Understanding Your Body Shape

Style is nothing without the correct fit, before you learn about what style you love and what clothes to buy, you have to learn about your body shape. Knowing this will help you understand the types of clothing that will work best for you.

You need clothes that will accentuate your good features and hide your not so good bits, this, in turn, will help you feel confident every time you style yourself and step out into the world.

When shopping for clothes, your goal is to create the illusion of having a balanced body shape.

You may be wondering what is my body shape? And how do I go about creating the illusion of having a balanced body shape?

Do not despair, just keep reading and you will find out. The first thing to do is to take your measurements. Stand in front of a tall mirror in your underwear, your legs should be together and your hands away from your sides. If you can get someone to help you with this, the better. Take a measuring tape and measure your shoulders, your bust, your waist and your hips. Compare your statistics to the body shapes mentioned below.

According to articles out there, there are 5 distinct body shapes:


The Coveted Hourglass: this body shape is characterised by having the same size or width of shoulders and hips with a defined bust, a defined waist, a pert bottom, and defined hips.
AVOID
Styles and shapes that hide your body shape or add extra volume to your waist
DO
Wear clothes that define your waist, enhance your bust and highlight your hips
Wear different styles as long as it doesn’t hide your shape. If you are on the fuller side, wear a good supporting bra that will lift your bust and give you a more defined waist.


The Column/ Rectangle Frame is characterised by having bust and shoulders which are about the same width as your hips. You have little or no waist definition.
AVOID
Wearing clothes that are figure-hugging,
Long straight fitted  dresses,
Fitted trousers and tops,
Wearing tops and shift dresses with square necklines,
Loose and shapeless jackets,
Bulky or heavy textured coats and jackets, also double-breasted jackets.
DO
Wear clothes that help you create the illusion of curves around your hips and bust.
Keep your silhouette uncluttered and wear jackets that shape your waist
Hip and bottom details are good as long they create curves.


The Apple Body Shape is characterised by carrying a lot of weight around your tummy. Your waistline has no definition and you have rounded shoulders and good legs.
AVOID
Wearing belts whether big or small around the waist, belly etc.
Sleeves which finish next to your bust,
Any details or volume near your bust, tummy or hip area,
Skirts that stop above the knee,
Wearing clothes that finish at your fullest parts, e.g tops, jackets etc.
Excessive fabric or detailing in your midsection
Gathered or tiered skirts
DO
Wear clothes that have soft fabrics and are straight to slightly fitted,
Wear clothes that have detailing above the bust line and below the hip line,
Keep your silhouette fitted under bust and as well below your arms and along your waist,
Wear tops that have splits at waist,
Wear A-line tops and dresses,
Wear dress designs that take attention away from your tummy.


The Pear Body Shape is characterised by having full hips or thighs, a defined waist and a small top with a small bust.
You need to balance your top half with your lower half by wearing clothes that make your shoulders look broader.
AVOID
Wearing trousers with narrow legs, pleats or creases in your leg line.
Wearing pinstripe suits, turn-ups in your trousers, wide or flared leg lines.
 Skirts and pants that are too tight and have a low waistline.
Bottoms with embellishments and horizontal prints.
Tops or jackets that finish on your hips
DO
Wear jackets and tops that finish either above or below the widest part of your hips and bottom
Wear volume, clutter, pattern, colour on your top half, so that your hips and thighs will look narrower
Wear fitted styles around your waist and always accentuate your waistline e.g. empire line, wraps, fitted lines
Make your shoulders look broader with e.g. shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, cap sleeve T-shirts.


The Inverted Triangle is usually characterized by having broader shoulders than hips and little definition between your waist and hips.
In order to balance out this shape, always wear clothes that make your hips or bottom half look wider or your top half smaller.
AVOID
Clothes that will make you look broader at the top as well as hide your silhouette.
Boat or Bardot tops, big halter-neck tops and anything that will bring attention to your shoulders.
Tops with vast amounts of trimmings
Tops with thin shoulder straps.
Puffy-sleeved shirts and blouse
DO
 Pair your skinny, slim or straight jeans trousers with a peplum top.
Wear tulle skirts, balloon dresses or skirts, and empire dresses with loads of volume,
 Make sure that your shirts/blouses/cardigans should be fitted with V- or U-neckline and a length that falls just below the hip bone.
Straight cut coats that are gently tapered towards the hemline.


So this is it in a nutshell, looking classy and well put together isn’t a far fetched dream. Use the above as guidelines and don’t shop for the wrong styles anymore.

Till next time, xxx

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