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Dressing For Your Body Shape: The Ultimate Guide

Everyone is different, so what looks good on others may not look good on me, and vice versa. It took me quite a while to figure out how I should be dressing since honestly, my body shape changed a lot throughout the years.

It’s important to look good to feel good, and fashion is one of the things that I believe helps a lot of people achieve just that. So, it’s also important to know how to dress well based on our body shapes, and that’s exactly what’s in this article.

How to Know Your Body Shape

two women standing side by side with backs on heir camera in front of white wall

Learning what your body shape is is the first step in knowing how you can dress for it. Everyone’s body is unique, so we won’t all fall into the same categories. They are, however, an excellent starting point for discovering your ideal style.

You can figure out a person’s body shape in two ways: by measuring it or by judging it visually.

Visually

Some folks are blessed with an outwardly attractive body shape. As a result, they could avoid taking body measurements.

Check out a body shape chart to help you with this. Take note of the shoulder to hip ratio that best describes you. Examine the shape of your waist and hips as well. Do they sink in and then go back out, or taper in?

Measuring

Check out the next section for more information on how to measure your body to determine your body type.

Everyone has their own distinctive appearance. It can be difficult to tell our body shapes simply by looking at them. This is completely normal, and there’s no need to feel embarrassed about it. Grab a tape measure if you’re having trouble figuring out your body type.

How to Measure

cropped image of person measuring waist with measuring tape

A long time ago, if you wished to figure out your body type with the help of measurements, you had to do a lot of math. Thankfully, a calculator has been created that takes care of it automatically.

To obtain the measurements, follow our instructions and enter them on this website. We can move on to the exciting part, which is choosing outfits, once you’ve determined your body type.

Bust

Measure the widest part of your bust. We recommend that you measure while wearing a bra if you use one on a regular basis. If you close the measuring tape a tad too tight, your readings will be affected.

Waist

With a mirror, check out your torso. Your waist, which is above the hip bones, is the thinnest part of your torso. When measuring this section, don’t inhale deeply or press the tape against the skin too tightly. With this, the body shape you deduce will not be representative of your actual body.

Hips 

If you’re taking this measurement, make sure you’re not wearing any pants or skirts. The widest area of the hips should be measured, as well as the curve of the buttocks.

Shoulders

Shoulders are measured at their widest points. Because you must keep your arms flat against your body, this is the most difficult part to measure on your own. It’s possible that you’ll need to enlist the assistance of others.

Different Shapes of the Body

illustrated photo of different body shapes of women

You can determine what body shape you actually have if you use the body shape calculator or judge by sight. The four main types of traditional body shapes are discussed in more detail below.

Apple

Body shapes with an apple shape have a bigger bust compared to the remainder of the body, which is a feature that many people wish they had. Oval shapes are also commonly applied to apples.

Your recommendations will center on lengthening the body or wearing top-heavy clothes that highlight your bust shape.

Athletic

If you have a banana body shape, your shoulder, bust, and waist measurements are nearly equal.

Your recommendations will center on creating the illusion of a larger waist and showcasing your stunning shoulders.

Hourglass

Girls with hourglass shapes have a smaller waist and equal shoulders and hips. Your shoulders and bust are almost certainly the same sizes.

Because you can get away with flaunting any part of your body, your advice would be a bit more general.

Pear

Your bust and shoulders are narrower than your hips if you have a lovely Pear-shaped body. Pears are round at the bottom and taper off at the top, which is why they’re called pear-shaped.

You have an enviable waistline and long, slim arms if you’re a Pear. A lot of the advice you’ll get today will be geared toward emphasizing those lovely features.

Other Body Types

The science of dressing well has progressed over the last several years. There are now more than four body types available. These non-traditional body shapes were recognized as part of society’s renouncement of the ‘ideal’ body.

Every human body is stunning. You’ll find details on three other body shapes – petite, plus size, and tall – further down.

You could fall into one of two categories: this one or the one above. It is entirely reasonable. To create your ideal wardrobe, you could combine ideas from both of these categories.

Petite

image of a petite young woman in red short dress posing in front of blue wall

Your legs, arms, and torso are probably shorter than usual if you have a petite body type.

Try well-fitting garments that make you appear balanced when putting together your outfit. Use tips from other body types to highlight your best features, such as your shoulders, hips, and bust.

Plus Size

image of plus size woman with belt bag stretching outdoors

Don’t let anybody tell you that just because you’re plus size, you can’t look good in clothes.

Your advice would focus on showcasing all your great curves and features, rather than hiding any part of your body.

Tall

You might have discovered that a ton of high-street outfits are rather short on you, which is the polar opposite of your petite friends’ problems.

Your recommendations will emphasize highlighting features such as your long legs and shoulders.

Apple-Shaped Body

The body shape of an apple is also referred to as a heart shape. Their breast is the broadest region of the body, which is their defining feature. They have a narrow waist with a wider midriff than most women. Apple body shapes often experience a lack of waist definition.

If you have this body shape, you should concentrate on the following two areas:

  • Creating a waistline that is defined
  • Your bust and waist should be in proportion.

Structured pieces with tons of detail above or below the waistline will appeal to Apples. They’ll want to show off their natural assets, such as their long, slender legs.

How to Dress

Dokotoo Womens Solid Autumn Winter Layered Mesh Balloon Long Sleeve V Neck Casual Loose Fit Blouses Fashion Tops Female T-Shirts for Womens Tops White Large

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Wide and low necklines, such as V-necks, scoop necks, and sweetheart necklines, will help to balance your upper half. Creating the illusion that your shoulders and breast are of equal size.

Sleeves that are draped and flared will help you define your waistline. Fitted sleeves call attention to the waist’s lack of form.

Flowy tops with a structured bust are a good choice. You will notice that items with a little structure around the waist sit more comfortably on your body if you can find them.

What Clothes to Wear

Here are five pieces of apparel that will look great on you:

  • Wrap dresses, also known as wrap tops, provide structure at the top of the body while flaring out to give the appearance of a waist.
SheIn Women's Surplice Wrap Long Sleeve Pearls Beaded Solid Mini Pencil Dress with Belt Plain Black Medium

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  • Cardigans with a lot of drapes, especially waterfall cardigans. These elongate the torso while drawing the eye away from the midriff.
  • Apples look fantastic in single-breasted coats, especially empire line coats. They have a lot of structure and help the body stay balanced.
  • Flares with a mid-rise – for trousers, a mid-rise is the best option. Your figure will seem longer and more balanced with the flared bottoms.
  • A-line skirts — These, too, sit at the waistline’s midpoint. The hips extend out, giving them a broader appearance.

What to Avoid Using

If you want to make the most of your apple figure, avoid wearing these three items:

Halter neck tops make your shoulders appear smaller and your bust appear out of proportion with the rest of your body.

Sleeves with a tight fit will draw attention to your lack of a waistline.

Tapered hemlines – make your hips and legs appear slimmer. You’ll seem much more top-heavy as a result of this. Instead, try hems that are asymmetrical.

Banana-Shaped Body

The rise of social media has made banana, rectangle, and athletic body types more popular in recent years. On this body type, sculpted muscles look fantastic.

Your clothing goals may be the following if you have a rectangle body shape:

  • Make curves seem to be real.
  • Make a waistline appear.

You’ll have equal shoulders, bust, waist, and hips if you have a banana body shape. Draw a straight line down the length of your body on both sides. You might want to give yourself the appearance of having a more hourglass figure.

How to Dress

Dokotoo Womens Sun Casual V Neckline Long Sleeve Open Back Floral Print Mini Dress Bohemian Fashion Skater A Line Ruffle Hem Swing Dresses White Small

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The most important thing to remember is to avoid anything that is too big or too shapeless. Any form you have will be drowned out.

You’ll want to experiment with bold cuts because they allow you to create various illusions. Fortunately, many cuts will look great on you.

Low and round necklines are preferable to high and square necklines. Make the waistline more interesting by wearing flared sleeves.

Use belts to define your waistline, but keep them simple – go for dark colors and avoid embellishments.

What Clothes to Wear

Here are five pieces of apparel that will look great on you:

  • Belted shirts – cinching is crucial for banana-shaped bodies.
  • Pussy bow blouses with flared sleeves. The bust is frequently the focal point. The eye is drawn up to the top half of the body by the bow beneath the neck.
SheIn Women's Long Sleeve V Neck Ruffle Blouse Off Shoulder Tie Waist Wrap Tops X-Large White

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  • Tailored jackets – these jackets are cropped slightly above the waist and will give the impression that you have an hourglass figure.
  • Wide cotton pants – the wide waist gives the appearance of a larger waist.
  • Skinny jeans – you don’t want to bulk up your legs, so flaunt them.

What to Avoid Using

If you want to make the most of your banana figure, you should avoid wearing the following three items:

Boxy tees are shapeless and will swallow the shape of your body. Their sleeves are also far too short to be helpful.

Flared jeans – if your flares are too wide, they will make you appear very bottom-heavy. They’ll elongate your hips and make them appear even smaller.

Dresses with no shape – as previously stated, anything with no shape should be avoided. Shapeless dresses, on the other hand, pose a special challenge. The waist, bust, hips, and shoulders are all hidden behind them. They can also land on their legs in an awkward position.

Hourglass-Shaped Body

For decades, hourglass-shaped figures have been coveted.

You should concentrate on two things:

  • Keeping equilibrium
  • Making your waistline stand out

The symmetry of this body type defines it. Keep this in mind while you’re putting on different outfits. Yes, you want to draw attention to specific characteristics, but you also want to maintain as much balance as possible in your hips and bust.

If you have a lot of natural balance, you should look for clothing that is designed specifically for your body type. Continue reading to learn how to dress for an hourglass body.

How to Dress

GOBLES Women's Sexy Long Sleeve V Neck Ruched Bodycon Mini Party Cocktail Dress White

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Wearing clothing that is snug and fitting can help women with hourglass bodies.

If you have the funds, have your most used items altered, or do it yourself. This type of styling will allow you to highlight your natural features.

Wearing high-waisted items, such as high-waisted blue jeans and pencil skirts, will draw more attention to your waist and make it appear smaller. These will look much better when paired with crop shirts.

What Clothes to Wear

Here are five pieces of apparel that will look great on you:

  • High-waisted jeans – these jeans make your hips appear curvier by giving the impression that your waist is higher than it is.
  • Crop top with a pencil skirt — The Kardashians are known for wearing crop tops with pencil skirts.
EXCHIC Women's High Waist Bodycon Midi Pencil Skirt (L, Black)

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  • Pencil skirt – The hourglass effect is accentuated by high waistlines and broad hips.
  • Low and V necklines – low V necklines are flattering and show off your breast.
  • Belted jackets — Large coats might hide your form, but a belted coat can keep you appearing curvy even when it’s raining.

What to Avoid Using

If you want to show off your hourglass figure, stay away from the following three pieces of clothing:

Dresses with no shape – oversized and shapeless garments can cause your entire body to be lost and swamped.

Too much around your neck (that isn’t delicate necklaces) will make you seem top-heavy and uneven. Your bust will be concealed as well.

Wide, unfitted sleeves should be avoided in favor of fitting sleeves.

Pear-Shaped Body

Two goals should be in mind when displaying your pear-shaped figure:

  • Make your waistline stand out
  • Elongate your torso to achieve body balance.

Beautiful hips are a feature of pear-shaped women, and you should flaunt them. Some of you, on the other hand, could be worried about appearing too bottom-heavy. Create the illusion of a longer torso to correct this flaw.

How to Dress

Torso

LYANER Women's Cute Off Shoulder Long Sleeve Self Tie Knot Crop Tube Top Blouse Blue Medium

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You’ll want to accentuate your shoulders and bust to make your torso look longer and more balanced in comparison to your hips.

Wearing padded shoulders or off-the-shoulder tube tops that draw the eye lower can help you achieve this.

Waist

Horizontal stripes and statement belts will become your best friends. These will visually cinch you in at the waist and make your curves look even curvier. A-line skirts with flared hips are acceptable.

What Clothes to Get

Here are five pieces of clothing that will look great on you:

  • Padded jackets – jackets with a belted waist and padded shoulders will help you achieve the body balance you desire.
MEROKEETY Women's Winter Long Sleeve Zip Puffer Jacket Baggy Short Down Coats

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  • A-line skirts elongate the torso while emphasizing the hips.
  • Flared jeans – If you want to give the lower half of your body a little more dimension, try flared jeans. They were popular in the 1970s and remain so today.
  • Keep an eye on your shoulders and bust when wearing off-the-shoulder tops to balance out your top half. They won’t be able to look away if you wear an off-the-shoulder top.
  • Vertical stripes – these stripes will highlight your curves and help you achieve torso balance. For more information, see “patterns guide.”

What to Avoid Using

If you want to emphasize your pear body shape, stay away from the following three items:

  • Tops with high, narrow necklines elongate your shoulders and make you appear top-heavy.
  • Pencil skirts will draw attention to your hips and upper legs, elongating your shoulders.
  • Pants with a lot of intricacies will make you seem top-heavy once again.

Petite

You must be under 5’3 inches tall and/or have a 27-inch inseam to qualify for the petite category.

You’ll have to tailor a lot of your clothes if you’re styling a petite body. Many stores will not cater to your body type, so you’ll have to be proactive and figure out how to make things work.

You should concentrate on two things as a petite woman:

  • Extending your body’s appearance
  • Not to mention your physical characteristics.

How to Dress

High Low Dresses for Women Formal Vintage Off The Shoulder Cocktail Dress Wine Red L

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When it comes to dressing themselves, many petite women overlook the fact that their height isn’t the only factor to consider. Remember that you’ll have a second body type to consider.

These other body types should not be overlooked. To make them work for your body shape, you’ll just need to tailor them a little bit. If you need to tighten your waistband, go ahead and do so. If an off-the-shoulder jumper is necessary to balance out your top half, go for it.

High-waisted, wide cotton trousers look great with sweetheart necklines and off-the-shoulder cropped tops. This will help you balance your body and elongate your legs.

What Clothes to Wear

Here are five pieces of apparel that will look great on you:

  • Sweetheart neckline crop top – If you want to accentuate your bust and show off your shoulders, a sweetheart neckline crop top is the way to go. Cropped shirts elongate and slim the figure.
SheIn Women's Elegant Lantern Long Sleeve Sweetheart Neck Solid Crop Blouse Top Black# Small

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  • Blouse with three-quarter-length sleeves – The three-quarter-length cropped sleeves will draw the eye to your waist and make your arms appear longer.
  • Cropped leather jacket – As a petite woman, cropped clothing will once again be your friend.
  • Pleated slacks are a staple of the office wardrobe. They’ll add length to your body if they’re well-tailored and cropped just above the ankle.
  • High-low skirts – The intricate hemlines of these skirts will make your legs appear longer and draw attention to your waist.

What to Avoid Using

If you want to make the most of your tiny physique, avoid the following three items:

Low-rise jeans make your legs seem shorter and your waist appears shapeless. Please leave them in the 1990s.

Flared trousers will make your legs seem small and bottom-hefty.

Pencil skirt – Another skirt form that can slim your waistline and shorten your body is the pencil skirt.

Plus Size

We’re often asked what plus-size ladies should and shouldn’t wear. The fact is that no clothing item is off-limits for plus-size ladies. Wear it if it makes you happy.

As a plus-size woman, you can want to achieve the following fashion goals:

  • To work with the contour of your body
  • To flaunt your curves

How to Dress

Romwe Women's Plus Size Elegant Short Sleeve Work Office Lace Deep V Neck Flounce Blouse Black 3XL

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Many individuals are unaware that Plus Size isn’t a body type that is mutually exclusive. You may be plus-sized, but you will also fall into one of four body types (hourglass, apple, pear, banana). All of the suggestions in that section will apply to you.

This section will cover how to dress confidently when you don’t feel at ease in your own flesh. Every single person is stunning. We should all feel at ease in our own flesh, regardless of our size.

However, since we recognize that self-love is a process, this part is for those of you who are just getting started.

What Clothes to Wear

Here are 5 pieces of apparel that will flatter your figure:

  • Slit-sleeved blouses – Slit sleeves are a terrific way to add form and definition to a blouse without having to wear fitting sleeves. You’re showing a little flesh without exposing your whole arm.
SheIn Women's Off Shoulder Slit Sleeve Tie Cuff Blouse Top X-Large White

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  • Work pants with a tailored fit – this is an item that looks well on everyone. Make sure they’re cut just above the ankle to highlight your hips.
  • Blazers come in a variety of styles. All have structured shoulders and are waist-tied. In a blazer, you can’t go wrong.
  • V-necks and sweetheart necklines are great for highlighting the breast while giving the appearance of a smaller waist.
  • If we could, we’d live in high-waisted jeans. They offer us unmatched waist definition and make us feel protected and supported even when we’re not feeling our best.

What to Avoid Using

If you want to make the most of your Plus Sized body, avoid the following three items:

Shapeless dresses are not flattering on anybody. Dresses with a structure that support and complement your figure are ideal.

Low-rise jeans, unlike high-rise jeans, do not provide support or form.

We don’t want you to wear anything that makes you uncomfortable; we only want you to wear things that you like and that make you feel good.

Tall

The advantage of attempting to design oneself like a tall person is that you can get fashion advice from streetwear models. Copy those models if you want to know how to dress a tall figure.

Because of your large legs, you may wear vivid forms and colors.

You should do the following two steps:

  • Wear clothing that elongates your physique and makes you seem balanced.
  • Remember to work with both your body type and your height.

How to Dress

DREAM PAIRS Women's Stretch_High Black Thigh High Block Heel Over The Knee Boots Size 8.5 B(M) US

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As a tall woman, you are really fortunate in that you can wear a variety of bolder designs that other body types cannot.

When it comes to clothing oneself, choose things that are lengthy, since regular-sized pieces will seem too short on you. Consider the long, fitting sleeves. Boots that reach to the knees. Maxi dresses are quite popular.

You may need to get some of your goods adjusted to suit you properly. You don’t want anything too short, but you also don’t want anything too long, which tall females sometimes ignore.

What Clothes to Wear

Here are 5 pieces of apparel that will flatter your figure:

  • Knee-high boots — If you have long legs, you’ll want to choose shoes that extend them while also keeping your body balanced.
  • Big accessories – you should make the most of your real estate when you have it. Wear big purses, heavy bangles, and lengthy necklaces.
  • Cropped leather jacket – jackets that fall just above the waist will elongate your legs and define your waist while also keeping your torso appearing balanced.
SheIn Women's Zip Up Faux Leather Cropped Moto Jacket PU Short Outerwear Coat Black Small

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  • Skinny jeans – If you’re tall, you can wear almost any sort of trousers. Skinny jeans, on the other hand, will make you appear even better – there’s a reason why all the models wear them.
  • Big belts – visually splitting up the top and bottom halves of your body will give your image more depth. It will make your legs seem longer without making your body appear shorter.

What to Avoid Using

If you want to make the most of your tall stature, avoid the following three items:

Small skirts – one issue with long legs is that finding mini skirts that look well on them is difficult. If you’re unsure, stay away from them.

Vertical stripes will make you appear like one continuous line from shoulder to ankle. They’ll draw attention away from whatever natural form you have.

Ruffles – Ruffles are difficult to pull off. They are hefty and make you seem broader than you are. Your figure will be obscured under them.

The Most Important Thing

Rules are meant to be broken.

Our bodies are all unique and stunning. When choosing an attire, keep in mind that confidence is the most vital accessory.

Yes, this article is full of tips on how to dress for your body type, but you should wear whatever makes you happy. If something makes you happy, forget everything we’ve said and go for it.

You won’t be able to help but look nice if you feel secure in what you’re wearing.