Different Types Of Body Shapes

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Today we’re diving into the world of body shapes and how to dress to flatter your fabulous figure. As a fashion lover, I know firsthand how confusing it can be to figure out your body type and find clothes that make you look and feel your best. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to break it all down for you.

Let’s talk about the different body shapes out there. While everybody is unique and beautiful in its own way, most of us fall into one of a few main categories:

Apple Shape

If you have an apple-shaped body, you likely carry more weight around your midsection, with a less defined waist, and your bust and hips are fairly balanced. Some key characteristics:

  • Rounder tummy area
  • Slim legs
  • Average to large bust
  • Narrower hips compared to bust

To flatter an apple shape, focus on drawing attention to your best assets – your legs, bust, and face. Opt for tops that flow over the midsection rather than clinging. V-necks, scoop necks and open collars elongate your upper body. Choose bottoms with a structured waistband to create definition. A-line skirts and dresses are your friend!

Apple Body Shapes

Also Read, How to Dress an Apple Body Shape?

Pear Shape

Pear-shaped beauties have hips that are wider than their bust, with a defined waist. If this is you, you likely have:

  • Hips wider than shoulders
  • Smaller bust
  • Defined waist
  • Fuller thighs and bottom

To balance a pear shape, aim to draw the eye upward with interesting necklines, bright colors and embellishments on top. Boat necks and off-the-shoulder styles broaden the shoulders. Go for A-line or full skirts that skim over the hips and thighs. Darker colors on the bottom have a slimming effect.

Pear Body Shapes

Hourglass Shape

The hourglass is defined by a narrow waist with bust and hips in equal proportion. Think Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren. Traits of an hourglass include:

  • Defined, narrow waist
  • Bust and hips in alignment
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Shapely legs

With an hourglass figure, your goal is to highlight that gorgeous waist! Fitted and belted styles are ultra flattering. Wrap dresses, peplum tops and high-waisted bottoms all accentuate your curves. Avoid shapeless or overly loose silhouettes that hide your waist.

Hourglass Body Shapes

Rectangle Shape

Also called a straight or athletic build, a rectangle-shaped body is characterized by shoulders, waist and hips in a similar proportion with little waist definition. You likely have:

  • Shoulders and hips nearly the same width
  • Undefined waistline
  • Slender arms and legs
  • Small to average bust

To create curves on a rectangle shape, choose styles that add volume and interest. Ruffles, tiers, pleats and gathers all help create the illusion of more shape. Belts are great for carving out a waist. Straight-cut jeans and flowy tops play up your slender silhouette.

Rectangle Body Shapes

Wondering How to Dress a Rectangle Body Shape?

Inverted Triangle Shape

The inverted triangle body shape features broad shoulders and narrower hips. Other traits include:

  • Shoulders wider than hips
  • Straight waist
  • Flat bottom
  • Slender legs

With an inverted triangle, balance is key. Offset broader shoulders with full or flared skirts and pants. Avoid shoulder pads or puff sleeves that add extra volume on top. V-necks help break up a wide shoulder line. Darker colors on top and lighter on the bottom also help even out your proportions.

Inverted Triangle Body Shapes

Also Read, How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Shape?

How to Determine Your Body Shape?

Now that you know the main body type categories, let’s figure out where you fit in! The best way to determine your body shape is by taking your measurements. Here’s how:

  1. Bust: Measure around the fullest part of your bust, keeping the tape parallel to the ground.
  2. Waist: Find your natural waist, the narrowest part of your midsection, and measure around it.
  3. Hips: Stand with your feet together and measure around the fullest part of your hips and bottom.
  4. Shoulders: Measure across your back from one shoulder to the other at the widest point.
Measure Your Body Shape

Once you have your measurements, compare them to determine your shape:

  • Bust and hips roughly even + defined waist = Hourglass
  • Hips larger than bust + defined waist = Pear
  • Bust larger than hips + less defined waist = Apple
  • Hips larger than bust + straight waist = Rectangle
  • Shoulders wider than hips + straight waist = Inverted Triangle

Keep in mind that most people are a combination of two body types. For example, you might be a pear with a touch of hourglass, or a rectangle with some inverted triangle. Identify where you carry more weight and which features are your most prominent to determine your dominant shape.

Dressing Tips for Each Body Shape

Apple Shape Style Tips

  • Highlight your legs with slim-cut pants and skirts
  • Opt for v-necks to elongate your neck and torso
  • Choose tops that flow over your midsection
  • Wear structured jackets that hit at the hip
  • Cinch your waist with belts or elastic waistbands
  • Go for boot cut or flared jeans to balance your midsection
  • Wear darker colors on top and lighter on bottom to slim your silhouette

Pear Shape Style Tips

  • Balance your bottom half with bold colors, prints and details on top
  • Choose off-the-shoulder, boat neck and scoop neck tops to broaden your shoulders
  • Wear cropped jackets and cardigans to define your waist
  • Opt for A-line skirts that skim over your hips and thighs
  • Go for boot cut and flared jeans to balance your hips
  • Wear darker colors on the bottom and lighter on top
  • Choose flowy, asymmetrical tops to glide over your hips

Hourglass Shape Style Tips

  • Show off your waist with fitted and belted styles
  • Wear wrap dresses, peplum tops and high-waisted bottoms to accentuate your curves
  • Choose fabrics that skim your curves without clinging
  • Opt for v-neck and scoop neck tops to highlight your bust
  • Avoid shapeless or overly loose styles that hide your figure
  • Wear cropped jackets and cardigans to define your waist
  • Balance your curves with a structured blazer

Rectangle Shape Style Tips

  • Create curves with ruffles, gathers, tiers and pleats
  • Wear belts to define your waist
  • Opt for off-the-shoulder and boat neck tops to create the illusion of curves
  • Choose flowy tops and dresses that glide over your figure
  • Go for straight-cut and boyfriend jeans
  • Layer with structured jackets and coats to add shape
  • Wear statement necklaces to break up a straight silhouette

Inverted Triangle Style Tips

  • Balance broad shoulders with A-line skirts and wide-leg pants
  • Opt for v-neck and scoop neck tops to soften your shoulder line
  • Avoid shoulder pads and puff sleeves that add volume on top
  • Choose tops with ruching or draping to create waist definition
  • Wear darker colors on top and lighter on the bottom
  • Go for flowy, asymmetrical hemlines to offset your shoulders
  • Cinch your waist with belts to create an hourglass illusion

Outfit Ideas for Each Body Shape

Now that you know how to dress for your body type, let’s talk outfit ideas! Here are some go-to looks for each shape:

Apple Shape Outfit Ideas

Pear Shape Outfit Ideas

  • Boat neck top + cropped jacket + A-line skirt
  • Off-the-shoulder blouse + high-waisted flared jeans
  • Bright blazer + tank top + dark wash skinny jeans
  • Asymmetrical top + pencil skirt + heels
  • Scoop neck dress + statement earrings + heeled sandals

Hourglass Shape Outfit Ideas

  • Wrap dress + pumps
  • Peplum top + high-waisted pencil skirt
  • Belted sheath dress + ankle strap heels
  • V-neck bodysuit + high-waisted flared jeans
  • Fitted blazer + skinny jeans + pointed-toe flats

Rectangle Shape Outfit Ideas

  • Ruffled blouse + skinny jeans + ankle boots
  • Belted shirtdress + sneakers
  • Off-the-shoulder top + boyfriend jeans + heels
  • Flowy maxi dress + denim jacket + wedges
  • Tiered skirt + fitted tee + statement necklace

Inverted Triangle Outfit Ideas

  • V-neck blouse + wide-leg pants + heels
  • Flowy high-low top + leggings + ankle boots
  • Belted tunic + A-line skirt + ballet flats
  • Scoop neck top + flared jeans + wedges
  • Draped dress + cropped jacket + strappy sandals


Can I change my body shape?

While you can’t completely change your natural body shape, you can enhance or downplay certain features with the right clothing choices, as well as tone your body through exercise and a healthy diet. Embrace the shape you have and dress to feel your best!

I’m a combination of two body shapes. How do I dress?

Many people are a blend of two body types. Identify your most prominent features and dress to balance them. For example, if you’re an apple with a rectangle influence, focus on defining your waist and elongating your torso, but don’t be afraid to show off your great legs too!

I’m petite. How do I dress for my body shape?

The same general rules apply for petites – aim to create balance and draw the eye to your best features. Opt for smaller prints, shorter hemlines and high-waisted silhouettes to elongate your frame. Petite pears look great in fitted off-the-shoulder tops, while petite apples can rock a shift dress like no other!

I’m plus size. How do I dress for my body shape?

Again, the goal is to accentuate your favorite features and create balance. Experiment with proportions – a fitted top with a flowy skirt is universally flattering. Defining your waist is key, whether it’s with a wrap dress or a great pair of high-waisted jeans. And don’t be afraid of bold colors and prints!

What if I don’t like my body shape?

Learning to love and accept your body is a journey, but dressing in a way that makes you feel confident is a great place to start. Focus on styles that highlight your favorite features and make you feel amazing. And remember, the most stylish thing you can wear is a smile!


At the end of the day, fashion is about self-expression and wearing what makes you feel fabulous. Use these guidelines as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment and break the rules sometimes. The most important thing is to wear what you love and what makes you feel like the best version of yourself.

I hope this guide has helped you better understand your unique shape and given you some fresh inspiration for your wardrobe. 

Remember, there is no “ideal” body type – the only ideal is what’s right for you. Embrace your gorgeous shape and have fun with fashion, darling!