How to dress according to your body type- look absolutely great | 5 body shapes

how to dress according to body type
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Pick the right dress for your body shape!

No two bodies are shaped alike!

Every body is different and unique and so is their style. Women come in all sizes and shapes and all bodies are beautiful.

Your body shape is genetic. It changes over time and so does your body proportions. 

You might have always wondered why certain outfits look great on you and others don’t. Actually, it all boils down to one thing. And that is your- BODY TYPE. The key here is to find your body proportions which will help you find outfits that flatter your body.

Once you learn your body type and how to dress according to your body type, it will be all easy to build a wardrobe specifically for you.

Keep reading to discover what body type you belong to and how you can dress up accordingly.

What is Your Body Type?

Most of us do not know what our body type or shape is, and that is where we go wrong in dressing up.

To know your body type, the surest way is to take 4 key measurements- Shoulders, Bust, Waist, and Hips. Knowing these measurements will help you figure out your body type.

So grab your measuring tape, a piece of paper and a pen and let’s get to work!

Get down to something minimal like a camisole or may be a light t-shirt. 

TIP: Grab a friend, grab your spouse or may be someone who can help you around. Or may be you’re enough!

Look in the mirror while you take measurements, this might help you in proper positioning of the measuring tape.

Woman photo created by jcomp –
  1. Shoulders – Measure around the very top, just above the shoulder blades. Wrap the measuring tape around your shoulders (don’t slouch). Note down that measurement.
  2. Bust-Measure around the fullest part. (don’t hold the tape too tightly). When you are taking these measurements, make sure that there are no draping or drooping or wrinkles on your dress. (this might alter the measurements)
  3. Waist – Measure around the smallest part. (usually it is just above or near the belly button, just below your rib cage). Again, remember to hold the tape taut but not to tight.
  4. Hips – Measure around the fullest part again, just below the hip bone. (for most women it is about the level of crotch)

Now, you have the tools to figure out what your body shape is.

These measurements will help you  find your body type and shape.


Before I dive into different body shapes, I wanted you to know,

Why these measurements are important-

This is the key to save your time and money. Pretty much every time you’re placing an online order, these measurements will help you. You would want to look at the size chart (as every brand and designers have different size charts).

Make size chart your best friend, when shopping online. This will save you from returns!

Three women representing different styles and body types.

The size chart won’t be spot on, but it will surely help. When in doubt, always size up. If you are coming anywhere between Medium and large, go for a large.

Knowing your body type allows you to focus on the parts that you like in your body and hide the parts that you like less.

Knowing how to dress according to your body type is so important because you will know what body part to accentuate and what part to play down a bit.


Now, let’s have a good hard look on what your body type is-

So, you may not necessarily fit into one of these 5 basic body types, you might be a combination of two.

Don’t think that you need to fit in a particular box. You may be a combination. You may favor one more than the other.

How to dress according to your body type can be a bit tricky. And it’s completely fine. We are here to help you out.

You have an INVERTED TRIANGLE BODY, if your shoulders and busts are the widest part of your body.

You have a RECTANGLE SHAPED BODY, if your shoulders are hips are fairly uniform and you have a straighter frame. The measurements are almost all about the to dress according to your body type

You are PEAR SHAPED or a TRIANGLE, if your hips are the widest part of the body. Your hips are about 5% wider than your shoulders.

You belong to APPLE SHAPED BODY or an OVAL if you’re curvy and your measurements are fairly uniform all over. This body type has more undefined waistline.

You have an HOURGLASS SHAPED BODY, if your hips and bust are almost of the same size and proportions. Also, you’d have a defined waistline.

This is just information, to help you figure out your body and to help you know how to dress according to your body type.

There are many possibilities- wrapped, short, fitted, flared. But the right dress can just make everything feel perfect. 

Let’s find out what’s the most flattering dress for your body shape.

Diving right into it-


The broadest part of your body are your shoulders and bust, giving it an inverted triangle appearance. It’s a very sporty and athletic type of body. Women usually achieve this through training rather than naturally. This body type usually has a narrow hipline.

This is actually the most athletic looking silhouette and Cameron Diaz is an example. 

Some  other celebrities belonging to this type of body shape are Naomi Campbell,  Renee Zellweger ( Bridget Jones), Demi Moore

This body type simulates broad shoulders and busts, no belly fat and narrow on the hips. 

What you should wear- 

Details and embellishments at the lower end can draw attention away from your broad shoulders and bust. 

Well-fitted blouse and jackets should be your go- to style.

A V neck, Cowl neck or square neck in a stretchy material looks great on an inverted triangle body.

When it comes to bottoms, high waisted pants and skirts will flatter your body and add instant curves Keep the upper part of your outfit simple and add drama to the lower half. Keep the focus away from your shoulders.

The shape of the bottoms really don’t matter, an inverted triangle body looks best in boot cut jeans to a straight legged pants. 

What you should avoid- 

Avoid skinny jeans and pencil skirts, as the fitted appearance makes your hips look more narrower.

Puffy sleeves, Shoulder pads adds to the extra volume at the shoulders and will give you a bulky appearance. 


Tone down your broad shoulders and draw attention to your waist!



If your hips are the widest part of your body, then you have a  pear shaped body. Typically if you have this body shape you would want to accentuate the thinnest part of your waist and play on showing your legs.

This body shape is determined by somewhat narrow shoulders and bust as compared to your hips.

Some celebrities belonging to this type of body shape is Marilyn Monroe, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé.

The queen of pears in Beyoncé! 

Her stage outfits mostly have something going on with her shoulders, cinches her waist and that’s a great way to style a pear body. 

Kim Kardashian is again a pear, though she tries to be an hourglass. 

What you should wear- 

Wear clothing that makes your shoulder look wider, so that they are in proportion with the lower half of your body.

Fit and flare dresses look amazing on your body type.

A-line skirts or dresses , wide legged pants looks great as it shifts the focus to your lower body.

Show off your shoulders by wearing Boat neck, Off shoulders, that highlights your upper body .

Layering various tops and blouses will give some bulk and volume to your upper body.

A slim fitting skirt will naturally draw attention to your curvy part of the body that is your hips. 

Go for Pants with details and bright colors like yellow, orange 

What you should avoid- 

Pencil skirts which cling at the hips or bottoms made up of stiffer materials 

Stay away from Pleated and fabrics that gather at the hips. 



This body type is typically famous from the 90’s models. This usually has a straight silhouette without too many curves.

Rectangle body shape looks like a column. Usually think long and lean. The torso is pretty straight.  

The measurements are fairly uniform overall.

Typically the shape of Kate Moss, Taylor Swift and Cameron Diaz. 

Princess Diana also belongs to rectangle shape with typically long legs and a lean body

What you should wear- 

Choose layered tops, strapless, off-shoulders can add dimension to your body shape.

It is also suggested that you wear scoop neck, or sweetheart neckline.

You can add in a bit of extra drama with jackets, and capes. 

Go for skirts or dresses that has ruffles, embellishments, bows giving it a fuller appearance. Flared and flowy bottoms can add volume. 

Pencil skirts with slits on the side, to show off your legs is also suggested.

Color blocking can highlight your body shape.

What you should avoid- 

Clingy and straight dresses like shift dress. As this will give a very boxy look to your body.


Typically the waistline is not that thin. With overall fairly uniform measurements, but more of an oval shape.

Apple body has more volume around the waist. 

For instance, Adele has an apple shaped body and she dresses it too well and chooses very flattering outfits for her body. She’d be a great reference if you have somewhat similar body type. 

Opt in for structured pieces, that elongate your torso and draws attention to your legs.

What you should wear- 

You can opt for A-lines, Empire cuts.

A line dresses show off your legs. 

A V shaped neckline flatters your chest and creates a vertical illusion 

A flowy, shift dress is a great way to hide any extra fag around your tummy and it’s short length is a great way to show off your slender legs.

What you should avoid- 

Avoid body hugging dresses like bodycon or skinny jeans.

 As this will give an unbalanced appearance to the body. 

Heavily decorated, embellished tops, this will give a very bulky and heavy appearance to your body.


This is the most common body type (and basically men’s fantasy). Perfect dream mermaid body shape.

This is a well maintained and a balanced figure and is visually very appealing to the eyes. And this body type basically looks like a sand timer

Scarlet Johansson is a typical hourglass. 

Dressing an hourglass body can be tricky.

It’s important to emphasize your small waist as much as possible so that all the attention is on your curvy shoulders and hips.

What you should wear- 

Look for dresses which accentuates your waist like wrap tops and dresses, crop tops.

Bodycons are your thing! And is a great way to accentuate that waistline.

Body hugging dresses can do wonders for your body shape. It highlights your curves. 

A slim wrapped dress also justifies this body shape. Peplum tops will also give the appearance of even tinier waist and broad hips. 


Invest in halter, sweetheart and V- necklines.

You can go for a belt and a pencil skirt for that waistline.

What you should avoid- 

Don’t go for loose, boxy and baggy clothes. 

Don’t go for higher necklines and empire cuts. 

Embellishments around the hips and bust should be avoided as it will overly accentuate your bust and hips.


Hope this post helps you to figure out how to dress according to your body type.  And help you find fits and pieces that flatter your body type and shape, and that’s really the key.

Being aware of what your body type is and how to dress according to your body type can solve a lot of problems when it comes to dressing.

Use these styling tips and choose dresses that suit your body type and accentuate your most favorable feature. 



8 thoughts on “How to dress according to your body type- look absolutely great | 5 body shapes”

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  2. Great post Mariya
    Haven’t really thought about dressing according to my body type but now thanks to you now it’s on my mind!
    Will think wisely next time before purchasing what I wear .. thanks for sharing!
    Merry Christmas!

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