Recently I wrote about how important it is to embrace your unique body shape and that, no matter your size or shape, self-confidence is the most important quality to have! If you missed the article, you can read it here.
The point is – once you know your body shape, you will know
– where to add detail and interest to your outfit and where to keep it plain and simple,
– where to add vertical lines to lengthen and slim your body,
– where to add horizontal details to highlight or balance your figure and, most of all,
– you’ll learn the science behind dressing your shape and some of the best shapes and style to enhance and flatter your figure!
Interested? Yes! Let’s determine your body shape!
To keep it as simple as possible I use 5 basic body shapes with some variations:
- Triangle (slender or full)
- Inverted triangle (slender or full)
- Rectangle (slender or full)
- Hourglass (slender or full)
To determine your body shape you can look in the mirror or you take your measurements. I recommend doing both. Having up-to-date measurements is handy also when shopping online.
The body shape is based on your skeletal structure. The defining points are your shoulders, waist, and hips. For the most part, you will stay the same shape over your lifetime. However, you may vary between a slender shape and a full shape at various times. The bust is also a body variation. Large or small busts can appear on any of the body shapes and the fullness of a woman’s bust varies over her lifetime.
Taking Your Measurements
You will need the following tools:
- Cloth tape measure (or string and ruler)
- Pencil & paper
- Full length mirror
- You in your underwear!
Here are the measurements to take:
- Shoulders – Place the end of the measuring tape at the tip of one shoulder and wrap it all the way around until it meets back at the same shoulder. The tape should skim the top of your shoulder so closely that it almost slips off.
- Bust – Place the measuring tape around the fullest part of your bust making sure the tape is sitting well under your arms and spans your shoulder blades. The tape should be taut but not too tight.
- Waist – Find the narrowest part of your waist – bend to your left or right to find it. Measure around the slimmest part of your natural waistline.
- Hips – Standing with your feet together, measure around your hips at the widest part – usually over your bottom or at the tops of your thighs.
Now that you have your measurements,
Let’s determine your body shape!
I have included photos of celebrity body shapes just to point out that you can have any body shape and be stylish. You may not see the true body shape of the celebrity unless you see them in a bathing suit. They all have stylists who dress them to balance out their proportions. Following the set of celebrity pictures, I’ve listed the characteristics of each body shape.
The Oval/Round Figure:
- Rounded, often sloping, shoulders
- Balanced hips and shoulders and little definition at the waist
- Carries weight around the tummy and the upper body
- Generous bust
- Very curvaceous
- Shapely legs
The Triangle Figure (slender)
- Shoulders are narrower than hips
- Larger size on bottom than top
- Fuller hips, bottom and thighs
- Slender upper body
The Triangle Figure (full)
- Same as slender triangle but fuller around middle
- Usually has shorter waist
- Noticeable “saddle bags”
- Bigger bottom
The Inverted Triangle (slender)
- Broader shoulders than hips
- Little definition between waist & hips
- Much smaller bottom half than top
- Same as slender but also has a generous bust & is more curvaceous
- Fuller upper arms
- Usually has a shorter waist
- Bust, waist, and hips are similar measurement
- Straighter shoulder line
- Straight rib cage & flat bottom
- Very little waist definition
The Rectangle Figure (full)
- Same as slender rectangle, but she looks more sturdy and strong
- More solid looking limbs
- Carries her weight evenly over her body not just around the waist for example
- Shoulders & hips are a similar measurement
- Wears roughly the same size on top & bottom
- Clearly defined waist & is curvaceous
- Average to full bust
The Hourglass Figure (full)
- Same as slender hourglass, but also has a generous bust & full hips
- Clearly visible, shorter waist
- Generous thighs & bottom
Were you surprised to learn what body shape you are? In the upcoming weeks, I will describe the best styles of clothing and how to use accessories for each shape. Once you know your body shape, you can use the style tips for your shape to enhance and flatter your figure.
If you have any questions or you’d like me to do your body shape analysis, just Contact Me. I am available to do an analysis in-person or over FaceTime or Skype!
Finally, remember that self-confidence and feeling good about your body shape is the most important quality.
LOOK GREAT | FEEL GREAT | DO GREAT!