Fashion rules are starting to fade. With the introduction of “winter white,” you can wear white anytime you want. Black and brown are complimentary colors and stripes can be worn with plaid and/or polka dots. Everything we once knew has been thrown out the proverbial windows of the major fashion houses.
These new rules apply to everyone, but everyone isn’t the same. Body type plays a major role in how fashions fit and flatter. We all want to look our best, celebrate what we have, and feel good doing it, right!? Read on to learn more about how to determine your body type and then how to dress it so that your fashion choices flatter instead of falter. Clothes are designed to help us portray the image of a balanced body and knowing your body type is the first step.
According to JoyofClothes.com, you must determine your body shape by looking objectively at the body and not focusing on problem areas. “Look at yourself in the mirror in your underwear. Stand with your legs together and your arms a bit away from your sides. Examine the area from under your arms, past your bust and ribcage, over your waist and hips to the fullest part of your thighs.” Once you’ve done that, read the descriptions below to determine where you land. The Jeans Blog has some great images to help you visualize what you’re reading below and it goes into GREAT DETAIL on, specifically, buying jeans for your body type.
If you have only a few curves and your waist and hips and upper body are relatively the same size, you’re a rectangle. This can also be described as someone with “little definition at the waist, a straight-up-and-down figure, boyish.” Real Simple says this body type should opt for styles that fit snugly at the middle, but flare at the bottom to help create the image of curves. “Dresses that are tight all over and anything too flowy or unstructured around the waist, like Empire-waist tops” don’t really work for this body type. Instead, try boot-cut pants, fitted jackets, feminine tops with ruffles, wispy sleeves and flared skirts.
If your bust and hips are curvy, but you have a small waist, you’re an hourglass. Real Simple describes this makeup as evenly proportioned with ample chest, narrow waist and full (but not wide) hips. This body type should avoid “shapeless or boxy styles like baby-doll dresses, tunics and oversized cardigans.” Good pieces include high-waisted pants, wrap dresses, v-neck tops, and pencil skirts.
If you have broad shoulders and a slender waist and thighs, you’re an inverted triangle. Real Simple says this body type is defined as “shoulders and torso that are narrower than the hips” and says that “shapeless, oversized sweaters; skinny jeans and pants; and skirts in a flimsy, curve-hugging fabric like silk” don’t work for this body type. Items that will work include, wide-leg pants, tailored jackets, boatneck tops and A-line skirts.
If your lower body is slim, but you are carrying weight around the middle, you’re an apple. Real Simple also calls this body type the circle (or round) and says women with this body type should avoid “anything that draws attention to the middle--like high-rise pants, belts and waist-cinching tops.” Slim cut pants, shift dresses, tunics, and empire-waist tops work well.
If you are widest at your hips, but have a slim upper body, you’re a pear (or triangle). Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Rihanna are a few celebrities who fit this bill. Women with this body type should “tend toward more feminine silhouettes” according to Who What Wear. Avoid drop waist dresses, jackets that hit at the hip, low-waisted pants and embellished bottoms opting instead for printed tops, flared pants, a belt worn at the waist and A-line dresses.
Last but certainly not least is a pear shape. Of course, if you’re a pear shape and want to rock an A-line dress you love, or you’re an hourglass and love high-waisted pants, you do you sister. These are suggestions to help you dress for your body type, not mandates on style. After all, aren’t rules made to be broken?!