Women's Style Inspiration  / Dressing for Your Shape  / Dressing for Your Body Type: A Guide

Dressing for Your Body Type: A Guide

Finding outfits that flatter your figure is about to become a lot easier.

female body shapes
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There are few things better than finding an outfit that flatters your figure. The thing is, if you don’t understand why certain things look great on you, it can be hard to keep finding new favorites. In actuality, it’s very simple—it all boils down to body shape. Once you learn how to dress for your body type, it’s amazing how easy it is to build a wardrobe you love to wear. Keep reading to discover what body type you have and find the best clothes for your body type.

measurements for body type

The 4 Body Measurements

First things first. What is your body type? The surest way to figure this out is by taking four body measurements: shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. The relationship among these numbers will reveal the shape of your frame. So grab your measuring tape, strip down to your skivvies, and let’s get started.

1. Shoulders

Loosely wrap the tape around the very tops of your shoulders, at their broadest point above your shoulder blades. It’s easy for the tape to slip off at this spot, so fair warning, a second set of hands could be useful.

2. Bust

Wrap the tape around the fullest part of your bust. Hold it snugly enough that it stays in place, but not so tight that it’s compressing your chest. It’s OK if you’re measuring over a bra, especially if you typically wear one.

3. Waist

This can be a little confusing, as your natural waist is different from where the waistband of your pants generally hits. You’re actually looking for the narrowest part of your waist, which is usually above the belly button.

4. Hips

As with your shoulders and bust, you’re looking for the fullest point. You’ll want to wrap the tape below your hip bones, around your hips and butt. With this, it’s also OK if you’re measuring over underwear.

Grey rule

Better with visuals? 

Watch this video for a look at how to measure yourself and discover your body shape.

Grey Rule

What’s my body shape?

Now that you know your measurements you can decipher your body type. While there are many different body shapes out there, most women align with one of five: apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle, or rectangle. Knowing this will help you learn how to best dress for your body type. Find your shape below and click through to get tons of tips, styling advice, and outfit ideas. (Don’t miss our guides on swimwear and denim, too.) And if you’re petite or tall? Don’t worry, we have you covered as well.

apple shape look

Apple-Shaped Body

If you’re curvy with a less defined waist, you’re likely an apple shape (also known as a circle or round body type).

Outfits for apple shapes

Pear-Shaped Body

If your hips are broader than your shoulders, you’re likely a pear shape (also known as a triangle body type).

Outfits for pear shapes

pear shape look
hourglass shape look

Hourglass Body

If your shoulders and hips are fairly balanced and you have a defined waist, you’re likely an hourglass shape.

Outfits for hourglass shapes

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

If your shoulders are broader than your hips, you’re likely an inverted triangle.

Outfits for inverted triangles

inverted triangle shape look
rectangle shape look

Rectangle Body Shape

If your four measurements are fairly uniform and you have a straighter build, you’re likely a rectangle.

Outfits for rectangle shapes

Petite Body

While not a body shape (petites come in all different shapes and sizes) we have some universal styling tips if you’re 5’3” or under.

Outfits for petite frames

petite frame look
tall frame look

Tall Body Types

Finding clothing that fits your tall frame well doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.

Looks for tall women

Plus-Size Bodies

Creating looks that complement your shape doesn’t have to be a guessing game.

Outfits for plus-size frames

curvy frame look
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