I get tons of questions about how to dress for your body type. Dressing for your shape takes patience and a lot of trying on clothes. Most people think they are limited when it comes to dressing their body type but that’s simply just not true.
For me, identifying and understanding your shape is about knowing what works for the largest and smallest parts of your body. Think of shape identification as a guideline to your best looks. The most common shapes in women are apple, pear, hourglass, and a rectangle.
There are other shapes and fruits that can be used to describe various body types but let’s just stick with the most common. Depending on your height and weight I believe you can be a blend of two shapes. This is why trying on clothes when shopping is important.
Most apple shaped women have large chests but there are some apple shaped women with small breasts and high waists which can blend in with the pear shape.
To help make shopping a little more fun and less strenuous I’ve created a mini shop your shape post. I’ve listed characteristics of each of the most common shapes, your style goal, and what to buy. Since I’m a visual learner I added some notable celebs with the common body shapes.
Dressing an Apple Shape
The most common characteristics of an apple shape are slim legs, large chest, and you carry most of your weight in your tummy and top half of your body.
Note: Some apple shapes are also referred to as diamond or oval shapes.
For most apple shapes creating or defining a waist is key since you carry most of your weight in your mid section and upper body. Most apple shapes have broad shoulders. Show off your legs in a pencil skirt or a stylish fit and flare dress, or in a pair of mid rise skinny jeans.
What to Buy: Deep v-necks, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, wrap dresses, strapless dresses, jackets that are hip length, printed bottoms, A-line cuts.
Since apple shapes have slim legs shorts work well for your body type. You also want to look for structured and tailored pieces…
Dressing a Pear Shape
The common characteristic of a pear shape is wide hips, thick thighs and legs, small defined waist, and narrow shoulders. Pear shapes are considered to be the most common on women today. Note: Some pear shapes can also look like they’re bordering hourglass.
Plus size model Fluvia Lacerda shows off her pear shape with a body con dress that has intricate details on the smallest part of her body and a slim and sleek fit on the lower half of her body, which is her fullest part. In addition, the details on the top help to balance out her lower half.
Style Goal– If you’re a pear your focus is going to be on balancing out your upper body with your lower half. Often pear shapes have a hard time finding bottoms that fit their ample hips and small waist so a tailor should be on your speed dial.
What to Buy– Printed & detailed tops, flat front pants, high-waist pants, long jackets and blazers, skinny leg and boot cut jeans, belts will aid you in showcasing your small waist. Fit and flare dresses are also a great option.
Dressing an Hourglass Shape
This is probably the most coveted shaped of them all due to a well balanced proportionate body. However, I think all shapes can definitely shine. Common characteristics of an hourglass are large chest, defined waist, and round full bottom.
Ashley Graham always plays up her hourglass shape. In this Michael Kors dress she rocks a belt to further cinch her waist. The strapless top of the dress plays up her full breast and the fitted knee length bottom of the dress shows off her curvy hips.
Style Goal – Hourglass shapes much like the apple tend to have a large chest. Your goal is to find clothes that fit and flatter your curves. Hourglass shapes also tend to look great in classic cuts and styles.
What to Buy– Hourglass figures look great in body con dresses, structured tops, and high-waist pants and jeans. You definitely want to look for clothing with a little stretch.
Your best styles are classic silhouettes like a sheath dress, pencil skirts, and peplum. Clothes should be more structured and on the tailored side.
Dressing a Rectangle Shape
The main characteristics of a rectangle shape are an undefined waist, same size bust and hips. Women with rectangular shapes can look a little boxy and boyish.
Style Goal-To find clothes that create a curvier shape
What to Buy-Since the rectangle shape is proportionate, you can go for bold prints, ruffled tops, asymmetrical cuts like tulip skirts, tiered styles, heavy knits, peplum, and wide leg pants/jeans
Hopefully we helped you get a better understanding of your shape and how to dress it. Remember, these are just suggestions; you can wear whatever you like and mix and match styles from each body type.