Everyone is different, and everyone’s body is different. If you’re having trouble following the latest trends because the clothes don’t seem to fit just right, chances are you’re picking the wrong styles for your body type.
When you know your body type, you can start shopping for clothes that fit your shape and your personality. You’ll find tops, bottoms, and dresses that pull attention away from your least favorite areas and flatter the parts you love most.
So, which body type do you have? And what should you wear that fits your shape? We’re so glad you asked. Here’s all you need to know.
The rectangle body type is usually somewhat tall and slender (but not always). You may notice that your bust, waist, and hip measurements are all about the same, and your waist doesn’t particularly stand out.
Most rectangle shapes rock a smaller, flatter bottom and don’t have a lot of curves. When you gain weight, you probably gain it evenly all over your body.
Styles That Flatter a Rectangle Shape
When you’re dressing a rectangle body type, your two main goals are to:
- Create a defined waistline.
- Emphasize curves.
Some styles meet this goal, while others might make your body look more rectangular. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for new clothes:
- Tailored, structured clothing. Look for clothes that have a defined shape. Stay away from oversized, baggy, or “one size fits all” pieces. You want to define your waistline, emphasize your bust and hip area, and create a curvier silhouette. Baggy pieces won’t help, but structured pieces will.
- Colors and prints. You can use bright colors or interesting prints to draw attention to your bust and hips, which helps create that curvier shape you’re looking for. Just make sure the visual interest focuses on the bust or hip area, not the waistline.
- Push-up bra. A push-up bra is a rectangle’s best friend. It helps lift the breasts, which makes the bust appear larger and curvier.
- Belts. Use belts at the waist to define it.
- Curvy necklines. Stick to curvy necklines, such as a scoop-neck. This helps create curves and is more flattering than square or high necklines.
The apple shape also struggles with an undefined waistline, but the overall body shape is quite different than the rectangle. Apples tend to have a fuller bust and torso, with a flatter bottom and small-ish arms and legs. Your legs may be your favorite feature, and you tend to gain weight in your tummy area first. Your shoulders may be slightly larger than your hips, and you may even feel round “all over.”
Styles That Flatter an Apple Shape
Apple shapes have two goals:
- Define the waist.
- Add curves to the hip and butt area.
Here are some things to shop for that can help flatter your apple shape:
- Fitted pieces. Avoid any extra bulk around the waist area. Look for fabrics that cling to your bust area and draw attention away from your midsection.
- Fitted bust. Tops and dresses that are fitted just under the bust are most flattering for your shape. They’ll help draw your waist in visually, making your tummy area look smaller.
- Bottom pieces in bright colors. You can create a curvier hip area by wearing brighter colors on bottom. Pair with a darker, more neutral color up top to help balance your curves.
- Belts. A belt can help cinch your waist area, creating more defined curves.
- V-neck tops. Look for a V-neck top, which makes your torso look longer and leaner.
The hourglass shape and apple shape have a lot in common. Like an apple body type, the hourglass may sometimes feel “curvy all over.” However, the hourglass usually has a bust and hip area that are mostly proportional, and the waist is more well-defined.
Weight gain is usually even throughout the body, and the shoulders and thighs are often round as well.
Styles That Flatter an Hourglass Shape
The two main goals of the hourglass body type are to:
- Maintain a balanced silhouette.
- Avoid styles that make the figure look heavier.
Many people assume it’s easy to dress an hourglass shape, but this shape can be challenging because so many styles are designed to emphasize either the bust or the hips. The goal of an hourglass is to maintain the natural balance their shape already has. Here are some things to look for:
- Boxy shapes. The boxy trend is popular right now, but an hourglass needs to stay away. These styles hide the natural waistline, which makes an hourglass shape look heavier all over.
- Fitted clothing. Because your curves are already defined, look for clothing that shows off your assets! Find tops and bottoms that are fitted through the bust, waist, and hip areas.
- Avoid loose or oversized pieces. Loose, baggy, oversized clothing is your enemy. These pieces hide all your best features and create a boring, bulky silhouette.
- Belts or tucked shirts. You can further emphasize your small waist with a belt. Alternatively, try tucking your top into your pants or skirt to help define the waistline.
- Avoid high necklines. Hourglass shapes can wear almost any neckline, depending on what they’re trying to achieve. Whatever you do, though, stay away from a high neckline, which draws attention away from your shape and adds extra weight visually.
The inverted triangle body type is usually fairly athletic. Your shoulders may be wider than your waist and hips. Your bust may be large, but that’s not always true. Many inverted triangle shapes also have a smaller bustline.
Your legs may be your best feature, and your shoulders may be the widest part of your body.
Styles That Flatter an Inverted Triangle Shape
An inverted triangle usually has one goal when looking for clothing:
- Balance the shoulder area with the hip area.
There are several ways to achieve this. Look for the following when you shop for your shape:
- Avoid shoulder details. Because you’re trying to detract visually from the shoulder area, it’s best to avoid any styles that draw attention to this area.
- Avoid wide necklines. Wide necklines draw attention to the shoulders. Low scoop or deep V necklines are a much better option.
- Wide-leg jeans or trousers. Inverted triangles should look for bottoms that add dimension to the leg area. Stay away from skinny jeans and opt for wide-leg or flare styles instead.
- Soft fabrics on top. Look for tops made of softer, flowing materials that drape loosely over the shoulders.
- Avoid bold prints. Because you’re trying to soften the shoulders, avoid bold prints in this area. Instead, keep colors more neutral on top and try bolder prints and colors on bottom.
The pear shape is basically the opposite of the inverted triangle. While your bust and shoulders are small, your hips and thighs are larger.
You probably have a defined waist and thinner arms, as well. You may gain weight in your hips and thighs rather than other areas of your body.
Styles That Flatter a Pear Shape
The goal of the pear shape is simple:
- Draw attention away from the lower body and emphasize the upper body.
You can do this by searching for styles that flatter your body type. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Structured tops. Look for tops with plenty of structure to help draw attention to your shoulders and bust.
- A push-up bra. A push-up bra helps your bust appear larger for a more balanced silhouette.
- Layers. Wear layers on top to help draw attention to this area. Wear more fitted pieces on bottom to detract from this area visually.
- Avoid boxy shapes. Like the hourglass shape, you need to avoid boxy tops. These hide your waistline, which makes you appear larger.
- Avoid low necklines. A pear shape should look for necklines that emphasize the bust and shoulder area. These include longer necklines like a boat neck, square neck, or off-the-shoulder.