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Women’s Guide: How To Dress To Flatter Your Body Type

There are very few things for women better than finding an outfit that flatters their bodies. The majority of women are often confused about what to wear when they are going out, and one of the biggest concerns for them is whether they are comfortable wearing it. If you don’t understand why certain things look great on you, it can be hard to look great consistently. Trends change fast, and it’s not always easy to know how to adapt them for our unique and beautiful body shapes. So with the help of a few designer friends and some online research, I have created this guide to help you learn how to dress to flatter your body shape and build a wardrobe you love to wear.


Part I: Identify Your Body Type

Women come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you find flattering clothes specific to your body type? The key is to know your proportions and use fashion to accentuate your best features- and hide everything else! But first things first, do you know your body measurements?

Four Basic human body measurents


The Four Body Measurements

The most accurate way to find your body type is by taking four key body measurements- shoulders, bust, waist and hips. Your body measurements will give you a clear idea about your body type.






Tip: Using cloth tape is better than a metal one. Keep the tape neither too tight nor too loose. Hold on to it, and it will give you the most accurate numbers.



Most women align with one of the following 5 body types-

Apple is a type of women body shape
Apple- shaped body


1. Apple-Shaped Body

You may fall in this body type if-

  • You are generally well-proportioned

  • Your shoulders are broader than your hips

  • You have a less defined waistline

  • You have a heavier upper body in comparison to your lower body part.





Pear is a type of women body shape
Pear- shaped body


2. Pear-Shaped Body

You may fall in this body type if-

  • Your lower body is visually heavier

  • Your waist is wider than your bust

  • Your shoulders are narrow, and your hips are wide.






Hourglass is a type of women body shape
Hourglass Body


3. Hourglass Body

You may fall in this body type if-

  • Your body is curvy

  • You have a well-defined waistline

  • Your bust and hip measurements are roughly even

  • You may have a fuller bust, hips, and thighs






Rectangle is a type of women body shape
Rectangle- shaped body


4. Rectangle-Shaped Body

You may fall in this body type if-

  • You have a straight build

  • Your shoulders and hip measurements are roughly the same

  • Your waist isn’t very small or well-defined, but rather simply straight

  • Your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body.






Inverted- triangle is a type of women body shape
Inverted- triangle body shape


5. Inverted-Triangle Body

You may fall in this body type if-

  • Your shoulders are broader than your hips

  • You have an athletic-looking body

  • You have a heavier upper body in comparison to the lower body parts.







Part II: How To Dress Your Body Type?

Irrespective of your body type, this is foundational advice to get you on the right track with fashion and flatter your body.



The Rule of Thirds

Your body shape is very important, and there are individualized style tips for every body shape- your overall proportions are also incredibly essential.

Rule of Thirds for dressing women body
Here is your body cut up into thirds.

Very similar to photographic compositions, the rule of thirds is very important in dressing too. The most visually flattering proportion that has been found is in thirds. Once you have mastered your proportions and have evolved your style, you can expand these proportions to sixths and beyond. But for now, let’s understand the rule of thirds first.


So, either you should have one third on top and two thirds on the bottom,

Rule of Thirds for women body fashion

Or you should have two thirds on top and one third on the bottom. Never cut your body in halves. It doesn't look flattering on any body type.

Rule of Thirds for women body fashion

As you become more accustomed to your body shape, you can tweak this ratio and explore it a bit more. Until then, try to always hit the thirds for the easiest, most flattering look.

Rule of Thirds for women body fashion

Don’t keep or buy anything that doesn’t fit you: It’s disheartening when you buy something a size too small or too big and then can’t fit into it. Don’t set yourself up for failure unless you have a tailor readily available.


Set up a wardrobe with basic outfits as a foundation: Not just women, but everyone must have a set of basic outfits in his or her wardrobe that is timeless and act as supporting pieces for all the “riskier” outfits.


Don’t go on shopping sprees: Don’t buy things just because they are heavily discounted. These are all things that will lead to you losing yourself in your style while building your wardrobe.


Dressing To Flatter Your Body Type

Now let’s dig deeper and find out how to dress to flatter a particular body type.


1. Apple-Shaped Body

Kate Winslet has an apple shaped body type
Kate Winslet is a perfect example for an apple-shapped body

Having a heavier midriff, you need to divert attention from that area and wear clothes to accentuate other parts like the neck and bust.

  • Keep details on the top and lower third of your body

  • Shirts, blouses or dresses with deep necks can be pulled off quite gracefully

  • Wear long sleeves, printed dresses or patterned jackets that add a layer and shift the focus from your waistline

  • Add earrings and tie your hair back to highlight your neckline

  • Nude pumps, wedges, or heeled sandals make your legs look longer

Tip: Avoid dresses with belts that pinch at your waist. It can accentuate curves that you may not wish to show.


2. Pear-Shaped Body

Kim Kardashian has a pear shaped body type
Kim Kardashian is a perfect pear

You have to strike a balance and wear outfits that enhance your upper body or vice versa. Either way works well.

  • Wear tops that accentuate your shoulders a bit more

  • Wearing a bra that adds to or enhances your bust should be considered

  • Avoid pants or tights that narrow your legs

  • Crop tops, sweetheart, V or deep-V, scoop or boat necks will balance your bottom out.

  • Layered necklaces that hit above the bust are most suitable. Earrings are the bigger, the better


3. Hourglass Body

Jacqueline Fernandez has an hourglass body shape
Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has an hourglass body shape

This is the most balanced body type with a proportionate top and bottom and a well-defined waistline.

  • Dresses that cinch at the waist will be your best fit

  • Go with a belt at your natural waist or below the belly button to flaunt your waistline

  • Tailored clothing is usually more flattering. Rap tops, peplum blouses or V-necks, but not too deep are suggested

  • High-waisted jeans and leggings are perfect for showing off the curves of your hip and the taper of your leg

  • Skinny waist belts and necklaces look great. Purses and clutches will add juxtaposition to your curves

Tip: Avoid boxy styles- they won't do justice to your curves. Instead, focus on silhouettes that draw the eye to the most slender part of your frame.


4. Rectangle-Shaped Body

Kate moss has a rentangle shaped body type
Kate Moss is an apt example of a rectangle- shaped body

With this body type, you may have a long and thin body with minimum curves. Your arms and legs are the assets, so focus on enhancing them.

  • Choose A-line skirts, ruffled, layered tops, scoop and round necklines

  • Go for skinny jeans that are made for your body type. Wear racerback track clothing made for women at your workout session

  • If you’re looking to add some curve to your waistline, choose belted tops or tops that can be tucked in. It creates an illusion of a slender waist

  • A rectangular body type benefits from shaping undergarments. The cupped bra can balance out your angular features without much effort.


5. Inverted-Triangle Body

Kendal Jenner has an inverted- triangle shaped body type
Kendall Jenner flaunts her perfect inverted- triangle body

The inverted triangle is the most athletic looking body type. So, your arms and shoulders need to be enhanced more.

  • Focus on creating a balance. Pencil cut skirt, skinny jeans, etc., with any tops will look great.

  • Cropped tops, peplums, belted jackets accentuate the waistline

  • A-line dresses or V-neck elongates your whole frame, neckline, and waist.

  • Boots, belted bags and bracelets can accentuate your long hands and narrow legs.

Tip: The upper body should be minimalistic. Let all the patterns, ruffles, layers, etc., be part of the bottom part of your body.


Before we end, I want you to understand that these are just basic guidelines suggested by experts and not the definitive rules. Fashion is all about knowing the rules well and breaking them effortlessly. It’s about trial and error. No matter what type your body falls under, going out of the way and trying something new will always give you surprise elements.


If you have any doubts or questions, you can let me know in the comments below. I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.

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