T-Styled Me: Understanding your body shape 101 (Part 2)

Following on T-Styled Me Body Shapes 101 Part 1 … here is Part 2:

Hourglass shaped

This is considered the ideal body shape due to its proportions and defined waistline and we strive to dress in a way to mimic this shape.

How do I know if I’m hourglass shaped?

  • Your hip and bust line measurements are the same
  • You have an obviously defined waistline (approx 8′-12′ less than bust/hips)
  • When you gain weight, fat stores proportionately in your curves
  • You generally have a rounded bottom and shapely legs
  • Note that you need not have a big bust and that hourglass shapes come in different sizes: skinny, average, curvy, petite curvy.
  • Also take into consideration your vertical body shape

Examples of Celebrities with hour-glass shaped figures

Can you think of any friends who have this body shape? I can and I’m always envious of their figures!
What to wear
  •  Fitted clothes and that accentuate your proportional body figure and make your waist the focal point.
What not to wear
  • Avoid baggy, loose shirts and bottoms that will hide your curves and avoid empire styled dresses that (i.e baby doll dresses) that hide your small waist.

Pear Shaped (triangle)

How do I know if I’m pear shaped?

  • Your hip measurement is larger than your bust measurement
  • You have a nicely defined waistline and a smaller bustline
  • You have narrow shoulders
  • You have an elegant neck and proportionally slim arms & shoulders
  • You usually gain weight in your bottom & legs before tummy and upper body.
  • Note there are different varieties of pear shapes: You may have fleshier arms that create a shoulder line closer to an hourglass shape or you might have a slightly wider waist which leans towards characteristics of a rectangle shape.

Examples of Celebrities with pear shaped figures

What to wear

  • Clothes that will visually slim your bottom half and play up your top (e.g bring weight to your shoulders with subtle shoulder pads)

What not to wear

  • Avoid clingy fabrics and tapered jeans/trousers (eg skinny jeans) and colourful patterned bottoms

If you are a curvy pear, like Jennifer Love Hewitt and want to emphasize your curves, by all means do so with structured clingy fabrics.

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

How do I know if I have an inverted triangle shape?

  • Shoulders are proportionally wider than your hip line
  • You may have strong-looking shoulders; an athletic physique
  • You may have an ample bust and wide back
  • Slim hips and bottom is towards the flat side
  • Your waist is subtle and you tend to put on weight on your belly and upper body.
Examples of Celebrities with inverted shaped figures
 What to wear
  •  If you love your athletic shoulders, definitely show them off!
  • If you want to draw attention away from this area soften your shoulders by choosing clothes that accentuate your hips (think peplum tops, ruffles, prints and textures) and define your waist to create an hour glass shape.
  • You most likely have killer legs so play with lengths but don’t go too short or this will emphasise how top-heavy you are
What not to wear
  • Shoulder pads / shoulder detailing
  • Buttoned up cardigans (keep them open and loose)
  • Tops with frills ruffles and heavy embellishments in the shoulder and chest area which will draw attention and emphasize that you’re top heavy.


  • Keep in mind that features such as being petite sized (under 5’4), big boned, curvy, chubby or overweight will distort your own perception of your body figure.
  • Although that there are typical characteristics for each body shape above that may make you unhappy with your body, I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power, so see the positives of understanding your body proportions better and you can camouflage areas you’re not confident in and enhance others if you wish to achieve that overall hourglass figure.

Vertical Body Shape

Your vertical body shape refers to the ratio between your bottom half and your top half which I find personally affects what I decide to wear more than my horizontal body shape.

There are three vertical body shapes

  • Short legs & long torso: This gives off the impression that you’re short even though you may be an average or tall height (second in the diagram).
  • Tips: Tuck in tops to shorten your waist, wear medium to high-waisted trousers and skirts and always wear heels to elongate your legs.
  • Long legs & short torso: Considered ideal because long legs are more appreciated than a long waist and visually trick the eye into believing that you’re taller even though you’re short to average height.
  • Tips: Tops with vertical detail to elongate the torso and jackets and jumpers that end at hip level or below and a great bra to keep the puppies perky.
  • Balanced Body Shape: Gives an impression of great proportions, however, it is not considered ideal because the legs can easily be shortened clothes that make you look frumpy (first in the diagram).
  • You may want to elongate your legs so try the tips recommended above.

My self-analysis

Although on the petite side, I’d classify myself as pear shaped as my bottom half is not in proportion with my upper body and the weight always goes to my thighs and legs first – Damn it! Always! I also have short legs and a long torso which I think further accentuates my pear shape and although I aspire to wear heels more often, I fail to do so – especially as we walk everywhere in London.

What do you think your body shape is and do you have any tips for others who may  have the same body type as yours?

6 thoughts on “T-Styled Me: Understanding your body shape 101 (Part 2)

  1. I can’t wait for the next part! These are great! I found your blog through Mariannan’s. Amazing, isn’t she? I really like your blog! I wish all the best! :)


  2. I am trying to determine whether I am an inverted triangle or a rectangle. It is difficult since I have food sensitivity issues and I bloat around the middle if I can’t manage to avoid them.

    I am 5’4″, a very large frame size (if a medium frame is 6-6.5 inches in the wrist at this height, I would be a XXL) and carry 19-22% body fat according to hydrostatic weighing. Sometimes I look fat because of bloat, however. So I’m going to list my “thin” measurements, and my “bloated” measurements and my “super bloated” measurements because I have gone from “super bloated” to “thin” in less than 24 hours and vice versa.

    I am 5’4″.
    My shoulders measure 18″ across.
    My ribs are 38″ and visibly sticking out.
    My bust is 44.5 inches.
    I have short legs, and need a 28″ inseam. Most petite jeans are 30″. I can wear most low-rise jeans and they’ll fit comfortably at the place most jeans should be worn. Just not super-lows.
    My thighs are super skinny, 18″ around and as such, pants tend to be super baggy in the hips and thighs.

    Thin measurements:
    My waist is elongated (more than two hand breadths below my breasts) and 37″.
    My hips are 42 inches, occasionally 43, like when I’m close to my period. But my bust is often 45.5 then.

    “Bloated” measurement is same except my waist increases to 39-40 inches.
    “Super bloated” puts my waist sometimes to 42+. Managing my diet I rarely reach this point anymore.

    Most people tell me that I have an athletic figure and can’t imagine how I could wear a size 16+. I go into Lane Bryant and they think I wear a 12, when in fact I can fit their sizes.

    After getting my body type if I can get help with my style, keeping in mind my long torso/ short legs.

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