When you look at models on Instagram and throughout magazines, do you ever wonder how and why they dress the way they do?
I am certain a lot of people think that! The good news is ALL of us can dress to impress but the trick is to dress appropriately for our body shape. The secret is to emphasise the best parts of our body and adjust the areas that we think we need to work on. It is all comes down to basic aesthetics.
Everyone is beautiful regardless of their size or shape but the knowledge of how to choose the correct tailored clothing for your particular body shape makes all the difference and can allow you to present your shape in the best possible way. Clothing is not just to cover us up, clothing is for us to enjoy and celebrate. It’s fine if you don’t know your particular body type, we will discuss the way our body is measured and how to select the best clothing to compliment it.
Here is a visual representation of body types and understanding shapes is the basis on how to select the right clothing. Female body types can vary dramatically but don’t worry, we will try our very best to guide you on How To dress for your body type.
1. Rectangle Body Shape
If you measured your body and the results from all of your sections are the same, then you have a straight body type. Some people call this the supermodel’s body but you might also hear it referred to as a rectangular or ruler body type. Those with a straight body naturally tend to have a less defined waistline (hence the term ‘straight body’ type).
How to dress if you have a rectangle body shape;
First, let’s discuss what you should wear. The number one item that you should stock in your closet is tube tops and dresses. They will look gorgeous on you because such clothing will highlight your features. The challenge here is how to create a well-defined waste line?
It’s actually quite easy and all the magic happens with a belt. A belt will guide the eye and create the illusion of a waistline. By accessorising your dress, you will not only look stylish but you will move towards that sexy hourglass body shape. In addition, if you want to add a bit more volume to your hips, just add a pleated skirt to your wardrobe. As for tones and colours, it really is up to you as there are no rules. Textured fabrics and dresses with large shapes are also very effective.
What should you avoid if you have a straight body shape? Since your waist is something that you would like highlighted, try to avoid clothing that lacks volume and/or shape.
2. Pear Body Shape
The two defining features of a pear shaped body are the wide hips and the smaller bust/shoulders. Some people refer to this as the triangle body shape. When people say that someone is curvy, this is the body type that often mean and those with a pear shape body will usually have a well-defined lower section. It can get tricky to dress up if you have a pear shape body because the wrong cut can be very unflattering. However, if you pick the right dress, you will look stunning!
How to dress if you have a pear body shape;
So what do you wear in order to look your best? The most important thing to remember when picking different clothing types is to make your shoulders appear wider and the best option is a scoop-neck or boat-neck blouse. Should you want to add some spice, bright colours and tasteful accessories can help. An excellent bonus tip; If you need to balance your upper body and lower body, adding a pushup or padded bra can help achieve this. But please be careful when wearing patterns as they tend to create illusions that might make your lower section look even wider. The same goes for balloon dresses and tight skirts which might tend to overemphasise your shape.
3. Apple Body Shape
An apple shaped body can be difficult to identify. First, look at your waist and ask yourself if they a bit undefined? One of the features of an apple body shape is a bust larger than the hips. What about your shoulders? If you have shoulders that are wider than your waist, then that’s two features for you. And if you have slim legs and arms, that will confirm an apple body shape. If pear shape is a triangle, apple shape is an inverted triangle.
How to dress if you have an apple body shape;
Apple body shape clothes are a bit harder to choose but don’t worry, we have put together a guide on how to dress an apple body shape figure. With the right clothes, this shape can look gorgeous and it’s all about It trying to highlight the waist as much as possible and visually lengthening your torso. Here is a list of items you should consider for your wardrobe:
- A-line dresses
- Shirts with a tie below the bust line.
- Tops that fall lower than the hip bone
- Well-fitting clothes
- V-necks and scoop tops
- Ruched t-shirts
- Necklaces that reach down to your bust
- Short dresses (dark sides with a lighter midsection all the way down)
- A bra that offers good lift and support is very important especially if you are planning to wear a low cut top
As you can see, your options are quite broad and wide-ranging. We cannot overemphasise this enough – The most important tip to remember is if you have apple shape body, define your waistline and elongate your torso. To achieve this, you should give thought to taking tight, rough textured clothes, big patterns and prints out of your wardrobe and try to avoid high necklines.
4. Inverted Triangle Body Shape
Coming soon ..
How to dress if you have an inverted triangle body shape;
Coming soon ..
5. Hour Glass Body Shape
Let’s start by saying thanks to women like Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and more recently, Kim Kardashian as curves are now celebrated and admired. Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren were brave souls as they broke traditions and introduced a new era of clothing for women. They inspired the creation of dresses that were fun, made out of laces/sparkling diamonds and soft silk.
The hourglass shape is perhaps the most envied body type. This is the type you will see on many ladies throughout beauty pageants. Women with an hourglass body type will have a noticeably balanced bust and buttocks along with well defined hips. Overall, their bodies are in proportion. If you look at yourself in the mirror and you see this, consider yourself lucky. But even with an enviable shape like this, it is still important to choose the right set of clothing for your shape.
How to dress if you have an hour glass body shape;
The best way to dress up if you have an hourglass body type is to accentuate your waist and flaunt your curves. You can do this by wearing broad belts over your dress, wrap around tops and skirts will also look gorgeous on you. Well-fitted clothing is often made with this body type in mind. Dresses and skirts with a pleated waist, pencil skirts and skirts with slits are high on your list of flattering clothes. Of all body types, the hourglass shape has the widest appeal and selection of outfits without restriction.
With those covered, let’s dig a little deeper and the below demonstrates some additional shapes called Diamond and Oval;
6. Diamond Body Shape
The features of a diamond-shaped body include broad hips which may appear broader than your bust, with an oval-shaped midsection. This body shape also accumulates weight on the thighs but your lower legs are the best feature of your body. You will also have slender arms which you can also flaunt using the perfect clothes.
How to dress if you have a diamond body shape;
Actually, there is only one thing you need to note when choosing your dress, and it is to balance your hips and your bust and define your waist. There are dresses designed with curvy shapes to support this type of body shape. The list of clothes you can wear includes:
1. Wear belted tops and dresses
2. Flowing cuff sleeve tops that flow around the buttocks
3. Fluttered sleeves
4. Dark jeans or trousers
5. Off-shoulder or strapless tops
6. A-line and straight skirts
7. Bootcut and straight cut trousers
8. Well-structured shouldered jackets
9. Wide belts
Be careful about wearing pencil skirts or tapered jeans because they tend to make you appear wider in the middle than your body structure already is. If you have shirts or dresses with big prints, you can already give them away. And when you accessorise, do not wear thick scarves on your neck (unless of course, the weather demands).
7. Oval Body Shape
The most notable feature of an oval body shape is your bust is larger than the rest of your body. This means that your hips tend to be narrow with your midsection looking a bit full. When you gain weight, it normally accumulates in your stomach area. Because of this, most women with an oval body shape appear wider in the midsection. If you have this type of body, your asset will be your legs and this is what you showcase the most using your outfits.
How to dress if you have an oval body shape;
The trick to looking gorgeous if you have an oval body shape is wearing square neck, V-neck and U-neck blouses as your goal is to make your mid-body area appear slimmer. Other items you should consider are peplum or tunic tops, dresses with belts, jackets with wide collars, flared skirts and empire dresses. Flaunt your legs by wearing dresses or skirts that fall above your knee and if you want to accessorise, wear long earrings and necklaces with a length that reaches your cleavage. Make sure you avoid wearing clothes not made for your body type like wide stripes, ruffles, loose tops and baggy jackets.
I will also elaborate on two body shapes not often mentioned or represented;
8. Skinny Body Shape
One way to tell if you have a skinny body shape is to review the alignment of your shoulders and pelvis. If they are perfectly aligned, you most likely have a skinny body type. Normally, people with a skinny body shape also have a small bone structure accompanied with slender arms and legs. I think the most gorgeous feature of a skinny body shape is a well defined jawline. With this type of body shape, you can wear almost anything but be careful with the paring.
How to dress if you have a skinny body shape;
Just because you can wear anything does not mean it will necessarily work. Options worth considering are tapered ankle length trousers, balloon skirts, low waist jeans and harem pants for your bottoms. You will also look great in belted, crop, bat-winged and high necked tops for your upper body. Focusing on dresses, your best choice is those which are flowing. As for your wardrobe, my suggestion is to avoid clothing that makes you appear thinner such as tight fitted dresses/tops and dark-coloured clothing.
9. Athletic Body Shape
Yes, there are people who naturally have an athletic body shape and it is characterised by well toned and muscular curves. People with athletic bodies have well-built shoulders, tight thighs, toned arms and sometimes calf muscles. They tend to have a strong and sturdy feature, which may also require very particular outfits (except for when they are at the gym).
How to dress if you have an athletic body shape;
Many people aspire to have a fit body because they want to dress well, only to realize that sometimes dressing up with this kind of shape can be a challenge. If you have toned muscles, you will look gorgeous in wraparound dresses, off shoulder blouses, tube tops and different types of sleeves. Be sure to include a pair of well fitted jeans that highlight the toned legs you worked so hard to get!
I would like to say to you, my beautiful ladies, is to always dress for your figure and you will see how complimentary clothes work for you and not against you. Hopefully this article has helped your understanding of different body types and given you a breath of inspiration to go out, select the right clothing and provide you all with another layer of confidence in your appearance!