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Boost Your Confidence: How to Dress for Your Body Shape

23
11.2015

You’ve heard it before: there are certain recurring body shapes among women that can easily be enhanced thanks to some tried-and-true rules. We’ve rounded up some guidelines for how to dress for your body type, whether dressing for your figure or designing or styling for others.

Pear

Image credit: Pinterest

Are your hips wider than your shoulders (like Jennifer Love Hewitt’s)? Do you tend to put on weight on your butt and thighs before your boobs and waist? Yup, you’re a classic pear shape (aka triangle, but we think the fruit comparison is more fun). Draw attention to your narrow shoulders and waist while minimizing your lower half. The goal here is balance.

What to Wear

Top

  • Pieces with embellishments at the shoulders (think: ruffles, slightly puffed sleeves, structured shoulders) and cuts that enhance your décolletage (boat, square, or cowl necks)
  • Jackets that hit just above the waist

Bottom

  • Dark pieces on the bottom (to minimize) and light pieces on top (to draw the eye)
  • Wide legged, bootcut, or flared pants, which help balance your shape
  • A-line skirts and dresses that skim your hips without adding volume
  • Pointy shoes, to elongate the legs

Avoid

  • Clingy fabrics on your bottom half
  • Shapeless or boxy tops

Apple

Image credit: LIfe & Style

You’re an apple if your weight tends to accumulate around your belly. And while apples often lament their broad middles, they often have out of this world legs that are the envy of all the other shapes! As a result, apples look best in clothes that elongate their torsos and show off their legs.

What to Wear

Top

  • V-neck tops
  • Swing coats
  • Tops that give shape, like structured jackets

Bottom

  • Straight legged or bootcut pants, to create an elegant line from the shoulders to the feet
  • Skirts that show off your legs!

Avoid

  • Anything that emphasizes or hits at your midsection, like high-waisted pants and tops and dresses that belt at the waist

Hourglass

Image credit: Sodahead.com

The good-genes fairy waved her wand over ladies with hourglass figures. This classic shape has the good fortune to have naturally balanced hips and shoulders and, as if that wasn’t unfair enough, a defined waist to boot! Hourglass shapes want to work with their curves, showing them off without letting them distract.

What to Wear

Top

  • Simple scoop or v-neck tops that accentuate your bust
  • Three-quarter sleeve shirts
  • Clingy fabrics that show off your waist
  • Wrap tops
  • Bodycon dresses

Bottom

  • Bootcut or skinny pants
  • Knee-length dresses and pencil skirts

Avoid

  • Boxy pieces that hide your body’s natural curves, like tunics, a-line dresses, or long cardigans

Rectangle

Image credit: Celebuzz.com

Rectangles tend to be fairly straight from the shoulders to the hips, with minimal waist definition. Their figures can be described as a bit boyish or athletic. So what’s the goal here? To create curves where there are none, while emphasizing the rectangles’ assets: those babely legs and arms!

What to Wear

Top

  • Peplum tops that create a waist and hips
  • Blazers with defined or tucked waists
  • Scoop neck tops or sleeveless tops and dresses, to draw attention to your bust
  • Ruched and wrap dresses that create curves around the waist

Bottom

  • Curve enhancing high waisted and bootcut pants

Avoid

  • Bodycon dresses
  • Unstructured dresses and tops that enhance your angular shape

Inverted Triangle

Image credit: Atlanta Blackstar

Inverted triangles, with their broad shoulders and narrow hips, are pears’ body opposites. How to draw attention away from shoulders and towards the hips? Easy! Don’t wear anything a pear would wear. Here’s what we mean.

What to Wear

Top

  • Simple tops (avoid embellishments!)
  • V-necks and cowl necks, which will minimize shoulders
  • Drop waisted dresses
  • Tops that emphasize your waist (blazers worn open, or wrap tops)

Bottom

  • Wide legged pants
  • Full skirts

Avoid

  • Boat and square neck cuts
  • Sleeveless tops
  • Skinny jeans

Every body is different, and you might be none of these classic shapes. Whatever the case, the important thing is to wear clothes that make you happy and comfortable, because hey—rules were made to be broken.

Image credit: gpointstudio / Shutterstock

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