How To Dress Your Body Shape (Women)

Now that you know your body shape (if you don’t, check my previous post on female body shapes) you need to know what to wear and what not to wear. Below are tips for each body shape.



  • Select ruffle, neck tie, lace detail and embellishments on shirts, t-shirts and jumpers. Detail including pockets on the bust will add inches to the bust line and make the waist appear smaller creating a more feminine shape.
  • Go for smock style shirts with puffed sleeves to soften arms and shoulders.
  • Pick tops with high neck lines; these add inches to smaller busts.
  • Select dresses in jersey and chiffon with patterns and floaty skirts that instantly soften angular lines, add some girliness and create curves in all the right places. Look out for halter neck styles that highlight any curve in the body.
  • Go for layered tops as these add dimension to the body. Include wrap tops that create the illusion of a waist.
  • Avoid vertical stripes as they hide curves.
  • Avoid baggy tops (unless wearing with a belt or other detailing) — it may seem like the easiest solution but it will make slender body types look very shapeless.
  • Avoid clingy tops as they will highlight the lack of waist.

Top Heavy (Inverted Triangle Body Shape):


  • Draw attention towards the face and away from the bust, try this simple trick – a large pendant or necklace that sits just below the collar bone, will make the bust size appear smaller.
  • Use darker and richer colours above the waistline to minimise the bust line.
  • Select bootleg and wide leg trousers that will add some curve around the hip and leg area to create better balance with your bust line.
  • Shop for a bra that fits perfectly, it will revolutionise the way you look and feel.
  • Select shirts, tops and tees with a ‘v’ or scoop neckline that lengthens the neck and lifts and flatter the bust line. Opt for wider straps with sporty or feminine detailing that allows for a supportive bra to be worn.
  • Stay away from horizontal stripes above the waistline which will increase bust size.
  • Don’t pick out accessories that are too delicate that will only highlight how large the bust is. Keep accessories in proportion and avoid long necklaces and pendants that lie over the bust.
  • Avoid small or large patterns above the waistline that are disproportionate to the bust line.


Pear Shape:


  • Opt for high waisted wide leg trousers that are the same width all the way down and accentuate the waist and balance the hips and bottom.
  • Add belts at the waistline to emphasise this area. Select detailed accessories like waist belts necklaces and earrings to draw the eye upwards. Fashion led chunky necklaces will definitely do the trick!
  •  Lengthen and slim the legs with a pair of heels. Heavier styles which are not stilettos will balance the calves. Cone heels rather than stilettos on a dressy shoe will help balance out the bottom half of the body.
  • Darker colours recede so use these below the waistline to create instant slimming effect. Choose lighter and brighter colours above the waistline to draw the eye upwards and away from areas you want to disguise.
  • Avoid pencil skirts that cling to curves highlighting the disproportionate shape between the top and bottom.
  • Avoid shiny fabrics and sequins below the waistline that add inches instantly.
  • Avoid empire line tops and dresses that hide the waistline of the pear shape woman.


  Hour Glass:


  • Opt for waist defining and empire line dresses. Go for the corset style and body con dresses. Emphasise curves with dresses that are knee length and nipped in or belted at the waist.
  • Remember to keep the neckline low to break up and flatter the bust.
  • Use block colours to show off this proportioned body shape.
  • Aim to choose supportive fabrics that encase and flatter curves.
  • Do use one pattern all over to highlight this proportioned body shape.
  • Avoid flowing fabrics that will swamp the curvy figure.
  • Avoid flared styles that add unnecessary shape to this silhouette.
  • Avoid high waisted styles; they shorten the area between the fuller bust and waist-line.

Apple Shape:


  • Choose skirts with a fuller shape to skim over tummy. Pick out skirts that are higher waisted to disguise tummy area.
  • Go for chunky accessories and necklaces to draw the eye to them and away from the problem areas (Large tummy area and no waist).
  • Look out for waistcoats that button under the bust to detract from the tummy. Select jackets that tie or button under the bust to place emphasis on the bust.
  • Select wide legged trousers to create better balance between your upper and lower half. Pick out wide legged Capri pants to show off those slim ankles with no detail on the hip area.
  • Don’t wear skinny trousers or jeans; they will make your legs look even shorter.
  • Avoid halter neck lines and puffy sleeves as they will make the upper body appear wider.
  • Avoid darker jeans and trousers as these make your hips appear even slimmer resulting in an even wider top half.
  • Avoid pencil skirts with a fitted top that will create a top heavy look highlighting the narrow legs making the bust look even bigger.

Female body shapes

‘Highlight the positive and delete the negative’ – Donna Karan.



This body shape is slim with small breasts and narrow hips or athletic with a defined toned body and narrow hips. Most clothes look good on this body shape which is why most models fall into this category.



This body shape comprises of a large bust with a defined waist and small hips. This shape has the shoulders and bust much wider than the bottom half. The top heavy body shape is sometimes also known as the inverted triangle.

  • PEAR


The pear shape is defined by a small bust, curvy hips and is usually bottom heavy. The key is to work with the heavier bottom half to achieve an all over balanced look by slimming down the hips and bottom area and draw attention to the top half of the body.



This shape is naturally curvy with medium to wide shoulders, fuller bust, defined short waist and curvy hips. The hourglass shape is evenly proportioned all over, most plus sized models usually fall into this category.



The apple shape usually comprises of small shoulders, big bust and a large tummy area with no waistline, slim legs and arms. This is one of the most challenging body types to dress but also one of the easiest when it comes to disguising problem areas.

‘Accentuate your best features and disguise what you are not so happy with.
Choose outfits that fit and make you look comfortable rather than those that are up to the
minute’ – Giorgio Armani.

I am a Pear. What shape are you?

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