Women come in all shapes and sizes and the only thing that makes one petite is height (under 5’4″) so naturally the next question is “What’s my body shape?” Knowing your body shape can help ensure that you find clothes that are flattering and also help you with styling to ensure that your overall look is balanced and shows off your best features 😊
Step One: Measure your body
Often people will look at the different body shapes and the descriptions and make up their own mind about which shape they are without measuring. This can be inaccurate so I definitely recommend measuring.
The best way to measure yourself is to be completely nude though I know that may not be so comfortable for everyone so just ensure that you don’t have any padding or loose fitting clothes that may affect the measurements in any way. Using a measuring tape is the best option but if you don’t have one, you can use string and then measure the string using a ruler. You want to measure all the way around the body in the following areas:
Bust: This is the fullest part of your bust. Measure all the way around the back as well.
Waist: This is directly under your rib cage. This should come in slightly (depending on your shape of course)
High Hips: There are two hip measurements. The high hips is the top of your hips where your hip bones are.
Lower Hips: The lower hips is the biggest part of your bottom. It usually sits around the crotch.
Step Two: Identify Your Shape
After you have your measurements (view my measurements here), put them into the calculator below but please note that the “hips” measurement refers to the lower hips. So in the calculator, lower hips comes before high hips:
The calculator will classify your body into one of seven categories:
The most famous body shape and the most balanced of the body shapes and in the past, the most coveted. The bust and hips are approximately the same, the waist is smaller and well-defined.
Same as the hourglass with a smaller and defined waist except your bust is bigger than your hips.
A clearly defined waist, smaller bust, larger hips.
Very similar to a bottom hourglass except your hips have a more shelf-like appearance. Smaller defined waist, smaller bust, larger hips.
Triangles have a slim upper body and wider hips. Typically, the hips are wider than the shoulders. Waist is not clearly accentuated
Inverted triangles have a larger upper body in proportion to their lower body, including shoulders and bust with more narrow hips and again a not so clearly defined waist.
Hips, waist and bust are about the same size and you usually have a more athletic body shape.
Step Three: Style to your body shape
Each of the body shapes have their unique strengths. Over time, culture has played a big part too in what is considered to be an attractive shape for a woman, though now I hope that we are becoming more inclusive and we understand that all shapes are beautiful in their own way. Once you have measured and defined your shape, the idea is to create balance within your style. What this means is, if you have more size on the top of your body for example, it would create more balance if you were to add interest to the bottom half of your body for example through flared or boot legged pants or patterns or bright colours on the bottom half. If you are larger on the bottom half, this would be opposite and you would style to accentuate the top half of your body, for example, by wearing patterns on the top half, scarves, bigger necklaces, turtlenecks etc. If you are a rectangle or do not have as much of a defined waist, the idea is to create curves through various styling techniques, such as by wearing belts to define the waist or diagonal lines from the waist to draw the attention up and slimming the waist. As mentioned, we now live in a time where curves are celebrated too so it’s totally fine to break the rules! If you have curves on the bottom half and you want to show those off, it is perfectly fine to wear a tighter fitting skirt but to balance it out some, it may help to add more interest up the top too as this will accentuate the top half too and bring attention to the features that usually get neglected.
We’ll be sharing many more styling tips for each of the shapes as we go so feel free to subscribe so you are up to date with when the posts are coming out. And, leave a comment. What shape are you? Was this a surprise to you? How will knowing this information help you with your style?
Big love from your (pear-shaped) friend,