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Shopping for Your Individual Shape

Shopping for Your Individual Shape

celebrities and their body shape.jpg

It’s amazing how much more you will enjoy your shopping experience once you know what pieces work best for your individual shape. Surprising enough is the amount of women out there who have no idea what their shape is! 

In order for you to look your best, determining your body type is an absolute fashion must. Dawn Del Russo, beauty and fashion guru featured in InStyle, Elle and Life & Style, says it best:

“Finding clothes that fit your body will dramatically change how fabulous you look”

The Five Body Shape Categories

Most women fall into one of five body shape categories: The Apple, The Pear, The Hourglass, The Rectangle, and The Wedge. However, not every women falls into a single category. Each of our bodies are unique, therefore many of us will find ourselves mixed between certain categories. Not to fear! By the end of this post I am confident you will be able to identify, understand and dress your individual shape.

The Apple

The upper body is larger than the lower, hips are slim, and chest is on the larger side. Shoulders tend to be broad. Weight gain usually occurs above the waist in the mid sections and in the rear.

Your Secret Weapon: Your Legs!

Your Goals: Elongate the torso, show off your legs and downplay mid-section weight and shoulder width.

Styles to Avoid: Anything that draws attention to the middle―like high-rise pants, belts, and waist-cinching tops.

Styles that are a Must:

  • V-neck wrap-style tops, with cinching on the sides, creates the illusion of a longer torso.
Dora Landa Wrap Peplum Blouse - $79 at Nordstrom.jpg

Dora Landa Wrap Peplum Blouse - $79 at Nordstrom

  • Low-rise jeans and pants in a straight leg are chic and stylish for the apple along with most shapes.
Paige 'Skyline' Straight Leg Stretch Jeans (Dream) - $189 at Nordstrom.jpg

Paige ‘Skyline’ Straight Leg Stretch Jeans (Dream) - $189 at Nordstrom

  • Wear shorter shirts to show off your legs. This takes attention away from, and disguises, the midsection.
Flared, pattern-weave skirt - $34.95 at H&M.jpg

Flared, Pattern-Weave Skirt - $34.95 at H&M

The Pear

The lower body is larger than the upper, hip width exceeds shoulder width, and hips and butt are rounded with a defined waist. The chest and belly are fairly flat.

Your Secret Weapon: Shoulders, torso and flat stomach!

Your Goals: Show off your arms, add shape to your upper body and down play wide hips to heighten your upper body features.

Styles to Avoid: Shapeless, oversize sweaters; skinny jeans and pants; and skirts in a flimsy, curve-hugging fabric, like silk.

Styles that are a Must:

  • A dark pair of boot cut jeans slenderizes the thighs while creating a longer and slimmer silhouette.
BOOTCUT JEAN IN CLASSIC RINSE WASH - $115 at J.Crew.jpg

Bootcut Jean in Classic Rinse Wash - $115 at J.Crew

  • A structured jacket plays up the shoulders, which evens out the lower body’s proportions.
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA. Fitted, double-breasted blazer - $99 at H&M.jpg

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA. Fitted, Double-Breasted Blazer - $99 at H&M

  • Wide neckline of a boat-neck top broadens the shoulders to offset fuller hips
  • Wear strapless dresses that show off arms and even out proportions.
ARABELLE DRESS IN SILK CHIFFON - $250 at J Crew.jpg

Arabelle Dress in Silk Chiffon - $250 at J.Crew

  • A-line shirts that provide a non-clinging design is a godsend. Look for a tapered A-line to avoid appearing too triangular

The Hourglass

With an ample chest, a narrow waist, and full (but not wide) hips, this shape, although evenly proportioned, can seem as if it’s all angles. Choose clothes that work and move with your natural curves, not against them.

Your Secret Weapon: Curves, curves and more curves!

Your Goals: Find a middle ground between baggy, drab clothing and overly sexy clothing. Show off your curves by complementing them through proper balance.

Styles to Avoid: Shapeless or boxy style, like baby-doll dresses, tunics, and oversize cardigans.

Styles that are a Must:

  • High-waisted bottoms hit the natural waistline, the eye is drawn to a thin middle.
High-Waisted Ponte Knit Shorts - $29.80 at Forever 21.jpg

High-Waisted Ponte Knit Shorts - $19.80 at Forever 21

  • Wrap dresses create a diagonal movement across that body that is really forgiving.
MICHAEL Michael Kors Sequin Wrap Dress - $150 at Nordstrom.jpg

MICHAEL Michael Kors Sequin Wrap Dress - $150 at Nordstrom

  • V-neck tops or close-fitting blouses made from thin, lightweight fabrics with an open neckline flatters curves without exaggerating them.
  • Pencil skirts are a classic silhouette that works best on hourglass figures because it accentuates the waist and skims over the hips.
Kelly Wearstler 'Organto' Contrast Panel Knit Pencil Skirt - $395 at Nordstrom.jpg

Kelly Wearstler ‘Organto’ Contrast Panel Knit Pencil Skirt - $395 at Nordstrom

The Rectangle

With little definition at the waist, this straight-up-and-down figure is often considered boyish. Opt for styles that fit snugly at your middle but flare out at the bottom (whether it’s a skirt or pants) to create curves.

Your Secret Weapon: Your arms and legs. You don’t need to minimize any body features. You have more freedom than any other body shape to experiment with different trends and styles!

Your Goals: Create curves and show off your slender legs and arms.

Styles to Avoid: Dresses that are tight all over and anything too flowy or unstructured around the waist, like Empire-waist tops.

Styles that are a Must:

  • Boot-Cut Pants add a slim fit at the hips that graduates to slightly wider hems gives the impression of all-around shapeliness
  • Wear long jackets to create a lean look.
Divna Fur Jacket by Eleveneses - $218 at Anthropologie.jpg

Divna Fur Jacket by Elevenses - $218 at Anthropologie

  • Feminine tops with ruffles and wispy sleeves add volume to the bust and shoulders, making the waist look smaller in comparison.
Tory Burch 'Abitha' Sweater - $325 at Nordstrom.jpg

Tory Burch ‘Abitha’ Sweater - $325 at Nordstrom

  • A layered look gives a rectangle figure more dimension.
  • Dresses with ruching that ideally cinch on the sides also helps create curves.
Love 21 Ruffled Bodice Dress - $24.80 Forever 21.jpg

Love 21 Ruffled Bodice Dress - $24.80 at Forever 21

The Wedge

Also known as the inverted triangle, this body shape features a broad upper body, large chest and wide shoulders. The waist and hips are smaller in proportion to upper body features.

Your Secret Weapon: Your Legs!

Your Goals: Accentuate your lower body, and distract from broad shoulders and possibly boyish upper body.

Styles to Avoid: Steer clear of spaghetti-strap tops and boat necklines.

Styles that are a Must:

  • Full skirts
  • Tops that call attention to your waistline.
St. John Collection Crewneck Peplum Sweater - $495 at Nordstrom.jpg

St. John Collection Crewneck Peplum Sweater - $495 at Nordstrom

  • Wear wide-leg pants, which even out body proportions.
7 For All Mankind Dojo - $178 at RevolveClothing.com.jpg

7 For All Mankind Dojo in Midnight New York Dark - $178 at RevolveClothing.com

  • Bright colors on bottom
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