Dress for Your Shape: Pear, Hourglass, Apple & Rectangle Body Types

Here, I’m going to show you how to dress for your shape. I'll teach you how to detract attention from bits of your body that you don’t like and highlight bits that you do. I will focus on four body shapes: hourglass, pear, apple, and rectangle.

How to dress for a pear body shape

A pear shape is when your waist is wider than your bust, your hips are wider than your waist, and you have narrow shoulders compared to your hips.

How to dress as a pear shape

On the top section, pear shapes have the pick of the bunch. You can go for florals, brights, v-necks, sleeveless, etc. because you want to focus on your top section and possibly detract attention from your bottom.

Wrap dresses are perfect for pear shapes as they nip in at the waist and gently skim over the hips and thigh area. 

Drawing attention to narrow shoulders

If you don’t mind showing your arms, make the most of your narrow shoulders with something sleeveless. Another simple trick is to tie your hair up to attract attention to your neckline. 

When it comes to blazers, pear shape figures look best in a blazer that just covers the hip area. They are elongating and skim over the widest part of your body. 

A-line coats that nip in at the waist

For coats, pear shapes look great in a-line coats or anything that nips in at the waist. 

Flared pants are great for a pear shape

If you’re not fond of your bottom half, focus on dark colors, as they will slim your figure and not attract the eye.

An excellent style of pants for pear shape figures is flares or bootcuts. The gentle flare at the bottom elongates proportions.

Another tip is to stick with tailored pants. I would stay away from pleats, side pockets, or anything that adds dimension to your bottom half.

How to dress for an hourglass figure

An hourglass figure is when you have a well-defined waist, and your bust, hips, and thighs are full compared to your waist. 

High-waisted jeans for an hourglass figure

The trick with an hourglass shape is to accentuate your waist as much as possible. Highwaisted trousers work great on hourglass figures. 

Tying shirts at the waist to accentuate it

Some other tricks to accentuate your waistline are to knot shirts at the front and roll sleeves back to the elbow, which naturally draws the eye to the waist.

With tops, anything a little bit tighter will work well for this body shape. V-necks work particularly well because they draw the eye again to the waistline. 

Fitted knee-length dress for an hourglass

Hourglass figures look amazing in a fitted dress, and knee-length is the perfect length. Another length that looks great is when it tapers in just below the knee and the hemline finishes there. 

How to dress as an apple shape

With an apple shape, shoulders are generally wider than hips, you don’t have a particularly defined waistline, and you might keep your weight mostly in the middle section. 

Shift dress for an apple body shape

Apple shapes often have slimmer legs compared to some of the other body shapes, so I would say embrace that. Wearing shift dresses is a great example of this. Dresses with a waistline just below the bust also work well.

Make sure they’re not too tight-fitting as you want that straight line coming all the way down, and ideally stop at a mini length to make the most of those lovely slim legs. 

How do I find the right clothes for my body?

If you’re heavier on the bottom half, focus on the top. Think about interesting sleeve details and different necklines. Wear more fitted sleeves, or if you like your arms, show them off. It will help balance proportions. 

What is my body shape?

Apple shapes suit jackets that sit either at the hip bone or just below on the upper thigh. When it comes to blazers, go for single-breasted rather than double-breasted, it will help nip in your shape that bit more. 

Go for strapless dresses or something with a lower neckline. Maxi dresses also look great on apple body types. They help elongate your whole shape.

When buying patterns or prints, apple shapes should look for vertical lines. It will just help elongate you that bit more.

How to dress as a rectangle body shape

Defining the waist with a belt

The trick for those with a rectangle body shape is defining your waist. Your shoulders and hip measurements are roughly the same, your waist isn’t hugely defined, yet weight is evenly distributed throughout your body. 

Adding belts to dresses and coats works well for rectangle shapes, so you want to cinch yourself in and give yourself a little more shape both on your hips and your bust area. 

Drop-seam top for a rectangle body shape

On the top area, Breton stripes are great and particularly those with a raglan sort of drop seam; they give the illusion of a slightly bigger top section. 

How to dress for your shape

You can get away with boxy-shaped tops and jackets, but be mindful of where the hemline finishes.

Go for anything slightly above the waist or maybe sitting on your waist as it helps give the illusion of your waist going in and then out again to your hips. 

Tucking shirts and blouses into jeans also helps to accentuate your waist. 

Anything big and statement on the top section will give you the illusion that you have more curves, but remember to contrast it. So if you’ve gone big on the top, keep it slimline on the bottom. Likewise with statement pants and a simple top.

How to dress for your shape

In general, darker colors are more slimming than bright colors or patterns. If there’s a particular area that you’re conscious of, go for black or dark blue. Don’t wear a big pattern or a bright color on that area because the eye is naturally going to be drawn to it.

Hopefully, you found this helpful and picked up some tips along the way.

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Have a great week everyone, Jess x 

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