When you look great, you feel great—and the key is dressing for your unique body frame. This guide will show you the best ways to highlight an inverted triangle body simply by choosing the right clothing. Once you have all the information, dressing your shape becomes easy. Keep reading for style tips, outfit inspiration, and answers to all the questions you have about dressing your body.
What is an inverted triangle body shape?
Here are some characteristics that often apply:
• Your shoulders are the broadest part of your body.
• Your bust may be larger.
• Your hips and waist are narrower.
The inverted triangle is just one of the body types we’re highlighting. (Think you might actually be an apple, pear, rectangle, or something else? Watch our body measurements video to help you figure it out. We also have style tips for tall body types, plus sizes, and petite figures.)
3 tips to dress for your body type:
If the inverted triangle sounds like your shape, we’re excited to teach you the best ways to dress your frame. But first things first: Here are three all-encompassing ideas every body type should keep in mind.
1. Balance it out
Body shape is almost entirely based on your bone structure—not your weight. Use your outfit to balance your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.
2. Draw the eye
Use lines to focus the eye where you want it to go. They can help you create curves, lengthen, or emphasize your favorite parts of your body.
3. Think about color
Your eye is also drawn to patterns and light, bright colors more so than solid black or navy. Keep this in mind when choosing separates.
What to wear if you have an inverted triangle body type
Now that we’ve established a baseline, let’s get specific. Here are the best tops, jackets, pants, dresses, and accessories to complement an inverted triangle-shaped frame.
Best tops for an inverted triangle frame
Let your neckline and hips steal away the spotlight.
These tops make your collarbone the focal point of your top half.
This shape opens up your chest to create a long, lengthened neckline.
A great everyday option if you prefer a higher-cut top.
Best jackets if you’re an inverted triangle
Look for pieces that add volume near your hips to help balance your frame.
Creating structure from shoulder to waist fills out your top half evenly.
A shorter hemline helps focus the eye toward your waist.
As with cropped, longer belted styles also accentuate the waist.
Loose-fitting fabrics add movement and space near your hips.
Best jeans for an inverted triangle figure
It’s all about adding volume and curves to your lower half.
1. Cropped wide-leg
The fuller leg line is a no-brainer for balancing your shape.
This baggy style creates curves around the hips and thighs.
Balance out your shoulders with this more shapely cut.
Whereas skinny jeans exaggerate your shape, these balance it out.
Best pants for an inverted triangle shape
Give your legs and ankles the attention they need.
Wide-leg flared pants create an “X” shape—your own version of an hourglass.
The shorter hemline is an easy way to attract attention to your lower half.
These busier patterns draw the eye down to your lower half.
4. Large prints
They have a volumizing effect that fill out your hips and thighs.
Best dresses for an inverted triangle body shape
Try to find structured pieces that already have a built-in shape.
Balance happens when a triangle-shaped dress meets an inverted triangle frame.
Look for a fuller skirt—it’ll help fill out your hips to match your shoulders.
Sheath dresses are constructed to fall straight down your body, creating long lines.
A pleated skirt in a midi length is ideal on your shape.
Stylish accessories to flatter an inverted triangle shape
Focus on pieces that accentuate your lower half, from your waist to your toes.
1. Belt bags
A functional and trendy accessory that calls attention to your hips.
2. Statement shoes
Shoes are prime real estate for a pop of pizzaz.
Chunky heels anchor a narrower bottom half.
A glitzy way to draw the eye downward.
Best swimwear for an inverted triangle figure
By choosing separates, you can add volume to your hips for balance.
1. Solid tops:
Plain hues, especially dark ones, narrow your shoulders.
2. Printed bottoms
Paired with a solid-colored top, a fun print on the bottom enhances your hips.
3. Plunging neckline
Deep cuts draw focus from your shoulders to the middle of your chest.
4. High-cut bottoms
The higher the cut, the fuller your hips will look.
3 Outfit ideas that flatter an inverted triangle body shape
General tips are great to have in your back pocket when shopping, but seeing them in action makes them easier to visualize. Check out three outfits we’ve built from the items suggested above that look great on an inverted-triangle figure.
This outfit is the epitome of happy-hour style—layered looks always are. This is the perfect way to do denim-on-denim if you’re nervous about too much blue. And we love the structure denim creates, too. Cropped, straight jeans and a block-heel bootie even out the natural width at the top of an inverted triangle frame by adding volume to your lower half.
You know that “X” shape we talked about above? Here it is in action. A light-colored crewneck top underneath a wrap-style layer creates the top half of a modified hourglass, and wide-leg flared pants make up the bottom half. Plus, bold prints are one of our favorite details to add to a confidence-boosting work look.
Out on the town
When we want the outfit construction to do the heavy lifting, A-line dresses are our go-to. A full-skirted dress with a V-neck elongates your whole frame, neckline, and waist. Pointed-toe heels in a complementary shade bring drama to the look, and a set of bangles—or a large cuff—add attention around your waist and hips.
Want to know more?
We’ve compiled answers to some FAQs about dressing an inverted triangle body shape. Click the questions below for more style advice.
In order to create a balanced frame, we’d recommend a straighter leg. But if skinny jeans are your style, try adding volume elsewhere below the waist—like with a peplum top or long belted jacket.
A truly oversized blazer may overpower your frame. But if you love wearing blazers, try single-breasted styles that button near your waist.
Of course you can, but to keep a balanced frame, pair a dark off-the-shoulder top with wide-leg pants.
We recommend straight or slim slacks or a sheath dress, which create straight lines down your shape. Consider staying away from pencil skirts that could exaggerate your frame.
Absolutely! We love big and bold patterns, you just have to know where to place them. On an inverted triangle frame, you’ll want to wear them all over, or concentrate on just your lower half.
No way. Make your statement with drop or tassel earrings. And if you wear your hair pulled back with them, your neck will look long and elegant, too.
Wearing pieces that create shape for you is a simple way to balance out your natural bone structure. Keep in mind that volume around your hips, legs, and ankles is a great way to balance prominent shoulders. Visit the Nordstrom Blog for additional tips for styling and beauty.