How to Find Your Body Shape
While measuring tapes may provide a more exact formula for determining your body type, the numbers you jot down can easily be accompanied by unneeded self-criticism. Instead, we’ll be using a far faster and more practical method that requires only you, your fabulous bod and a full length mirror.
Look at yourself straight on in the mirror and begin to observe your proportions. Body shape is based on the relationship between three points on your body: your shoulders/bust, waist and hips. Draw an imaginary line down from your shoulders to your hips and make a mental note of where the line hits. It can be helpful to snap a quick mirror pic for reference if you’re having a hard time visualizing. Ask yourself the following questions then read through the body shapes below to see how your answers match up.
- What is the widest part of your body—your bust, waist or hips?
- What areas of your body do you have the most fit issues with?
- What area of your body to you first notice changes in your weight?
- What styles are/are not typically flattering to your figure?
Understanding Your Body Shape
Regardless of your body size and shape, there are three important things to remember when finding styles that work for your figure.
Flattering your shape is all about finding balance. Use your bust, waist and hips to your advantage! Accentuating certain body parts draws attention away from others. Let your favorite body part (and your confidence) shine!
Use silhouettes and lines to draw the eye where you want it. Consider where a garment hits you and the placement of key details like seams, pockets and embellishments. The right lines can help elongate your legs, create an hourglass waist and even make your butt look perky. Yes, please!
Be mindful with color and print. The eye is naturally drawn to bold prints and bright colors. It’s crucial to consider the scale of a print. Large prints and horizontal lines increase volume while small prints and vertical lines decrease volume. Use these to your advantage to shift attention away from your least favorite parts and towards areas you want to accentuate.
Characteristics of an Hourglass Shape
- Your bust and hips are about equal width
- Your waist is well-defined
- You likely have a larger chest and fuller derrière
- You may describe yourself as curvy
How to Dress an Hourglass Shape
If you’re blessed with these balanced curves, flaunt them! Play up your feminine figure by accentuating the smallest part of you— your waist. Wrap style tops and dresses are your new BFF, as they cinch in right at your smallest part. Opt for high-rise bottoms to elongate your legs and further accentuate your small waist. Avoid boxy and low-rise styles, which hit at the widest part of you and hide your hourglass shape.
Characteristics of a Triangle Shape
- Your hips are wider than your bust
- Your waist is defined and narrower than your hips
- You may have narrow shoulders
- Your hips and thighs are the first place you notice weight changes
How to Dress a Triangle Shape
Flaunt your defined waist and small upper frame! Balance out your hips by drawing attention upwards with printed or structured tops. Opt for roomier cuts and dark washes on your bottom half, which paired with a high-rise make your waist look tiny and your legs a mile long. Avoid garments that hit at the hip or have volume there, as they draw attention towards your widest part.
Characteristics of an Inverted Triangle Shape
- Your shoulders and bust are wider than your hips
- You have a smaller derrière
- You consider yourself to have broad shoulders
- Your upper body is the first place you notice weight changes
How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Shape
Celebrate your broad shoulders with open necklines that draw attention towards your beautiful face. Look for styles that define your waist and add volume to your hips to balance your proportions. The illusion of curves balances out the broadness of your shoulders, so don’t shy away from high-rises and waist-cinching belts. Avoid pairing voluminous tops with tight-fitting bottoms, which exaggerate the narrowness of your hips.
Characteristics of a Rectangle Shape
- Your bust, waist and hips are roughly equal
- Your waist is straight rather than curvy
- You’re likely on the taller side
- You may have an athletic build
How to Dress a Rectangle Shape
Your balanced proportions are ideal for creating the illusion of an hourglass shape so opt for styles that evenly add volume to your bust and hips. High-rise fits and belts help define your midsection and accentuate your long legs. You’ll look stunning in structured and tailored pieces, but avoid those with boxy cuts.
Characteristics of an Oval Shape
- Your waist is equal to or greater to your hips and bust
- Your waist is undefined
- You have a larger bust
- Your midsection is the first area you notice weight changes
How to Dress an Oval Shape
Use illusion-creating lines and silhouettes to your advantage! Look for pieces that draw attention away from your midsection and elongate your figure. Stick to small-scale prints— palm size or smaller— for a slimming effect. Avoid cropped fits and voluminous ruffles, which can make you look shorter and wider.