3 Common Women’s Body Shapes and How to Dress for Them
Women come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no point in denying it or trying to hide it. Instead, you should celebrate your shape with a flattering personal style.
But that’s easier said than done. Many women struggle to find outfits that accentuate their strengths and enhance their body shapes. This can become even more challenging for women over 60. If you’re body has gone through many changes – perhaps even changing the way your clothing fits or flatters – you’ve got a real challenge.
How can you know which styles work best with your body shape?
Your body shape is as unique as your personality. You are not cut from a mold, just another copy of a copy. Still, there are some general categories of body shape that most can identify with. Being aware of your body shape can help you shop for clothes that highlight your best qualities.
Consider three common women’s body shapes. They are the Apple (sometimes called the Inverted Triangle) shape, the Pear (or upright triangle) and the Hourglass.
Women who fall into this category have wider shoulders and busts with a smaller waistline. You’ve probably heard people describe this shape as “top heavy.” But that unflattering description is not always true for women with the Apple body shape.
Do you fall into this category? Maybe you have a broader, but not as full bust. Knowing the difference and the particulars of your body is a big help when picking out the perfect tops and dresses for you.
For the Apple shape, the key is to bring focus to your waistline and create the illusion of a little more curve than you might have. Tops that have a soft V-neck and that cinch at the waist are great for this.
Wrap blouses also flatter women with a broader upper body. They relax over the chest and shoulders and fold down to encircle the waist and give more definition to your core.
For the Apple-shaped woman, bottoms are not too tricky. You can show off your legs with straight or flowing short skirts. Or you can go long with a nice maxi skirt or sweeping wrap dress.
Remember to factor in your height. Have a long torso and short legs? Be careful not to go too long with your skirts. That can create an unattractive baggy look. Bring the hemline up a bit and choose pants that have straight legs or hug your ankles.
Pear-shaped ladies can bring the boldness upward. Since you have larger hips and a smaller bust, bright shirts and blouses enhance your style. Off the shoulder or wide V-neck tops will draw eyes to your slimmer arms and elegant neck.
This body type tends to hold weight in the hips, bottom, and thighs. So, select skirts and dresses with a slimming effect, like A-line skirts and dresses. They will disguise that bit of extra you have below the waist while giving you an alluring profile.
If you have height on your side, don’t be afraid to go long. Taller women with the Pear shape have the hips and thighs to give long, sweeping skirts something to flow over. It will give you the graceful and stylish look you’re searching for.
The Hourglass body type is often desired for its even top and bottom distribution. But if you’re not careful to accent the middle correctly you can end up with a stuffy, boxy look.
A tailored fit is a good rule of thumb. Your clothes should not hide your figure – they should enhance it.
Avoid draping too many layers that cover your curves. Deep V-neck fitted shirts or button-down blouses with simple sleeves will give you the custom-fit your body shape craves.
On the bottom, spotlight your midsection. Choose bottoms that have a fitted waist and consider accessorizing with wide or skinny belts in fun, eye-catching colors.
Embrace and Enhance Your Body
Each body type has its positives. There’s no one perfect body or style. Embrace what you’ve got, maximizing your attributes with ensembles that give them the prominence they deserve.
Do you dress for your body shape? Are you aware of how to accent and complement your natural shape? What clothing items have become your favorites for your body type? Please share in the comments.
Stephen Hadley, founder of Generous Fashions, has exclusively designed plus size clothing since 2002. In 2009, he relocated to Bali to handcraft fabrics and garments from his home studio for generousfashions.com and his Etsy shop. Sign up for the Generous Fashions newsletter for new arrivals and member discounts.