How to Dress for Your Body Type

Four different body types

Dressing for your body type isn’t a criticism of any one shape or size. Instead, it’s an opportunity to highlight your best assets and guarantee you look and feel great in every outfit you own. If you fill your closet with the right clothing styles for you, it’s almost like having a custom-tailored wardrobe that enhances you from every angle. It also makes getting dressed that much easier!If you’re interested in learning about different body shapes and working towards a closet designed to fit your needs, read on here for a comprehensive guide from TART Collections.

Different Body Types

There are five typical body types, including rectangle or straight, round, hourglass, pear or triangle, and inverted triangle. Most people find that they fit pretty neatly into one of these categories, but some are a combination of these different body shapes. Once you measure your shoulders, bust, waist, and hips, you’ll see which category fits you best and dress for that body type.

Rectangle Body Shape

If your measurements for shoulders, bust, waist, and hips are pretty much equal, you likely have a rectangle body shape. There may be some variation in the measurements, but you’ll notice that you have very little definition in your waist and a minimal curve in your hips and butt.As a rectangle body shape, you might find that you want to highlight and define your curves in a way that makes them look larger than they actually are.

Woman in a v-neck top by TART Collections

Best Styles for Rectangles

If you want to dress for this body type, you should avoid boxy or shapeless clothing, as they’ll just hide your shape even more. Focus on adding dimension to hips and shoulders while pulling in your waist as much as possible.

Tops for Rectangles

Smocked waist tops, as well as blouses with scoop and v-necklines, will enhance the curves in your shoulder and create the illusion of a smaller waist. Peplum details are also great for rectangle body types, as they give your hips more curve and define your waist.If you’re looking to top your blouse with a blazer or cardigan, look for pieces with cinched, button, or belted waists to accentuate the difference between shoulder and hip. We recommend skipping anything oversized or ultra-puffy sleeves.

Bottoms for Rectangles

As you move on to your lower body, you’ll be happy to learn that you have a lot of versatility here. Any mid or high-waisted trouser will work for dressing your body type. Unfortunately, low-rise pants will elongate your rectangle shape, while full bottoms will make you look unbalanced – small on top and heavy in the legs.

Round Body Shape

Also known as a circle or apple shape, the round body shape is one that has broad shoulders and narrow hips with a lack of a defined waistline. You may also have even-sized hips and shoulders and a large bust.

Woman in a short blue cinched waist dress with three-quarter sleeves


Best Styles for Round Shapes

Dressing for your round body type, you may be tempted toward long, flowy pieces. However, these will have the opposite effect you desire, making you look rounder and larger than you actually are. Instead, you should consider clothing that will develop the illusion of a waist and show off your legs. Avoid exaggerated details on your bust or shoulder, like ruffle tops, crew necks, and turtlenecks. You should also skip the pleated pants and skirts, as well as paper bag pants.

Tops for Round Shapes

The best tops for round shapes is a scoop or v-neck. Wraps or ruching on your side will define your waist a little, while halter and asymmetrical necklines work to minimize your shoulders. When it comes to jackets and coats, look for single-breasted options to elongate your torso.

Bottoms for Round Shapes

Dressing for your body type means sticking to straight and wide-leg pants, which will balance out your hips and make your legs look longer. Avoid any details on the front of the pant, like buttons, ties, or zippers.

Hourglass Body Shape

With this body type, your shoulders and hips will be very similar sizes, and your waist will be very small in comparison. While you’re definitely curvy, sometimes, your shape is a little compact and you’ll want to focus on elongating your torso.

Woman in long flared white pants with a white strappy crop top

Best Styles for Hourglasses

Fitted clothing is the best option for dressing your body type. Oversized and shapeless pieces will drape over your shoulders and bust, hiding your waist and making you look round. Overly embellished tops and high-neck pieces will similarly make you look top-heavy and imbalanced.

Tops for Hourglass Figures

Whether it’s a v-neck, scoop neck, or wrap blouse or sweater, you want a long neckline that will show off your shoulders and decolletage. Avoid ruffles, peplums, and big sleeves unless you balance them with similar volume in your pants.

Bottoms for Hourglass Figures

You want to show off your waist with this body type so look for high-waisted pants with a belt or a tie. You can also pull off a jumpsuit or romper with a similar silhouette and a tie around the waist. You aren’t limited by shape here, and you can enjoy experimenting with wide and narrow styles. Just remember to balance your top and bottom halves.

Pear Body Shape

With the pear shape, you have hips that are wider than your shoulders, resulting in a bottom-heavy silhouette. You might have some curves on top or you may be extremely narrow, but your hips will always be the bigger number.

Woman in a long sleeve printed top with ruched shoulders


Best Styles for Pears

With this body shape, we have some unique advice because it’s a different body shape that doesn’t always do well with patterns. We recommend wearing printed designs only on blouses and shirts, keeping your bottoms plain and simple. You should also leave the tight bottoms, oversized tops, and chunky flats at home!

Tops for Pears

Any embellishment on your neck and shoulders is a great choice for a pear shape. Choose structured styles with lots of volume to enhance your top and balance your hips. We also think a cropped jacket or blazer is a great way to accentuate your waist. Bold colors, textures, and patterns are a must-have option here.

Bottoms for Pears

Dress for your body type with straight and wide-leg pants. Bootcut jeans are also a good choice here. However, you don’t want any styles that will make you look narrower at the calf, so avoid skinny jeans and cropped pants.

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

With the inverted triangle body type, your shoulders and bust are larger than your hips. Your hips will be pretty narrow, so you should focus on going bold down below rather than accentuating your upper body.

Woman in printed layered skirt with a simple white top and knee-high gray boots

Best Styles for Inverted Triangles

Narrow and fitted blouses are the ideal choice for your body shape. You should also look into skater-style dresses and shirts with a peplum that hangs over your hips to add volume. Inverted triangles can also play with a lot of color and texture in their bottoms.

Tops for Inverted Triangles

You want to keep your tops simple and straightforward. Dress for your body type with v-necks and scoop necks without any ruffles or details in the sleeves that will make your shoulders even wider. If you wear longer tunics and jackets, make sure you tie something around your waist to bring attention to the curves there.

Bottoms for Inverted Triangles

Wear flared skirts and bootcut pants to create more volume in your hips and lower half. You may also want to experiment with details, like pleats, ruching, and ties, to develop even more shape around your hips.

Revamp Your Closet

Now that you know about the different body shapes and figured out which one you are, you can do a better job of highlighting your assets and ensuring the best possible outfits every day.Need to swap out a few key pieces to revamp your professional style? Check out the styles at TART Collections for all the essentials!

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