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Inverted Triangle Body Shape

"How to Dress and Flatter Your Inverted Triangle Body Shape.
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So you have an Inverted Triangle body shape? It's the most athletic-looking silhouette among the 5 body shapes and can be seen on many catwalk models, such as Cindy Crawford and Gemma Ward (just to mention a few).

With your wide shoulder your silhouette is also known as "Cone" or "Strawberry".

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Here are characteristics typical of an Inverted Triangle body shape:

  • Shoulders are noticeably wider than your hip-line
  • You may have strong-looking shoulders
  • Your body figure may project a sporty and athletic physique
  • Great legs often come with this body shape
  • Your hips look straight given your shoulders being broad
  • You have little to no waist definition

Simply put, if you feel like your shoulders are taking the center stage - making your waist and hips look narrow - giving you an athletic appearance, then you’re definitely an Inverted Triangle.

Be open for a secondary body type

You may not exactly be an Inverted Triangle, so you probably have a secondary body type.

There are different varieties of the Inverted Triangle body shape. You may have slight curves that make you lean a bit towards Hourglass or maybe you have a wide chest along with extra weight around the midriff that needs some of the styling tricks from the guide for Apples.

So try to be flexible and follow the guidelines for both your primary and secondary body figure!

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You most likely have clothes hanger shoulders. This is the main reason why you’ll find many catwalk models with wide shoulders – because clothes hang better on them and it also gives a strong, healthy look :)

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Celebrities with an inverted triangle body shape
Image credits: Steve Granitz/Wireimage, Brian Bedder/Gettyimages, Dimitrios Kambouris/Wireimage

5 star Famous Inverted Triangles: Reneé Zellweger, Naomi Campbell, Teri Hatcher, Demi Moore, Giselle Bundchen, Lily Donaldson, Cindy Crawford

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Let's take a closer look at the styling tricks and fashion advice for your body shape:

How to Dress Your Inverted Triangle Body Shape

Your issue here is your masculine-looking shoulders and the lack of curves. This give you some basic closet strategies for you to work on, and that is to soften draw attention away from your shoulder-line.

Adding more volume and width around your hip-line and thighs downplays your broad shoulders and balances out your silhouette.

Disclaimer: Have in mind that these guidelines are general and based on your horizontal body shape (the shape of your waistline). If you want the ultimate guide to dressing your body figure, including your figure flaws, bust size, height and so on I suggest that you look into the My Private Stylist program.

Also, if your vertical body shape-guidelines seem to contradict with my fashion advice for your horizontal figure, then you need to look at your body proportions as a whole.

But of course, if you love your athletic shoulder then show them off!

Let's take a closer look at the closet strategies that will help you look your best:

Create Curves Around Your Bottom

Wear anything that will make your hips and thighs look fuller and rounder, which includes flouncy details such as ruffles, tiers and pleats to flared cut bottom hems like wide and flare leg jeans.

Adding interest to your hips with details will also help making you look curvier and your shoulders smaller.

Examples are:

Create curves around your bottom if you're an inverted triangle body shape, just like Demi Moore
Via Splash News

  • All kinds of prints and textures, from horizontal stripes to lace. However you might want to avoid vertical details which will only make your lower half look slimmer
  • Light as well as bold colors worn as skirt or pants will balance out your body shape
  • Fuller skirts (full circle, ruffles, tiers, etc.)
  • Nipped jackets, tops and sweaters to fake curved hips and make your waist look smaller and defined
  • Bootcut, flare and wide leg jeans and pants

Learn more on how to use the "Enhance & Minimize"-trick that helps with add width and volume to your bottom in the body proportions-section.

Soften Your Shoulders

If you're self-conscious about your shoulders then this golden rule is the best way to tone down your shoulder-line.

So look for:

If you're an inverted triangle body shape soften and tone down your wide shoulders, just like Teri Hatcher
Via Celebutopia

  • Soft, drapey and weighty fabrics to soften your shoulders
  • Knitwear with a fine gauge. Thick knit sweater add bulk to your shoulders
  • Tops with soft sleeves. Eg. raglans, dropped shoulder points, shoulder slits and cut-outs
  • Wide straps
  • Collar-less shirts

Stay away from shoulders pads and strong shoulder details.

Another way to soften your shoulders is to wear a cardigan unbuttoned. Also try layering a cute lace trim cami underneath it to draw the eye away from your chest and shoulders.

Be Proud of Your Strong Shoulders

Proud of your beautiful shoulders and want to create a trademark with them? Accentuate them!

However, you should avoid overdoing it as it can make you look stick-figured. But it’s possible to flaunt them while adding some curves to your hips!

If you're an inverted triangle body shape be proud of your strong model shoulders, just like Giselle Bundchen
Courtesy of Getty

Check out Giselle Bundchen and her awesome shoulder-line! She emphasizes her killer shoulders with a square neckline, but the nipped waist and flared dress hem counter the toppled cone look. Her fancy silver clutch purse also draws the eye down to her long and lean legs.

Other Factors to Consider

Along with your horizontal body shape (inverted triangle) you also need to take your vertical body figure (do you have short legs/long waist, long legs/short waist?) into consideration when putting together outfits.

Naomi Campbell has an inverted triangle body shape with long legs
Courtesy of Fernanda Calfat

Your height and body scale are also important - because having a Petite or Plus Size body figure need some tweaking in the guidelines.

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Now over to image examples of clothes that complement your inverted triangle body shape:

Your Best Clothes

Most Pants and Jeans Styles

Most types of pants and jeans suit your Inverted Triangle body shape. Lucky you! Your narrow hips and thighs are primed for all kinds of bottoms. Look for pants with textured fabrics to build up your bottom half.

Light colors and prints help too.

Examples are:

    Best pants and jeans styles for inverted triangle body shape

    Courtesy: MyWardrobe, Stylebop, Net-a-Porter

  • Cargo pants
  • Jeans with a faded wash
  • Flare and wide leg
  • Gauchos and harem pants
  • Cuffed jeans

If you're wearing skinnys or anything that is slim-fitted, make sure you work on minimizing your shoulders to avoid a toppled look, with for example a basic, solid colored top.

Or you can add a pair of bright colored shoes (or anything that catches the eye) to avoid. A hip-length nipped tunic shirt will also work with the skinny bottom.

    Tip: If you're craving for something slim-fitted opt for straight and cigarette style pants - they balance out your body shape better than skinnys.

Full Skirts

Any type of skirt styles (incl. dress hem cuts) that flare from your hips and/or add visual width to your hips are best for your inverted triangle body shape.

Examples are:

    Full and voluminous skirts look good on inverted triangle body shapes

    Courtesy: H&M, Delias, Bluefly

  • A-line
  • Full circle
  • Tulip
  • Bias cut
  • Voluminous maxi skirts (but if you're short be careful with the frills and width of the skirt! Your short height can't handle too much volume)

Basic pencil skirts that sit snugly around your hips can make you look curvier, however if you have no curves whatsoever (flat butt, completely straight hips), then select a pencil skirt with details that add volume such as prints and textures.

You can also wear a long A-line top along with the pencil skirt to fake curved hips.

Also, look for pencil skirts with side seams that drop straight from the waist down - a much better choice that gives you a bit of curves rather than emphasizing your narrow hips with a tapered cut.

Other skirt details that will give you curves:

  • Tiers
  • Lace texture
  • Horizontal stripes and prints
  • Pockets
  • Various denim jeans washes and details (shreds and rips)
  • Soft pleats

You're lucky for having a body shape that give you a wide variety of bottom choices!

Waist Defining Tops, Shirts, Dresses, Sweaters and Jackets

They can trick people into believing that you have a defined waist as well as add curves to your hips. Look for anything that flares from your waist or hips.

Look for these waist defining details:

    Best tops, shirts, dresses, sweaters and jackets for inverted triangle body shape

    Courtesy: Dorothy Perkins, AllSaints, Topshop

  • Flare hem (A-line, full circle, etc.)
  • Nipped and waist paneled dresses and tops
  • Belted coats and sweaters

You can also create a nipped effect by wrapping a belt around a slightly loose top. Wrap the belt snugly around your waist so that the bottom of the garment will flare and create curves on your Inverted Triangle body shape.
    Tip: Wrap styles such as wrap cardigans and sweaters help tailor your midriff and define your waist.

Another important pointer to take home is to focus on tops, dresses, sweaters, tops, shirts and jackets that extend past your hip-line. Why?

Because they help balance out your wide shoulders by bringing the attention away from that area. However, it's absolutely possible to be flexible by customizing a short top with for example bootcut or flare jeans.

Eye-catching Shoes

Bright colored and eye catching shoes – they grab people's attention to your great legs and add some weight to your lower half. Looks amazing with a full circle or A-line skirt.

Add a pair of eye catching shoes to your inverted triangle body shape

Courtesy: Topshops, ASOS

Examples of eye-catching shoe details are:
  • Sexy pumps in bright reds, electric blues, etc.
  • Beaded sandals
  • Buckles, studs and other trendy shoe details

If you should decide to wear skinny jeans then shoes are a great way to balance out your inverted triangle body shape.

Low U and V-necklines

Compared to wide scoop, square and other widening necklines, a low'ish U and V-neck help break up your chest vertically and slim down your upper half.

Keep the top relatively simple and smooth to avoid drawing to much attention to your wide shoulders.

Low U and A necklines are flattering on inverted triangle body shape
Courtesy: theOutnet, Abercrombie,

You can of course wear wide necklines just make sure you add something on top that will slim down your chest and shoulder line. For example a long pendant necklace or a simple, dangling scarf.

Large Straps

Thin straps will make your shoulders look wider and bigger in comparison.

Choose large and wide straps if you're an inverted triangle body shape
Courtesy: French Connection, Bloomingdales

You can also look for thin multi straps and caged shoulders to complement the scale of your shoulders.

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Need more recommendations on what to wear with your Inverted Triangle body shape?

Check out the MyPrivateStylist program for hundreds more clothing clothing and accessory recommendations for exactly YOUR body figure, which includes your height, body scale and other problem areas. Not all inverted triangle body shapes are alike, so this is a fabulous tool personalized for your Inverted Triangle body shape.

My private stylist portfolio on how to wear clothes

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