What Body Shape Am I ?

by Fern Rice

This is a question I’m often asked, especially after I’ve presented at a function. But just putting a name to a body shape on its own may not help you.

I’ll tell you a little story.

I was invited to present my workshop,  ”How to Dress your Body shape” to a group of twenty women who were, of course, all different age groups, shapes and sizes. 

As the workshop progressed I realised that every woman in the room was an 'inverted triangle' body shape – of some sort.

But not one lady fitted into the same style of clothing. Some were very short, another had a very long torso and short legs, some were large busted and others were small busted. One lady had a short neck, which affects the neckline she is able to wear. Some ladies had a tummy and one lady was very low waisted. All perfectly normal but all different versions of an inverted triangle.

I’m sure you can see that there are so many different variables affecting how you dress your body shape. It’s all about understanding what works for YOU.

So let’s get started with this quick guide on how to highlight, or disguise, by what garments you wear and how you wear them.

Firstly, you need to stand in front of the mirror. Yes, that’s right, you need to look at your body shape.

Now it’s time to ask yourself a few questions.

Start at the top - Are my shoulders wider or narrower than my hip or are they about the same?

Then the middle  -  Do I have a defined waistline or does it run level with my hip line?

Ladies, here are the options. Remember it’s all about balance –

If your shoulders are wider than your hips your body shape is known as an Inverted Triangle.

  • Avoid bulky garments on your upper body, big-shouldered jackets and double breasted jackets.
  • Aim to highlight your waistline
  • Create a hipline - you’re lucky, you can wear printed pants or printed skirts.

If your shoulders are narrower than your hips and you have a defined waistline you are known as Triangle body shape.

  • You need the opposite to an inverted triangle – you can wear what they can’t, so -Add detail to your upper half
  • Keep it simple on your lower part.
  • Avoid pleat and detailed pockets on your bottom, bulky fabrics or anything that clings to your hip area.
  • Don’t drown your body shape and hide your waistline.

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If your shoulder and hips are the same width and you don’t have a defined waistline you are known as a Square or, if you have a long torso, you are a Rectangle

Your aim is to emphasise a waistline or create the illusion of a waistline balanced by shoulders and hips. 

  • By wearing garments that will widen your shoulder and hipline to give the illusion of an hourglass body shape.
  • Avoid boxy and unstructured clothing, especially loose baggy tops.
  • Choose garments that have darts or panels to give you a curvy look.

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If you’re fuller in the bust and are round in the middle and your shoulders and arms are broad you are known as a Circle.

Again, you want to create the illusion of a waistline so

  •  Avoid large prints and patterns, high necklines, stiff bulky fabrics.
  • Draw the attention to your neck and face area by using a gorgeous necklace,
  • Always choose open necklines.
  • Try to create a vertical line with a scarf or a long lined jacket or vest, which will make you appear taller and thinner.

If you’ve got great legs show them off.

.If your hips and shoulder are about the same width and you have a defined waistline, then you’re an Hourglass, or are you a Curvy Hourglass? Or are you fuller in the bust and do you have a curvy butt?

You’re lucky, you have a balanced body shape but you have to be careful you don’t unbalance it, especially if you’re a Curvy Hourglass.

Most curvy women try and hide their curves by wearing boxy and boofy clothing which then makes them appear shorter and wider. Such a shame.

To make the most of this shape

  • Wear structured clothing, garments that skim your body shape and highlight your waist.
  • Before purchasing a top or dress hold it up to look at it. If it looks like your body shape then you’re on the right track.
  • Large busted girls choose open necklines

Have fun playing in your wardrobe and remember - shop from your own wardrobe first.