Dressing for Your Body-Type Guide to Personal Style | Part II |

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Dressing for Your Body Type 

Based on 5 tips on finding your personal style  you’ve cleaned out our closets to make way for the new you that will emerge on the path to conquering the rest of your life, right? Or at best, you’ve narrowed down your closet to clothes you actually wear. Now, it’s time to gravitate towards what works for you, based on your body type.

Identifying your body type

Let’s be honest, the number on the scale says nothing about how good you look, that’s a skill reserved for how you dress your body type. Recognizing the shape of your body is the primary step in choosing flattering silhouettes that will have you looking good in everything from jeans to summer dresses. Not to get shape confused with size, we are looking at the overall curvature of your body- no need to whip out the measuring tape.The key here is to find a harmonious balance between your natural shape and the clothing you choose to wear for a proportional look.


Image courtesy of Vasa Fitness


Also know as the “coke bottle” shape, this means your shoulders and your hips are proportional, there is also a good balance between your bust and hips with a defined waist, all creating the shape of an hourglass.

  • Wear streamlined skirts and dresses
  • Wear V-necks, tops and dresses that taper at the waist
  • Choose slim silhouettes that skim the shape of the body
  • Wear slim fitting jeans with a slight flare to be proportionate to hips and balance curves

Inverted triangle

If you have a broad chest, shoulders, and back, with narrow hips that aren’t as wide-set as your shoulders, you have an Inverted triangle figure.

  • Wear fuller skirts and wider belts
  • Wear slim or straight cut bottoms
  • Shift dresses work well, say yes to pencil skirts
  • For bottoms, design elements like ruffles and patterns work well


The main difference with the Hourglass shape and the Rectangle is a defined waist. With a rectangular body shape, your shoulders, waist, and hips fall in line without much of a curve as you would see with the hourglass shape, despite shoulders and hips being proportional.

  • Have fun wearing bold patterns and colors
  • Belt dresses to accentuate your waistline and add definition
  • Show off those legs! Otherwise, pants work well on you


If you were given the gracious gift of curvy hips, but find that you’re petite on top with a smaller bust, than you are pear-shaped.

  • Finally, someone who can finally justify wearing shoulder pads!
  • Wear paints that are straight leg or very slightly flared rather than skinny
  • Wear tops and jackets with full shoulders and enhance your bust with proper bra support


If you find that your torso is the most robust part of your body, with broader shoulders, a fuller bust and waistline and upper back, while your hips are narrow and your lower body is small in comparison, than you can consider yourself to be apple-shaped.

  • Accentuate your bust with v-necks, scoop tops, strapless tops, tops that are fitted around the bust and flow out in the mid section like peplum tops.
  • Choose layers on top while keeping it minimal for the win
  • Wear wide-leg bottoms, flare legs, or boot cuts
  • Wear full skirts with volume and A-line skirts
  • Show off those legs!

Use this guide to pick versatile pieces that transition as your day transitions, like lightweight jackets, trench vests, and the likes. Build a solid foundation of staple items that fit well, as Fashion Designer Mimi Plange recommends a solid 3 staple items every woman should have in her closet.

Cover photo by Suhyeon Choi

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