How to Dress for Your Body Type

Updated on March 9, 2016

When you are standing in front of a mirror, remember: Nobody has a perfect body. That's right, nobody! I have never met a person who did not have something about their body that they didn't like. The trick to looking good in your clothes is as simple as finding out what body type you are and dressing accordingly. With most of us it only requires a few wardrobe adjustments.

Some people really know how to wear clothes. You know what I mean. The look that makes people think, "Boy, she sure is looking good." These people know what their shape is and know how to accentuate the positives. The body types I will be covering are:

  • Lollipop/Goblet
  • Pear
  • Diamond
  • Straight
  • Hourglass
  • Round/Apple
  • Inverted Triangle

Hourglass and pear shapes look good with a belt to accentuate the waist.
Hourglass and pear shapes look good with a belt to accentuate the waist. | Source

What Is My Body Type?

Lollipop/Goblet Shape

Typically known as "top-heavy." This person has large breasts, a big stomach, is short waisted, and has long, skinny legs.

Pear Shape

This person has a long slender neck, narrow shoulders, a small bust, a slim waist with hips that widen dramatically, a larger rear end, and full thighs. The waistline of this body type is small and feminine; it should be accentuated.

Diamond Shape

This type has narrow shoulders, a small bustline, broad hips, and larger thighs. This type is lucky in that they get to wear the new-style tops that accentuate their face and shoulders.

Straight Shape

This is just what it sounds like: The bustline and hips are equal in size. This person has an average-size bust, a large rib cage, an undefined waist, a flat bottom, and slender legs. The legs are this type's best asset.

Hourglass Shape

Some people say this body type is as close to perfect as you can get. The person with this body type typically has a small bone structure. They have a nice-sized bust, a defined waist, curved hips, and a shapely and slightly-protruding backside. This body type has great curves that scream to be shown off.

Round Shape

This person has a larger bust, a wide rib cage, a round, full backside, a larger middle or waist, narrower hips, and slender legs. The good news is the round body type usually has great legs and narrow hips that can be shown off to their advantage.

Inverted Triangle Shape

This type typically has broad shoulders, an average-size bustline and waist, narrow hips, and long, shapely legs. This body type can show off hip huggers to their advantage.

This outfit shows off the diamond shape's  narrow shoulders, small bustline, broad hips, and larger thighs.
This outfit shows off the diamond shape's narrow shoulders, small bustline, broad hips, and larger thighs. | Source

The Best Styles for Your Body Shape

Lollipop/Goblet Shape
Avoid:

  • Tops with ruffles
  • Spaghetti straps
  • High necklines
  • Anything high-waisted
  • Boxy blazers

Do wear:

  • Wide v-necks
  • Gathers under the breast to direct eyes to waist
  • Skirts fitted at top with flaring hemlines
  • Bell-bottom or flared pants
  • A medium- to high-heel shoe
  • Single-breasted, fitted blazer

Pear Shape
Avoid:

  • Tapered pants or super-slim jeans
  • Clingy or pencil skirts
  • Side pockets on pants
  • Pleated anything
  • Shoes with ankle straps

Do wear:

  • Pants with flowing, not clingy fabric
  • Straight skirts tapered towards the hemline
  • Semi-fitted and tailored tops
  • Shoulder pads
  • Blouses and tops that are cut shorter or longer (below hip line)
  • Cowl or square necklines

Bell bottoms and flared hems look great on those shaped like lollipops (or goblets), maybe not so great on pear or diamond shapes.
Bell bottoms and flared hems look great on those shaped like lollipops (or goblets), maybe not so great on pear or diamond shapes. | Source

Diamond Shape
Avoid:

  • Pants that are bottom-heavy or have cuffs or designs at the bottom
  • Clingy skirts or pants
  • Straight, buttoned dresses that hug the hips
  • Empire waist dresses or tops
  • Pleats

Do wear:

  • Pants that are tapered towards the hemline
  • Jackets that flow loosely around the hips
  • Tops that are fitted but also flare out over hips
  • Tops with pockets
  • Boatneck collars
  • Puffed sleeves

Very few people can pull off a pleated skirt.
Very few people can pull off a pleated skirt. | Source

Straight Shape
Avoid:

  • Large-patterned fabrics
  • The braless look
  • String bikinis
  • Belts that draw attention to your waist
  • Anything gathered or pleated at the waistline

Do wear:

  • Straight, tailored skirts
  • Sheaths or shirtdress-type dresses
  • Skirts with a dropped waist
  • V-necks
  • A longer jacket with a shorter skirt
  • Semi-fitted jeans or pants with a longer tunic tops

Hourglass Shape
Avoid:

  • Oversized or baggy styles
  • Clothing that is too fitted or tight
  • Lucky girl, almost anything is wearable!

Do wear:

  • Wrap tops, belts, things that tie at the waist
  • Clothing that is semi-fitted
  • Lucky girl! You have a dream figure, show off your curves.

Pencil skirts flatter many body types.
Pencil skirts flatter many body types. | Source

Round Shape
Avoid:

  • Fitted tops that draw attention to your waistline
  • Straight, oversized, or tent dresses
  • Wide belts
  • Bulky or gathered skirts
  • Pleats
  • Wide lapels and collars

Do wear:

  • V-necks
  • Narrow lapels and collars
  • Longer tunics
  • Fitted skirts, such as a pencil skirts
  • Jackets with a single button
  • Tailored, wide-cut pants
  • Empire waist styles

Inverted Triangle
Avoid:

  • High necklines
  • Shoulder pads
  • High-waisted tops or dresses
  • Spaghetti straps
  • Halter tops

Do wear:

  • Hip-hugging jeans
  • Raglan or dolman sleeves
  • Flared skirts
  • Wider-leg pants
  • Patch pockets on tops
  • Belts hanging lower on the hips

Round and diamond shapes look so good in an empire waist. The cardigan gives the waistless dress an empire line here.
Round and diamond shapes look so good in an empire waist. The cardigan gives the waistless dress an empire line here. | Source

What is your body shape?

What body type are you?

See results
Skinny jeans look best on straight, round, or hourglass shapes.
Skinny jeans look best on straight, round, or hourglass shapes. | Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        4 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        Thanks for reading.

      • profile image

        MG 

        15 months ago

        Hello- I enjoyed the article, but found conflicting information for my body type- diamond. It specifically states in the 'avoid' section to steer clear of empire waists, but in the picture a few scrolls down, it states, 'Round and diamond shapes look so good in an empire waist.'

        Which one should I follow?

        Thanks!

      • profile image

        Shannon 

        21 months ago

        Please stop making pears sound small. That is BS. Pears have smaller rib cages and their breasts are average and match that small rib cage. Remember Barney Five. Stop losing the pear. She is an ovary body type, does not need implants. The apples have a wide rib cage. Doctor's think of them as a barrel body type. Actual breast size not rib size. Pears are cute and dominate the world. They ovulate better and can have babies in their 40's. Besides, they are estrogen dominate. I'm tired of years of bullying for just a smaller rib cage and petite tiny arms. Apples never diet and are always picking on pears for their manly frame!

      • profile image

        Caligirl310 

        22 months ago

        I just have to say that although the idea behind this article is good, the way it was written t glorify the "hour shape" body type could be a bit off putting for some.

        It came across to me like the other body types really have to cover up. Felt kind of shameful....

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        2 years ago from Sunny Florida

        @RealRealMe true, if a person dresses for their body type it can make a world of difference in how they look and feel.

      • profile image

        RealRealMe 

        2 years ago

        Everyone can look attractive, regardless of the figure shape, if dressed correctly. Clothing allows to do some visual figure corrections. Very useful post, thanks a lot.

        I found some more information, maybe it will be useful for someone:

        http://likelyyou.com/2015/07/18/dominant-body-shap...

      • profile image

        Tricia Adair 

        3 years ago

        It's really hard when you not young anymore and your trying to not dress like your old,its just so confusing on what to wear

      • profile image

        miss 

        3 years ago

        The straight body type suggestions aren't actually very helpful...the key is to try to define the waist by utilizing belts, full skirts that nip in the waist, etc. A straight skirt makes them look even more flat and dimensionless - trust me, I am this body type.

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        5 years ago from Sunny Florida

        shikhagautum, It's interesting how it6 seems to change your shape when you do dress for your body type.

      • profile image

        shikkha 

        5 years ago from India, Mumbai

        nice tips i love that information where you have explain types of body shape, what to wear and what to aviod.

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        5 years ago from Sunny Florida

        Thanks Vislhakha Bajaj

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        6 years ago from Sunny Florida

        Ruchi, Thanks for reading.

      • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

        Ruchi Urvashi 

        6 years ago from Singapore

        Very interesting read..I got information for my body type and will try to follow the suggested dress coding..

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        7 years ago from Sunny Florida

        anginwu, I don't think anyone fits perfectly into a category. You just need to use the one that fits the best.

      • anglnwu profile image

        anglnwu 

        7 years ago

        Very good tips. I wonder what body type I'm since I don't seem to fit into any--I think I'm probably in the sraight category. Interesting and rating it up.

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        7 years ago from Sunny Florida

        Your welcome, ChrissyDean. The right clothes really do make a tremendous difference.

      • ChrissyDean profile image

        ChrissyDean 

        7 years ago

        I am terrible at shopping in general. This hub has helped...thank you!

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        7 years ago from Sunny Florida

        Delores, how true that is. On one person an outfit may look like a designer piece on another it may look bargain basement.

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 

        7 years ago from East Coast, United States

        Hi, Koffee! You are so right about dressing for body shape. So often we try on an outfit that is trendy or just looks great but looks terrible on. The right clothing for personal shape makes a huge difference!

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        7 years ago from Sunny Florida

        Thanks Pickchic18. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting.

      • Pinkchic18 profile image

        Sarah Carlsley 

        7 years ago from Minnesota

        This is a WONDERFUL hub, and so incredibly useful for everyone. Great job!

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        8 years ago from Sunny Florida

        I have heard of the body slimmer and often wondered how effective they are. I am glad to hear it works. I certainly need one.

      • profile image

        Irene 

        8 years ago

        I read something similar before. Matching your clothes with your body types really help. In fact, it is better to try the clothes before buying. At the moment, I am wearing body slimmer to arrest my fluctuating weight problem which so far is the best decision that I ever made to date.

        Irene of http://www.bodyslimmer.org

      • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile imageAUTHOR

        Susan Hazelton 

        8 years ago from Sunny Florida

        when I first started looking into body types I thought the same thing. Thanks for stopping in.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        8 years ago from Sunny Florida

        This is an interesting hub. There are more body types than I realized. I thought it was just an apple or a pear. Anyway, I enjoyed your article

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