We’re always hearing people tell us to ‘dress for our body shape’. How many types of body shapes are out there?
Well there are 5 principal body shapes out there:
2. Top Heavy (Inverted triangle)
5. Rectangle (straight up and down)
A woman can be up to three of those at once, but you have to have a foundation, somewhere to start in order to be able to articulate what you’re doing.
How do you define your body shape?
You’ve got to honour three parts of your body:
1. Your shoulders
2. Your hips; and
3. Your waist
Once you know where (and what) they are, it’s easier to dress: the contour lines of your hips, the structure around your shoulders and skimming around your waist are the three basic principles to focus on.
Finish these sentences for different body shapes!
If you’re a ‘Pear’….
You are a half-a-size to one size (sometime three sizes) bigger on your bottom than you are on your top. That can be from your hips or the top of your thighs.
The Pear’s best asset is…
Their tummy! Statistically, Pear’s have flatter stomachs than most.
When Pear’s are dressing, they should…
Never try and take weight off the hips, but always try to build up the shoulders, to balance out and define the waist.
Celebrity ‘Pear’s’ include…
Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, Shakira, Kim Kardashian
If you’re an Hourglass…
It means your shoulders and your hips are the same width apart, and your waist goes inwards.
The Hourglasses best asset is:
Their waist. It defines the width of their shoulders and hips.
When Hourglasses are dressing, they should…
Choose anything which draws the eye to their tummy, whether that’s a pair of high-waisted jeans, a deep plunge that hits the waist line or a just-below-the-empire-line long gown – the waist is the most important part.
Celebrity ‘Hourglasses’ include…
Sophia Vergara, Christina Hendricks, Marilyn Monroe, Scarlett Johansson.
If you’re a Rectangle…
Your shoulders, your waist and your hips are a very similar width apart. Essentially, your body contours are straight up and down.
The Rectangle’s best asset is:
Their height; they tend to be statistically taller.
When Rectangles are dressing, they should…
Try to broaden the shoulders and the hips, and taper in the waist. For example, don an A-line skirt or a 50s fit-and-flare circle skirt, and broaden the shoulders by wearing a halter-neck top or capped sleeves, and the waist will appear smaller.
Celebrity Rectangles include…
Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz, Kate Moss, Naomi Watts
If you’re an Apple…
You’re somebody whose tummy area is broader than the width of your shoulders and hips.
This is probably the most challenging shape to dress, because clothes tend to be built to fit the opposite dimensions.
The Apple’s best asset is…
Their tummies! Even if the stomach area is broad, it still needs to be honoured and respected.
When Apple’s are dressing, they should…
Double up their shoulders, double up their hips and to try and define their waist.
Magic/shape underwear is also great here; anything that holds shape in and creates line sand illusions. An empire-line for example is an imaginary waistline that fits just under your bust. Technically, bodies should concave in that area, so you should create the look of smaller waist.
Elongating the legs is always good for Apple shapes too. A mid to high rise pair of jeans with high heels always helps to lengthen, and a slight flare or kick on the jeans will also give length and create the illusion of a smaller waist.
Celebrity Apple’s include…
Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Lena Dunham
THE WEDGE / INVERTED TRIANGLE
THE WEDGE / INVERTED TRIANGLE
If you’re an Wedge…
It means that you can be flat chested and still be top-heavy. It’s the broadness of your shoulders that defines the shape more than it’s the broadness of your chest.
Your side on silhouette hero’s your shoulders and the front-on silhouette your chest.
The Wedge’s best asset is…
The chest area, in particular the clavicle bone and broad shoulders.
When Wedge’s are dressing, they should…
Always broaden out the hips every single time. Wear anything that flares out from the hips, like circles and box pleats, but ensure it always goes in at the waist. Never, ever neglect the waist in this look, otherwise the same effect won’t be achieved.
Celebrity Wedge’s include…
Renee Zellweger, Naomi Campbell, Teri Hatcher, Demi Moore
RELATED: Style Q&A with Gok Wan