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Dressing For Your Body Type

Everyone is different, not just in personality but in body type. Knowing what looks work for different body types is important for styling, because you want your client to look their best, and some styles work better than others. There are five basic body types: pear, wedge, rectangle, apple and hourglass. Once you have determined your or your client’s body type, you can begin to consider which fashion trends to embrace and which to avoid.

The first body type is pear, which is when your lower body is wider then your upper body. A pear shape’s best assets are their shoulders, torso, and flat stomach. Their fashion goals are to emphasize their waists and arms, add volume to their shoulders and upper body and minimize their hips. Tips for dressing this body type are to try A-line skirts, light-colored tops with dark-colored bottoms, boat neck and cowl neck tops, strapless dresses and tops with ruffles on them.

The next body shape is the wedge shape, which features a broad chest and wide shoulder, which are large in proportion to a narrow waist and hips. The best asset for this body type is legs. Women with this body type should accentuate their lower body while softening their upper body. Wearing bright colors on the bottom, wide-leg pants and full skirts are all tricks for dressing this body type.

The rectangle body type is next. Women with this body type have the same widths at their shoulders, hips and waists. Their best assets are the arms and legs. Women with this body type should strive to create curves and show off their slender legs and arms. Tricks for this body type are layering to add more dimension, dresses with ruching, long jackets and scoop neck or sweetheart tops to create curves.

The fourth body type is the apple body shape. Women with this body type carry most of their weight above the hips, which are narrow. These women also have a broad back, ribs and shoulders. Their best assets are their legs. Women with this body type should dress to elongate the torso, show off their legs and use fashion to create the illusion of a waist. To dress this body type women should go for a monochromatic look, wear V-neck tops, wear belts at the smallest part of their waist, and wear shorter skirts to show off their legs.

The last body type is the hourglass. To fit into this category a woman must have shoulders and hips that are similar in size and set off by a tiny waist. Their best asset is something women strive to have, and that is curves. To highlight this body type women should wear a fitted dress, a belt, high-waisted skirts to show off hips, and skinny or straight jeans.


  1. Beyonce is SUCH an hourglass! She better rock those high-waisted skirts!

  2. It's always easy to find what you should wear once you get use to you body type. For example, I know I have long legs so heels help them stand out and make me look taller. Also, I know that I have broad shoulders so wearing halter tops are out of the question unless I wear my hair down to cover them. It's all about what you perceive as good for your body. Once you get that down to a science you will always be able to dress for success.

  3. I agree! Knowing the person your styling body type is VERY important as well as knowing what looks good on your own body. I would consider myself a people watcher and i'm always looking at what others have on and if it looks right on them.

  4. Many people do not think about what body type they have and just wear whatever they want (kind of like me). But knowing and understanding your body type is very important and can really help accentuate as you say your 'best asset'. Because I am so small in all areas it is hard to find clothing that makes me look taller, but simply wearing a shirt or dress that has vertical lines can really help.

  5. I don't usually pay much attention to my "body type" when picking out clothing for myself, although I do know that I look best in things that accentuate my waist. However, this is extremely helpful when I am picking out clothing for other people. It gives me a general idea of what I am looking for and what definitely wont work, right from the begining.