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Too often we as women don’t know how to dress. Not in the aspect of matching colors or coordinating shoes, but matching our body and shape. Fashion doesn’t look good only on models; it can look good on different people of different ages and body shapes. On this page you will learn the different body types that will help you pick out the best clothing for your shape and style. There are 4 major female body shapes according to a study of over 6000 women.

Your Type

Apple

General Strategies for Dressing an Apple Shape

If you have an apple-shaped body, then your body is “top heavy,” meaning you have a wide torso, broad shoulders, and a full bust, waist, and upper back. Apple-shaped bodied women also tend to have thinner arms, legs, and hips, and tend to gain weight at their waistlines. If you have an apple shaped-body, then you should be proud of your full figure and get ready to flaunt it. But if you want to show off what you’ve got, you need to dress appropriately. If you want to know how to really dress to flatter your apple-shaped body, then follow these steps.

1. Make sure you have an apple-shaped body. Before you begin to think about dressing for your body type, you should confirm that you do indeed have an apple shaped body. Some people mistake a pear-shaped body for an apple-shaped body. An apple shaped-body is heavy in the middle and above the waist, while a pear-shaped body is heavier below the waist and in the upper thighs. Here are some other characteristics of the apple-shaped body:

  • A wide torso
  • Broad shoulders
  • An average-to-fuller bust
  • An undefined waist
  • Thinner arms and legs
  • A flat bottom
  • Hips that are narrower than your bust
  • You don’t have to have a very large belly to be apple shaped — it just means that your center of gravity, or your extra weight, resides in your belly area.

2. Draw attention away from your middle. To dress your apple-shaped body, you’ll want to take attention away from your middle, since it’s already full. To draw attention away from your middle, avoid low shorts or pants, high-cut shirts, or any fabric length that cuts off below or above your middle. You’ll want to distract people from your middle by directing their attention elsewhere or by creating more definition in your waistline.

  • You should also avoid wearing an outfit with a different pattern in the belly area. This will draw more attention to your belly.
  • Avoid wearing thick belts, which will draw more attention to your middle.
  • Avoid clingy shirts or dresses, which will also draw attention to your middle.

3. Emphasize your bust. If you have an apple-shaped body, then you must have a great bust, so don’t be afraid to flaunt it. Showing off your bust will not only emphasize one of your most amazing features, but it will also take attention away from your middle. To emphasize your bust, you should wear v-necks, plunging necklines, or A-line dresses, to lengthen your body and draw attention to your bust.

  • Wear shirts or dresses that flow from under your bust, expanding at the waist.
  • Remember that drawing attention to your bust is different from looking top-heavy. You don’t need to wear elaborate necklaces or tops with ornate patterns near the neck. You already have a great bust, so it needs no adornments.

4. Show off your legs. A great pair of legs often comes with the apple-shaped body. So, whether you’re tall or on the shorter side, don’t be afraid to show off your great legs. You can do this with a pair of short-shorts, or high heels that lengthen your body and balance out your bottom half.

  • Don’t minimize your legs by wearing big heavy boots, leggings, or skinny jeans. This will only make your gorgeous legs look smaller.

Wear a Flattering Top

1. Pay attention to the cut of your top. Whether you’re wearing a top or a dress, there are a few rules for wearing a top that flatters your bust and draws attention from your waistline.

  • Wear: tops with v-necks, plunging necklines, strapless, scoop, or tops with narrow bodices. This will draw more attention to your bust and elongate your upper body.
  • Avoid: tops with a halter, very high necklines, decorated neckline, off-the shoulder cut, or boat neck. This will make your shoulders broader and will draw too much attention to your chest.

 2. Choose the right material. Don’t wear a material that is too clingy, especially in the middle area. You can wear a textured fabric, such as a woven material, to draw more attention away from your middle. T-shirts that are ruched in the middle will also give definition to your middle. 3. Choose the right shape. Though your shirt or top shouldn’t be clingy, it shouldn’t be boxy, baggy, or formless, either. If it’s too loose, you’ll only look more shapeless and your waist will look bigger. Instead, pick a shirt or top that flows downward from your bust, like a top with a high-waistline, empire waist, or A-line. Here are some things to keep in mind as you choose the shape of your top: [2]

  • A shirt or dress that has a tie at the waist will also help add definition to your figure.
  • Your tops should fall lower than your hip bones.
  • You can wear a long flowing top that falls below your bottom, or even a tunic shirt.
  • Wear tops with flare or cuff sleeves.
  • Choose a top with pretty shoulder details, like sequins or flowers.

4. Wear the right dress. There are a variety of dresses that can flatter the apple shape. Go for a dress that has an A-line or a continuous pattern on it. Another strategy is to find a dress that makes the most of color blocking — a dress with black or dark colors going all the way down your figure at both sides with white or a lighter color going all the way down your figure in the middle will draw attention away from your waist.[3]

  • Don’t wear a dress with a built-in waistline, or it will only draw more attention to your waist.
  • You can pair your dress with a nice opened jacket that is nipped at the waist.

5. Pair your top with an appropriate jacket or coat. The right jacket can help camouflage your heavy midriff. You should wear a jacket that is single-breasted and doesn’t have too many details. Wearing a structured jacket or coat will create curves in your chest and hips and will minimize your waist. Layering your top will help create balance for your figure. Here are some other things to try:

  • Tailored blazers and coats
  • Opened cardigans or waistcoats
  • A duster coat that ends above the knee

Wear the Right Bottoms1.  Wear the right pants. You’ll need to show off your legs to balance out your apple-shape. Drawing attention to your legs will help add more balance to your look. Don’t downplay your legs by wearing skinny jeans, leggings, or any other too-tight fabric. This will make your legs look even smaller and will make your waist look even larger as a result. Here are some other tricks to try when choosing a pair of pants for your bottom half:[4]

  • Avoid pants that have a lot of zippers in the front, or this will draw more attention to your middle. Try to find a pair of pants with zippers on the sides instead.
  • Wear pants with back pockets. This will create definition in your flatter bottom and will balance out your waist.
  • Wear pants that are denim, trouser cut, flared, wide-legs, or boot cut.

2. Wear the right shorts. Don’t be afraid to wear shorts just because of your fuller figure. A pair of short-shorts can show off your great legs and minimize your waist. You can even pair them with an elastic belt that isn’t too bulky. You can wear them with nude sandals to create even more length.

  • Go for the high-waisted cut. Anything cut low at the waist may create a “muffin top” and will only draw more attention to your middle. Pick a cut that nips your waistline, making it slimmer and more defined. This applies to pants too.

3. Wear the right skirt. A great skirt can help define your apple-shaped body. Try wearing a skirt that has a bias cut or an A-line, or flatter your figure with a full circle skirt. Avoid skirts that are tight around the waist or which fall at your natural waist. You can also wear a trumpet skirt or skirts with a hanky hem. 4. Wear the right shoes. If you have an apple-shaped body, then you should create balance on your lower body by wearing shoes that emphasize your legs. Here are some shoes to wear and some others to avoid:[5]

  • Wear: platform shoes, wedges, calf-length boots, ballet flats, clogs, and strappy sandals. All of these will let you show off your legs and create a fuller bottom.
  • Avoid: kitten heels, buckle boots, Uggs, or any shoes that will make your feet look too big. This will in turn make your legs look smaller and draw even more attention to your waist.

TIP:Avoid a clutch purse or shoulder bag, which will draw more attention to your waist

Pear

General Strategies for Dressing a Pear Shape

Curvy hips, thick thighs, and a full rear are the key characteristics of the pear-shaped body type. Finding clothes that will flatter your pear-shaped body is simple once you know what shapes and styles to look for and which ones to avoid.

Drawing Attention to Your Upper Body

1. Choose tops in bright colors and prints. The main goal of dressing a pear figure is to draw attention to the torso and away from the hips and thighs. Outfit your upper body in bold colors and big prints. These catch the eye at the top, making your shoulders and chest seem a bit broader than they actually are.

2. Look for the right neckline. Certain necklines are better for a pear-shaped figure, as they broaden the shoulders and emphasize the bust. Wide necklines like boat-necks and scoop-necks visually widen your shoulders. Bust-enhancing necklines like sweetheart necks draw attention to the bust, making it look fuller. Strapless tops and dresses can also make your shoulders and bust look wider, but may not be a comfortable choice for every pear-shaped girl.

3. Pay attention to the fit. Deciding between tight and loose can be difficult, as there are pros and cons to each. Look for tops that are tight around the waist and highlight an hourglass figure. Loose tops should be worn a bit long so as to cover the hips and provide substance for the shoulders. In general, the fit of your shirts should aim to highlight your waist and shoulders, something that can be accomplished with the right combination of tight and loose.

4. Layer your tops. Bulking up with layers adds bulk to your torso, which evens out your body’s proportions. Use layers of tank tops, blouses, and cardigans to create visual interest and give the illusion of added size. If you’re using multiple layers which take away the smallness of your waist, use a thin belt to cinch them in and give yourself that hourglass figure again.

5. Look for embellished tops. Shirts that have adornment near the neck elongate the shoulder and neckline. Select a load of shirts which have beading, bows, or collars near your neck. These can be large or small, as they both accomplish the same task of drawing the eye upwards and away from your bottom half. You can also choose to wear a scarf to the same effect.

6. Look for tops with wide sleeves. Although it’s not always easy to find wide-sleeved shirts, keep an eye out for styles like bell and kimono sleeves. Wide sleeves add volume to your arms, and as a result, your naturally voluminous hips and rear look more balanced and proportioned. If nothing else, try to wear shirts that have rolled or scrunched sleeves; these also add volume to your arms, but without making such a bold fashion statement.

7. Choose shirts that are the right length. Look for tops that skim over your hips; tops that extend just below your hipbone extend your torso and mask the widest part of your hips. Avoid hemlines that reach down to your thighs, however, since these will only make the widest part of your legs look wider. On the flip side, crop tops should be widely avoided for drawing attention to your midsection, which is too close to your hips to be flattering.

8. Wear the right undergarments. Your entire upper body can undergo a major transformation when you wear the right undergarments. Consider a padded bra or push-up bra. This will add volume to a small bust, and accentuate an hourglass waist. Look for a natural style that can be worn under both casual and dress clothes.

Slimming Your Hips

1. Stick to dark colors. Visually, dark colors give a slimming effect and aren’t distracting; the eye tends to skim over dark colors. Denim is appropriate too, but wear dark washes and stay away from medium and light wash jeans. Choose a variety of pants and skirts in shades of black, gray, navy, brown, and olive green. As a bonus to being slimming, these will match nearly any shirt in your closet easily.

2. Get the right shape of pants. Similar to your tops, you want to create proportional sizing in your legs and the rest of your body. Choose pants that are straight leg or flared at the bottom to create a bottom half with full volume all the way down. Pants that are very skinny will showcase the size of your hips/rear, while pants and jeans that are equal width or slightly wider in the calf and ankle area will draw attention away from your midsection. Avoid cigarette-style pants, as these are the least flattering style for a pear-shaped body.

3. Choose a few flattering skirts. Skirts that hit the knee or ankle are perfect for pear-shaped ladies. These draw the eye to the end point, rather than short skirts which forces the eye to linger on the widest part of your body. Look for skirts that start just above your hips near your waist, and are no shorter than just above the knee. Avoid tight-fitting skirts, and look for those with ruffles or beading along the bottom hem draw attention to your curvy bottom half without adding bulk to your hips. Placing these details at the knee or lower may even help balance out your hips.

4. Avoid details at the hip or rear. Although jeans with cute beaded and embroidered pockets may seem like a good idea, these can draw the eye to your least flattering location. Avoid glitzy pants and belts, and stay away from bottoms embellished with buttons, gemstones, sequins, or bold embroidery near your hips and rear.

5. Try a few dresses on for size. Dresses are a great way to accomplish both your tasks at once: draw the eyes upward to your torso, while creating a tight waistline and covering up your midsection. Look for dresses that are A-line or that have a tulip-skirt, and avoid those that are tight and stick to your hips. Dresses get bonus points if they are banded around the waist and cover up your shoulders to give the illusion of bulk.

Wearing the Right Accessories

1. Choose a few statement necklaces. A bold, bright necklace that hangs low draws the eye to your upper half. The extra detail on your bust makes it look fuller, which keeps your entire body looking better proportioned. You can choose to wear a collar-style necklace which adds width to your neck and shoulders as well, a bonus for highlighting your upper body.

2.Try wearing a pair of bold earrings. Keeping in mind that you should wear only one statement piece of jewelry at once, putting on some glitzy earrings is a great way to draw the eye further up the body and away from your hips. Choose chandelier style or dangly earrings for the best effect.

3.Throw on a scarf. Scarves add volume and dimension to your upper half, as the extra detail at the neck often prevents onlookers from focusing in on your fuller lower half. Try a variety of scarves tied in different ways to see what looks best for you. Circle scarves are successful when worn for a pear-shape, as their lack of tail ends prevents the eye from travelling downwards as quickly.

4.Wear the right shoes. Believe it or not, your shoes can change the appearance of the rest of your body. Look for shoes that have a pointed toe, as these elongate your legs and make your hips look more proportional. High heels are often a good choice for adding height and sculpting the muscles in your legs, making them look more flattering. If you’re up for the challenge, wearing bold and colorful shoes can do the same thing as a big necklace; it draws the eyes away from the unflattering regions of your body and adds interest to a smaller area.

Hour Glass

General Strategies for Dressing a Hourglass Shape

The hourglass figure is considered the ideal body type by many women. For women with this body type, the bust and hip are approximately the same size, and the waist is narrow. This gives you a set of sexy, killer curves. When dressing your hourglass figure, look for styles and fabrics that reduce bulk and prevent boxiness. Also look for pieces that draw attention to your narrow waist.

Balance Your Bust

Tops and dresses should nip in at the waist without adding bulk to your bust. Extra bulk on your bust will throw your proportions out of sync.

1. Look for snug, tailored pieces. Everything from your casual t-shirts to your button-down blouses should be fitted, nipping in slightly at the waist. Stretchy materials hug your curves and work especially well if you have a flat stomach.

2. Stick with short, shaped jackets. Look for belted jackets, trench-style coats, or other fits that draw in toward the waist. Short jackets that stop just above your hips accentuate your curves in a flattering way.

3. Consider a wrap blouse or dress. Wrap tops and dresses pull the fabric in at the skinniest part of your waist, drawing the focus to your waist without adding any extra volume to your bust. Hourglass figures with a short waist or petite figure may not like this style, however, since it often falls out at the wrong part of their waist.

4. Go for soft fabrics like knits and silk blends. These materials gently drape over your natural curves, keeping your bust in proportion with your hips. Avoid stiff fabrics, since these may end up making you look boxy.

5. Wear low, slimming necklines. Look for V-necks, V-neck halters, sweethearts, and scoop necks. Narrow necklines slim down your bust, keeping it looking balanced, and low necklines draw the eye closer to your narrow waist. Avoid wide necklines like boat necks and squares, since these tend to make you look top heavy.

6. Avoid volume-enhancing details. Stay away from ruffles, bows, and other dimensional details that add volume. If placed at the bust, these details may make you look top heavy. If placed at the waist, they detract from your waist’s natural narrowness.

7. Stick with solid colors. Muted patterns may also work, but solid colors flatter your figure best. You can “color block” by having contrasting shades above your waist and below your waist, or you can stick with a single, solid color top or dress to keep your bust evenly balanced with your hips.

8. Choose the right undergarments. A supportive bra will help you lift and tame your bust, giving your upper half the right proportions.

9. Wear dark colors and vertical stripes if you want to downplay your curves.Some hourglass figures would rather look thin rather than curvy. If this describes you, slim down your upper half by wearing dark colors, vertical stripes, or vertical pleats.

10. Wear tops that extend below your hipbone to further slim you down. A top that stops just short of your waist will accentuate your curves, but if you would rather slim your curves down, look for a top that lengthens your torso by extending just below your hipbone or past your thighs.

Keep Your Bottom Streamlined

Look for pants, skirts, and dress bottoms that hug your curvy hips and lengthen your leg.

1.Wear voluminous skirts. Look for dresses and skirts in full circle or tulip cuts, especially if they have a high waist. These cuts hug your hips and hang off them naturally, which accentuates your curvy lower half without adding bulk.

2. Opt for classic skirt cuts. A-line and pencil skirts are universally flattering. They work well for hourglass figures because they hug your curves and keep things streamlined.

3. Stick with soft fabrics. Look for materials that stretch or drape. A stiff skirt may make your hips look boxy and excessively wide.

4. Look for pants that have a slight flare. Think wide-leg and boot-cut styles. The flare keeps the bottom portion of your leg in balance with your wide hips. This also creates a longer, slimmer appearance for your legs.

5. Wear skinny-leg pants with caution. Skinny jeans make most hourglass figures look short and stout. If you have naturally long, lean legs, though, you may be able to get away with a tight-fitting skinny jean, especially if you pair it with high heels that add extra length to your leg.

6. Stick with mid-rise or high-rise pants. Avoid low-rise pants, since these may make your hips look wider and your legs look shorter. Mid-rise and high-rise cuts elongate the leg. Styles with wide waist-bands are especially flattering.

7. Avoid bottoms with too many details at the hip. Your trousers should have flat fronts and pockets without flaps or large buttons. You should also avoid decorative embellishments or other decorations at the hip.

Accentuate Your Curves with the Right Accessories

The right shoe or belt can flatter your figure by drawing attention to your curves and slimming down your thicker portions.

  1. Wear dark belts around your natural waist. A belt worn around the narrowest part of your waist acts as the focal point of your entire outfit. Skinny belts often work for hourglass figures of all heights, but wide belts may shorten the torso if you have a short waist or petite height.
  2. Look for slimming heels. Your curvy hips may make your legs look thick and short when you wear flat shoes. Heels elongate the leg, however, creating a slimmer, better proportioned look.
  3. Draw attention to your neckline with the right necklace. A bright splash of color at your neck can add personality to your outfit. Look for short necklaces that hug your neck or long necklaces that come down in a “V.” Necklaces that hang low and wide over your chest may make it look larger and unbalanced.
    • Long necklaces with a pendant close to the breast or waistline will draw attention to your waist.

  1. Wear large and interesting bracelets. These will draw the attention of the eye to your waistline as well as the wrist.

TIPS

  • Many modern pieces are not designed with curves in mind–don’t be afraid to shop vintage, or buy a piece to get tailored later.
  • Be flexible. You may have a secondary body type that requires different pieces to look balanced. Understand that guidelines are not unbreakable rules, but only suggestions on where to start.
  • Three quarter sleeves draw attention to your waist.

Straight/Rectangle

General Strategies for Dressing a Rectangle Shape

Rectangle body shapes are characterized by waist, hip and shoulder widths that are all similar to each other. The outline of your body won’t have many curves so you’ll need to use a few style secrets to create some.

  1. Create curves. Look for scoop-neck and sweetheart tops that help create curves. Belt your waist to create more of an hourglass figure. Wear tops with collars, ruffles and details to flatter your chest.
  2. Go lean. Wear long jackets to create a lean look and emphasize your narrow rectangle body shape.
  3. Layer it up. Layering adds more dimensions to a simple rectangle body shape.
  4. Support those girls. Stylists can’t say it enough — a well-fitting bra is essential for rectangle body shapes, which tend to be boyish. The right bra will make the most of the curves you have.
  5. Pants are easy. Because of your rectangle body shape, you can wear most pants styles and don’t have to worry about them being too tight. In fact, clothes that hug your body will create the illusion of curves.