How to Dress to Flatter Your Body Type


Dressing should be fun. It can reflect your personality and style, you can choose to be comfortable or chic, and there are no limits as to what you can wear.

That being said, everyone has different body types and body shapes, and some cuts and styles of clothes will suit us better than others. This does not mean you cannot or should not wear them at all. It can just be worth knowing how to use different styles and lengths to your advantage when you would like to achieve a certain look.

This piece is going to discuss how you can dress to flatter your body type and offer some troubleshooting tips.

4 Main Body Types

Stylists say that there are 4 ‘main’ body types, but realistically there are many more. 

However, you will find your body might be close to one of these four, which means the advice can be tweaked to make it work for you.

Pear-Shaped Bodies

Pear-shaped bodies, which can also be referred to as a triangle-shaped bodies, find that weight is carried more on the lower half of the body. The hips are usually wider than the shoulders, thus creating a pear-like shape.

If you want to balance out your body shape, focusing on top-heavy embellishments to draw away attention from the lower half can make everything appear in proportion. 

Wide necklines work well with this type of body, as they can visually lengthen the width, and structured sleeves add more volume too!

Stick to dark and plain ‘bottoms’, as patterns and bright colors can encourage focus down to the larger area making the whole look unbalanced – unless that is what you want to do!

Hourglass Bodies

Hourglass bodies look exactly like an hourglass due to the proportions being similar on both top and bottom, with a clearly defined waist. You might define yourself as curvy, though hourglasses can also be very slim – it is down to your bone structure. 

Those with hourglass body types will find that fitted clothes look best on them due to the curves and proportions of their body. To accentuate the curves and the shape of the body, use fitted jumpers, t-shirts, wrap tops, anything tailored on top and opt for a lower neckline.

If you choose crew necklines or baggy clothes that do not fill well, the body shape tends to get lost under the clothes and can make the whole look shapeless. Because of this, boxy styles are a no-no unless you do not want to draw attention to your body shape! 

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Apple Shaped Bodies

Apple-shaped bodies tend to have broader shoulders or are heavier on top than they are on the bottom, hence resembling an apple. This could also be referred to as the reversed triangle body type. 

In order to balance out this look, drawing attention away from the shoulders and the top of the body and focusing on the bottom can bring an equilibrium to the whole look. Loud prints or big colors for trousers, skirts, or on the lower half of dresses can draw the attention lower, which can match the energy of your top half!

Necklines that draw attention to broad shoulders can make them look wider than they are and throw a look off-balance, and if that is something you want to avoid, then opt for v necks or slouchy chilled fits. 

Interestingly, apple-shaped bodies can benefit from looking good in any type of bottoms! So, if you love skinny jeans, go for it, or if you are more of a boot cut babe, that will work too!

Rectangle Shaped Bodies

Rectangle-shaped bodies, also known as the ‘athletic type’ is, where the body is proportioned straight up and down. Your waist is neither defined nor wide, just straight up and down, your shoulders and hips are the same widths as each other, and your weight is fairly distributed throughout your body.

Rectangle shapes are best off choosing what area they want to accentuate to know what pieces will suit them. For example, if they want to enhance their chest area, then focusing on tops with embellishments around a low neckline will work well.

Any style of dresses and jeans work well on rectangle shapes, so it is best to focus on balancing the clothes pieces out rather than the body.

Your body is beautiful just as it is – it is unique in its own right. There are no rules on what you can and cannot wear based on your ‘type’, and the guidance should only exist to make you feel more comfortable and confident. If it doesn’t, then do not use it!