How to dress for your body shape

“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.”
Hubert de Givenchy

It’s one of the most asked and deliberated questions that countless women have undoubtedly tried to figure out: how do I dress for my body shape?

It might sound impossible to condense the female form into just a handful of typical shapes when there are billions of women, all with unique and beautiful figures – but it is common opinion that there are 4 main types of shape that our body shaped categories that we tend to fit into, and how to dress them to accentuate our best and most wonderful parts is something that can be achieved easily.

Let’s look at the what the most common characteristics for each body shape are to help determine which one you are, and let us give you some tips on how to flatter each type.

What to Wear With An Hourglass Figure

If your most narrow part is your waist, then you’re an hourglass figure. Typically hourglass girls have a Kardashian-esque behind and a generous bust. The most famous example of an hourglass figure is silver screen Queen Marilyn Monroe, the hourglass figure was most celebrated on the silver screen in the golden age of Hollywood.

  • If you have an hourglass figure, you can, without inhibition, show off your waist!
  • Look to 40’s and 50’s fashion for inspiration, and think waist belts and pencil skirts.
  • Avoid tops with frills, bows, or fussy detailing- you might end up looking top heavy
  • Wide legged trousers are good to balance an hourglass figure, but a skater skirt or an A-Line will be your best friend.

How To Dress Up An Apple Shaped Body

If you have broader shoulders or a larger bust than your hips, you are apple shaped! Apple shaped women tend to have enviably slim and long legs. Kate Winslet is a beautiful apple shaped celeb and with her clever stylish tricks she embraces her shape and always manages to look incredible.

To dress an apple shaped body, the idea is to balance you out and take attention away from your middle.

  • You’ll want to avoid low cut shorts and trousers – anything high waisted will skip over your middle area and create a more defined waistline.
  • Try wearing an outfit with a pattern that is different in the middle area – think a loose fitting cami top in a clashing pattern to your bottoms and jacket.
  • Chances are, you have a great bust – V necks, scoop necks, and plunging necklines will draw the attention to your top and put you in proportion again.
  • Apple shapes also usually have legs that are well worth showing off – heels will emphasize your pins, but remember, a low cut neckline or shorts – never both!

How To Dress a Pear Body

Thick hips and full legs are the usual characteristics of a pear shape – it’s a body shape that is hugely popular at the moment, all you need to do is log onto Instagram for some pear shaped inspiration – your main gal Beyonce is a classic pear shape! Channel your inner Beyonce and start drawing attention up to the top half of your body.

  • Trust that the top half of your body needs to be all about the embellishment – sequins, interesting necklines, patterns, beading – anything to draw the eye to the neckline.
  • Layering camis, cardigans and blazers – any layers that can be layered on the top half with create interest to the upper half of your body, thus balancing you out.
  • Keep trousers legs and skirts long – this will skim your thighs and elongate your body. Wear with pointed shoes to really keep you look fresh and modern.

How To Dress A Boyish/Straight Up & Down Figure

Think Kate Moss and you’ve picture the typical straight up and down, boyish figure that women sought after for much of the 90’s. Generally, this kind of figure will lack curves and you can either embrace your slim frame or try and create some feminine shapes.

If you’re happy embracing your frame, then skinny jeans and simple, unfussy tops will be staples in your wardrobe – if you’re looking to create the illusion of curves, here are a few pointers –

  • Wear a loosely fitting top and pinch it in with a waist belt to create the illusion of an hourglass figure.
  • Short skirts or shorts will look fabulous on you – stock up!
  • Embellishment at the bust will make you look more curvy – go wild!
  • Straight legged trousers, heels and a top with a waist belt will be one of your most coveted looks.
  • Strong blocks of colour will help define your body and give you some shape – think a bright blouse, and a clashing pencil skirt and statement heels.

There are many types of body shape, and body shapes change with age, pregnancy, illness or weight fluctuation. This is just a light hearted and rough guide and it is important to remember that whatever shape you are, you are beautiful! A unique style and personal preference should never be sacrificed because it might not be the right shape for your body – a pear girl can wear skinny jeans and look gorgeous just as a straight body type can, whatever you decide to wear and however you decide to show off your shape, ultimately, confidence is better for dressing your shape than anything else!