Do You Dress for Your Body Type?

Hi Guys and Dolls!!

It's me again! Today I want to talk about body types. I was on the phone earlier with my sister and we were talking about dressing for your body. You always hear someone saying that a bigger person shouldn't wear certain things. Do you ever hear what a smaller person shouldn't wear? Well she was on it! Just because they make in your size, whether bigger or smaller, doesn't mean you should wear it? Do you agree? Well let's get into body types and what may or may not look good on you. 

I found this photo of different body shapes on

Now let's get into what these shapes mean and how to dress them. 

How to Dress an Hourglass Figure

• Hourglass:- The most balanced body type, with your hips and shoulders/bust perfectly proportioned to one another, while your waist measures a great deal smaller (normally an estimated 10″ smaller). Think Marilyn Monroe and the pin up ladies of 50s. When dressing for this body type it is all about proportion and accentuating the waist.

• Tips to dress by: Always draw attention to the waist! Wear wrap dresses, and single piece dresses with belts. Scoop or V Neck tops will draw attention down. Avoid high necklines on tops, as they will only draw attention away from your strongest asset, your waist. Wear straight, fitted pants and skirts. Think pencil skirts that hit right above knee, fuller bottoms will only create the illusion of roundness for an hourglass figure.

How to Dress for a Triangle/Pear Shape

• Triangle (a.k.a. Pear): This body type has a larger lower body with a smaller upper body. Shoulders are generally narrower than the waist, hips and thighs. Again it is all about drawing attention away from your problem areas. Therefore we need to draw the eyes up.

• Tips to dress by: Because this body type has different sizing for from top to bottom, focus on buying separates. Because we need to draw the eyes up, it is more about the tops and less about the bottoms. What we mean by this is keep your bottom half simple. No frills, pleating, etc., with a monochromatic color scheme. Stay with darker colors for the bottom. For the top, it is important to draw your shoulders out to create balance with your hips. Therefore, focus on tops with puff sleeves, dolman sleeves, etc., anything that will draw the eye to the outer edges of sleeves. Wide collars on tops and jacket lapels work well also.

How to dress for for an Inverted Triangle Shape

• Inverted Triangle: Hence the name, this body type is the exact opposite of the triangle body type. The inverted triangle type has a larger upper body (busts, shoulders, waist) and smaller bottom half, (narrow hips, rear and legs). The inverted triangle normally has more of a thin, 
athletic lower body. The rule of thumb here is to draw attention from wider top to smaller bottom.
 Tips to dress by: Just like the triangle, you need to focus on buying separates due to the different sizing. For the inverted triangle, dress by the opposite color scheme: darker on top, lighter on bottom. Keep the top simple and focus on the bottoms. Make sure the top covers the hip area, which will hide waist flaws. Sleeveless tops are fine but DO NOT wear any tops with thin straps, as it will draw attention to broader shoulders. Choose bottoms that will draw eyes outward to create the illusion of balance between the shoulders and hips. For example: flared bottoms, skirts with kick outs (pleating or peplums) on the sides, and tulip skirts.

How to Dress for a Round Shape

• Round (a.k.a. Apple): This body type has the overall appearance of being round, especially in the torso area. The waistline is normally undefined. Creating the illusion of a longer, leaner torso by drawing attention up is the key for this body type.

• Tips to dress by: Always keep the focus on your face and neckline. Statement piece earrings, necklaces and scarves are the way to go, as long as they are worn in and around the neckline. Keeping a monochromatic color scheme on top and bottom creates a more lengthening illusion. Keeping your tops un-tucked with a more flowing effect through the waistline will keep the eye moving, avoiding any focus to problem areas that clingy fabric would create. Choose fabrics that will fit loosely enough to skim the body, but not too loose, this would only create a wider illusion. Choose straight pants and skirts with no pleating, with a slight flare at the bottom.

How to Dress a Rectangle Shape

• Rectangle (Athletic): This body type is slim with a lack of curves. Though this would seem like the easiest body to dress, it is actually one of the more difficult. While the key to flattering an athletic body type is to focus on creating the illusion of curves, they still need to showcase their lean attributes; this can be a tricky balance. In many instances this body type keeps the tailors in business!

Tips to dress by: Femininity is key when dressing this body type; it’s all about the waistline! Look for feminine, tailored tops and blazers. Make sure these tops, blazers and jackets have waist darts and a waist seam creating a waistline. Jackets with peplums and kick outs work very well to create a feminine flare. If you are also trying to accentuate a smaller chest, empire waistlines work very well because they can pull off more of a line effect through the waist. Rectangles should avoid vertical stripes as they will hide curves; they do a great job at creating a slenderizing effect which this body type does not need! Choose fitted pants and skirts with flare; this will add curves to the body. Tight clothing shows off a slender shape, which is the greatest asset of an athletic body type. Belts can also be used to accent an outfit while creating a waistline.

I think there are more body types/shapes but this is just a general typing at the moment. Okay dolls, I've come to the end. The only thing that I want to add is that, regardless of body type, we are all beautiful and should wear whatever makes us feel gorgeous. You may be like me and wear whatever you want. LOL! But this is for the folks who battle with what they feel may or may not look good on them. Spend some time in front of a mirror and really get to know your body. Being comfortable in your own skin brings greater confidence. Find what works for you and ROCK it! 

So what do you guys think? Too much? Not enough? Have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below! 

Satisfying your Fashion Addiction!

~B. Ayesha
Beauty | Style | Fashion

*body type info by Dressing for Your Body Type
January 7th, 2011 8:23 am | by Cathy Hayes & Courtney Philpot