There are few things better than finding an outfit that flatters your figure. The thing is, if you don’t understand why certain things look great on you, it can be hard to keep finding new favorites. In actuality, it’s very simple—it all boils down to body shape. Once you learn how to dress for your body type, it’s amazing how easy it is to build a wardrobe you love to wear. Keep reading to discover what body type you have and then see outfit inspiration for five different body shapes.
The 4 Body Measurements
First things first. What is your body type? The surest way to figure this out is by taking four body measurements: shoulders, bust, waist, and hips. The relationship among these numbers will reveal the shape of your frame. So grab your measuring tape, strip down to your skivvies, and let’s get started.
Loosely wrap the tape around the very tops of your shoulders, at their broadest point above your shoulder blades. It’s easy for the tape to slip off at this spot, so fair warning, a second set of hands could be useful.
Wrap the tape around the fullest part of your bust. Hold it snugly enough that it stays in place, but not so tight that it’s compressing your chest. It’s OK if you’re measuring over a bra, especially if you typically wear one.
This can be a little confusing, as your natural waist is different from where the waistband of your pants generally hits. You’re actually looking for the narrowest part of your waist, which is usually above the belly button.
As with your shoulders and bust, you’re looking for the fullest point. You’ll want to wrap the tape below your hip bones, around your hips and butt. With this, it’s also OK if you’re measuring over underwear.
Better with visuals?
Watch this video for a look at how to measure yourself and discover your body shape.
What’s my body shape?
Now that you know your measurements you can decipher your body type. While there are many different body shapes out there, most women align with one of five: apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle, or rectangle. Knowing this will help you learn how to best dress for your body type. Find your shape below and click through to get tons of tips, styling advice, and outfit ideas. (Don’t miss our guides on swimwear and denim, too.) And if you’re petite? Don’t worry, we have you covered as well.
If your hips are broader than your shoulders, you’re likely a pear shape (also known as a triangle body type).
Inverted Triangle Body Shape
If your shoulders are broader than your hips, you’re likely an inverted triangle.
While not a body shape (petites come in all different shapes and sizes) we have some universal styling tips if you’re 5’3” or under.