We all know the struggle. Looking through magazines and scrolling through social media to see models wearing the cutest outfits. However, when you put on the same thing, it looks completely different. It makes you feel like there’s something wrong with your body. If nobody has told you yet, your body is not the problem! The model simply has a different body type than you. This is why it is key to dress for your body type, not others. Follow this guide for the inside scoop to feeling confident in what you wear.
Four Body Measurements
The first step is to figure out what your body type is. The best way to figure this out is to measure four areas of your body; shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. The proportions of these numbers will help to reveal the shape of your frame. Grab a measuring tape and put on your most form-fitting clothes and get started!
When measuring your shoulders, wrap the tape measure around the very top of your shoulders at the broadest point. For your bust, measure the fullest part of your breast. For your waist, you’re looking for the narrowest part of your waist, typically above the belly button. For when you measure your hips, measure at the fullest part.
While there are many different body shapes, most women align with one of five: apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle, or rectangle.
Women with an apple-shaped body type typically are women who are curvy with a less defined waist. This can also be known as a circle or round body type. For this body shape, it is recommended to look for pieces that accentuate your shoulders, neckline, or bust. Look for tops with a wrapped detail, specifically constructed to create a more defined waistline. Tops with a dolman-sleeve (airy sleeves), v-neck, or peplum can also be great ways to do this. Jackets and blazers are your new best friend because they allow for structure or shape. Any jacket with an open front or long vest can help to create vertical lines and lengthen your midsection. As for jeans, a straight or slim pair are great if you don’t want them very form-fitting. For dresses, look for styles that draw attention to your shoulders and legs, as well as those that will create a more defined waistline.
If your hips are broader than your shoulders, you’re likely a pear shape. This is also known as a triangle body shape. For tops, to balance your silhouette, you want tops that are going to accentuate your top half and your waist at the same time. Light and bright colors or prints in a peplum, square neck, cowl-neck, or boat neck all can helo you achieve this. For jeans, look for slightly roomier cuts and darker colors. This can be straight, bootcut, or high-waisted. As for dresses, A-line, fit-and-flare, wrap, or off-the-shoulder are great dress options for the pear body shape.
For an hourglass body shape, shoulders and hips are fairly balanced and there is a clearly defined waist. For tops, fitted and structured tops look naturally great on this frame. Wrap tops, keyhole tops, v-neck tops, and peplum tops are all great to define your waist and make sure your shape is balanced. High-waisted jeans are perfect for defining your waist, as well as flared, wide-leg, and skinny jeans. Jumpsuits are something that not everybody can pull off, but they are great for those with an hourglass body shape. They will show off your curves and add volume to your lower half. Wrap dresses, fit-and-flare, and sheath dresses are also great options for those with an hourglass body shape.
Inverted Triangle Body
If your shoulders are broader than your hips, you’re likely an inverted triangle body shape. The best tops for an inverted triangle frame are ones that let your neckline and hips streal the spotlight. These include peplum, scoop-neck, v-neck, or crewneck. Look for jackets that are going to add volume near your hips and help to balance your frame. This includes jackets that are waist-length, cropped, or belted. All of these help to define your waist but draw attention to your hips. As for jeans, it’s all about adding volume and curves, so cropped-wide-leg, boyfriend, or flared are perfect style options. Turn towards a-line, fit-and-flare, and sheath dresses. These dresses are great structured pieces that already have a built-in shape.
If your four measurements are all fairly similar and you have a straighter build, you’re most likely a rectangle body shape. One of the perks of having a rectangle body shape is that you’re able to choose which assets you want to emphasize. If you’re looking for something to create the appearance of curves, choose tops that are going to accentuate your waist and give definition to your waist. Scoop-neck, v-neck, and sweetheart necklines are all great options for this. For jeans, make sure that they complement the silhouette of your top. Highwaist, wide-leg, and slim-straight are safe options for this. Nearly every dress will complement your shape, ruched, puff sleeves, belted, the options are endless for you.