Body Shape Guide

Know Your Shape - Love Your Body

Knowing your body type will allow you to dress in the most flattering way for your figure, highlighting your assets and boosting your confidence. If you feel good, you look good, and you can freely embrace and love your body! 

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. [...] That is the true essence of beauty.
— Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
 

Hourglass 

This is the most desired shape in the history of women. It doesn't matter if you are a size 2 or 22. You have an hourglass figure if you have:

  • full bust
  • well defined waist
  • proportionate balanced shoulders and hips
  • curvy bottom

A common ratio of bust:waist:hips is 4:2:4

You want to make sure your clothes highlight your natural curves and balance your body equally. Highlight your well-defined waist!

You want to avoid:

  • low rise jeans
  • overly embellished anything: dresses, skirts or jeans.
  • Tops with ruffles and bows that could add volume to your already full chest.
  • straight or boxy tunics and tops. Remember the idea is to flaunt your hour glass shape.

Instead, invest in:

  • sweetheart and V necklines
  • wrap tops and dresses
  • Knee length A-line and pencil skirts 
  • Peplum Tops, dresses and skirts
  • Belts to accentuate the waist
  • Boot cut and straight leg jeans and trousers
 

Apple

At first glance you are carrying most of your weight in your mid section but remember that all sizes can have an apple shape. You have an Apple shape figure if you have:

  • medium to big bust
  • fullness around the middle
  • less defined waist
  • narrow hips and good legs.

A common ratio of bust:waist:hips is 4:4:3

You want to elongate your torso and draw attention to your legs. Create the illusion of a waist for the most flattering look. 

Choose pieces that will add definition and camouflage your tummy.

Avoid:

  • high-waisted pants and skirts
  • embellishment around the waist
  • shapeless and boxy clothes
  • pleated, tiered and ruffle skirts

Even though pleats might look like a good idea they will ultimately draw attention right to your tummy. 

Instead, invest in:

  • V necklines
  • knee length A line skirts
  • empire waist tops and dresses
  • Wrap dresses with A line or flared bottom
  • Boot cut and straight leg jeans and pants
  • statement necklaces 
 

Pear

You have a pear figure if you have:

  • narrow shoulders with a smaller bust
  • well defined waist
  • wider lower body
  • full hips and thighs
  • rounded bottom

A common ratio of bust:waist:hips is 3:2:4

You want to make sure your clothes enhance your waistline and arms by adding volume to your upper body for a balanced silhouette. A common mistake includes adding loose or baggy tops for the illusion of volume drowning the well defined waist and loosing the body's natural proportion. 

Avoid:

  • Baggy tops and tunics
  • patterns or embellishment on your bottom
  • pencil or tight tube skirts
  • low waisted skinny jeans

Instead, invest in:

  • High waisted pants and skirts
  • A-line dresses and skirts
  • Boat, cowl, ruffle and wide V or U necklines
  • Balloon and bell sleeve tops and dresses
  • wide or straight leg jeans and trousers
  • statement necklace
 

Strawberry Or The Inverted Pear

You have a strawberry figure or as it is also known the inverted pear if you have:

  • very broad shoulders
  • large to medium chest
  • less defined waist
  • great legs

Common ratio for bust:waist:hips is 4:4:2 

For your figure, you want to make sure you create an even silhouette and a visual balance by highlighting your lower body. Opt for a clean upper body, meaning no necklaces or busy ruffles.

Avoid:

  • baggy tops and tunics
  • tops with patters or embellishments
  • boat necklines or scarves
  • pencil skirts or skinny jeans
  • clutch bags 

Instead, invest in:

  • full or layered dresses and skirts
  • patterns and embellishments on dresses or pants
  • A-line or tulip skirts
  • low rise pants or jeans
  • Wide leg or baggy trousers
  • Boyfriend style jeans
  • Wedges and chunky heels
 

Column

Smaller size women are more inclined to have a column figure since the primary element is the lack of curves but you could be surprised!

You have a column figure if you have:

  • small to average bust
  • undefined waist
  • straight hips
  • not many curves
  • well aligned shoulder and hips

Common ratio bust:waist:hips is 3:3:3

You want to highlight your assets like your arms and legs.

Make sure to avoid:

  • square necklines
  • crop tops
  • drop waist dresses and jackets
  • straight dresses and skirts
  • oversized jackets and blazers
  • baggy or boxy tops

Instead, invest in:

  • off the shoulder and round necklines
  • tops with collars, ruffles or embellishment
  • skinny jeans
  • pencil, A-line and tulip skirts
  • crop pants and trousers
  • waist defining belts
 

My hope is that this will help you get to know your figure and love it. Too many women hate their bodies for one reason or another; I've heard it all, from the ones that have a small chest but want it to be bigger, the big hips that can't find the right pants, the muffin tops and the broad shoulders and the list goes on and on. Instead of focusing on what we hate how about we start loving what we have? That begins with knowing what you have and the best way to flaunt it! 

Now that you know how to look fabulous, find your favorite brand, retailer or designer here! If you need help in styling your closet subscribe to a styling service such as Dia&Co or Stitch Fix+ for as little as $20. 

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
— Coco Chanel