Sunday, 18 November 2012

What Body Shape Am I?

Hi Everyone!

So as I've discussed before, there is no 'perfect' body, yet to help us feel more confident in clothes that flatter us, we need to figure out own body's shape. We all have different shapes and sizes, so I hope this helps a few people to gain some advice on how to dress in clothes that suit their shapes.
You can wear whatever you want, but if you want to know what will hug you in all the right places and make you stand out from the crowd then keep reading!

And luckily for all of us:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

How do I figure out my body shape?
The best way to determine your shape, is to stand in front of a mirror in your underwear, tie your hair back and preferably grab a friend who can give you a second opinion. (Tip: Make sure you and the mirror are both standing up straight, as tilting can give a distorted shape.) You will need to observe the relationship between your shoulders, waist and hips. Note* I have outlined below as to what features each shape possesses. Please remember that not everyone will fall into one of the below categories. This is just a guide and some women possess traits from more than one shape, and if weight is gained or lost, there may be a change in shape.

Quite often, body shapes are inherited. This means that you might have a similar shape to your mother, grandmother or sisters. Although some women are unique and show no similarities, but it is worthwhile looking at your immediate family and taking note of their shapes.

Pear (aka Triangle)
  • Narrow shoulders
  • Wide hips
  • Small bust
  • Your lower half is generally fuller than your top half (hips, thighs, bum)


J.Lo has a typical pear shape

Women with pear shapes

If you are finding that you have most of these features, then you are a pear! Lucky you! This is a great shape, you carry your weight on your bottom half, and your top half is usually a lot smaller in comparison. I've included some pictures of celebrities who have the same shape as you do. Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce all have typical pear shapes you can see how they dress and how it works on them. As a pear, your fashion goal is to elongate your body by balancing out your figure so you look less bottom heavy (excuse the pun!).

Well that's great, but what can I wear?
  • Anything with a pattern or design that draws attention to your upper half, especially around the bust/neckline.
  • Keep your bottom half of your bikini a block color, and wear ruffles and patterns on your top half to draw the eye upwards.
  • Attract attention to your shoulders! Wear off the shoulder, one shoulder, puffy shoulders, any sort of detail on the shoulders will look amazing.
  • Wear darker colors on your bottom half than on your top half - e.g. dark jeans. This will take the focus off your bottom half. You don't always have to wear black on your bottom half, just make sure that it's darker that your top half.
  • Puffy sleeves look great because they further balance out the body.
  • Go for clean, tailored lines on the bottom. Keep it simple as to not draw too much attention to the bottom half.
  • Flared trousers look GREAT on you, I know they're not everybody's taste, but once you try them you'll see how great your legs look.
  • Go wild with different necklines!! You can wear very high neck tops which will fill you out, and you can wear verrrry deep plunge lines which will draw the eye upwards! A necklace to fit the neckline will also look great.

What should I not wear?
  • Try not to wear high waist trousers, or skinny jeans. These will draw attention to your hips and thighs and will be unflattering as you will look disproportionate.
  • Avoid dresses or long tops which cling to your hips, go for something that will flare out slightly.
  • Patterned trousers are not a great look, so stick with simple bottoms.

The Upside-Down Triangle (aka inverted triangle)
  • Wider shoulders
  • Larger chest
  • Flat bottom
  • Narrow hips
  • Great legs are common with this shape
  • Top half is generally fuller than your bottom half

Audrina Patridge 
If you are finding that most of these features are very similar to your own, then you are a wonderful upside-down triangle! Lucky you! This is a great shape. You carry your weight on your top half, and your bottom half is less filled out. Here are some pictures of celebrities who have similar body shapes to you. Demi Moore, Renee Zellweger and Naomi Campbell are all famous upside-down triangles. Take note of what they wear, and how it suits (or doesn't!) their figure. As an upside-down triangle, your fashion goal is to take the focus away from your top half, and draw the attention to your bottom half. This will help to balance out your shape and make you look less top-heavy.

Ok, but what should I wear?
Women with upside-down triangle shapes
  • Anything bulky around your hips and bum. Ruffles, poofs and tier dresses/skirts look amazing on you.
  • Boot-cut, flare and wide leg jeans are perfect.
  • Soft, draped fabrics on the top half, this will make your shoulders look softer.
  • Keep your cardigans v-neck and unbuttoned as this creates a gap between your fuller torso.
  •  Draw attention to your bottom half with bold colors on your bottom half and printed bikini bottoms, trousers and skirts.
  • You’re one of the lucky few who can wear tiny string bikini bottoms without a problem. Take advantage!
  • Three quarter length sleeves with give the appearance of a smaller bust.
  • A good supportive bra is very important as it will make your bust look its best and make you look slimmer up top.
  • Dresses with loose fabric at the top and tighter at the bottom will look great on you as it camouflages your shoulders and draws attention to your hips and bum, making them look fuller.

What should I not wear?
  • Keep jewellery to a minimum, as too much will bring attention to your upper half.
  • Avoid skinny jeans as they will make your bottom and hips look even more petite.
  • High necklines, big collars, anything with shoulder detailing.

  • Bust and hips are equal or close in width
  • Small, defined waist
  • Most likely have a rounded bum

Women with hourglass shapes
If these characteristics are similar to your own, then you are an hourglass! You are very lucky as this is a great shape to be. You carry your weight equally between your bust and your hips and bum. Here are some pictures of celebrities who are also hourglasses. Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson and Kate Winslet are good examples. See what they wear and incorporate this into your own style. As an hourglass, your fashion goal is to emphasize your curves and use your clothes to define your waist.

 What can I wear?

  •  Cardigans with deep V-neck and are fitted look great.
  • Stick with clothes that are fitted at your waist, it is the smallest part of your torso and will make you look slimmer.
  • Sweetheart, V-neck and low squared neckline look great.
  • Bikini tops with extra coverage and support are vital! Stick to bikinis that match.
  • T-shirts that have an open neckline and nip in at the waist.
  • Kim has an hourglass shape
  • Three quarter length sleeves that stop just before your waistline.
  • Sheer, soft and clingy fabrics.
  • Simple, tailored jackets and coats with emphasize your figure beautifully, avoid too much detail on the bust e.g. pockets.
  • Pencil skirts will look great on you instead of puffy skirts which will make you look too big on your bottom.
  • Flared, wide-leg or boot-cut trousers look great on you as well.

What should I avoid?

  • Baggy tops which don't show off your waist will make you look frumpy.
  • Very high necklines.
  • Batwing sleeves.
  • Big thick belts. 
  • Smock dresses.

  • Fuller around the mid-section of the body
  • Usually larger bust and broader shoulders and flat bum
  • If you gain weight it shows up on your belly and upper body
  • Waist is not defined

Women with apple shapes
Jennifer Hudson
If from looking at yourself in the mirror and at the common traits, then you are are an apple, lucky you! Here are some pictures of celebrities who are also apples!! Jennifer Hudson, Jessica Simpson and Queen Latifa are classic apple shaped women. Look at their style and how they dress, this will give you an indication of what will look good on you too! As an apple, your fashion goal is to emphasize you strong points which are your bust and legs, and to camouflage your weaker one  which is your midsection. This will help to balance out your figure. Since the idea is to draw the eye toward those parts of your body that shine and away from those that don’t, you want to show off your great legs!

What can I wear?
  • You can wear patterns and details, just keep them to your lower half e.g. skirts and trousers.
  • Keep your top half simple with less detail and smaller prints.
  • Skirts look great on you, so wear as many as you would like!
  • If your bum is flat (which is a common trait of apples) then wear jeans with back pockets. This will give the illusion of a rounder bum.
  • Long jackets past your hips will look great because they will elongate your torso and slim you out.
  • Go for slim high heels instead of chunky ones to make you look slimmer.
  • V-neck are the most flattering neckline you can wear.

What should I stay away from?
  • Very skinny trousers, even if you have great legs, they will make your top half look even bigger.
  • Do not tuck in your tops, they will cut you off at the waist and you will appear more round.
  • Tight or clingy t-shirts, and ones with large patterns on them.
  • Puffa jackets!
  • High waist jeans or high necklines, keep everything low.

Rectangle (aka. boyish/athletic)
  • Shoulders and hips are pretty much the same in width
  • Waist is less than 9" smaller than your hips/shoulders measurement, so no defined waist
  • Body is basically straight up straight down in relation to curves
  • Often have an athletic, boxy or boyish figure
  • If you were to gain weight it would  be distributed evenly throughout your body
Cameron Diaz

So if you have decided that your body shape is that of a rectangle then lucky you! Here are some celebrities who have the same body shape as you. Cameron Diaz, Hilary Duff and Kate Hudson are all examples of rectangle shapes. Look through pictures of them and see of they dress, see how their clothes work on them and try to incorporate this into your own style. It's easier when you have a similar person to have as a reference. As a rectangle, your fashion goal is to enhance your waist and to add curves to your athletic frame.

What can I wear?
  • Add ruffles, ties and bows to add curves and dimension to your figure.
  • Girly details and patterns are your friend. Go for floral and crochet detailing bathing suits to visually balance out a more athletic frame.
  • Jackets should be shaped through the waist to avoid bulkiness. 
  • You are lucky because you can wear horizontal stripes.
  • Wrap dresses that are A line or high waist in soft drapey fabrics will look great on you.
  • Go for prints, they will add more depth to your curves.
  • Puffy skirts with detail look great on you as they add curves to your bum.
  • V-necks look great as they accentuate your bust and femininity.
  • Go with empire line dresses as these will do wonders for your curves.
  • Low round necks look great as well because they enhance your bust.

What will I avoid?
  • Vertical stripes will make you look less curvy and more boyish.
  • Boxy jackets, go for more soft, drapey jackets.
  • Wedges, slim heels will make you look more slim.
  • On tops, avoid any detail around the waist or under the bust e.g. belts or anything that highlights your straight waist. You might think they will create more curves but they will do the opposite and highlight your straight torso.


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