Dressing For Your Body Type
Last week, we talked about undertones, and how to choose colors that flatter your skin tone and overall coloring. This week, we’re talkin’ body shapes, and how to dress in a such a way where your best assets are played up. While it’s true that every woman’s body is different, there are five general body shapes: pear, wedge, rectangle, apple, and hourglass. And if you pick the right type of clothing, you can highlight all of your best assets and feel great, creating a memorable and powerful first (or second!) impression. Since we’re in the thick of the holiday party season, this will be advice to keep in mind while you’re out shopping for your party dress.
Women with this body type tend to be wider on the bottom and smaller up top – that is to say, their hips are wider than their shoulders. Pear-shaped body types have a well-defined waist and a round bottom, and their shoulders and torso are typically their best assets. If you have this body type, pick clothing that emphasizes your waist and arms, and add volume to your shoulders and upper body to even everything out. Think: A-line skirts, boat neck tops, square and cowl necklines, and light tops with dark bottoms.
The wedge body shape is characterized by a broad chest, wide shoulders, and a narrow waist and hips. Think of it as an inverted triangle. If you are wedge-shaped, your legs are likely your best asset, and you need to choose clothing that plays them up while softening your shoulders and upper body. Wedges can experiment with high-wasted styles (hello, sailor pants!), and pull off full skirts and wide-leg pants.
This body shape is characterized by similar waist, hip, and shoulder widths, creating a – you guessed it – rectangle shape. Women with this shape need to create curves with their clothing, and show off their arms and legs. Sweetheart and scoop necklines create curves, and long jackets create a lean look. Layering also adds more dimensions.
Women who are apple-shaped have narrow hips and a broad back, broad ribs, and broad shoulders. In other words, most of their weight is in the upper part of their body, so they need to dress to elongate their torso and show off their legs. V-neck tops create the illusion of a longer torso, while belts worn at the smallest part of the waist create definition. Short skirts do the double-duty of showing off the legs while drawing attention away from the midsection.
Made memorable by pinup girls of the 40s and 50s and icons like Bettie Page, this shape is characterized by proportionate hips and shoulders set off by a tiny waist. If you have this body type, play up those curves! Wear a good bra to showcase your bust and don’t hide under baggy clothing. You’ve got it, so flaunt it, girl!
Now that we’ve covered the different types of body shapes, I have some homework for you: take a long look at yourself in a mirror. Pay attention to your proportions, and to your angles. Figure out which of the five body shapes you have (or which one your body most fits into), and keep that in mind next time you shop or rifle through your closet. Experiment with different clothing styles to figure out which styles flatter you the most. When you wear clothing that flatters your figure, it does more than make you look good. It makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you feel confident. And when you feel confident, it’s like your Superwoman; there’s nothing you can’t do.