Everyone wants to look and feel good in the clothes they wear. The secret? Dressing for your specific body type. Every body is beautiful and unique, and what works for one person’s shape may not work for another’s, and that’s just fine! You just need to find out what works for your unique shape. When you choose your clothes based on what works for your body instead of keeping up with the latest fleeting fashion trends, you’ll be able to showcase your best features, enjoy shopping for clothes more, and radiate confidence as you find your style. If you do want to keep up with the trends, knowing your body type will help you adapt them to work for you. However, identifying your specific body type is not always easy. Don’t panic, though; the team at Erica Wilson have put together a complete guide to dressing for different body types for you right here.
Before we tell you what clothing works for specific body shapes, you need to determine your body type first. To make it easy for you, here are the four main female body types and their characteristics:
Pear shaped body types tend to have narrow shoulders and fuller hips. In simple terms, this body shape resembles a pear fruit. You might be this body type if your chest is smaller than your waist and you have fuller thighs and a behind. This body shape is sometimes described as being a triangle to reflect the proportions of the upper and lower body.
A curvaceous hourglass figure is one of the most well-balanced body types, as your lower and upper body are in perfect proportion with a well-defined waistline at the center – as the name suggests. It’s likely that you have an hourglass body shape if your hip and bust measurements are even and your waist is defined. Often seen as the ultimate curvy shape, hourglasses may have full busts, thighs and hips.
People with this body shape tend to have a straight-up-and-down figure. Also described as a rectangle, this body type is defined by having hip and shoulder measurements that are mostly the same and having no clearly defined waist. If you have an athletic body type, your weight is evenly distributed.
Also known as an inverted triangle body shape, you tend to be well-proportioned with broader shoulders than hips. Like the fruit, apple shapes don’t tend to have defined waistlines. However, they often have slim legs and lower body.
Hopefully, now you understand your body type, you can start dressing for it! We’ve put together the do’s and don’ts of dressing for each body shape here so you can look and feel fabulous whatever you wear. Remember, there are no real don’ts of dressing; at the end of the day, it is up to you to decide what you are most comfortable in!
When you are smaller on top than on the bottom, the goal is to build up the upper half of your body by creating an illusion of balance between the two halves. Tops and jackets with padded or defined shoulders, sweetheart, boat neck and V-cut necklines can help to give balance to your figure. Equally, wearing wide-leg pants, A-line skirts and dresses with detailing at the top can help draw the eye upward. Skin-tight tops and halternecks should be avoided unless you want to highlight your smaller upper.
Dressing for an hourglass figure is one of the easiest things to do! After all, your body is already perfectly in proportion! When looking for clothes, go for those that emphasize your small waist, so figure-hugging dresses are a great bet. V-necks can help you show off your upper body, and A-line cuts can help you balance your bottom half. To accentuate your waist, try to pair a belt with your outfit to draw attention to that area. The great thing about this body shape is that almost anything looks good. If showcasing your shape is your top priority, then maybe avoid loose-fitting clothing unless this is something you like to wear.
If you have an athletic or rectangular body, then it is likely that you will want to create the illusion of a defined waist. Experimenting with layering different-length clothing is a great way to achieve that. As well as making this illusion, you can show off your arms and legs with strapless tops, and A-line skirts and dresses are a safe option. Blazers and cut-out styles can help add definition to your upper half. Stay clear of oversized clothing if you want to create the illusion of shape.
When dressing an apple shape, it’s best to go for a balanced look with well-fitting clothes that aren’t super skin-tight. A-line dresses and skirts are a great choice as they can help bring proportion to your shape and draw attention to your fabulous legs. V-necklines can also help to draw the eyes up and be incredibly flattering. Tailored but relaxed is the way to go with the apple shape, and try to avoid materials that cling, instead opt for floaty fits. Skinny jeans and leggings are the way to go to draw attention to the legs.