass figure.

Other great choices include clothes that follow the curves and enhance your shape.

What to avoid: Unless it’s by choice avoid loosely fitted clothes that may hide the natural curves of your body. This is a great body type so show it off whenever you get the chance!


We all have different body types and body shapes, and understanding which body shape we are closest too can be really useful in helping us make choices that will make us look and feel fantastic.

Why not have a look at some of our best selling collections and see what you can find that will suit you perfectly.




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