Body Shapes

... Guide to Styling Your Body Shape
- How to Bring Out the Best in Your Body Figure with Clothes!"

We have 5 general body shapes, each of them having a different silhouette with their own different set of fashion and style guidelines that complement their shape.

The 5 silhouettes are: Pear, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle and Apple. And the Hourglass, which is considered the ideal body shape because of its balanced proportions.

Finding your body shape

Here's what you'll discover below:
  • How to save money by analyzing your own coloring and know what colors look good with it
  • How taking a "Gold or Silver" color test can cut your time in half when trying to figure out your best colors
  • Colors that are worth investing in and what colors look good on most skin, hair- and eye colors
  • Tricks to wearing colors that aren't on your color palette
  • ... and more!

Anna, I don't have time for your jabbering.
Teach me how to dress me body figure!

Understanding your body figure is a very important aspect of building your personal style.


Because you need to figure out what proportions of your body you need to adjust to look your best. Each body figure has typical characteristics that often make you self-conscious of your body and can lower your self-esteem. (For example, the classic Pear body figure tends to hold more weight around the hip area)

On the flip side, there are positives to your shapes as well - and these are the body traits that we wish to accentuate.

Basically - knowing your body proportions helps you decide how to correct and camouflage parts of your body so you can achieve a balanced silhouette - with curves on all the right places!

"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions"
- Coco Chanel (French fashion designer)

How to Dress Your Body Figure

When I say "body shape" I'm referring to your horizontal body figure, but there are several other factors involved in analyzing your whole body figure.

So in addition to finding your horizontal shape (Pear, Inverted Triangle, Hourglass, etc.) you should also assess:

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  • Your Vertical Body Type (Do you have short or long legs? Or a balanced body figure?)
  • Your Face Shape
  • Your Weight
  • Your Height and Body Scale: Petite, Plus Size and Tall
  • Your Bone Structure (thin, average or big-boned)
  • Your Shoulder Size and Angle
  • Your Neck Length and Circumference
  • Any problem areas such as a large bust, muffin top, flabby arms, etc.

I know, that's a lot to consider!

But to get you started in looking your best, we'll mostly focus on analyzing your vertical and horizontal body type, height and body scale as well as your face shape.

However, if you want to determine and style your body shape the free (but time-consuming) way, then follow my guidelines below!

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Discover the Best Styling Tips
for Your Body Figure Here

Read on and discover the best strategies that style and flatter each of the 5 general body shapes. Whether you love or dislike what your mom gave you, hopefully these tips that will help you bring out the best in your body figure. Celebrity examples are included!

Read more on how knowing your body figure can help you look your best

The chic fashionista Anna Villaruel says Disclaimer: Sorry, but I can not guarantee that the celebrities I have selected in the examples have the exact body figure as presented.

The celebrity images are used as examples of how to dress for a specific body shape. Celebrities have their own fashion stylists to help them get dressed and this may visually alter their actual body figure.

How to determine your body shape
What's Your Body Shape?

One simple way to determine your body shape is to visualize a dress form and how your body shape looks compared to it.

Your body shape is basically dictated by the shape from your upper to lower body along with your waist, and does not always include "problem areas" such as a plush tummy.

Click here to learn how to determine your Body Shape »

Or explore the 5 different body shapes:

Vertical proportions advice, short or long legged
Vertical Body Shape

Another factor to have in mind when you're dressing your body figure is your vertical body shape.

In short, this is the proportion of the bottom half of your body compared to your top half. So are you short/long legged, short/long waisted or balanced?

Determine your Vertical Body Shape »

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Guide to dressing well and looking fabulous

How to take your body measurements
How to Take Your Body Measurements

The fit of your clothes often conveys a message of how you are as a person whether it's true or not. How a clothing fits on you can give a "sloppy" or "tacky" look - or a polished and well-dressed impression.

This page gives you a step-by-step guideline to taking your body measurements.

Learn how to take your Body Measurements »

Body shape basics
Golden "Rules" to Looking Fabulous

There are 3 crucial factors to looking your best no matter what body figure you've got.

This page focuses on other aspects of styling (besides your body shape) that help you look your best - so these "golden rules" apply to everyone!

Chic's Guide to Looking Fabulous No Matter Body Shape »

How body proportions work
Body Proportions' Importance

If one proportion is bigger/smaller/longer/shorter than the other, you will need to balance out this proportion or the opposite of it to visually change the apparent difference in size/length.

This page helps you gain a clearer picture of why having balanced body proportions matter and how to achieve it using an 'Enhance & Minimize'-trick.

Learn how Body Proportions work »

Why self confidence is important in fashion and style
Improve Your Self Confidence

Confidence is the secret ingredient to a fabulous style.

Your attitude behind the clothes you wear can make or break your look. Showing that you are comfortable in your clothes makes disproportions and all the figure flaws you're insecure about less noticeable.

Improve Your Self confidence & achieve fabulous style »

Looking for a specific topic on body shapes?
Search for it here:

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So What's the Real Deal With
Body Shapes and Clothes?

The correct clothing cut and style as well as outfit coordination help flatter your body figure, making your silhouette appear balanced (top and bottom body) as well as creating a defined and feminine waist which is considered the fashion ideal.

With the right clothes you'll accentuate your best features and disguise the rest – you'll simply look your best!

Think of it as a puzzle - you need the right bits to complement each other :-)

The chic fashionista Anna Villaruel says I know that saying that you should aim for an hourglass body shape sounds utterly shallow and 'shapist', but it IS the ideal body figure because it generally has the right curves on all the right places - which gives you more room to play up your best features such as a pretty face, great hair, great legs, etc.

But of course, if you're proud of your J.Lo booty then by all means make it your trademark and shine!

Look at it this way:

By wearing the right clothes for your body type, you'll 'fill out' and slim down areas of your body figure, creating a proportional body shape with no heavy or prominent point that 'interrupts' the eye. By simply choosing the right clothing you'll make a wide hips, full thighs, straight hips, wide hips or a full torso look less noticeable.

Your goal is to create a visually balanced yet feminine silhouette – making it look like your bust and shoulders are at the same width of your hips. This helps create curves on all the right places and minimize any prominent body areas that you're self-conscious about.

Here's an example of how balancing out your silhouette can help flatter it:

Example of how to dress a rectangle and apple body shape

Normally, a person with full torso would be self-conscious about their heavy upper body. However balancing it out with for example flare leg jeans will improve this proportion by making it look less heavy in comparison.

So for example if your hips are more prominent than the shoulder-line then you need to visually create more width and volume around your bust and shoulder area.

Or if you have a straight waist you're going to have to find clothes that will add more texture and interest to your bust/shoulder and hips area - which helps make your torso look narrower.

The key to looking fab and pulled together is to make your upper and lower body look in proportion with each other!

The chic fashionista Anna Villaruel says Balance is the key. As long as your outfit makes your body figure look balanced you're on your way to looking fabulous. So yes, you can wear skinny jeans even if you have a wide lower bottom (pear body shape) as long as you fill out your upper body. Learn more about body proportions here.

Not only will understanding your body figure help you look your best, it would make shopping so much easier because you'll be able to hop right on the clothes that work well with your body shape. You'll save lots of time and money going this route.

Ready to get to know your body shape better? »

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What to Wear for Your Body Figure?

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The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish
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Style Guides & Quick Links:

Guide to Outfit Ideas - How to Put Together Outfits Guide to Effective Closet Organizing - step-by-step method to organize your clothes and accessories How to Find and Define Your Personal Style Style Tips for All Body Shapes - How to Look Your Best

Go Back to Fashion Basics: Best Fashion Tips for Women

Leave Guide to Fashion Styling for All Body Shapes and Return to Homepage

More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

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