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The Do’s & Don’ts of Dressing, According To Your Body Shape

Do you struggle finding what clothes work best for your body shape? Getting dressed is a whole lot easier when you know what pieces work best for your shape. As a Bella Modeling School Stylist, I work with all body types. Our models all have different body shapes, and yes, even model’s bodies fall into one of these categories below. You might think that just because you are not tall and skinny, you can’t be a model. But that is wrong! As an aspiring model, (or even just to make sure you always look awesome!), you will want to find out what flatters your body shape.

How do I know what my body shape is?

Here is how you find out!

Sometimes we can clearly see our body shape just by looking at ourselves in a full length mirror. But to be sure, here is a way to find out your body shape is according to your measurements. Be sure to pay attention to your curves and look at how they connect your bust, waist, and hips.

Here is an easy way to finding out your body shape.

Grab a sheet of paper and something to write with, you will want to refer back to this information. You will want to measure around your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips.

  • Shoulders: Have someone help you measure from the tip of one shoulder all the way around you. The measuring tape should be high up around your shoulders so it almost slips off.
  • Bust: Pull the measuring tape across the fullest part of your bust and around your back. Don’t pull the tape so much that your breasts start to squish!
  • Waist: Measure the smallest part of your natural waist, just above the belly button.
  • Hips: Start at one hip (below the hip bone) and wrap the tape measure around the largest part of your butt.

After you have your measurements written down, you will refer to them to help you determine what your body shape is to be able to select clothing and styles that best flatter your body. Take a look at the following categories below and how your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips measurements fit which body shape more accurately.

The most popular body shapes are pear-shaped body, apple-shaped body, rectangular body shape, Inverted triangle, and hourglass shape.

  • Inverted triangle: Shoulders wider than waistline and hip line.
  • Pear: Hips wider than shoulders and waistline. Famous pear body shapes include JLo and Beyonce.
  • Hourglass: Hips and shoulders same width, waistline a lot smaller (at least 10 inches smaller than hips and shoulders)
  • Rectangle: Shoulders, waistline and hip line about same size. Waist is less than 10 inches smaller than hips and shoulders. Only a few inches in difference. If you gain weight, you gain it evenly in all areas.
  • Apple: Shoulders and hip line are about same size. Waistline is same size or wider than shoulders and hips.

It’s crazy when you sit and start thinking on your body type right? You start seeing yourself as a fruit, or some weird object like an hourglass. But keep in mind, these only describe the general shapes when it comes to styling. Sometimes you might even find that you fall between two types of body shapes. For example: you might have some of the characteristics of an apple body type, but also be more of a square, or any other two. It is important to keep in mind that your body type may change as you get older too.

So now that you know your body style, here are a few things to keep in mind when determining what to wear. They are very easy changes that go a long way! Here are a couple of do’s and don’ts of dressing for each body shape.

Apple Shape Don’ts

  • Something you don’t want to wear when having an apple body shape is skinny jeans.
  • Avoid dresses and tops that cinch at the waist, or any waist belts.

Apple Shape Do’s

  • You want to go for a bootcut or straight legged jean!
  • Empire tops and dresses that are fitted under the bust and flare out from there. This will keep attention away from your mid section.

 Rectangular Shape Don’ts

  • Stay away from straight dresses and skirts that fall straight down and are loose.
  • Avoid baggy or boxy tops.

Rectangular Shape Do’s

  • You want to wear tops with collars, ruffles and details to flatter your chest.
  • Go for skinny jeans and tulip skirts to best flatter your figure.
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Pear Shape Don’ts

  • Avoid low waisted skinny jeans and pencil skirts.
  • Stay away from Baggy tops and Bias cut shirts.

Pear Shape Do’s

  • Choose patterned and embellished tops and dresses that will draw more attention upward.
  • Go for High waisted pants and A line skirts for a more flattering fit.
Body Shape
Body Shape

Hourglass Shape Don’ts

  • Stay away from Low rise jeans/overly embellished dresses and skirts
  • Avoid high necklines and empire cut tops and dresses

Hourglass Shape Do’s

  • Wrap tops and dresses and waist defined tops and dresses will look best for this body shape.
  • Go for boot cut and straight legged jeans.
Body Shape
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Body Shape

Inverted Triangle Don’ts

  • Stay away from blazers with padded shoulders, or blouses with puffy sleeves. They will make your shoulders appear wider.
  • Stay away from patterns on your tops or too much detailing.

Inverted Triangle Do’s

  • Go with Bell Bottom or wide leg pants to balance out your shoulders, and pencil skirts that are extra tapered at the hem to help create a curve on the hips.
  • Bold Prints and Patterns on your bottoms help draw the eye downward and balance out your figure.

Now you have no excuse to not look your best! Also, now you know your measurements which is very important to have up to date as a model! Ready to get started in modeling? Click Here to Apply! Learn about style, body shapes, modeling categories, posing tips and tricks, and more!

Remember ladies to always KEEP IT BELLA!


Obdulia Espinoza

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