A look at different body shapes and how they influence clothing and style choices.
You may have heard of the different body shapes that women's bodies fall into. These categories are for purposes of helping women determine how to dress in a way that flatters their natural look, rather than trying to adhere to strict one-size-fits-all standards in the fashion industry. To get started, let's have an overview of the five primary body shapes. Although many more categories can be derived from these, these five are the basics.
• Inverted Triangle
Now that we know the names of the five basic body shapes, how are these different shapes classified, and what do they mean for dressing to flatter the figure?
The hourglass has long been the beauty standard for women, though it's only naturally occurring for some. Think of Marilyn Monroe, and you'll see how the hourglass shape (large top, small waist, equally large bottom) works. Women with an hourglass figure may choose to use the same accent color on their head, waist, and feet to create a balanced look. Avoid bold accents on the shoulders and hips, as it overpowers the waste and can make it fade into the background.
The apple body shape features smaller, rounded shoulders, a larger bust, full mid section, and smaller hips and bottom. Women who have apple figures may like to wear accent colors or accessories around the neck and shoulders, wearing either a loose or fitted top with tight-fitting jeans. High wasted dresses are also a good option.
Usually represented as an isosceles triangle, the pear shape is characterized by smaller shoulders, small to medium bust, larger mid section, and full hips. Those women with pear shape bodies often wear jackets or draped tops over fitted slacks/jeans very well. Wearing fitted pants with a tight fitting blouse should be avoided as it will diminish the appearance of her upper body, while a longer blouse will enhance it.
This body shape includes larger, broad shoulders, medium to large bust, smaller waist, and small hips and bottom. In order to keep the lower portion of the body from disappearing, full skirts or high neck halter tops are recommended. Avoid anything with broad shoulders, as it can overpower the lower body.
In the rectangle body shape, the shoulders and hips are roughly equal in width, with no significant indent in the waist. The woman with a rectangle body shape can take advantage of scarves, open-front jackets and blouses, and statement necklaces in a way that other body shapes can't. Drawing attention to the center or upper center of the body is a great way to show off this shape.
While there's no wrong fashion choice, these tips will help you present your body with confidence, no matter what category your body falls into. Remember that it's vital to love and dress for the body you have, not the body others tell you you ought to have.