How to Identify and Dress for Your Body Type

Finding outfits that flatter your figure is about to become a lot easier.

female body shapes
Post by Trunk Club
October 7, 2019

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.

measurements for body type

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.

1. Shoulders

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.

2. Bust

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.

3. Waist

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.

4. Hips

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.

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Better with visuals? 

Watch this video for a look at how to measure yourself and discover your body shape.

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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.

apple shape look

Apple-Shaped Body

If you’re curvy with a less defined waist, you’re likely an apple shape (also known as a circle or round body type).

Outfits for apple shapes

Pear-Shaped Body

If your hips are broader than your shoulders, you’re likely a pear shape (also known as a triangle body type).

Outfits for pear shapes

pear shape look
hourglass shape look

Hourglass Body

If your shoulders and hips are fairly balanced and you have a defined waist, you’re likely an hourglass shape.

Outfits for hourglass shapes

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

If your shoulders are broader than your hips, you’re likely an inverted triangle.

Outfits for inverted triangles

inverted triangle shape look
rectangle shape look

Rectangle Body Shape

If your four measurements are fairly uniform and you have a straighter build, you’re likely a rectangle.

Outfits for rectangle shapes

Petite Body

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.

Outfits for petite frames

petite frame look
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We carry clothing sizes for a range of female body shapes, so be sure to share your shape with your stylist so they can help you create outfits that best flatter your figure.

At Trunk Club, our stylists help people build their best wardrobes by discovering what fits their body, their budget, and their personal style.