Dressing for Your Body Type

Dressing according to your body type is far more important than the shape of your body. Essentially, dressing for your body type just means balancing your outfit with your body. If you have large hips, you don’t want to accentuate them more with what you wear. It’s about emphasizing your best features.


The 5 Body Types:

Hourglass: Bust and hips are similar in width, and the waist is narrower.


  • You want to emphasize the waist – wear a belt or cinched garments
  • Avoid shapeless, boxy, or straight styles that hide the waist
  • Don’t draw attention to just the upper or lower body – dress the top and bottom proportionally
  • Follow the natural silhouette and highlight curves


Inverted triangle: Wide Shoulders bust wider than hips and waist, undefined waist


  • Create more of a rectangle shape, focusing on the lower body
  • Soften the shoulders and create curves around the hips
  • Balance the silhouette by defining the waist and adding curves to the hips



Apple: average or big bust, undefined waistline, fullness around the midsection, narrower hips


  • focus on defining the waist
  • Take the attention away from the midsection, highlight the best parts (bust & legs)
  • Avoid bulk, especially in the midsection
  • Darker colors around the waistline
  • Avoiding details that widen & highlight waist (light colors or horizontal lines)


Rectangle: straight shoulders, no waist definition, straight hips (all similar width)


  • Add dimension by creating curves
  • Defining the waist
  • Increase the proportions to the bust & hips
  • Well-structured clothes (no oversized or shapeless)
  • Wearing brighter colors on the upper & lower body but not around the waist
  • Wear darker colors around the waist, pulling it in with belts
  • Do not tuck in tops
  • Avoid clothes that end at the waist or embellish the waist


Pear: Hips are wider than the bust and the waist is well-defined.


  • Focus on highlighting the upper body with structured shoulders, accentuating the waist with fitted tops
  • Wear eye-catching prints, bright colors, & textures on the upper body
  • Wearing darker colors on the lower body
  • You want to elongate your legs and build a horizontal line at your shoulders.
  • the key is to draw attention away from the hips, instead draw attention to your upper body and defined waist


Like all rules, these don’t have to be followed all the time. They are just guidelines to help you find what you feel most confident in based on your body shape. What matters most is that you feel confident!


Manhappenin' Magazine is Kansas State University's student-created lifestyle magazine.


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