DRESSING FOR YOUR BODY TYPE, PART TWO

In our previous article, we showed you how to dress for your body type. But if your shape wasn’t covered in the last article, we have everything you need to know here. So whatever your figure, you will know the best ways of styling it.

If you are unsure of what your body type is, then work it out here. Or, if you have always struggled to know what body type you have, this article is for you. As it shows you how to measure yourself and use these measurements to calculate your body type.

Before we get into the best advice on how to dress for your body type we just wanted to mention something. 

The style suggestions for each body type are usually made on an assumption of what the majority of women with this body type want to highlight, and accentuate. 

Just because it is common to want to highlight certain parts of your figure, this does not mean that you need to focus all of your style on this. 

The most important thing with any fashion decision is that you wear something that makes you feel most confident. If for you, that confidence doesn’t come from accentuating those parts that stylists suggest that’s great.

But, if you would like to learn the best ways to dress to compliment your body type, we have everything you need to know.  

Hourglass body type

drawing of a woman with an hourglass body type
Illustrations by  Diego Sabogal

If, like Marilyn Monroe you have an hourglass body type, you have killer curves. Most of your curves come from your defined waistline, which defines your body type. (You know you are hourglass if your waist is proportionally smaller than your hips and bust, which are proportionally equal).

As a woman with an hourglass-shaped figure, finding clothes that compliment is easier for you than for some other body shapes. This is because most clothes are designed with your body type in mind. Even though your body type makes up less than 10% of the population

Let’s start from the top 

‘Say it with us now: fitted, fitted, fitted! With hourglass shapes, it’s all about celebrating your waist and highlighting your neckline.’ ‘Your power pieces include form-fitting jersey knits, wrap tops, peplum blouses, tailored tops, anything with a v-neck, round neck or boat neck.’

HYBRID MIRANDA OFF SHOULDER CROPPED TOP
To find out more for this top click here

The hourglass body type is perfect for structured, more tailored silhouettes. ‘And, the beauty of this shape is that your curves are already very balanced. Everything from your most basic pieces (like casual tees!) to your button-up workwear blouses. All should be fitted to show off your narrow waist.’

What about dresses?

The hourglass body type is made for dresses. Try iconic silhouettes like ft and flare or wrap dresses. These shapes naturally play up your best features. 

‘If you’re looking for something new, an empire silhouette also works wonders. Why? They highlight your natural waist.’

HYBRID JOY HANDKERCHIEF HEM CREPE A-LINE DRESS
To find out more about these swing dresses click here

Belts to snitch in your waist for baggier outfits. Wrap or a-line dresses and tops can be great. 

‘Beware of : Flowy styles. If you love a dress and it’s a trapeze or other loose-fitting silhouette, simply add a belt. In fact, as a general rule—when in doubt, belt it!’

As far as hemlines go, take your pick! If you love your legs, reach for that mini. If you’d like to cover up a bit more, look for high-waisted skirts that hit right below the knee.

What about trousers?

Go for high-waisted flares, or if you love your stomach go you low-rise hip-hugging styles. ‘Stretchy skinny jeans and leggings are perfect for showing off the curves of your hips and the taper of your leg.’ 

‘Fitted jumpsuits (so on-trend!) can look incredible on you. Just remember to go for waist flattering styles. Because your shape is so balanced, remember that you won’t need any extra details (like large seams or cargo pockets) to accentuate your hips.’

Dressing a Top Hourglass body type

drawing of a woman with a top hourglass body type

If this is your body type, then you will have a defined waistline. While your hips and chest are somewhat proportionate to each other. You tend to carry more weight on your top half. 

When it comes to dressing a top hourglass body type stylists focus upon balancing the body as well as showing off your amazing curves. The name of the game is making your bust and hips appear evener.

But of course, just with all our suggestions, make with them what you will. If in fact you love your bust and want to enhance this, do whatever makes you feel your best!

Let’s talk tops

When it comes to choosing pieces for the top half of your body the aim is to wear things that accentuate your waist while helping to balance your bust with your hips. 

HYBRID GIA PRINTED COAT DRESS
Click here to see more

Some go to pieces to achieve this are: Narrow v-necks will help to visually narrow your bus. Dress shirts with deep-v collars, do this also. Anything with a tailored waist, that show off your hourglass figure.

Dresses

When it comes to dresses it is pretty similar to tops, v-necks and anything that is tailored with a fitted waistline will work really well for you. 

HYBRID CHLOE OFF SHOULDER SKATER DRESS
Click here to view this dress

Fit and flare and a-line dresses are also great options. This is because of the fuller skirt. Which is a great way of balancing the proportions of your body type. 

What about bottoms? 

When it comes to dressing the bottom half of your body the focus is again on balance. Namely, using these garments to even out the proportions of your lower half with your ample bust. 

For trousers or skirts with embellished or flap-style pockets, or cargo pants to balance out your proportions.  Boot cut or slightly flared trousers are wonderful for your body type, as they will add curves to your lower half. Full or A-line skirts also do a great job of this too.  

Pieces that aren’t traditionally regarded as you hero is anything too loose-fitting, boxy or baggy.

The best ways of dressing an Inverted Triangle Body Type

drawing of a woman with an inverted trinagle body type

Celebrities with this body shape include Demi Moore, Rene Zellweger, Naomi Campbell and Teri Hatcher. So if your body could is an inverted triangle, you’re definitely in good company.

Having an inverted triangle body type means that you are broader on the top half of your body. Your chest and shoulders are proportionally larger than your hips which are likely to be more petite.

When it comes to dressing this body type the advice from stylists, again, focus’ on balancing proportions. While highlighting your waistline.

If you aim to make your body look more hourglass, then you will want to the eye from focusing on your largest area (the chest). While drawing more attention to your slim lower body and often lean legs. But again, this is completely up to go. If you want to show off what mother nature gave you then go for it!

Which are the best styles of top

When it comes to tops, these are the most important garments for your body type. Your body type requires ample room in the upper body, often meaning the top is baggy everywhere else. Go for stretch materials to avoid this.

The first advice for women with inverted triangle body types seems a little obvious. Avoid anything with shoulder pads, or shirts and jackets that have very large collars. As these will only emphasis the size of your shoulders.

A great tip when looking for tops for this body type is to look for ‘pieces which nip in at the waist which are tailored, or which have a waist tie.’ As these will help draw the eye to your waistline and enhance your curves.

When it comes to necklines, ‘a v-neck, low round, cross over, cowl, square neck in a stretchy material are all styles that will look great on your Inverted Triangle body shape.’

HYBRID COCO DRESS KEYHOLE PENCIL DRESS
This is the perfect stretch fabric style for your body type

Or look for tops where sleeves extend to the neckline, as they will give you more room in your upper body.

‘The key with these tops is to try a size smaller than your regular size. If this fits the top will skim your upper body creating instant shaping without being enormous at the waist.’

Dresses for inverted triangle body shape

Again when it comes to dresses stretch materials are made for you. This is because the issue with dresses for your body type is that often they can fit the bust just right but be too loose on the bottom half.

Dresses in stretchy material in a straight shape with high or mid waist definition is the most flattering and will fit your upper body. Pick the size that fits your shoulders and bust nicely.’

HYBRID SUSIE CREPE PENCIL DRESS
To see this stretch fabric dress click here

Straight or slight A-line skirts look great and the stretch in the material will allow for the wider waist area.’

Or if you aren’t a fan of the tighter dresses, why not go for a wrap dress. This style will give you a more defined waistline while ensuring enough space for your chest. The looser skirt will also work to balance your proportions.

How do stylists dress Oval body types?

drawing of a woman with a oval body type

If your body type could be described as oval (or apple, or round) then this means that you have a fuller bust and midsection, with narrower hips.

Stylists say that the key to dressing an oval body type is to de-emphasize your midsection and create a more defined waist. This is achieved by choosing clothing that adds curves and fullness to your lower body and tops that taper to the waist.

Which styles of tops are best? 

Look for tops that will taper your upper body while creating a more defined waist: tops with nipped or belted waists, square, wide V or U neck tops. It is suggested that you ‘avoid square finish lines, instead opt for angled or rounded edges. Deep necklines such as round and v-neck will look great.’

HYBRID NICOLA FRILL SLEEVE DRESS
This dress is perfect for an oval body type, just look at the top!

A longer tunic style is a great way to create length in your upper body. The right style tunic should finish at the bottom of your fingertips when you have your hands by your side.’

Wrap or fit and flare tops will all look really great on you.

What about dresses?

If you are an oval body type this is a great excuse to play with necklines, square, v-neck and u-neck are great.

Wrap or empire waists are great for you as they will draw you in on your midsection, giving you a more defined waistline.

HYBRID LIV MAGENTA CREPE WRAP DRESS
To see this wrap dress click here

Knee-length skirts and dresses are a wonderful way of lengthening your body.

Lets talk trousers 

The aim of these is to look for items that minimize your lower half. 

‘Wide-leg, flowing pants are very flattering on your body type. Wide-leg dress pants with prominent back and/or side pockets will add curves to your hips.’ ‘Fuller flowing skirts that gently skim away from your body will help fill out your hips.’

The best ways of dressing a Diamond body type

drawing of a women with a dimond body type

If you have a diamond body type your legs and arms are likely to be rather slender. While your waistline is the largest part of your figure.

When it comes to dressing a diamond body type, stylists focus on making the waistline more defined. This is achieved by wearing clothes that enhance your waistline. Also by balancing and enhancing the bust, chest and hips to create more apparent curves to the waist.

Starting at the top

The focus when it comes to tops is finding pieces that define the waist and accentuate the shoulders and bust.

Great styles to achieve this are tops that have a nipped or belted waistline. When it comes to necklines you can really play with what you like. Off the shoulder, boat-necks, wide V or U necks are all great.

HYBRID HARLOW OFF SHOULDER DRESS
The neckline of this dress would look great for your body type. To see more off the shoulder options click here.

For example ‘square or scoop neck button-downs that are nipped-in at the waist and flare at the bottom will help create the illusion of a more defined waist.’

Structured shoulder, princess or flutter sleeves, will all help to enhance your bust. As will tops that are full, rushed or flowing around the bust.

What about dresses?

When it comes to dresses, it is good to keep in mind the advice for tops. As this will ensure you find a style that accentuates your bust.

It is great to find styles that define your waistline. Belted dresses, wrap, fit and flare, a-line, and swing dresses will also be perfect for this.

Fit and flare and swing dresses have the added advantage of having fuller skirts. This creates even more balance between the bust the hips while enhancing the waistline even more.

This off the shoulder swing dress is perfect. The length of the skirt means allows for some leg on show which is an added bonus. Why not show off your great legs?

HYBRID STELLA BARDOT DRAPE DRESS
Find this beautiful dress here

Let’s talk about the bottom half

Dressing the bottom half of a diamond body type is quite a bit more simple than the top.

Straight trousers with minimal pockets can be a wonderful look for you. Find trousers that sit at the widest part of your hip and fall straight down. As this will elongate your frame. Just make sure to avoid anything too baggy.

A-line skirts are a wonderful option too. Why not go for a hemline that stops just below the knee as this is a lovely way of showing your slim legs.

EVA JACQUARD MIDI SKIRT
Just like this skirt

As are relaxed fit trousers and jeans, as again they help to lengthen your body. It is best to stay away from trousers that are too tapered, or pencil skirts. As these are likely to make your legs look even smaller than your upper half.

How to best dress an Athletic body type

drawing of a woman with an athletic body type

If your body is strong, pretty straight-up-and-down with a less than defined waistline, with proportionally equal hips and shoulders. Then, it is more than likely, you have an athletic body type.

We know that some women with this body type worry about looking ‘too masculine’. But, let us be the first to tell you, your body is so fun to dress.

This is because, as it’s said here: ‘your shape looks great in almost everything. You have the ability to flaunt or conceal as much as you feel comfortable with and balance is easily obtained like yin and yang with your figure.’

When it comes to dressing your body type, the key is in balance. More specifically balancing your broader top half with accentuating your legs and other curves.

‘It’s all about remembering the athletic shape rule of thumb: Keep the volume on top or bottom.’ For example, if you are going with a tighter top, opt for wide-leg trousers.

Let’s talk tops

The key when it comes to choosing tops is to draw attention to your stronger arms and shoulders while also defining your waistline. Your power pieces are halter necks, racerbacks, scoop or round necks and anything strapless.

HYBRID KELSEY OFF SHOULDER PENCIL DRESS
To see more of this piece click here

If you’re on the curvy side of athletic, play up what you love: your shoulders, your collarbone, and/or your arms. If you’d rather downplay your shoulders or elongate your neck, choose a more narrow neckline like crew, cowl, or v-neck.’

To play up your bust, lean towards styles with statement collars or embellished necklines. You can also score serious style points with a high neck and an open back (halters are great for you).’

When it comes to sleeves you can take your pick. Chance are you have straight shoulders so you won’t need to add much volume here.

A great way of defining your waistline is by choosing tops that can be tucked in.

What about dresses?

OLIVIA SKATER OFF SHOULDER DRESS
To have a closer look at this dress click here

When it comes to dresses ‘most styles work on you so it’s all about figuring out which feature you want to play up. Love your legs? Hike up that hemline. To play up your bust, choose strapless (with a great push-up bra) or plunging necklines.’

Which are the best trousers for the athletic body type?

When it comes to trousers keep in mind the advice we gave at the beginning. Pick a style that will best complement your top shape.

If you want to look taller here are some great style choices for you. Floor grazing flares, or boot cut styles with heels are both slimming and elongating.

If you are more petite, balance your frame with flowy and wide-leg option and gathered waists.

If your torso is longer side, try and medium-rise jean as high-waisted numbers can be hard if your midsection is straight. But if you would prefer them it is recommended you opt for styles with a bit of stretch in them.

We would love to know what you find are the best ways of dressing your body type. Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to find out more about body types, check out our other articles.

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