How To Dress Your Body Shape « Stylelogue

How To Dress Your Body Shape

September 7th, 2010

What body shape am I?

There’s an abundance of information out there on the subject of bodyshapes. Trinny and Suzannah, Gok Wan and the rest…. they’ve all summed up what they believe to be the bodyshapes us ladies fit into.

Before you read any further, stop and think about your body. Really think about its proportions, your build, bone structure and posture. Hold onto that image in the knowledge that is it a completely unique one. Unless you have an identical twin, your body is one of 6.7 billion on this earth and is not the same as any other.

The main thing you need to be aware of is that our bodies can’t simply be compartmentalized into five or ten bodyshapes. Human bodies are far too complicated to be simplified in such a fashion! But what you can do is understand the principles behind figuring out what clothes to buy and what styles look best on you. These principles come from balancing proportions and ultimately knowing roughly which shape you fit most closely to.

The principles of dressing for your body type

So yes, as a personal stylist I do refer to these principles but most importantly, I look at the individual and the little nuances that define each person as a whole. Everything including colour, personality, height etc all have to be taken into account but bodyshape is a great starting point. So, don’t get too fixated on the fact you’d rather be a lean column than an apple because when all said and done you’re so much more than that anyway……

The point of this is so you can better understand what you’re looking at when you look in the mirror so that you’re better armed with clever purchasing power and knowing what looks best on you. Your main aim is to create the illusion of having a balanced body. The neat hourglass is considered to be the most balanced body shape with:

~ Shoulders and hips in line

~ A defined bust

~ A waist (even with a softly curved tummy)

~ A curvy bottom

The problem with understanding your body shape is that the majority of us see red when we look at ourselves in the mirror and only focus on the bits that bulge. Why not set yourself the goal of being truly objective and actually view your body as a whole, just this once? You might be surprised at how you start to see yourself a little differently, perhaps in a more positive way.

How to balance your body shape

So here goes. Take a deep breath, get down to your underwear and look at the whole you in the mirror. If you find yourself zooming in on your thighs, tummy, bust, bottom or arms, look away and start again.

When the image you see in front of you is the whole you, stand with your legs together and your arms a bit away from your sides. Examine the area from under your arms, past your bust and ribcage, over your waist and hips to the fullest part of your thighs. Turn to the side and look at your body’s profile. Now look at the 7 body shapes below. Look back at the outline of yourself in the mirror.

Be objective and decide whether your shoulders are in line with your hips or whether one area is wider than the other. Turn sideways and observe which parts curve more than others. From your conclusions, you should be able to begin understanding where you fit in to the shapes below. Bear in mind that a large proportion of people can cross over shapes. Once you have an idea of where you could fit, click on the relevant links below to get style, clothing and shopping ideas for each shape.

Apple shape body

Apple Shape

Rounded shoulders

Fullness around the middle

Flattish bottom

Slimmer or average legs

Average to big bust

Style & fashion tips for apple shapes





Pear shape body

Pear Shape

A defined waist

Larger hips and thighs

Narrower shoulders than hips

Wear larger size on bottom than top

Style & fashion tips for pear shapes






Inverted Triangle Bodyshape

Inverted Triangle Body shape

Square, solid shoulder line

Flatter hips and bottom with little definition between them

Wider shoulders than hips

Wear larger size on top than bottom

Style & fashion tips for inverted triangle shapes






Neat hourglass bodyshape

Neat Hourglass Body shape

Shoulders in proportion with hips

Defined waist

Curved bust and bottom

Wear same size top and bottom

Style & fashion tips for neat hourglass shapes






Rectangle bodyshape

Rectangle Body shape

A solid, square frame

Same size top and bottom

Small bust

Little waist definition

Flat hips and bottom






Lean Column Bodyshape

Lean Column Body shape

Slim, long frame

Same size top & bottom

Small bust

Little waist definition

Narrow hips and small bottom, in line with shoulders






Full Hourglass Bodyshape

Full Hourglass Body shape

Bigger thighs

Fuller bottom and hips

Small waist

Fuller bust







For even more fashion, style and body shape tips, news and reviews…..
Discover Stylelogue’s style guide for women

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