A guide on how to choose clothes that complement your body typePublished on 14 March 2022
This is an all-too-familiar experience: You see an outfit you like online and immediately buy it. The outfit arrives and you discover, to your dismay, that it just doesn’t look good on you. You start being overly critical of yourself for not being skinny or photogenic enough.
It’s easy to constantly compare yourself to celebrities and social media influencers who seem to be able to pull off any kind of fashion. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t look bad in everything you wear — you just don’t dress according to your body type.
The main goal of this article is to show you that not one body is the same, and that you too can achieve the look you are going for if you take some time to understand your body. To achieve a certain look, the aim is to accentuate the parts of your body that can best draw out your features, projecting the most ideal proportions and developing a style that suits you.
Most importantly, work with your body shape instead of against it. With that, let’s look into the common body shapes and a general overview of how to elevate your sartorial style by dressing for your body type.
One of the most balanced of all the body shapes, it comprises a proportionate top and bottom with a cinched waistline. You may choose to accentuate that gorgeous hourglass figure with fitting attire such as bodycon dresses, belts, high-waisted trousers or anything that showcases your small waist.
Although almost anything would look good on an hourglass body, avoid combinations that may cause a disproportionate silhouette such as low-rise jeans as these may make you appear shorter. For a more modest look, avoid drawing attention to your bust with high-neck tops. Opt for a boat neck or scoop neck instead.
The rectangular type is usually referred to as an “athletic” body shape. There is no definition and there seems to be a straight line from your shoulder to your hips. Thus, the goal here is to create the illusion of a visible waistline. Clothing that adds definition such as A-line skirts or ruffled and layered tops can add volume to your upper body without looking chunky.
Moreover, you can go for an androgynous look by styling yourself with blazers, long jackets or even capes. But if you prefer a more feminine look, avoid these completely as they will showcase a silhouette that is too vertical.
Pear (aka Triangle)
People with this body shape are identified by having a wider lower half. There is more volume on the hips and thigh area with the bust appearing to be smaller regardless of breast size. For pear-shaped bodies, it would be best to draw attention to your upper half by creating the illusion of a wider neckline (boat necklines and sweetheart necklines to broaden the shoulder) and through bright prints or colours. Outerwear that hits mid-thigh or emphasises the waist looks great on pear-shaped figures too.
Apple-shaped bodies are generally well-proportioned with broader shoulders than hips. The difference between an apple and an hourglass is the lack of a well-defined waistline. In general, silhouettes that aren’t reliant on a traditionally structured waistline will look good on you. These include the most comfortable top options like V-necks and flowy tunics.
If you have an apple-shaped body, don’t try to overcompensate with oversized clothing. Minimalism is the way to go. Reduce embellishments that will make you look top-heavy. Mix it up instead of wearing an entirely body-fitting outfit. Remember to vary between a loose top and fit bottom or vice versa.
We are all different and not all of us will entirely fit the description of each of these body types. These tips are meant to be the starting point of understanding the basics. It’s all about understanding your body, accepting it, and mixing and matching until you find what’s best for you.
You can find outfit options that suit your body type from these local businesses.