How to Dress for your Body Shape

Women’s body shapes are all different, but they tend to fall into broad categories that have an emphasis on different areas of the body. We should all celebrate our body shapes, but often we feel less confident if our clothing shows off the lumps and bumps we’d rather hide. Some styles of clothing flatter some body shapes more than others, so if you are not sure about what styles will look good and make you feel confident, this guide shows you how to choose the right clothing for your body shape.

What are Body Shapes?

Women’s bodies are all beautiful no matter what shape they are, yet some clothes that look good on some women just don’t fit right on others. That is because women’s bodies fall into different shapes. The main shapes are as follows:

Apple – Rounded, with shoulders, bust, waist, and hips of approximately the same width.

Apple shapes may have a fuller waistline, so wear styles that accentuate the bust to even out the proportions. Longer, flowing materials skim the waist and hips, giving it a straighter look. Go for V-neck tops, A-line tunic styles, and strapless maxi dresses. For swimwear, go for swimsuits that have detailing around the waist, such as gathered fabric or patterning that works to create the illusion of a narrowing in that area. If you need to sort a plus size swimsuit, has a great range of swimwear of various sizes, including apple shapes.

Pear – Hips are wider than the waist, waist is wider or the same as the bust.

The pear-shaped figure is all about the hips! Pear shapes have the advantage of looking great in a pair of jeans, and the fuller bottom brings a nice shape when clad in denim! For tops, go for detailed necklines, bold colors and prints to make your bust and shoulders appear larger, bringing the illusion of an even width between your tops and bottom.


Hourglass – Hips, bust, and shoulders are larger than the waist. The waist is well-defined.

If you have an hourglass shape, then consider yourself lucky! There are lots of style options for this feminine body shape. You will look fabulous in figure hugging fabrics that show off those curves, so go for stretch jersey knits or wraparound tops. For a tailored look, go for pencil skirts and blouses that nip in at the waist.

Athletic – Hips, waist, bust and shoulder widths are all approximately the same.

When you have an athletic body shape, you probably look good in any style of clothing. Sometimes though, you might like to wear clothes that emphasize the places where you would like more curves. Try an oversized shirt over skinny fit jeans, or a tighter fitting top over a puff style skirt.

Dressing well for your body shape is all about evening out and balancing your proportions. This can be done with clothing that is cut to flatter your shape, or by creating illusions with color and patterns. Don’t be afraid to experiment and celebrate your body shape with some fun garments.

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