Dressing for your Body Type: Part Two

Yesterday I posted a guide to determining your body type and two of the eight body types: straight/rectangle and inverted triangle. Let’s look at two more types and how to best dress them. (All of this amazing information has been reblogged from: http://www.thechicfashionista.com/hourglass-body-shape.html and http://www.shopyourshape.com/body-shapes.html.)

shape pear

Pear Shape

As a Pear Body type (sometimes called triangle), your hips are larger than your bust and you have a nicely defined waist. You have an elegant neck and proportionately slim arms and shoulders. You first gain weight in your bottom and legs flowed by your tummy and upper body. Your waist is your best asset so don’t be afraid to show it off.

How to Dress a Pear Body Shape: the key to dressing a pear body type is to enhance and add volume (or the illusion of volume) to your upper body while emphasizing your waist and de-emphasizing your lower body to create a balanced, hourglass appearance. Create the most curvaceous effect by mixing and matching our suggested separates.


Celebrities with the Pear Body Type

Since your lower body is your “biggest” issue here, there are some basic strategies that you need to base your personal style and closet on.

One of them is drawing attention away from your curves by highlighting your upper body – from waist and up. This is based on the golden style principle of the “Enhance & Minimize”-trick that helps adding width and volume to your upper body.

Details that accentuate your upper body:

Beyonce wearing a crop top with puff sleeves to balance out her Pear body shape Via Splashnews
  • Necklines stretching horizontally (boat neck, straight, etc.). Although a wrap neckline is slimming on your torso, it adds interest to your bust
  • Light (white, light pink, etc)
  • Bright & bold colors (reds, orange, electric blue, etc.)
  • Details such as stripes, polka dots, sequins, zippers, large collar/lapels, other eye catching embellishments
  • Bell and kimono sleeves
  • Bust-enhancing necklines such as bustier and sweetheart
  • A good push-up bra
  • Scarves, scarves, scarves

Details that help downplay your curves:

Kristen Davis downplaying her Pear body shape with a dark color monochromatic outfit Via FilmMagic
  • Dark colors, from dark navy blue to the classic black. Ex. dark wash jeans or black dress pants.
  • Vertical details will slim down the hip-area. Eg. pleats, stitches and visible zippers
  • Tops, sweaters and jackets that extend just below your hipbone (helps skim over your hips. Hip-length tops only draw attention to the area it hits). However avoid lengths across the widest part of your hips/legs – your thighs
  • Hip and thigh hugging shapewear
  • Heels elongate your lower body and make your hips, thighs and legs look slimmer

What to wear:

pear-bottom pear-jacket

pear-skirts pear-tops

pear-neckline pear-jewelry

shape top hour glass

Hourglass Shape

Got an Hourglass Body Shape? Well, you’re in luck, because it is
considered the most ideal body shape! Out of the 5 silhouettes, the hourglass
has the best proportions – with upper and lower half approximately in line with
each other, along with a defined waist.

  • Your full hip-line and your full bust-line are the same width
  • Your waist is defined
  • When you gain weight, the fat usually stores evenly throughout your well-proportional curves

Celebrities with an hourglass shape

Waist accentuating details such as:

Scarlett Johansson has an hourglass body shape Via Skinnyvscurvy.com
  • Voluminous skirts (including the bottom of dresses) such as a full circle or tulip skirt, because they make your waist even smaller. However A-line and pencil will also look flattering on you, and are best on curvy hourglasses
  • Nipped waist tops, dresses and jackets
  • A dark-colored belt wrapped around the narrowest part of your waist
  • Soft fabrics such as knits and drapey silk blends, as well as fabric with a bit of stretch, to really accentuate and complement (flow with) your curves. So avoid anything boxy such as a straight skirt style as well as stiff fabrics
  • V-necks and other low’ish necklines. Your curvy Hourglass body shape needs this slimming neckline. This is especially if you are well endowed

Downplay Your Curves

I’ve met Hourglass-shaped women who didn’t like their curves (tiny waist and bigger bust and hips). They prefer to look thin and tall, and some also favor the athletic silhouette with strong shoulders.

Here are some tips and styling tricks that downplay your curves:

Gwyneth Paltrow downplaying her hourglass body shape with a long dress, heels and tights Courtesy of Celebutopia
  • Wear a dark color monochromatic outfit
  • Focus on clothes with vertical details such as pleats, vertical prints, buttons placed downwards, etc.
  • Straight and bootcut pants and jeans that hug around your hips
  • Add heels to elongate your legs
  • Wear a low’ish neckline to slim down your torso
  • Wear tops that extend just below your hipbone or past the thighs. To avoid adding width to your legs and hips, wear leggings with these long length tops

hourglass-neckline hourglass-wrap


Analyze and apply these suggestions to what you already have in your closet and shopping. Don’t you just love the art, science, and math of fashion…so fascinating. Have more questions or a suggestion for a blog post, please leave a comment below.


2 thoughts on “Dressing for your Body Type: Part Two

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