The Style Guide: How To Dress For Your Body Type

Have you ever worn a dress that looked great on other people but doesn’t feel right for your body type?

While many of us worry that there’s something wrong with us when this happens, it could simply be a dress that doesn’t match your body type.

Dressing according to the shape of your body helps you highlight all of your best features. However, most people don’t know their body type, let alone what clothing will accentuate their features. Luckily for you, we have created a list of the most common body types and a list of suggested clothing for each one!

1. Apple-Shaped Body

This body type is characterized by circular outlines. When you have an apple-shaped body, your shoulders, bust, and waist have similar or identical measurements.

When dressing your apple-shaped body, opt for clothes that add sharp lines to your overall appearance, add fullness or curves to your upper body, and de-emphasize the midsection to create a “smaller” waistline.

Best Options for Apple-Shaped Bodies

  1. Breezy A-line silhouettes
  2. Relaxed button-ups
  3. V-necks and deep necklines
  4. Wrap dresses

Worst Options for Apple-Shaped Bodies

  1. Tight tops
  2. Loose pants


Apple-shaped women should draw attention to their neckline, so choose women’s necklaces and earrings that work as statement pieces.

2. Pear-Shaped Body

People with this body shape look more slender around their shoulders and bust, but wider down around their hips and waistline. If your shoulder and bust are significantly smaller than your hips, you likely have a pear-shaped body.

People with pear-shaped bodies should dress up by highlighting their shoulders, arms, and back. Furthermore, women with this shape should lean towards outfits that provide a more contoured waistline.

Best Clothes for Pear-Shaped Bodies

  1. Bell sleeves
  2. Scoop necks
  3. Plunging V-necks
  4. Tops that are more fitted or structured
  5. High-waist pants, slim/straight cuts, and bootcut

Worst Clothes for Pear-Shaped Bodies

  1. Bottoms that add more volume to your hips (like cargo pants) 
  2. Drop-waist dresses


Like apple-shaped bodies, bold statement pieces with intricate details work well for pear-shaped women, too!

3. Rectangle Body

Women with rectangular bodies have shoulders, busts, and hips that are similar in widths. They resemble the bodies of athletes, which is why people also call this shape the “athletic build.”

Women with rectangular body types should find well-structured clothes that will give their body an hourglass figure through providing more definition to the waist.

Best Clothes for Rectangle Bodies

  1. Round necklines such as scoop and jewel necklines
  2. Lower, wider necklines
  3. Clothes with embellished sleeves (flared, princess, or puff)
  4. Flowy, soft bottoms
  5. low- to mid-rise trousers with wide waistbands

Worst Options for Rectangle Bodies

  1. Anything with square or straight necklines
  2. Dresses that don’t provide definition at the waistline


Women with rectangular body and face shapes benefit from layered necklaces and statement earrings.

4. Hour-Glass Body

Women with an hour-glass body enjoy a contoured waistline. Therefore, if your shoulders, bust, and hips have similar widths but your waistline measures significantly smaller, you likely have an hour-glass figure.

To all my ladies with an hour-glass body: You’ve got a great figure, so flaunt your curves! Opt for fitting clothes that highlight your shape.

Best Clothes for Hour-Glass Bodies

  1. Wraps
  2. Peplum dresses/blouses
  3. V-necks
  4. Flared
  5. Skinny jeans
  6. High-waisted
  7. Jumpsuit
  8. Wraps
  9. Sheath

Note: Coats and outerwear can help women with this body type change their overall appearance. When choosing women’s apparel for your hour-glass figure, Look for jackets and coats with belts that highlight your waist.

Worst Options for Hour-Glass Bodies

  1. Straight-cut clothes that conceal your hourglass figure


If you are endowed with a full bust, simple necklaces with pendants or princess-style necklaces are excellent choices for you. 

5. Inverted Triangle Body

Women with this body shape have hips and legs with slightly smaller widths in comparison to their shoulders, bust, and hips.

When dressing your inverted triangle body, look for outfits that highlight your hips and legs. Also, look for ways to soften your broad shoulder line with soft and flowy fabrics.

Best Clothes for Inverted Triangle Bodies

  1. Deep narrow necklines
  2. Tapered sleeves
  3. Bootcut flare, and skirts that add volume to the hips

Worst Options for Inverted Triangle Bodies

  1. Clothes that feature heavy detailing or embellishment on the collar and shoulder 
  2. Straight or square necklines
  3. Skinny jeans


For women with this body type, earrings that dangle with medium-to-long lengths and round necklaces are some of your best picks.

When you know your body shape, it’ll be easier for you to choose clothes that beautifully highlight the best features of your body. Remember to soften broad or edgy parts of your body, define your waistline, flaunt your curves, and balance out your top and bottom to achieve a well-proportioned figure. Remember that dressing for your body type won’t cost a fortune either, especially if you find ways to save money while shopping. This way you can afford more clothes that match your body type. 

Featured Photo by Clarke Sanders on Unsplash.


    • Best dresses for the apple body shape:

      – Wrap dress
      – Fit and flare
      – Peplum
      – Ruched dress
      – Tunic-style dresses
      – Draped elements

      Avoid: Bodycon dresses, corset styles, narrow/tight necklines or hems, structured seaming along the waistline, high and narrow necklines that hide your chest, fitted sleeves, crop tops and tight-fitted shirts, clingy knits that would show off the wider midriff, very tapered trousers, very skinny jeans, tiered or ruffled skirt styles, hot pants and short shorts, tight-fitted jumpsuits and playsuits.


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