Style Tips

Dressing the “not so perfect body” perfectly

Someone made the statement the other day that says “There is no such thing as a wrong body type, it is dressing incorrectly for your body type that is the problem”. I know, I know – most of us strive to have the “perfect body”, BUT it is not so much having the perfect body that would make others see you as stylish, it is much rather dressing the “not so perfect body” perfectly that would draw others’ attention to you. This, together with a healthy amount of self love could make you a style icon no matter your size or body type.

Therefor, today I would like to take a sneak peak at HOW to dress the different body types correctly and helping you towards becoming a more stylish YOU! You may want to take a quick break and visit my previous blog post on “How to dress like a Super Star” should you not know your vertical and horizontal body types as yet.

This post focuses on dressing the various horizontal body types.

The Hourglass

Considered by many to be the most desirable shape. This woman has a bust and hip measurement that are similar and a waist that is about 25.5 cm or 10″ smaller. Most commonly seen in conjunction with a balanced horizontal body.

You should be wearing clothes that shows off your body. Therefore, define your waist, enhance your bust and highlight your hips. This is largely achieved by putting emphasis on your small waist.

The following styles would flatter your body type:

  • Any style dress, either shaped or belted
  • Shaped or wrapped tops works great
  • Any style skirt or trousers basically works well on you, but skirts and trousers with a waistband works best as it defines your small waist.
  • Fitted jackets that defines your waist
  • Coats – All shapes as long as it defines your waist in order to create the desirous hourglass shape.

Items from the Hourglass’s Closet


Kim Kardashian would be a good example of a star with a hourglass figure.

The Inverted Triangle

This is deemed the second most desirable body type.

The body is larger above the waist than below. It is produced by a proportionally large bust line and small hips.

Your aim would be to even out your bigger bust by putting less emphasis on your upper body. This can be achieved by i.e. Wearing simpler styled tops with no frills.

Minimizing the upper body can by achieved by:

  • Open necklines and collars,
  • Vertical stripes,
  • Single-breasted jackets,
  • Garments that are smooth in texture
  • Garments that drape fluidly over the body.
  • Jackets should be shaped.
  • Any style trousers can be worn. Fuller leg width trousers works well as it even out a bigger bust.
  • Simple dresses works best, but avoid gathered waistlines
  • Straight line coats can be worn which are slightly shaped, but not belted.

Items from the Inverted Triangle’s Closet


Famous inverted triangles : Catherine Zeta Jones and Tyra Banks

The Triangular Body Type (Pear Shape)

This is a very common female horizontal body type. The body is larger below the waist than above. This woman does not necessarily have a large hipline, rather it is often her proportionally small bust line which makes her appear triangular. To provide the illusion of an hourglass figure, width needs to be created in the upper body to balance the lower half.

A great tip by the “Colour me Beautiful ” experts is to have your jackets and tops finish either above or below the widest point of your hips and bottom and to layer your top half which creates visual interest and draws the eye upwards.

In general you should therefore be focusing on drawing the attention to your upper body, instead of your lower body unless you are Kim Kardashian!

Other slimming strategies include:

  • Smooth fabrics below the waistline,
  • Darker colours for skirts and pants
  • A wrapped dress would work best, although separates are rather recommended
  • Slightly tapered or bootleg trousers
  • Wear a squared shoulder coat with prominent collars
  • High placed accessories,
  • Medium to high heels.

Items from the Triangular Body Type’s Closet

Famous stars with a Triangular body shape worth imitating are Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce.

The Rectangular Body Type

Another very common figure shape. These women have little or no waistline definition.

Most important tip for the rectangular body type is to avoid any detail around your waist, such as waistbands and belts.

The illusion of a balance body can be achieved by:

  • Shoulder pads (not visible though like in the 80’s)
  • Colour blocking (to create the illusion of a waist)
  • Open single-breasted structured jackets
  • Straight line dresses or shift-dresses (Avoid detail in the waist area)
  • Soft fabric tops and matching skirts.
  • You may wear any type of trouser, but it might be a good idea to wear i.e. A nice pair of jeans with some detail on the back pockets to draw away he attention from your waistline.

Items from the Rectangular Body Type’s Closet

Famous celebrities with this body type : Cameron Diaz and Hillary Duff

The Oval Body Type

This shape belongs to full figured women who have a round shape and a low stomach. The Diamond Body Shape is similar to the Oval except she has a high stomach that creates the diamond.

A pleasing silhouette is created by:

  • V’ necklines
  • Vertical design lines
  • Medium to dark colours
  • High placed focal points
  • Medium to medium-high heels
  • Below knee-length skirts – wrapped or paneled works best
  • Wear A-line, wrap or a drop-waistline dresses
  • A-Line coats also works best
  • Drawstring trousers works well
  • Choose tops with simple lines (V-necks is a good choice)

Items from the Oval Body Type’s Closet

Queen Latifah is a good example of a celebrity with this body type.

Please note: – these are only general recommendations. It is best to have your body type analysed by a professional which would take all factors into consideration. Visit My Private Stylist to get an accurate analysis and recommendations.

Tip : Study the celebrities I mentioned in this blog post for more ideas on how to dress according to your body type.

Set your inner diva free by dressing according to your body type.

PlainJane Logo1



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.