The Complete Guide ❘ Secrets to Dressing for Your Body Shape

What Flatters My Body Shape

via GearBaron

We know you know what looks good on you—but we figured a more in-depth look at dressing for your body type is never a bad idea.

Whether you’re an hourglass shape, pear, banana, or apple, there are plenty of different silhouettes that can look even better with just a little knowledge.

By balancing out your proportions, or highlighting the most flattering part of your body; there are some incredible ideas you might have never even thought of.

One thing’s for sure, though, this will help you look and feel your best. Scroll down to see the specific styles that make your body type look its absolute best.


—Hourglass Body—


If you’re curvy with a tiny waist, you’ve got an hourglass shape. Your goal is to highlight your curves, not hide them

Your goal is to highlight your curves, not hide them, by emphasizing your waist

Key Pieces

  • Waist-Belted Tops
  • Pencil Skirts
  • V-Neck


1. Waist-Belted Tops

A belted jumper that ties round the back, is the easiest way to play up your petite waist.


2. Pencil Skirts

There’s a reason Kim Kardashian has adopted a crop top and pencil skirt uniform—it’s incredibly flattering on curvy girls.

A pencil skirt accentuates your curves and smoothes out your thighs.

3. V-neck

The V-neck is ultra-flattering to your bust, and the wrap detail highlights the curve between your waist and hips.

—Apple Body / Inverted-Triangle Shaped—


If you have a slim lower body and carry weight around your middle, you’ve got an apple shape.

Your goal is to minimise your midsection by highlighting your shoulders and legs.

Key Pieces

  • Shift Dress
  • (Oversized Sweater/ Relaxed, boyfriend button-ups/ Flowy tunics) + (Skinny Jean/Leggings)
  • Dark/ High Waisted Bottoms

1. Shift Dress

A shift dress lies just far enough away from the body to conceal any problem areas.

Tailoring tip: Most women with apple figures have shapely legs, so get your dress hemmed to show them off.

2. Oversized Sweater /

Relaxed, boyfriend button-ups /

Flowy tunics (+ Skinny Jean/Leggings Combo)

Skinny jeans and leggings look great on your shape, especially when paired with a breezy tunic, oversized sweater or generous button-down. 

3. Dark/High Waisted Bottoms

The waistband will hit at the smallest part of the torso and flare out over the stomach to help avoid any stomach bulge..

—Banana Body / Athletic / Ruler Shaped—


If you’re not very curvy and your hips are around the same size as your waist, you’ve got a banana shape.

Your goal is to highlight the thinnest part of your waist so your hips and bust appear larger and more proportional.

Key Pieces

  • Ruffles
  • Cinched Waists
  • Side Cutouts
  • Tapered Trousers

1. Ruffles

Shirts with ruffles around the bust make your top half look larger, which makes your waist look smaller and shapelier in comparison.


2. Cinched Waists

Jackets that cinch in at the bottom are ideal for your shape.


3. Side Cutouts

The small side cutout on this floral dress works to make you look curvier. The inward-pointing lines whittle your waist, making it look smaller in proportion to your bust and hips. Voilà, curves!


4. Tapered Trousers

Tapered trousers will create the illusion of more proportionate hips.

—Pear Body / Triangle Shaped—


If the widest part of your body is around your hips, you’ve got a pear shape.

Your goal is to elongate and balance your figure by accentuating your top half.

Key Pieces

  • Cold-Shoulder/Off-the shoulder/Strapless/Sleevless Tops
  • Prints/Color-block tops
  • A-line skirts
  • Boot-Cut Pants

1. Cold-Shoulder/Off-the shoulder/Strapless/Sleevless Tops

Your bare shoulders will take the attention off your lower body, and the shape is ideal for highlighting the smallest part of your waist and then generously flaring out to conceal wider hips.

Off the shoulder tops
Get it here

2. Prints/Color-block tops

Interesting details or prints direct attention to the top half of your body and give a bit of structure to the shoulder area, which makes your bottom half appear smaller in comparison.


3. A-line skirts

An A-line skirt highlights the smallest part of your waist and flares out over hips.


4. Boot-Cut Pants

Boot-cut styles provide a one-two punch. They draw eyes away from the hips, which balances them out at the volume of the hem; making them seem perfectly proportioned.

You’ll also look taller. We like a slim flare for the most modern feel.

Want more? The body shape calculator will help you find your correct body type. Opening Image: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

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