In today’s oversaturated media landscape, we are constantly bombarded with images of what the “ideal” body shape is. The body images that ads generally portray greatly affects our own self-esteem and body image. Women and young girls need to understand that
The beauty of womankind is that we all come in different shapes, colors and sizes. And we all know that wearing a killer outfit does wonders for confidence levels. Sometimes finding the perfect outfit that hugs you in all the right places is tough.
Here are four ways you can dress for your body type that will make you feel beautiful on the inside and out:
1. Apple Shape
Typically, when people think of an apple shape, they imagine a large bust and middle section. However, this is not always the case. An apple shape means the upper body measurements are mostly in line with each other. The shoulders, bust and waist all measure the same, with narrower hips and legs.
Highlight: Your gorgeous bust with a ‘V’ or scoop neckline. This will elongate the body and show off one of your best features. You will also want to highlight your killer legs with shorter hemlines and fun shoes.
Avoid: Anything that makes you look boxy. For example, high necklines, off-the-shoulder necklines, pieces that change patterns at the waist or low-rise bottoms. These will all draw attention to your waist and create a stocky silhouette. With an apple shape, you really want to look for styles that help create length in the body.
My favorite dress silhouette for apple shapes is the shift dress. This classic design adds visual length to the body and really highlights your gorgeous legs. A-line dresses are another excellent choice. The subtle flare creates movement and the illusion of slightly wider hips, just be sure the hemline falls above the knee.
2. Banana Shape
Banana body shapes are also often referred to as rectangle. This shape is characterized by its equal proportions – the shoulders, bust, waist and hips all measure the same. This shape is often associated with athletic bodies, but an important characteristic of this shape is that when you gain weight, you so do evenly.
Highlight: If you have a banana shaped body you want to create the illusion of curves with your clothes. This can best be achieved by wearing tops with interesting necklines (one shoulder, v-necks, peplum tops, etc.) and embellishments. The goal is to create the illusion of curves and avoid a straight silhouette.
Avoid: Anything super fitted in the upper body or wrap tops and dresses. These shapes don’t enhance your natural figure and will only make you look boxy.
The goal is to create the illusion of curves and avoid a rectangular silhouette. The great thing about banana-shaped bodies is that you can wear nearly any style of bottom, if you balance it with a great top.
3. Pear Shape
The pear shape is characterized by a relatively small upper body with larger hips and thighs. When you measure yourself, your shoulders, bust and waist will be smaller than your hips and thighs. The difference can be subtle, but enhancing these subtleties can have a huge impact on your appearance.
Highlight: The upper half of your body with fitted tops and layers, which will help to visually balance the body and draw the eye upward.
Avoid: No need to hide your curves, but you will want to avoid anything that dramatically makes your top look tiny and your bottom look huge. The goal is to create visual balance.
I love halter tops on women with pear shapes. This style enhances your smaller bust and shoulders nicely. Dresses are one of the biggest challenges for pear shapes because it can be hard to find one that fits both your upper and lower body. This is where fit and flare dresses come in – since this design is already smaller on top and flared at the bottom, it mimics your natural shape and shows off your best features.
4. Hour Glass Shape
Hour glass shapes are defined by proportionate bust and hips with a much smaller waist. When we think of hour glass shaped women, we often think of voluptuous Marilyn Monroe, but keep in mind that having a large bust always the case in an hour glass shape.
Highlight: Your natural curves. Loose and flowy outfits will hide your shape and will only create a stumpy silhouette. You always want to select items that highlight your small waist.
Avoid: Loose and flowy outfits, which will only make you look boxy.
Bodycon dresses were made for women with hour glass shapes! This type of dress perfectly hugs your curves and really highlights your natural shape. High-waisted bottoms and belts are also great choices for women with hour glass shapes.
When it comes to thinking about body shape, it is essential to remember that it has very little to do with height and weight. Body shape is about proportions and how your weight is distributed with your height. Therefore, two women who look very different can still have the same body shape and follow the same guidelines.
The most important thing to do when looking to dress for your body type is to accurately determine your shape by taking the time to measure your body. Let me tell you, taking your measurements is eye opening! You may have assumed your whole life that you are an apple shape, but then find out you are actually a banana. Take the time to measure yourself and get to know your body, don’t base the way you dress on assumptions.
About Anna Shi
Anna Shi, owner, founder and CEO of Ever-Pretty, the online destination for affordable, high-quality dresses, taught herself everything she knows about fashion and e-commerce. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Nantong University in China, Shi worked in a number of industries before immigrating to Canada where she discovered her true passion – fashion. After Shi began selling products on eBay, she discovered her love of clothing. She was mostly inspired by the dress – its elegance and the infinite varieties – and began selling them exclusively. Thus, the brand Ever-Pretty was born.
After years of retailing dresses online while in Canada, Shi built her own factory in China to control and improve the quality of the products while offering more affordable prices. After seven years of doing business internationally, Shi expanded Ever-Pretty to the United States in 2011, and continues to provide high-quality, affordable dresses for every occasion worldwide. In 2012, Shi earned Ali Baba’s Top 10 Global Net Entrepreneurs.