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How To Shop For Your Body Type

By: Subha Ali

Every time I go shopping, I grab twenty different items in a store, try them on, and only buy three. The other seventeen looked strange to me or did not fit me. That’s when I realized certain pieces of clothing flatter my body and others that I like but are not made for my body type.

The average woman has five main body types: Rectangle, inverted triangle, hourglass, round, and pear. To figure out your body type, measure your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. Using the measurements and descriptions of the different body shapes, it is easy to identify which best describes you.

Round Body Shape

Starting with a round body shape, a round body shape is defined as a bigger upper-body than a lower body and no defined waistline. A round body shape does not mean a plus-size; a person's body shape differs from their size. Instead of wearing over-sized items or flowy items, try purchasing tailored tops that are not excessively tight. Tops with ruching creates an image of an hourglass figure rather than creating the appearance of being round.

For formal wear, pencil skirts with loose tops will flatter a round body shape. Also, straight-legged jeans are the best style for this body type. Wearing straight-legged jeans will highlight the legs and define the waist in its entirety.

When it comes to the topic of tops, V-neck tops can be a lifesaver. Wearing V-neck tops will also create the illusion of a longer torso and assist with defining the waistline. And just like V-neck tops, wearing a monochromatic top will also create the illusion of a longer torso. For this body shape, if you are having an issue with figuring out what bottoms to wear to correlate your style, utilizing flared trousers will also balance the upper and lower half of the body.

One rule of thumb to remember when dressing for a round body type, is to avoid dressing in sweatshirts that have a crewneck or a turtleneck. If you have plans to dress comfortably, it is okay to be comfortable. However, pay close attention to how to clothing makes your body appear when it is worn.

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

Next is the inverted triangle body shape; an inverted triangle shape is defined as having broader shoulders than your hips. Focusing on your bottom half is essential for this body shape; wide-leg trousers and boyfriend jeans will accentuate your waist.

When searching for bottoms, it is also essential to focus on wearing colors that are lighter and brighter. Wearing colors that aren't too dark or dim will allow on-lookers to focus on the entire style of what you are wearing rather than one particular part of your body structure that stands out. On the subject of focusing on the

lower half of your body, some individuals with this body type may not be a fan of wearing skirts.

However, there is a way around this. Wearing flared skirts will do great justice rather than working your fashion with a tight-fitted skirt. And if you were to substitute a skirt for a full dress, the same rule would also apply.

Avoid tight-fitting shirts that expose your shoulders, such as off-the-shoulder, halter tops, or big strapped tank tops. Instead, utilize short sleeve shirts with a full-drop shoulder effect, shoulder slits, and cut-outs. Ensure to keep clothing on your upper body minimalistic, for this will create a balance between your broad shoulders and smaller hips.

Rectangle Body Shape

Next, let's take a look at the rectangle body shape. In a rectangle shape, your shoulders and hips are the same size. With both sections of this body type appearing equal, the definition of your waistline is obsolete. Accentuating your waist will add definition and create a differentiation between your hips and shoulders. Adding a belt to jeans or dresses will help define the waist. From the perspective of wearing pants, it is beneficial to avoid extreme flared pants or straight tops. Most jeans work with a rectangular body shape, but mid-rise, will help create more definition.

Some jeans that flatter a rectangular shape are straight, bootcut, and wide. Skinny jeans are also a popular option for women with a rectangle body type.

Focusing on showing your arms will also bring balance. Also, keep in mind when you are dressing for the warmer seasons, it is perfectly fine to embrace the idea of going strapless or sleeveless. Blazers, jackets, and capes will have the same effect in colder weather. For the rectangle shape, try your best to avoid wearing tops with a straight or squared neckline. It would be best to select clothing that has a round cut, off-shoulder, scoop, and a v-neckline. When choosing a shirt, the primary focus would be to ensure the shirt has an accentuated waist lining or a button-down. And instead of going for the boxy shirt style, make a purchase for a beautiful wrap shirt instead. With the colder seasons, ensure to focus on wearing longer coats and lengthy jackets. Rocking a jacket that falls just above the waistline may not be as flattering.

Moreover, when dressing the rectangle body type, search for flared skirts and dresses that are considered to be defined at the waist.

Hourglass Body Shape

An hourglass body shape is when your shoulders and hips are the same size but you have a very defined waist. That being said, baggy clothing is a trend many individuals tend to follow. However, avoid any baggy clothing as your figure will get lost in it. Any tailored tops that accentuate your waist will look exquisite on an hourglass figure.

When you are shopping for a top, try to stray away from purchasing and wearing clothing that has high necklines such as turtlenecks and wide necklines. Instead, opt for square, scoop, and v-necklines as an alternative. Shy away from wearing tops that have wide or flared sleeves. It will be best to shop for tops that are fitted, 3/4 sleeves, or even go sleeveless.

Similar to a rectangle figure, most pant styles will flatter your body style. Some of these styles include straight-legged, bootcut, and flared pants. That being stated, avoid low-rise pants. As another option, proceed with the high-rise style instead. If you are attending a night out and want to dress formally for the occasion, for more formal wear, tight-fitting dresses highlight all the curves and the waistline. De-gravitate from wearing straight-cut skirts and gravitate more toward a tapered cut instead.

For those of you with the hourglass body type, when selecting a jacket, avoid straight or boxy type jackets. Search for jackets that are short, fitted style, and jackets with an accented belt.

Pear Body Shape

Last, but certainly not least, let's have a discussion about the pear shape. The pear body shape is when the lower portion of your body is bigger than your upper body while still having a defined waistline. It is rather simple to create an illusion of an hourglass body shape through clothing when a pear body shape is your primary appearance.

Creating a balance is vital. If you have a pear body shape and you are on the prowl for the right outfit to actually fit the look, wide-legged pants with a tight-fitting top will create the illusion of an hourglass body.

Just from the topic of jeans, try not to lean toward jeans that are a skinny-fit. However, lean more toward pants that are flared, straight, bootcut, and even high-rise. And as for tops, avoid tops with a long-fit. Instead, try to wear tops that drape at the hips. And if you want to attempt something with a little more flare, you can choose a top that is also cropped. On the opposing end, when you are looking to rock the right jacket, don't wear jackets that fall at the hips. Instead, search for a jacket that has a mid-thigh length.

Doing the opposite has the same effect, a loosely-fitted shirt with skinny jeans or tight-fitted pants. On that note, avoid loose-fitting pants, as your figure will get lost in them. If you want to dress in pants that are loose-fitting, drive your focus toward loose bottoms like flared or wide-leg pants.

If you are a fashionista with a pear body shape, you may also wonder what you can do for your neckline. Well, it is beneficial to avoid wearing a narrow neckline such as a V-neck. Instead, shop for a square neckline that compliments your figure. As for dresses and skirts, select flared skirts and dresses that flare from the waist.

Fashion is meant to be a way to express yourself. No matter what your body shape is, dressing in attire that makes you feel comfortable will give you the most confidence. As long as you consider the body type you have, you can shop accordingly at your local boutique with a high level of credence. And that same credence will be the driving force that allows you to not only shop for your body type, but to acquire clothing that is esthetically pleasing to your conviction. Embrace your body type with a fierce attitude and work the style that is working for you as you walk the runway of life!


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