Ever wondered why that dress never looked quite right on you? Or why those jeans sagged a little too much in the back? Or how about how that shirt always fits a little too snug in the midsection? Maybe it’s because you are not aware of your body type. And yes, the clothes you wear can help accentuate or NOT help accentuate your natural shape. Knowing the right style and fit of clothes to wear can enhance the areas of your body you are proud of and hide the others.
Every person is born with a body type. It can be enhanced or toned with exercise and diet, but the overall shape and structure of your body does not change. So, it would only benefit you to know who you are first. For women, there are four main body shapes…
What is it: Think of an hourglass– Larger and equally proportionate on the top (bust) and bottom (hips) with a smaller, defined waistline and mid-section. To some, particularly men, this is the ideal body shape.
What to wear: Dresses with defined waistlines, slightly flared pants, low or medium necklines, and fitted and semi-fitted clothing. The ultimate goal is to accentuate the waistline and not overdefine the hips and bust, which may already be well-defined.
What not to wear: Extremely tapered pants (over accentuates the hips), high necklines unless your bust is small, baggy clothing, stiff fabrics
Celebrity Hourglass Figure: Jessica Simpson
What is it: A straight, boyish body type. Meaning- the waist is undefined and the bust and hips appear to be the same size. Hence, the resemblence to a ruler.
What to wear: Small shoulder pads to emphasize the shoulders (do not go crazy here, SMALL not LARGE), medium to high necklines, sleeveless shirts to show the arms, A-line skirts, straight or slightly flared pants, and dresses that wrap around the waistline. The ultimate goal here is to accentuate the shoulders or define the waist.
What not to wear: clingy or fitted clothes, low necklines, baggy tops, baggy pants, narrow skirts
Celebrity Rectangle Figure: Queen Latifah
What is it: Think of a pear–small at the top and gets larger at the bottom. A pear shaped woman is usually bottom heavy but smaller in the bust and shoulder area. Almost similar to the hourglass, except the bust and hips are not equally porportionate–one is smaller than the other. A pear shape may also have narrow shoulders, thick thighs, and a slender neckline.
What to wear: Shirts with wide necklines such as scooped necks, tops that define the waist such as belted or cinched styles, shirts with buttons or ties that will draw the eyes upwards to the face, skirts that hit right below the natural waistline, blazers that hit right at or above the waistline, and A-line skirts. The ultimate goal here is to accentuate the shoulders.
What not to wear: Too tight tops, too loose shirts that hide your shape, shoes with ankle straps (makes your legs look larger), tight skirts or trousers, vests or blazers that fall below the waist
FYI: An apple shape is almost like a pear, except more rounded on the top, bottom, and middle. You find more apple shapes in men than women.
Celebrity Pear Shape: Beyonce
What is it: The complete opposite of a pear shape–bigger on the top and smaller on the bottom. Typically, triangle shapes have broader busts and shoulders than they do hips and thighs.
What to wear: Low to medium necklines, flowing fabrics and dresses, A-line skirts, flared pants,and tops that flow through the waist rather than be extremely tight fitting (so not to over accentuate the bust).
What not to wear: High necklines, big collars, tapered skirts and pants, stiff materials, anything that draws more attention to the shoulders
Celebrity Triangle Shape: Raven Simone
If ever in doubt, wear what is comfortable for you.
Remember–embrace who you are because you can’t change it! Loving yourself includes not only your heart, mind, and soul, but your body as well. No matter what your body shape is, when people see you are confident in your own skin, nothing else matters.
By: Rashana Wright | Wardrobe Stylist