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Style Guide: Finding Your Body Type

Body types can be a really touchy and off-putting subject. Needless to say it's hard to talk about them but it's so important to know all at once. Depending on what sources you read from, there are a couple different ways to define body types.

For me, I source my information from a couple my personal styling books, Stylewise: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Fashion Stylist and Your Personal Style. Both of these books were taught from in my personal styling course but there are also some other really great resources out there to learn about personal style and also body types.

Many resources give many body types, but for the purpose of keeping it short and sweet, we will just be discussing four. First up, the rectangle body type. Rectangles are boxy with very few curves. Your weight gain more than likely is evenly distributed over the entire body. You should try to define a shape by creating a waist line. Stay away from oversized pieces that will overwhelm you and keep you looking boxy. Fitted tops and bottoms broken up by a belt will create shape. If you want to wear volume on top, keep the bottom slimming and ensure that you have a defined waist. If you want to have some volume on bottom, keep the top fitted.

The second body type is triangle, where you are smaller on the top and larger on the bottom. Many also would describe this as being pear shaped as well. Women with this body type can be one size on top and another size on the bottom. They will also gain weight in the outer thighs and rear areas. Creating balance is important here. Fitted waists, bulkier sweaters, puffed or capped sleeves are all great for this body shape when it comes to dressing your top. You will want to stick with fitted bottoms for this body shape to create a even/symmetrical look.

The third body type is an inverted triangle. This body type carries weight in the breast, stomach and midriff areas. Their shoulders are more broad than their hips and their rear can often be flat. Try to avoid wearing bulky items or patterns on top and keep the interesting pieces for your bottom half. Create the illusion of a waist, find pieces that add volume to your lower half to widen your hips, and keep away from skinny or tight bottoms to avoid further slimming your bottom half.

The last body type is hourglass. This body type has a defined waist with a full chest and full legs. A person will gain weight around the waist, stomach, thighs and rear, but typically isn't as obvious because it is distributed pretty evenly across the body. The shoulders and hips are about the same size. Fitted looks are great for this body type but pieces with too much volume can become overwhelming, both for tops and bottoms. Keep it clean and simple and keep the eyes on the waist. Boxy and straight cuts will take away from your body shape and pieces with embellishments may be too much.

Next week, we are talking about skin tone and choosing the right color palette for you!

Let me know if you need any help figuring out your body type.


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