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Ace Your Look: Dress for Your Body Type

Dressing for Your Body Type

Have you ever found yourself wondering why some clothes look great on certain people but just don’t seem to fit quite right on you? It could be because you need to dress for your body type. Dressing for your body type is the best way to make sure you look your absolute best and highlight your favorite features.

It’s important to recognize that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ body type – everyone is unique, and each has its own strengths. With knowledge of your body type and the right clothing choices, you can master techniques to flatter your figure and create a stylish look that complements your shape.

In this guide, we’ll give you tips on how to identify your body type, what styles to look for, and how to choose the best colors and accessories. Read on to find out how to dress for your body type.

Identify Your Body Type

When it comes to dressing for your body type, it is important to first know what your body type is. There are three basic body types – hourglass, pear-shaped, and apple-shaped.

You can measure your body type by taking your bust, hip, and waist measurements. If your bust and hip measurements are equal with a smaller waistline, you may have an hourglass figure. Alternatively, if your waist is larger than your hip and bust measurements, then you may have a pear-shaped body. Lastly, if your hip and shoulder measurements are the same with your waist measurement being lesser or about the same size, then you most likely have an apple-shaped body.

  • Bust Measurement: Measure around your chest at its fullest point.
  • Waist Measurement: Measure around your waist at its narrowest point.
  • Hip Measurement: Measure around your hips at its fullest point.

Dressing for a Pear-Shaped Body Type

A pear-shaped body type is characterized by a small waist and wider hips. To flatter your figure, the key is to dress with items that draw attention to your slim waistline and away from your hips.

When choosing clothing, focus on the top half of your body in terms of colors and prints. Look for tops that are fitted at the waist and add volume above the waist to create a balanced silhouette. Choose bright colors and light fabrics to draw attention up towards your shoulders. Avoid tops and dresses that have a lot of fabric around the hip area as this can make you look larger.

To minimize your hips, opt for items that are solid in color and straight in the leg. Select items with pockets or other details around the hips as this gives the illusion of a smaller hip area. A monochromatic look will create a slimming effect.

Accessorizing is an effective way to create balance. Add a statement necklace, a scarf, or earrings to draw attention to your upper body. Wear shoes that have a lower heel to keep the attention on your top half.

HourGlass Body

If your body shape is an hourglass, then dressing to flaunt those curves is essential. An hourglass figure typically features a small waist that is proportionally wider than the shoulders and hips. To enhance an hourglass shape, look for clothing that cinches in at the waist to create the perfect hourglass silhouette.

Belts are perfect for defining the waistline. Tops with a bit of a flare can also help to create the desired look by creating streamlines from the shoulders down to the hips. Avoid boxy or structured items as they can conceal your curves. When it comes to dresses, choose ones that hug your waist with either an A-line skirt or plump up the curves you already have with ruching or tiers.

Another great way to show off your curves is through v-neck tops and wrap dresses. V-necks elongate the neck as well as draw attention to the chest area. Wrap dresses are perfect for accentuating your hourglass shape as they often come with ties and sash belts to dial in to your natural curves.

Finally, if you are wearing trousers, high-waisted cuts will give you an extra lift and definition at the waist. Choose trousers that have just enough room to hug your curves without being too tight. This will make it look like the trousers were made for your body!

Dressing an Apple-Shaped Body

Apple-shaped body types are most commonly described as having broad shoulders, a slim waist and full midsection. The goal when dressing an apple-shape is to use clothing to disguise the midsection while accentuating the waistline.

  • Choose tops that fit loosely around the midsection and use color blocking or darker colors to create the illusion of a slimmer midsection.
  • Utilizing scarves, jewelry, and hats can draw attention away from the midsection and towards the face.
  • Apple-shaped body types should generally avoid two-piece outfits and halter tops.
  • Choose trousers and skirts that are slightly flared or A-line in order to provide more balance to the figure while still highlighting the waistline.
  • For formal occasions, opt for dresses with defined waistlines and an empire silhouette.

Dressing for a Petite Frame

If you identify as having a petite frame, it is important to emphasise your slimmer figure using clothing. Clothing that creates the illusion of length, can help to flatter your figure. Here are some tips to bear in mind when choosing clothing items for a petite frame:

  • Choose light, airy fabrics like chiffon and georgette, instead of heavier ones like denim and tweed.
  • Opt for high-waisted bottoms or trousers, as these will elongate the leg line from top to toe.
  • Try vertical stripes, which will draw the eyes up and down rather than side to side.
  • Avoid oversized silhouettes, as these will overpower your frame.
  • Look for tailored pieces, such as blazers and coats, that fit close to the body.
  • Adding small details, such as wide collars or thin belts, can break up the width of an outfit.

By keeping these tips in mind, you should be able to find clothing items that flatter your petite frame.

Accessories to Elevate Your Look

When dressing for your body type, it is important to consider accessories that can help to enhance your look. Accessories are the perfect way to add some personality to an outfit and can make a big difference when it comes to accentuating the right features. Here are some tips for choosing accessories to help you make the most of your unique shape.

Hourglass body shapes

For an hourglass body type, scarves, hats, and necklaces are great for adding volume to the bust area to give more definition to the waist. You can experiment with bold statement necklaces or earrings to bring more attention to your neckline.

Pear-shaped body shapes

When styling a pear-shaped body, lightweight scarves placed around the neck can draw the attention away from wider hips and thighs to give a more balanced look. Chunky bracelets and earrings are great for taking the attention away from the lower half. Avoid long belts that hit the hips if you don’t want them to be a focus.

Apple-shaped body shapes

For those with an apple-shaped body, thin scarves and lighter jewelry are perfect for bringing out the face and neck area. Lightweight belts work well to draw attention away from the mid-section and emphasize the silhouette. Necklaces and earrings that hang down in the front are also great for creating an illusion of length.

Petite frames

For petite frames, adding visual texture and proportion can be a great way to add height to an outfit. Dangly earrings and cascading necklaces create vertical lines that can make you appear taller. You can accessorize with watches, bangles, and rings to bring a pop of color and contrast.

No matter what your body type, the key is to choose accessories that help to create the illusion of balance and draw attention to the features you love. Experimenting with different colors, textures, and styles is the best way to find the perfect accessories for your body type.

Avoiding Trends

Trends can often be difficult to navigate, particularly for those with a particular body type. To ensure you are avoiding trends that won’t flatter your body, it is important to understand your body shape and how certain types of clothing may not work. For example, if you have an hourglass figure, clothes that are too loose or baggy or do not emphasize the waistline can make you look larger than you are. Similarly, if you have a pear-shaped figure, clothes that add volume to your hips will make your lower half look disproportionately larger.

In order to avoid unfortunate trends on your body type, it is important to be aware of what does and doesn’t work for you. You should take a moment to evaluate each piece of clothing on its own. Ask yourself: Does this shape work? Is the item more comfortable than stylish? Am I looking to show off my curves or downplay them? Evaluating each piece of clothing before you add it to your wardrobe will help you stay away from trends that don’t flatter your body type.

When shopping, try to look for more classic items that can be incorporated into timeless looks. Solid colors are flattering on most body types, as they are generally slimming. If you want to incorporate prints, opt for smaller, thinner patterns as these will flatter your figure more.

It is also helpful to use online resources or consult with a professional stylist who can provide you with tailored advice. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but be mindful of which trends you choose to embrace. Knowing which trends to avoid and how to dress appropriately for your body type will take you a long way in your styling journey.

Shopping for Your Body Type

Shopping for the right clothing for your body type can be challenging and sometimes discouraging. Fortunately, there are certain guidelines you can follow to make sure you’re on the right track.

First, know your size and proportions. Measurements may differ depending on the product, so it’s important to double-check your measurements every time you purchase a new item. It will also help to have an idea of how you want the item to fit. Are you looking for a tight fit that hugs your body? Do you prefer clothes with a more relaxed fit?

Second, understand your body shape. Do you have an hourglass figure, an apple shape, or a pear shape? When it comes to shopping, choose pieces that best flatter your body shape. For example, if you have an apple-shaped body type, you can wear baggy clothing or tops with V-necks to draw attention away from your midsection.

Third, select quality materials and fabrics. You should always take note of the materials used in the clothing and the quality of the fabric. Natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, and wool are great options as they are breathable and allow for better movement. Avoid synthetic fabrics such as polyester as they often retain sweat and can be uncomfortable.

Finally, pick clothing colors and prints wisely. Neutral colors such as black, white, beige, and grey are always a safe bet. Additionally, different prints may bring attention to certain parts of your body. For instance, if you have a pear-shaped body type, you may want to look for horizontal stripes instead of vertical ones which can make you appear slimmer.

These are just some of the tips to keep in mind when shopping for clothing to suit your body type. As with anything else, trial and error will eventually lead you to find what looks best on you. Keep experimenting and be sure to have fun with it!

Color Palettes and Prints

The right color palette and print can make a big difference in how flattering your outfit is. To help you identify what colors and prints are most flattering for your body type, here are a few tips:

  • Pear-Shaped Body: Look for darker-colored tops to balance out the bottom half of the body. For bottoms, go for light tones such as white, cream, beige or pastels. As for prints, look for smaller-sized prints as opposed to larger ones.
  • HourGlass Body: You can experiment with a lot of different colors and prints. Choose bright colors to emphasize your curves and opt for larger prints over smaller ones.
  • Apple Shaped Body: Try darker colors on the top and lighter ones on the bottom. Avoid large prints, as they will distract from the waistline. Smaller prints work best.
  • Petite Frame: Go for bright colors and prints to add some life and fun to your look. Opt for vertical lines and avoid horizontal stripes.

Fashion is all about experimentation. Experiment with different outfits to see which colors and prints best suit your body type.

Mens’ Dressing Strategies

When it comes to dressing for your body type, men have different challenges compared to women. Men’s clothing is typically much more tailored and fitted, so it’s important to choose clothing that hugs the body in all the right places. Here are some strategies for dressing with different body types:

  • Pear Shaped Body: Minimise the bottom half of the body by wearing trousers that have a low-rise waistline. Wear shirts and jackets with a tailored fit to focus attention towards the upper half of the body.
  • Hourglass Body: Choose items with a lot of structure. Look for items with shoulder pads or double-breasted jackets to emphasise the waistline. Avoid relaxed-fitting items as they can mask your figure.
  • Apple Shaped Body: Look for items that create a V-shape silhouette. Choose clothing items with vertical stripes and empire waistlines. Also, wear fitted shirts rather than loose-fitting ones.
  • Petite Frame: Try wearing vertically striped clothing to create the illusion of length. Avoid oversized clothing on the top and opt for slim fitting pants to give the illusion of length.

When creating a look for any body type, it’s important to remember to use accessories to enhance the overall look. Pick colours and patterns that will help bring out your best features. Finally, always be confident in whatever you wear.


Learning how to dress for your body type is an important part of curating a wardrobe that looks great on you. With the right outfit, you can make the most of your features and look stunning! To help you get dressed with confidence and accentuate the positive attributes of your body type, remember these key takeaways:

  • Identify and measure your body type – hourglass, apple shape, or pear shape.
  • Dress petite frames to look taller and create the illusion of length.
  • Avoid fashion trends which don’t suit your body type.
  • Shop with your body type in mind. Choose clothes that fit and flatter your shape.
  • Choose colors and prints that are flattering for your body type.
  • If you’re male, find styles that are flattering for your body type.

Take these tips and start experimenting with what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to combine different pieces to create the perfect look. After all, every body type is beautiful!

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