To dress well for your body shape, you first need to figure out what it is. Trust us when we say that you shouldn’t just guess. After all, everyone knows that mirrors can be deceiving.
First, get your measurements
Grab a tape measure and start to measure the parts of your body that will determine what shape you are.
Shoulders: This measurement might be tricky to do alone, so it’s probably worth asking a friend to help. The measuring tape needs to be placed at the tip of one shoulder and wrapped around the back of your body like a shawl until it meets the same shoulder. This will measure the widest circumference of your shoulders.
Bust: Standing up straight, wrap the measuring tape around your back and across your breasts. When doing this, make sure that you pull the tape as taut as possible without changing the shape of your breasts.
Waist: Wrap the tape around the smallest part of your waist so that it goes around your back and meets above your belly button.
Hips: Holding the tape at one hip, just below the hip bone, keep the tap flat and wrap it around the largest part of your bum to your other hip.
What shape are you?
Now that you’ve got your measurements (we hope you didn’t cheat!) you’ll be able to use these numbers to determine the shape of your silhouette.
If your hips are more than 5% larger than your shoulders or your bust measurements, you’ll be a triangle shape. To create a visual balance, try and wear clothes that make your hips look broader and create the illusion of a waist with a wide belt.
Avoid clothes that make you appear broader on the top such as halternecks or Bardot straps, any styles that will extend your shoulders such as shoulder pads, or bold patterns on top.
If your shoulders and hips are around the same size and you have a very defined waistline, you have an hourglass figure. Wear clothes that are shaped and fitted to follow your body line and bring attention to your shoulder and neckline.
Avoid any clothing shapes that hide the curve of your waist or any fussy styles that will draw attention to your bust, tummy or thighs.
If your shoulders, bust and hips are the same size without any defined waistline, then you are rectangle shaped. To create the illusion of a waist, choose something such as an unstructured jacket or a dress that has details around the hips or the bottom.
Avoid choosing something that has a detailed waist or clothing that will create a straight line such as a straight jacket worn with straight-legged trousers.
- Inverted Triangle
If the measurements of your shoulders or bust are more than 5% bigger than your hips, your shape is an inverted triangle. On your bottom half, wear clothes that will make your hips look a little broader and keep anything that has detail the lower half rather than bold tops.
Avoid necklines that make you look larger on top or narrowing hemlines at the bottom such as pencil skirts or skinny jeans.
Of course, everyone is different, and there are a lot more body types than we’ve delved into here. In fact, a book titled The Science of Sexy by fashion expert Bradley Bayou details as many as 48 different body shapes. Once you know what your body shape is, you’ll find it easier to shop for clothes that suit you. Sites such as Ashleigh Plus Size have all of the information you need about how to dress to suit your shape.