There are plenty of factors to consider when getting dressed from the weather to the occasion you’re attending and your mood. However, there’s another important factor that I don’t think too many women consider, which is perhaps the most important one, and that is your body shape. I’m a big believer in dressing for your body type because fit can truly make or break an outfit. I always search for pieces that highlight the areas of my body I want to accentuate because the end result always ends up looking better. Below, I’ve rounded up some of my best tips on how you can dress for your body type and play up your favorite features.
I’ll keep this section short because I’ve already written a full post dedicated to flattering a petite frame (here). My best tip is to remain conscious of pieces that can easily overwhelm the frame, which often happens when something is too long or loose. Also, pay careful attention to sleeves and inseams. Sleeves that cut off at the wrist and pants that cut off at the ankle always look better on petite sizes. The great thing about being petite is that most pieces can be tailored to fit our bodies, so invest in a great tailor when it makes sense. If you want to create the illusion of curves, bardot necklines, cut-out dresses, and paper bag bottoms are some of my go-to’s.
Athletic body shapes can be characterized as having little curves, meaning your shoulders and hip measurements are pretty close and your waist isn’t super defined. One of the pros to having an athletic body type is that you can easily choose which features you want to accentuate. You can highlight your upper body or waist with high necklines or bold printed tops. If want to focus on your legs, go for a mini skirt or floor-sweeping wide leg pants.
Saks Off Fifth Ruffle Top (recommend adding yourself to the wait list, also similar here) | Dior Lucky Locket Necklace (similar here and here) | Chanel Bag | GRLFRND Denim (wearing a 23 – runs TTS) | Christian Louboutin White Heels (similar here, better for budget here) | Givenchy Sunglasses
If you have an hourglass shape, then it becomes much easier to find clothes that look great since you have a defined waist with similar bust and hip measurements. In this case, I recommend going for pieces that highlight those curves, such as wrap silhouettes, peplums, high-waisted bottoms, and crop tops. Tailored clothing like blazers and structured tops are also flattering on hourglass shapes.
About Us Jogger Pants (wearing an XXS, under $100!) | Free People Black Bodysuit (wearing an XS) | Christian Louboutin White Heels (better for budget here) | Gucci Dionysus Bag (mini size) | Cloverpost Medallion Necklace | Amazon Silver Cuff Ring (under $20)
If you have narrow shoulders and full hips, then you’re probably triangle (or pear) shaped. I’ve always envied how dainty and fitted tops look so flattering on this body type. Bodysuits and tanks really highlight narrow shoulders and draw attention to a tiny waist. You can then play down the fuller hips by opting for dark-colored bottoms. Statement accessories like earrings and a straw hat also keep the focus on the upper body.
Apple-shaped bodies have broad shoulders and narrow hips. For these bodies, V-neck tops, button down blouses, and A-line dresses or skirts help bring attention to your bust and waist. If you want to detract attention from your mid-section, then shift dresses are a great option as they allow for more room through the body but keep you polished and pulled together at the same time.