Fashion Dressing Tips for Various Body Shapes

Fashion Dressing Tips for Various Body Shapes

Shubham Anil Jain
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited
Bangalore, India


Body shapes plays an important role in deciding for dressing the clothing and accessories. There are so many different types of garments and dresses are available such as, tailored pants, embellished blazers, shapeless t-shirts, boyfriend jeans, flared dresses – the list is uncountable. But important here is that, not every piece of clothing is going to suit every body type. The trick is to have a good understanding and knowledge of the body shape to identify the right cuts and styles that will work best for an individual. It’s easy to focus on the “problem areas” but try to consider your whole body when identifying your body shape. Major rule here is that, no matter what body type ones possess, the main priority is dressing to draw attention to your face. And most importantly, if you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, don’t even bother taking it to the checkout counter.

dressing tips for various body shapes
Fig: Various body shapes

Fashion Dressing Tips for Various Body Shapes:

1. Apple Body Shape:
When one has a heavier upper body in comparison to your lower part of the body, then it is called as apple body. People with this body type usually have broad shoulders and a bigger bust line, and that’s why it feels like the weight gathers around the midriff.

Apple Shaped Body
Fig: Apple Shaped Body

Since in this body type most of the weight and concentration is above the hips, the mid-riff appears heavier than the entire body with a small waistline. So, the main concept here is to take the attention away from that part of the body and highlight your strengths. That’s why need to flaunt your legs or wear the dress with V or deep V necklines that create the illusion of an elongated torso.

Best dresses for apple-shaped body?
A-line or empire cuts are ideal for this kind of body. One can go for printed dresses or patterned jackets that add a layer to shift the focus. Monochrome looks, dark colors, full or 3/4th sleeve dresses, and flowy tops will help. Also, wear flared bottoms, palazzos, etc., to create a balance. Also, since the shoulders are broad and might already have a bigger bustline, ensure to wear the right bra.

What not to wear by an apple-shaped body?
Avoid body-hugging garments or tops with skinny jeans; this will make it more visible. Try and replace the waist belt with an upper waist belt to strike a balance. Waistband trousers and skirts with elastic bands work well on this body shape.

2. Rectangle Body Shape:
The feature of rectangle body shape is that, it have equal hips and shoulders but little definition in their waist. With the rectangle body shape, one should wear the same size in tops and bottoms. Sometimes, it is also called the “athletic” body shape. Creating the illusion of a waist will help with the rectangle body type.

Rectangle Body Shape
Fig: Rectangle Body Shape

What to wear?
For this body, belts around the waist, mid-waisted trousers, and belted jackets are all great options. Softer fabrics can help, as they look great belted and can draw your eye into your “waist”. This is a great body type for practically any pair of pants. Just go for looser or form-fitting, and in fact sometimes body-conscious pants can highlight your curves. Mid-rise jeans are probably the best option because they will help highlight your waist more, and don’t be afraid to belt your jeans to add a bit more emphasis on your waist.

What not to wear?
This body should strictly avoid silhouettes that are too vertical- like a straight jacket with straight trousers which will give you little definition.

3. Hourglass Body Shape:
The hourglass body shape is defined by having equal widths in the shoulders and hips and a smaller, defined waist. With this body shape, one still wants to accentuate the waist, because that is the slimmest part of your body.

Hourglass Body Shape
Fig: Hourglass Body Shape

What to wear?
As it is fact that, hourglass shapes usually come with a more busty figure. If one want to be more modest or minimize the chest one can opt for a boatneck, or scoop neck and avoid high neck tops like turtlenecks. Adopt pants with angled pockets, instead of inseam pockets, as they will not tug across your hips as much (which can create unflattering lines). Pocketless pants also achieve this. A miniskirt is also a great option for you, to show off the legs.

What not to wear?
With an hourglass shape, try to avoid shapeless or baggy clothes that will overwhelm the frame and can even look lumpy.

4. Pear Body Shape:
It is opposite of an apple body type. This body type is bottom-heavy (or triangle) with about 20 percent of women having hips significantly larger than bust. One can easily notice this, quite quickly, as the lower body: hips, thighs, and sometimes the behind are more noticeable.

Pear Body Shape
Fig: Pear Body Shape

What to wear?
The trick to dressing this body type is to wear anything that adds to the shoulder region and bust area. Keep attention to the upper body, by minimizing the lower half. One should balance the top with the bottom. Try to wear tops that accentuate the shoulders a bit more. Avoid pants or tights that narrow the legs. Wearing a bra that adds to or enhances the bust should be considered. Try to wear straight-leg or slightly flared pants with heels. Skinny pants that hug the ankles can make the lower body take on the appearance of an upside-down triangle. Flared pants can make the legs look very thick, perhaps bow-legged, in comparison to the upper body.

What not to wear?
Avoid skin-fitting tops, halter necklines, and loose bottoms unless you prefer the look.

5. Inverted Triangle Body Shape:
The inverted triangle is one of the most athletic-looking body types. Here, the shoulders are much broader than the hips. One has to remember to add definition to the hips and thereby to focus on creating a balance. Straight-cut jeans and dresses that naturally have an inverted V-look to them are all clothes that will suit the body.

Inverted Triangle Body Shape
Fig: Inverted Triangle Body Shape

What to wear?
Since the hips are much narrower than the shoulders, pencil-cut skirts, skinny jeans, etc., with any tops, will look great. But, do make sure that there is not much layering or definition to your upper body because it needs none. V-neck lines work well and create an illusion of narrow shoulders, so this should be your go-to neckline.

You may also like: Different Types of Necklines in Fashion

What not to wear?
Let all the patterns, ruffles, layers, etc., be part of the bottom part of the body, and the upper body be minimalistic. As long as you remember this, one can do more than good.

Firstly, one should not get into the idea that they are ugly or fat. Everyone is beautiful no matter what body shape may be. Always dress with what one is comfortable in and don’t dress to impress others. If you are happy with what you’re wearing, then surely wear it. Follow some of the tips given in the article for the type of clothes dressing that would compliment different body shapes. Try incorporating tips for each body type, and seeing what looks best on you. Ask a fashion-conscious friend or family member for a second opinion if you’re unsure.


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