Knowing your body type is essential in knowing how to dress and determining what styles work for your particular body. Oftentimes I see people who wear clothing that is unflattering for their figure. Keep in mind that all clothing is not made equal for everybody and that is perfectly fine. Choosing clothes to wear should be a decision made not only because you like the outfit but because it will look appealing to you which Is important if you want to look your ultimate best. The goal of styling is to create the illusion of an hourglass figure. The hourglass figure is the least common body type, but it is the most ideal simply because the hourglass figure is a very balanced and proportioned body type, and it is easy on the eyes. When you look at someone it is perfectly natural for your eyes to travel from their head to their foot, but when the body is not balanced the eye stops, either at a person’s shoulders, their midsection, or their hips. If you do not have a natural hourglass figure the good news is, you can create the illusion of an hourglass figure by wearing the right clothing with a method referred to as shapeshifting. Isn’t it amazing how clothing can simply change the way you look without you having to lose weight, have surgery, or change anything about your body?
I’ll admit at one point in time I used to think that I was cursed with a muffin top, I used to think I needed to lose my belly fat until one day I looked in the mirror naked and realized I didn’t have a muffin top. I only had a muffin top when I wore low-rise jeans and that was the day, I stopped wearing them because it finally occurred to me that these particular pair of jeans did not flatter my body. I have come to realize that a muffin top doesn’t exist, wearing the wrong clothes gives you a muffin top, see what I did there.
So, if you’re unsure what your body type is or you do know your body type and are unsure how to dress for it, I have an easy way to find out. Of course, taking your measurements is the most accurate way, but if you do not have someone to measure you then there is another way. You can take a full-body picture wearing tight-fitting clothing such as yoga pants and a sports bra and assess the picture. Take the picture standing hip-width apart. It also helps to have your arms stretched out.
After taking the picture, you can either print an 8 X 10 copy of it or upload it on your computer and zoom in to assess your body then take a look below to see what body type describes you the most. If you are still unsure then you can have someone measure you or take the measurements yourself, but keep in mind you get the most accurate measurements they have to be done by someone else.
Hourglass (least common body type, the ideal body type)
Your body – The Bust and Hips look to be the same width. Your waistline is very defined. If you took measurements the waistline is typically 7” to 13” smaller than the bust. Your legs may be short. You appear to have a very curvy body.
This is the most ideal body type, and this body type can pretty much wear anything as long as the waistline is defined.
Rectangle (most common body type)
Your body – Is the most common body type especially in older women as they put on more weight around the midsection with age. Like the hourglass, the shoulders and bust appear to be the same width but the major difference is that you have little or no waist definition. If you are measuring, the waist measures from 1’ to 6’ smaller than the bust. Your legs appear to belong.
When it comes to styling you want to create the illusion of an hourglass by focusing on defining the waistline. Wear blouses/dresses with a waistline or get creative with a stylish belt around the waist.
Triangle also referred to as a pear (the second most common body type)
Your body – The width of your hips appears to be wider than your shoulders and your bust. Your shoulders are very narrow. Your body appears to be larger below the waist.
When it comes to styling you want to create the illusion of an hourglass by focusing on emphasizing the shoulders to allow your body to look more proportionate to your hips. You can do this by wearing blouses/dresses with puffed sleeves, or shoulder pads. Also, keep in mind to define the waistline.
Inverted Triangle (very athletic body type)
Your body – The width of your shoulders appears to be wider than your hips. Your body is larger above the waist than below. Your legs may be short, and your hips are narrow.
When it comes to styling you want to create the illusion of an hourglass by focusing on emphasizing the hips to allow your body to look more proportionate to your shoulders. You can do this by wearing dresses that flare out particularly circle skirts, A-line dresses, or wide-leg pants. Also, keep in mind to define the waistline. If color blocking wears dark colors at the top and lighter colors at the bottom.
Round also referred to as an apple (also very common)
Your body – Is full at the midriff, you have no waist definition. If you are measuring, measurements between, bust, waist, and hips are very close. You typically have great legs that may be short.
When it comes to styling you want to create the illusion of an hourglass by focusing on defining the waistline and accentuating the shoulders and the hips. Dresses with puffed sleeves, dresses, and skirts that flare out are great examples.
Color Blocking - Dark colors are slimming, lighter colors accentuate. Inverted Triangle and Round body types should wear darker colors at the top and lighter colors at the bottom. Triangle body types should wear lighter colors at the top and darker colors at the bottom.
Prints – Create emphasis. Triangle types should wear prints at the top. Inverted types should wear prints at the bottom.
Horizontal Stripes – Make you look wider. Not ideal for those who are short. Not ideal for those who are plus size. Ideal for those who are slim.
Vertical Stripes – Make you look taller. Ideal for those who are short.
Source: Fashion Stylist Institute