T-Styled Me: Understanding your body shape 101 (Part 1)

I’ve made it back to the land down under in one piece, albeit majorly jet lagged and am fighting the urge this very moment at 1pm not to close down my laptop and hop into my big old comfy bed to nap. I hope writing this post helps me stay awake!

Since my last styling post where I classified Gee as having a rectangle body shape, many of you have shown interest in understanding how to dress for your own body shapes so I’m declaring this post a ‘T-Styled Me Body Shapes 101 post’ where I’ll focus primarily on the rectangle body shape and elaborate on the others body shapes as I post up more styling lessons with different body shapes later on.

Although there can be a LOT of factors to consider when dressing for your figure ( body shape, face shape, bone structure, skin tone etc) I’m taking a ‘Keep it simple’ approach and focusing on two main factors: Your horizontal and Vertical body shape

Body Shape (Horizontal Shape)

  • This body shape classification is based on the measurements of your horizontal proportions so the easiest way to determine this is to measure your full bust (no.2 below), natural waist (no.3 – smallest part, not sucking it in!) and your hips (no.5 – around your bottom at the widest point)
  • You may find that you don’t fit neatly into the 5 categories below and that’s perfectly fine. Often you can have a primary and secondary body shape but the key is to pay attention to the tips for both body types.

Rectangle body shape / straight figure

This is actually the most common body type and a relatively easy shape to dress in terms of balancing proportions.

How do I know if I have a rectangle body shape?

  • Your hips and bust are balanced but your waist is not very defined
  • Your waist measures 1′ to 8′ smaller than your bust
  • Your legs are shapely and one of your best assets
  • Your bottom is more flat than round
  • You tend to gain weight in your torso first then upper thighs and arms
Examples of Celebrities with rectangle shaped figures
  • The aim of dressing rectangle shapes is to add dimensions to your frame and curves from the waist up or waist down and show off your slender arms and legs
What to wear
  • To define your waist – invest in belts that are dark and simple in colour to accentuate your waist
  • Tops: Try Off the shoulder, boat neck, V, U and sweetheart necklines as well as belted jackets and tops to create a visual V towards your waist. You can also wear embellished, ruffled blouses and shoulder detailing to create curves in your upper body.
  • Bottoms: Tapered trousers, skinny jeans, bootleg cuts and capri pants will suit your shape. Look for detailing such as pockets on trousers to create curves and use flowy fabrics (eg summer shorts) to soften your boyish figure.
  • Dresses: Halter neck and wrap dresses are great. If you’re well endowed then wear a lower neckline which shows skin and vertically breaks up the chest area
  • Swim-wearModerate to full coverage bottoms (light, bright & patterned) and similarly ruffled, padded and push up bikini tops / tankinis.
 What not to wear
  •  Stay away from full and extremely baggy pants and straight boxy mini skirts as these will not help create curves.
  • Lucky for you there’s not a lot you can’t wear!

I’d suggest studying outfits that you like on similar body types such as Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz, Heidi Klum and Kate Middleton (she’s probably a mix of an inverted triangle and rectangle) as these will likely work for you too.

Apple Shaped

How do I know if I’m Apple / Oval Shaped?

  • You carry your weight around your mid section and chest
  • You have wide and/or fleshy shoulders
  • Your waistline is has little definition
  • Your hips may be narrow like an inverted triangle but your mid section is fuller.
  • You have a tendency to gain weight in your stomach, back and upper body
  • You buttocks may be flat and you have slender legs (your best asset).
  • Together with Rectangle body shapes you both lack waist definition and along with Inverted Triangle body shape, you both have a top-heavy upper body and share similar styling guidelines.

An example of an Apple Shaped Celebrity
What to wear
  • Good shapewear and a good push up bra
  • The key is to de-emphasize the mid section and similarly with the rectangle body shape, create a defined waistline.
  • Clothes that skim over the midsection but nip just below your bust
  • Clothes that add volume and structure to your hips and have low necklines
  • Wide leg pants, tops with nipped belted waists, wrap style tops, jackets and dresses.
What not to wear
  • Avoid waistline details such as beads, bows and ruffles and try to avoid skinny belts (your wide waist will look bigger in comparison).
  • A medium stretch wide belt will help you pull in the weight without being bulky
I’d suggest studying outfits that you like on similar body types such as Drew Barrymore, Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Hurley
Stay tuned for my next post (Part two) which will cover Hourglass shaped and pear shapes and your vertical shape too …

7 thoughts on “T-Styled Me: Understanding your body shape 101 (Part 1)

  1. I love this post!! It;s always helpful to know our shape when we are dressing. I would love to see more of your opinion on the other shapes discussed particularly the hourglass and the traingle shape. I’m not quote sure which one is mine really? I have hear hourglass but I doubt it because I’m tiny on top! Hmmm…

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