How to dress according to your body shape

One of the first steps to feel good about ourselves is accepting how we look. No matter if you’re skinny, slim, curvy or a plus size kind of girl, dressing accordingly to your body shape is the key to look great.

According to Daily Mail Online, nine in ten women don’t know their body shape, meaning that only 10% of the women population can properly identify their body shape. The most common shape is the banana/rectangular shape (63%). Eight per cent of British women have a pear shaped body and seven per cent posses a hourglass type body.

There are different body shapes but I will focus on the four most common ones: banana shape, pear shape, apple shape and hourglass shape.

The hourglass shape
Bust and waist are the same size.
Boat necklines – it will tend to make you look top heavy.
Volume enhancing details – bows, ruffles, etc.
Stiff skirts make your hips look wider.
Embellishments in the hips.
What you should wear
Wrap blouse or dress – enhance your silhouette without adding any volume to your bust.
V-necks – slim down your bust.
Vertical stripes will slim down your upper half
Heels elongate your legs – it creates a more proportionate look.
Marylin Monroe, Scarlett Johanson, Kim Kardashian

The apple shape
Heavy in the middle, broad shoulders, undefined waist and thinner legs and harms.
Low shorts or skirts.
Thick belts – as it will draw attention to your waist.
Leggings, heavy boots and skinny jeans – make your legs look smaller.
Off- the shoulder cut, boat neck will draw too much attention to your chest.
What you should wear
V-necks and plunging necklines will draw attention to your bust and elongate your bust.
Woven materials will draw attention away from your middle.
High-waisted cut pants or shorts.
A-line dresses will help add definition to your figure.
Jessica Simpson, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Hudson.

The pear shape
Hips are larger than the waist.
You have a small bust, narrow shoulders and defined waist.
Embellished and rear pocket trousers.
Tight fighting skirts.
Cigarette-style pants.
What you should wear
Wear bright colours and big prints on top.
Scoop and boat necks emphasize your bust.
Pointed toe shoe will elongate your legs and make your hips look more proportional.
Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks.

The column shape
Rectangular shaped body.
Little or no waist definition.
Bust and shoulders are about the same width as your hip-line.
Jeans with big flares – they will put your body out of frame.
Straight dresses.
Shapeless clothes.
What you should wear
Belts and dresses that pinch at mid-section will draw attention to your waist.
Printed and textured fabric dresses will add dimension to your bust.
Bright and light colored skirts will add volume to your bottom half.
Skinny jeans
Cameron Diaz, Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman.

The strawberry shape
Large and wide chest.
Shoulders are probably wider than your hips.
Small hips and legs.
Light colours on top will make your upper body look bigger.
Box shaped clothes will make you look shapeless.
Oversized style tops and jackets.
Loose and flowing tops will make you look bigger than you are.
What you should wear
Flared skirts will enhance your hips.
Flared pants will make your legs look amazing.
Belts will enhance your hips.
Dresses fitted in the top half, cinches in the waist and flutes over the hips in a A line.
Charlize Theron, Renée Zellweger, Naomi Campbell.

Now that you know your body type, we can have a look at some stores that have a plus-size section.

Simply Be – With more than ten store all over the UK, Simply Be has the latest trends from size 10 to 32. (online and in store)
On the 27th of November they will host a Christmas event with free style consultations, exclusive offers and savings. For further information, visit

ASOS – With a wide range of clothes from size 18 to size 28, they do free international deliveries. (online)

New look – With sizes that go until size 28, they have the latest trends at the lower prices. (online and in store)

Torrid fashion – American brand inspired to fit young women that wear sizes 12 to 28. (online and in store)

A couple of years ago it was hard for curvy/plus size women to find a store that would clothes that would fit their body. Nowadays, as women are starting to accept how they’re shaped and feeling proud of their curves, designers/retailers have felt a bigger pressure in expanding their clothing lines to every shaped women (from size 0 to size 32).

As the average woman in the UK is a size 16, on the 6th of November 2013, Debenhams’ flagship store in Oxford Street, launched size 16 mannequins so that every woman could relate to their brand.

Ben Barry, a Toronto-based modelling agent conducted a study about how mannequins influence women’s shopping habits. In the focus groups, women explained that they could picture themselves more when mannequins represented their demographics: “They could imagine how the dress would flatter their shape, how the aesthetic would suit their age and how the colours would complement their complexion.”He concluded that women are more likely to purchase items when mannequins reflect their demographics: “Their effectiveness depends on whether the model shares the consumers’ traits.”

Therefore, stores should have mannequins that represent every type of body so women could be more confident while shopping.

Picture courtesy of: Your something new

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