A Woman's Guide: Effective Dressing Based on Body Type and Shape - BlogPh.net

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A Woman's Guide: Effective Dressing Based on Body Type and Shape

Finding the right clothes for your body type or shape is very important as it accentuates your figure and boosts your confidence. Be empowered by the way you dress up. Don’t compromise comfort with style and more importantly, don’t just go with comfort without style. Dressing up is not about being up-to-date with trends and the current fashion craze that you just grab clothes that catch your fancy just because it is so “in” but be knowledgeable instead about pieces that flatter your features and will work best according to your body shape.

Having a clear understanding of your body type is the first step towards easier shopping. When you know your body shape well, you don’t really have to invest a lot of time and energy scouting from rack-to-rack or even from one shop to another for clothes that wouldn’t fit or flatter you in the end. And although fashion is about defying the rules of the thumb and a fun way to express your personality, I honestly suggest that you maximize your personality through effective choices of what you wear. That means, highlighting your best features and to tone down those that you wish to downplay. Don’t be a fashion victim just because you were not informed or because you don’t really care.

What is Your Body Type?

Take Note: No matter what your body size is, if you are confident with your skin and love your body just the way it is, then don’t change a thing. I don’t actually promote diet or exercise for this article or for you to jump from one body figure to another. The point here is to celebrate the type of body you have instead so you can identify those beautiful parts that need to be emphasized when dressing up and to target those that you want to de-emphasize.

To know your body type is identifying the body frame which includes your body’s skeletal or bone structure, your metabolism (how easy you gain or lose weight with the way you eat or exercise) as well as muscle and fat distribution.

3 Body Types

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This is the skinny type of body wherein the chest, shoulders and buttocks are small. Ectomorphic body type has a high metabolism rate and slow weight gain. This is the type of body that has small skeletal structure and low body fat.


Usually, women under this body type have medium-sized bones and joints, with body fat that is evenly distributed. This body type has efficient metabolism, muscles can be gained easily and the body responds to exercises even in a short span of time.


Endomorphic type usually has smooth and round body with medium-to-large bone and joint structure. Those with this body can easily gain weight with the wrong choices of food because metabolism is slow and losing weight is very gradual. There will be a high level of fat with the tendency of being overweight.

Aside from the features mentioned above, the easiest way to find out your body type is through your wrist bone.

1. If you enclose your palm to your wrist and the middle finger and your thumb are overlapping each other then you have ectomorphic body type.

2. If you enclose the palm and your middle finger and the thumb just meet then you fall under the mesorphic body type.

3. But if you enclose your palm and your middle finger and thumb are apart then you have an endomorphic body type.

This doesn’t mean that every women will fall under just one specific body type. Most women will have a combination instead. It can be a variation of having one body type for the upper part and another one for the lower. So when you have a combination for example of a slim (ectomorphic) upper body and a more fat-prone (endomorphic) lower body, then you have a pear shape body type which will be the next way of understanding your body aside from the type.

Knowing Your Body Shape

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To determine your body shape is focusing this time on your curves and proportions. Just like the body type, every woman’s body is unique and not everyone falls exactly into just one category. It can be a combination of both. Again, the aim is to identity what's closest to your body and then use the information to your advantage in maximizing the style that best suits you.

Inverted Triangle

This is a body shape where your shoulders are wider than your waist and the hip line. You have prominent and broad straight shoulders. You might also have a larger chest and fuller back. And when you gain weight, it will go through the torso and back area.

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This is often referred to as top-heavy. This is the body shape where your shoulders and hip line are of the same width and your waistline has the same size or is wider than your shoulders and hips. When you gain weight, most of the fats are restored mainly around the waist. Your thighs or hips are the narrowest part of your body.


When your hips are wider than your shoulders and waistline then your body figure is Pear. Your buttocks and thighs are full and when you gain weight, it will mostly show in the thigh areas. This is the opposite of the Apple body shape. It is often described as the “bottom-heavy". 


The shoulders and hips are of the same width and your waistline is smaller. Women with an hourglass body have well-defined waistline. This body type gains weight through the hips and above the waist.


When you look at your shoulders, waistline and hips and they are of the same width, then you have the rectangle shape. When you gain weight it will be evenly distributed, or it can be more through the upper back or neck.

Note: One way to be able identify the body shape accurately is to stand naked in a mirror so you can examine your curves and proportions. Wearing underwear can sometimes give you a slimmer illusion.

Now that you know your body type as well as your body shape, it’s time to know the best ways to dress up and look your best!

Dressing Up the Inverted Triangle Body Figure

  • Since the challenge is to de-emphasize the upper part of the body, choose dark or muted colors. As much as needed, avoid wearing light or bright colors as they draw attention instead to the feature that you want to camouflage.
  • Avoid puffy and padded sleeves. Choose instead the sleeves that make your shoulders appear smaller like kimono and those with wider cuffs and flared sleeves.
  • For the shirts, crew necks, scoop necks, narrow or deep V necks look great on you.
  • Always create a vertical line so vertical stripes, open necklines and collars and even the button-down shirts are must-haves for this body figure.
  • For jackets, avoid wearing those that has extra volume especially on the bust area but opt for single breasted that has fluid lines. Give the illusion of a vertical line by not wearing the jacket open.
  • Invest with tops that highlight or cinch the waist. Belts can greatly accentuate your waistline too.
  • Strapless dresses and tops are awesome to wear.
  • Look for skirts that add volume to the hips. Those with bold prints, A-lines, voluminous maxi-skirts and the mermaid styles will work best for Inverted Triangle Body shape.
  • Pants like capri, bootleg, stretchable type, cargo and even the jodhpur, harem and jogger pants are highly recommended.
  • Pleats, embellishments, pockets, tapered and draped and other detailing for pants or skirts that can make your hips look wider.
  • The key is to always choose pants and skirts that add weight to your lower body.Textures, materials and colors play important roles, too.

Dressing Up the Apple Body Shape


  • You’ll never go wrong with printed and dark-colored tops.
  • The key is to create an illusion of a waist, highlight your cleavage and to create awesome vertical lines.
  • Invest on V-necks, button-down shirts and polo that draw attention to your bust and neck as they elongate your neck, drawing attention out of your tummy.
  • Look for tops that provide great drapes and accentuate curves.
  • V-shaped tailored suits and jackets are must-haves in your closet.
  • Look for cute tops that cover the whole belly area and end just below the hip bone.
  • When it comes to shirts, look for those that are tight just underneath the bust area and then go out. Material should be with thicker texture that don’t cling so much to the skin.
  • Flared and straight pants are a recommended investment for Apple body shape.
  • Choose pants that are high-rise, creating a great silhouette.
  • Avoid pleats when choosing your trousers. For jeans, stay away from those with zippers or buttons in front that can add volume to your midriff. A trouser jean is highly recommended instead especially those that have zippers at the side.
  • When choosing the material, avoid those that are tight-fitted and clingy.
  • Knee-length pencil skirts will accentuate the Apple body shape. Make sure that the zipper will also be in the side part to avoid adding bulk in your stomach.

Dressing Up for the Pear Shape Body

  • Look for tops that add to your shoulder and bust area. This is the secret to divert the attention from your lower body.
  • Invest on tops that are bright and bold; also, choose those that have bold and colorful prints.
  • Choose tops that broaden the shoulders and highlight the bust area. Wide necklines like boat-necks, embellished necklines such as scoop-necks and V-necks are perfect choices to provide the illusion of a longer neck and to visually widen your shoulders. When buying a tight-fitting shirt, make sure that it will emphasize the shoulders and the waistline.
  • If it is a loose shirt, make sure that it is a bit long so it will cover the hips.
  • There are tops and jackets that are padded in the shoulders; examples are military jackets, a good way to highlight the shoulders. 
  • Just like the Apple Figure, go for pants that are flared or straight-cut. This will create a bottom half with full volume all the way down.
  • Skinny jeans will just emphasize the hips and highlight the narrow legs.
  • Avoid skirts that are voluminous like full skirts as they add weight to your hip, making it look bigger.
  • Be careful with the embellishment and adornments as well. Stay away from those with lots of sequins, side pockets, frills and laces. Choose skirts that are knee-length as they elongate your legs.

Dressing Up the Hourglass Figure

  • The trick here is to follow your curves rather than hide it. Look for tailored and form fitting clothes, especially those highlighting the waist.
  • Rounded necklines are great, so are V-necks.
  • If you are busty, avoid wide-shouldered tops and turtlenecks, as they will make your upper body look heavy, most especially if you are petite.
  • Don’t go with fabrics that are stiff, textured and thick as they hide your natural curves.
  • Avoid embellishments like bows, ruffles, frills, and other adornment that add volume to your bust area.
  • Go for soft fabrics like body-hugging sweaters and knits, jerseys, cottons, silk and even stretchy materials if you have a flat stomach.
  • Wrap dresses, strapless gowns and dresses with empire lines will be the best choices for the hourglass figure.
  • Make sure to look for tops that will end short of your waist to emphasize those feminine curves.
  • Trousers should have no pleats, extra pockets and other embellishment that add volume to the hips.
  • Go for pants that are wide-legged, slightly flared, boot-cut and straight cut. Avoid pants that are voluminous like baggy pants as they go against your feminine figure.
  • To give an illusion of longer legs, choose mid or high-rise pants that perfectly lay flat in your belly.
  • Skinny and slim jeans can work well though make sure that you balance it with the right top and wear high heels to elongate the legs.
  • When choosing shorts, avoid straight cuts. Choose high-rise with an elastic waistband instead.
  • High-rise looks great when you have an hourglass body shape. You should have an array of high-rise skirts, pencil cut, full circle and A-lines for they highlight your hips. Avoid too much detailing because they make your hips look wider.

Dressing Up for the Rectangle Body Figure

  • This is to create the illusion of the waist, so belt does the magic for this type of frame. You must invest with lots of waist belts.
  • You have a lot of choices when it comes to tops. Look for tops with added details like those with ruffles, bows, bibs, frills, laces and ruched sleeves because they emphasize the bust area and shoulder part more, making your waist look slimmer.
  • Empire cuts, V-necks, low necklines or scoop necks and other bust-enhancing necklines that elongate the neck should be your top picks, giving you the illusion of a slimmer waist.
  • Invest on dresses and tops where the nipped shape is at your waistline or just below your bust. This will help to push up your bust bigger, adding weight on your upper body and creating gentle curves.
  • Do not go with shapeless shirts and tops as they will just emphasize your rectangular frame that you are trying to de-emphasize.
  • Look instead for loose materials and draping that gives gentle curves.
  • Go with straight styles that offer a vertical illusion and then detail it with a belt or a great neck piece.
  • Keep your silhouette uncluttered. It is recommended to accessorize so long as you keep your waist look trim.
  • Bootleg and flared jeans work well with this type of body.
  • Skinny and slim jeans are ideal choices, too. Just make sure that the jeans will hug your hips perfectly to create curves.
  • Those skirts that add volume to the hips look great for rectangular body shape.
  • Invest into girly and flirty skirts as well as dresses that will give you the feminine shape.
  • A-lines with side seams, ruffles, and layered, tiered and even paneled skirts are also amazing choices for accentuating the hips. 

These are the basic guidelines that you can use to be able to identity what are those proportions or features that you have to focus and highlight to look your best. Dressing up according to your body shape is not as complicated as you think; in fact, it is a fun way of engaging yourself to more possibilities of mixing and matching while maximizing those best features. It even gives you the opportunity to understand yourself more, being able to accentuate your figure and to heighten your self-confidence.

When you know your body proportions and what body type you have, it helps you to camouflage those parts of the body that you want to downplay, to be able to follow your natural curves and give a balanced silhouette.

Remember, loving yourself speaks volume of how you treat yourself and how you present yourself to the world, especially with how you dress. Avoid as much as needed to settle with the "just okay" dressing because you are a busy mom or you really don't have time to look for clothes. One way of loving yourself is knowing what's best for yourself through the clothes you wear. It’s not just about accepting who you are, but this is more about celebrating wonderful things about you. So let your personality shine,  let your inner glow radiate, and show those lovely curves through effective power dressing! 


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