Your body shape has a major impact on how clothing fits you. You can feel confident and stylish by dressing according to your female body build. First, identify your body type: hourglass, pear, apple, or rectangle. Each has distinct features determining what styles suit you best.
This article provides fashion tips for women with different body shapes. We'll discuss how to highlight your best assets and balance your proportions through fit, style, colour and accessories tailored to your unique figure. By dressing for your body, you'll develop a personal style that showcases your natural beauty and curves. Read on!
Female Body Builds – How to Identify Your Body Type
To determine your body type, you'll need to measure your bust, waist and hips. You can then calculate your ratios to classify your shape. You should use a flexible tape measure to get accurate circumference measurements.
To measure your bust, wrap the tape measure under your bust, over the fullest part of your breasts. For your waist, place the tape around your natural waistline, the narrowest part of your torso, just above your hipbone. Put the tape around the fullest part of your hips and buttocks to measure your hips.
Next, calculate your waist-to-hip ratio by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement. Then, figure out your bust-to-waist ratio by dividing your bust and waist measurements. Based on those ratios, you'll likely fit into one of four main categories:
Hourglass: With a waist-to-hip ratio under 0.8 and a bust-to-waist ratio over 1, you have a balanced, proportional figure with defined curves. Celebrities like Beyoncé and Jessica Alba have an hourglass shape.
Pear: If your waist-to-hip ratio is over 0.8 while your bust-to-waist ratio is under 1, your hips and thighs are larger than your bust and waist. This describes Jennifer Lopez's and Rihanna's body shape.
Apple: For a waist-to-hip ratio over 0.8 and a bust-to-waist ratio over 1, your midsection tends to be larger while you carry more weight around your middle. Kim Kardashian and Christina Hendricks have an apple shape.
Rectangle: With a waist-to-hip ratio close to 1 and a bust-to-waist ratio over 1, you have a straight up-and-down silhouette with less curvature. Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner exemplify a rectangle body shape.
How to Dress an Hourglass Body Type
As an hourglass shape, you have defined, balanced curves with a notable waist. That means you have proportional hips, bust, and shoulders. To emphasize your curves, highlight your waist with fitted clothing. Your goal is to create a contrast between your bust and hips and your defined waist.
Start with form-fitting tops that hug your bust and waist. Opt for V-neck or scoop necklines instead of crew necks. Wrap tops and dresses are also flattering. Wear fitted blazers that nip in at the waist.
For bottoms, choose fitted styles that showcase your hips, like skinny jeans, leggings and cigarette pants. Pencil skirts and fitted sheath dresses that hit the knee also work well. Avoid boxy, oversized clothing that hides your curves.
Strengthen your hourglass silhouette with accessories. Going out outfits belt worn high under your bust will define your waist. Pick medium to high heels to lengthen your legs. Statement necklaces that fall below your bust line also create the illusion of width in your upper body.
You have a balanced and proportional shape, so you can experiment with almost any look that accentuates your narrow waist and curves. Clingy fabrics and structured shapes are always flattering choices for an hourglass physique.
Body Shapes Women – Dressing a Pear Body Type
You have a pear body shape with wider hips and thighs in proportion to your bust and shoulders. To balance your figure, draw the eye upward and emphasize your upper body. Opt for fitted tops that define your shoulders and bust.
Try boatneck tops, V-necks, and sleeveless shirts. Avoid loose shirts that do not define your frame. Wear A-line skirts and fuller pants that flare from the slimmest part of your body (your waist) for bottoms. Tight bottoms will only accentuate the width of your hips.
Wear jackets to create the illusion of broader shoulders. Blazers and cardigans in solid colours are ideal. Accessorize to balance your figure. A sturdy belt worn at the natural waist will create the appearance of a smaller midsection. Opt for statement necklaces, chunky jewellery, and shoulder-grazing earrings.
Heels will lengthen your legs and make your upper body appear larger in proportion. Medium or high heels work best. Focus your wardrobe on fitted tops and full, flared bottoms. Choose solid colours and avoid patterns that can add the appearance of extra weight. Clothes that balance and define your frame will be the most flattering for your pear body shape.
Dressing Apple Female Body Builds
You have an apple body shape with a larger bust, fuller midsection and slim legs. The key to dressing an apple body shape is the illusion of a longer torso and smaller middle. Begin by choosing clothes that elongate your frame and define your waist.
Opt for V-neck tops instead of scoop necks, as they draw the eye downward and make your torso appear longer. Empire waist dresses and tops that nip in just under the bust work well too.
Wear leggings, skinny jeans, and slim trousers to emphasize your slim legs. Avoid extremely loose or baggy clothing that can overwhelm your figure. Accessories like long necklaces, statement scarves and belt bags can create the illusion of a longer silhouette.
Medium to high heel shoes will lengthen your proportions. Pointed toe styles work particularly well. Define your waist with a true waist belt worn at your natural waistline. Avoid wearing belts lower on your hips. Remember that fitted clothing will work better for your shape than baggier, looser styles. Vertical stripes can also create the illusion of extra length.
Dressing Rectangle Body Types
You have a rectangle body shape with proportional bust, hips and waist measurements, giving you an athletic, straight silhouette. To add shape and curves to your figure, define your waist and add volume to your hips.
Start by wearing fitted tops that nip in at the waist. Opt for peplum tops, tops with ruffles or pleats at the waist. For bottoms, choose A-line skirts, skirts with ruffles or gathers, and wide-leg or bootcut jeans to create the illusion of curvier hips. Avoid skinny and straight-leg styles.
Accessories can make a big difference in your shape. Wear belts, even if they are decorative, to emphasize your waist. Opt for mid-to-high-heel shoes to shorten your legs proportionately.
Statement necklaces that fall below your bust can draw attention to your upper body. Large earrings, big bows and embellished clutches will also add some femininity. Remember that fitted clothing will work better for you than loose, straight silhouettes. Soft draping and ruching can help define your waist.
How to Mix and Match Colors and Patterns for Different Body Types
Colours and patterns can dramatically impact the perception of your body shape. Choosing the right hues and designs is critical to looking your best. In general, darker colours make you appear slimmer, while lighter colours can add volume.
For a definition, wear dark colours closest to your body, like pants and upper garments. Wear lighter colours in accessories. Vertical stripes lengthen and slim, while horizontal stripes widen.
Opt for vertical stripes if you want to appear taller and thinner. Solid colours are always the safest choice for a flattering silhouette. Avoid large busy prints that can overwhelm and overpower your figure.
If you have an hourglass or pear shape, stick with vertical patterns, darker colours on the bottom and medium blues, greens and burgundies. Wear horizontal lines sparingly. Wear vertical stripes and V-necks in medium to dark colors like navy, camel and taupe for an apple shape. Avoid horizontal lines and brighter hues.
Rectangle shapes look best in A-line silhouettes, ruffles and florals. Stick to medium tones like olive green and coral that give a curvier illusion. No matter your shape, remember balance is key. Mix and match carefully, choosing flattering hues, lines and motifs based on your body type for the most virtuous appearance.
How to Accessorize for Different Body Types
Accessories can enhance your outfit and complement your body type. They define your personal style and leave a lasting impression. Choose accessories that suit your personality and make you feel confident. Balance is key, so don't over-accessorize.
For an hourglass shape, belts worn under the bust, statement necklaces below the bust line and medium-height heels all define your curves. Pear shapes look best in a chandelier or long drop earrings, sturdy belts worn at the waist and chunky jewellery to balance the figure.
Apple shapes can wear long necklaces, statement scarves and medium-to-high heels to lengthen the body. Big bows and knotted belts can also emphasize a smaller waistline. Rectangle shapes benefit from statement earrings, embellished clutches and belt bags, bangles and bracelets to add some curves. Try a neck tie shirt for a twist on the classic button-up.
Overall, choose accessories that complement rather than compete with your outfit. Balance materials, textures and colours, and avoid accessorizing body parts you're trying to minimize. The right accessories can make all the difference in flattering any shape.
You now understand how to dress to highlight your natural shape and define your body build in a fashionable and confident way. Follow these fundamental principles: Identify your body type by measuring your bust, waist and hips to calculate your ratios. Then choose clothing cuts and styles tailored to your shape.