Friday, November 16, 2007

How to Dress for your Body Shape

Styling Rules are hardly generic! As a matter of fact, they should be customized to the individual; since everyone comes in different body sizes and shapes, we all need to learn what to wear and what to avoid in order to best flatter our body shape. Being compared to an object like an Hourglass or a Pear is not always Body Shapesflattering, especially when we carry a few extra pounds that we are trying to lose; it can be hurtful to stand in front of a mirror and look at our own body flaws trying to determine the body shape, but it is a necessary step.
Remember: no one has a "perfect" body; I have met many women who are ready to tell you exactly what they don't like about their bodies, even models and celebrities!
It is extremely important to determine our body type - first and foremost- as it helps us to visualize a certain shape; then, we chose what to wear to best suit our body shape, making therefore, the most of our body by creating an illusion of a well balanced figure.

"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. "

Coco Chanel

The most important thing to analyze first is the body shape we currently have: keep in mind that it has nothing to do with size, it's all about proportions. All body types come in a mix of fuller and slimmer shapes.

Here I will present the most common body types and subdivide them in: Top Heavy, Bottom Heavy, then both Top and Bottom Heavy, and No Curves; decide where you fit and then follow the simple styling steps to better balance the body type.


The LOLLIPOP body shape: Big breasts, not too broad shoulders, short waist and long skinny legs.

The GOBLET body shape: Heavy and square on the top, large breasts, a big tummy and broad back sitting on slender legs.


The SKITTLE body shape: top half is long and slim and widens at the bottom with saddlebags and a big bum on short legs.

The BELL body shape: petite woman with small shoulders and breasts and a large bottom and waist.

The PEAR body shape: small at the top with small shoulders and breasts, tiny waist, big thighs (saddlebags), and the calves and ankles don't have much definition.


The APPLE body shape: is all round; small shoulders, big breasts and waist, big hips and buttocks and no definition in the calves and ankles.

HourGlass body shapeThe HOURGLASS body shape: Big shoulders and breasts, small short waist, big hips (bottom half and top half are equal in size).

The VASE body shape: It's a stretched Hourglass, more length and a flatter bottom.
The CELLO body shape: broad shoulders, large breasts, very big buttocks, hips and thighs (bigger than the top).


The BRICK body shape: it's a masculine shape, broad shoulders, flat buttocks, no waist line, straight up and down short legs.

The CONE body shape: triangular shape, it's an athletic build with broad shoulders, little breast, no waist line, small hips and buttocks.

The COLUMN body shape: very tall, statuesque build. No curves, the top half and bottom half are equal in size.


TOP Heavy body shapes:

Top heavy body shapeGoal: Pick pieces that are shaped but not tight. Bring attention to the bottom half of the body.

Get a well fitting bra first, more than 85% of North American women wear the wrong size bra! Most stores offer a fitting session and service for free.

Don't wear tops with: ruffles or pastel shades, thin spaghetti straps, delicate camisole tops or complicated necklines. Avoid high neck lines, wear instead wide v-neck halves, not in a bulky material. Dresses should have strategic gathers under the breast to direct all eyes to your waist. Skirts should be fitted at the top and flaring at the hemline (to balance the top and the bottom), a cute tulip skirt works here. Avoid high waisted "anythings" at all cost! Bell bottom trousers balance out the breasts so you look less top heavy. Shoes should be high and a medium to slim heel to complement the shapely legs. Structured jackets, with one or two buttons under the breast, work well for a bigger bust, make sure the jacket can be buttoned; if a size bigger is necessary, then bring the jacket to the tailor and get both sides (at the waist) taken in, we want to achieve an hourglass shape!

Don't Wear: A lot of women who have larger busts try to camouflage it with boxy blazers. A blazer hides a double-D bust, but it makes a waist and the rest of the body look much bigger as well.

Do Wear: A fitted, single-breasted fitted blazer, making sure it defines the waist but is roomy enough in the bust that it doesn't pull. The overall effect is slimming and shape-defining.

BOTTOM Heavy body shapes:

Goal: bring attention to the top half of the body and away from problem areas.

Clingy skirts and tapered pants are a no-no as they highlight the hip, so trow them out of the closet; fuller leg trousers and flared skirts hide bulges. Wear any vertical pattern on the bottom half (to slim the appearance) even if it is in the seaming. Darker colors recede, so go dark on the bottom half of the body (no shiny fabrics) and wear lighter colors on top. To broaden shoulders and bring the attention up to the top half, wear big lapels, color and embellishment on the neckline, even a small shoulder pad will bring balance to a wider bottom.

Avoid side pockets, opt instead for a flat-front trouser. Super-slim jeans and pencil skirts are not a good choice. A defined waist, full skirt and strapless cut dress will bring all the focus to the smaller upper half. High-waisted, belted skirts draw attention to a slimmer waist line (hem it just above the knee), but wear them only if you have smaller breasts. Avoid Empire waist dresses that hide the waistline, choose instead a defined waist and an A-line skirt (wrap dress) to accentuate the upper half. Get a full, pleated Knee-length skirt to conceal a wide hip. Full, wide-leg gauchos drape without clinging and are a fashionable choice. Avoid tapered cut pants that emphasize a wide middle area, try a boot-cut pant and jeans to create a straight, lean line. Pleats are dangerous and so are too-high waist lines on pants, a flat front trouser on a medium rise (1 inch below belly button) is more flattering on this body shape.

A funnel shaped coat (buttons on the top half) is very flattering, also a coat with belt will bring attention to the waist, like a classy trench coat. In the summer wear a thigh-skimming Craftan over the bathing suit, it's a classy and fashionable way to cover up and balance a wider hip.

Cone heels on a dressy shoe will help balance out the bottom half of the body. Straight winter boots will look fashionable and also help cover shapeless calves and ankles. Don't do ankle straps, they brake the line of the leg.

Don't Wear: A straight button-dress that hugs the curves at the hips, making them appear larger, not to mention the pull on the buttons in curvy areas can draw unwanted attention.

Do Wear: A wrap dress to emphasize the smallest part of the body (the upper half), allowing the bottom to A-line over the rest, camouflaging large hips and thighs. A print, especially over a darker background is slimming and will diffuse the attention on the pattern, not on the curves.

"Highlight the positive and delete the negative." Donna Karan

TOP and BOTTOM Heavy body types:

Goal:Top and bottom heavy body shape The secret is not to hide any part of the body, but to show it off, nobody looks good in a straight oversized tent dress. The clothes must be fitted (not tight) and curve hugging.

Wear V-neck fitted cardigans, scooped necks and pencil skirts. Skirts should be fastened on the side and flat-fronted, to avoid extra bulk. Sewn down paneling on the top half of a bottom-pleated skirt holds the tummy at the front and cuts the buttocks in half. Asymmetric pleats on a tulip skirt will lift and bring out the bottom. Wear jackets with a single button (which will emphasize the narrowest area of the body). Traditional jeans don't always work, so go for a tailored, wide legged denim trouser. Avoid tight, wide-cut pants, which can make the bottom look wider; a straighter leg style (full but not flared), that doesn't pull at the hips, is more flattering. Avoid pleats around the hips and belly (they add bulk) or anything high-waisted. Wear waist defining pieces and empire-waist dresses. A fitted trench with belt is great as a coat. Pick chiffon dresses, with a corset. As for shoes, avoid stilettos, curvy girls need curvy shoes! Go for a small, shaped wedge sandal, and a rounded or peep toe shoe.

No CURVES body types: No curves/Athletic body shape

Goal: Create curves and an ideal hourglass shape.

Draping dresses with patterns will create curves in all the right places (size the pattern to the body- small frame= small pattern, and vice versa). Don't assume any bra with padding will work; it must fit so the seams and padding can't be seen (P.S. Avoid deep Vee shirts with padded bras). Never go bra-less under flimsy fabrics, no matter how small the breast, it's not classy.

A feminine chiffon dress will soften the shape. Halter tops create soft curves. Gathering and pleating on a shirt (at the sleeves and waist) creates curves. Skinny jeans will hug the skinny shapeless hips, giving them more definition. Choose delicate heels to highlight slim ankles. Accessorize, to keep you looking very stylish and feminine (use lace, beads and other feminine detailing). Invest in some cute waist-defining belts to wear over shirts, cardigans, coats, etc.

"Accentuate your best features and disguise what you are not so happy with. Choose outfits that fit and make you look comfortable rather than those that are up-to-the-minute."

Giorgio Armani

Now that you know what to wear, a few last minute tid-bits of advice: Practice the art of camouflage. A well known fashion truth: darker colors minimize, while lighter or shiny ones highlight. To play down a large chest, avoid wearing bright metallic tops. Have a thicker waist? A dark brown belt is better than a white one. Horizontal stripes make anything look wider. To look taller and leaner wear monocromatic tops and bottoms (match shoes to trousers for a longer leg line). To do color safely, accessorize!

Get a Tailor: You can't expect every size 12 dress to fit every size 12 woman in the bust, waist and hips perfectly. That means find a reliable tailor so that the clothes fit the body. A tailor can make a cheaper item look expensive, when it's fit to the body.
Styling Dos and Don'ts have nothing to do with size. These days, flattering choices abound for women of all shapes. Love your body, be stylish and confident, it shows that you appreciate and respect yourself.
Bigger on top: Scarlett Johansson, Salma Hayek, Lindsay Lohan, Carmen Electra, Nikki Blonsky.
Bigger on bottom: Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shakira, Rihanna.
Hourglass: Jordin Sparks, Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, Halle Berry, Oprah Winfrey, America Ferrera, Tyra Banks.
Apple shape: Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Osbourne, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears.
No curves: Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Hilary Duff, Pink, Keira Knightley.

For the best swimsuit to flatter your body type, read the latest article!

Be fabulous,


Personal beauty, fashion trends, style, glamour like celebrities.
(most)Body shapes by: TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannahtype Constantine.
Junonia Plus Size Activewear

whape ehape zhape xhape sape body shape body shape

Torrid - The Alternativezes 12 - 26 For Si


M. Rose said...

What about broad shoulders, big bust, small waist, slim hips, short legs? I don't seem to fit a category.

Emily said...

M Rose maybe you are a short Lollipop! - Try the Lollipop look on with high heels and see if that looks right? There's no way every woman fits exactly into one of twelve categories.

Reneem said...

What about a no curves figure with
smal breasts, broad shoulders, narrow hips (straight up and down from the front view), but with a
curvy butt from the side view. How should I dress?

beautybyella said...

I should clarify that not every body shape fits the mold exactly, what you have to decide is if you share the problem areas with the ones on the examples and then learn to dress them, while you accentuate your best features.
For example, Reneem, a curvy booty is a feature to accentuate with some lower rise jeans, which also give you more curves (like JLo)...a wrap dress is fantastic for a body with a booty...the right curves in the right places :)

nivi said...

what about rather broad shoulders, average bust, gently sloping waist, proportionate hips, chubby things, a little chunky calves, and a chubby tummy? please help me? what shape am I?

beautybyella said...

nivi, it sounds like you are an athletic build with just a bit wider bottom. Try some straight cut skirts to wear with fashion boots (up to the knee or lower. Or some nice straight leg pants...nothing cropped or tapered. Do a pretty Vee neck shirt and try to bring attention up to your upper body. I would usually recommend a belt for an athletic build but if your thighs are bigger, then a belt would accentuate that.
let the shirt hem hit your upper hip bone, not lower not higher.
I hope this helps you :)

Anna said...

Hi beautybyella,

I am very close to being hour glass but with a longer waist. What is your advice for me in terms of pants, tops, skirts, and maybe colours.


melissas120 said...

What about 5'1", 36D breasts, small shoulders, short legs and a poochy tummy?

fonda said...

Hi! I am over weight, my issue is I gain everywhere excpt in my breast I only wear an A, but I wear a 14/16 in shirts and pants. I have really broad shouilders, and a large rib cage. I really need help, I do not know how to appear to have a waist line and play down my shoulders and ribs.

beautybyella said...

Anna, if you have small breast try high waisted skirts, they look very pretty and make your torso appear shorter (and your overall figure longer)break the colors up, like a black skirt with a white dress up shirt (by breaking the figure you can give the illusion of a very proportionate body)free sitting belts (not in loops) are also a great way to raise your waist line, try one over a cardigan, super chic.
Melissa, sounds like you are top heavy, try wearing some of the outfits I suggest in the article and keep the colors all in the same tonality to appear taller. You can fill in the small shoulders with a small shoulder pad, it will help you balance the figure easier or with super cute puffy sleeves.
Fonda, I would suggest you wear A-line skirts and wide leg pants to offset the wide shoulders, also make sure when you buy a shirt that fits you big shoulders that you take it in a bit at the waist, to give you the appearance of an hourglass shape, definitely do V necks with embellishment close to the face (a pretty necklace or big earrings), try wrap shirts, the diagonal cut of the wrap around makes you look smaller and gives more an illusion of a waist line.

I hope this helps girls ;) feel free to contact me anytime!

Em832 said...

I am a fashion disaster! I end up living in sports clothes as I have NO idea. I went to a stylist once and got told I suit haulter tops but I am not convinved!I have no idea! I have an athletic build with very broad shoulders, C cup, narrow hips and muscular thighs and long legs. I am going wedding dress shopping and would love a bit of help with what may suit me!! Strapless? Haulter?? Ahhh..wish I could pay you to come sort me out!!

beautybyella said...

Oh Em832, how exciting!!! congrats on your upcoming wedding!
According to your description of your body you are a column figure, so I would have to agree with the stylist you saw, a halter top does create soft lines and accentuates you beautiful large shoulders. However if it does not appeal to you, try on a strapless, great to show off your shoulders as well, and perfect with your long legs. I would go for a style that comes in at the waist and puff out at the bottom (will give you that "hourglass" shape)! but the best advice I can give you is to try on all kinds of styles until you fall in love with one! The ladies that work at the stores are usually very helpful in finding the perfect style and shade for you so go ahead and ask for help!
As for everyday style, keep in mind the hourglass shape and remember that accessories can dress up casul jeans and T-shirt...start with interesting necklaces and bracelets, then move on to dress-up heels and's usually easier to start your styling journey with accessories! Check out what celebrities are wearing and study their clothes/accessories (Lindsay Lohan has a column body shape, and she has a casual/dress up look)-celebs pay stylists a lot of money to make them look current and hip, and it's free for you to study it and make it your own.
Good Luck with everything...and keep in touch ;)


tammy5_30 said...

Hey Bell,
I've got the same problem as the other women in that I can't seem to fit my body into any of these categories comfortably.
I've got broad shoulders and average to large bust, ribs and across the back. I've got a large stomach but it's not drooping (yet) and my hips are wide. I've got no nicely defined waist. My butt and legs are my favourite features (along with my breasts) but they are on the large side, and while my legs are somewhat like narrowing cones, I know to make them look better in heels. My calves are very bigs, and my thighs are large, too. I have flabby arms so I don't feel comfortable wearing sleeveless, short-sleeves or singlet tops.
Please help me- I'm very lost. I've never worn clothes that flatter me. I think it's time to change that.

tammy5_30 said...

Just for reference, I was thinking I would be either a goblet or brick. But I could be mistaken in these suggestions, and they have very different dressing recommendations. I tend to wear hugging jeans or trackies, the jeans because of my suposition that my legs are a great asset and the trackies because sometimes I just feel so 'blah'. When I wear the jeans, I always look top heavy, which I dislike, but I still like my legs in heels.
Other opinions: my first boyfriend told me I'm broad on top and tapered on the bottom (he asked me if I was a swimmer- I'm not) and my second and current boyfriend loves my bum (but that might be because there's something extra there to grab onto). My sister is jealous of my legs and my mum tells me I shouldn't have kids because it'll ruin my body like it did to hers.
I think I might be a brick on a goblet stem. Helpful, aren't I? Sorry :[

cuckoo_in_the_coconut said...

I'm pretty sure I'm an hourglass, but the "big breasts" comment has thrown me off a little. Does every hourglass have massive boobs??

My measurements are 35-24-35 - I can put on as much weight as I like and my stomach stays flat ... but my breasts are definitely average sized!

beautybyella said...

Dear Tammy5_30,
it sounds to me (from your description that you are more the Lollipop type- but with larger shoulders).
Remember these "body types" are just a general guide line, there is not a fool-proof guide, the General rule is "BALANCE" to and bottom in harmony!
no reason to cover up your gorgeous legs, wear instead a trumpet skirt that flares at the knee or just passed it and a high heel always slims down a thicker ankle. as for the top wear structured clothes...nothing flimsy or with tiny straps, do instead a short jacket that comes in at the waist and flutters at the hips ( no shoulder pads for you. Don't do tight jeans, go for boot cut or a slight flare at the bottom, it will balance out your top, and if you prefer shorter versions do gaucho pants.
Try a lot of things on you that you wouldn't normally wear and see what fits best on your body (trying it on costs nothing and can be a fun discovery!)
Best of luck


beautybyella said...

Hi cuckoo_in_the_coconut,
Hourglass shape means that top and bottom are in harmony, not one big and one small (about the same size...or close), and the waist is smaller than both! you can have a smaller hourglass or a curvier hourglass but all in proportion.
I agree, you sound like an hourglass!


YoungSky said...


please help me, I'm despairing over what clothes to wear, I've never been able to buy clothes because I think they all make me look hideous. I've got broad shoulders, small bust, wide square-like torso, average length legs which are quite shapely but the thighs are relatively chunky.

I will be going on a diet after New Years (honest!) but I'm meant to be moving abroad with my boyfriend and think it's about time I got a new wardrobe...

Any advice very welcome!

Keerat said...

No one ever has any advice for broad-shouldered, top heavy, short&skinny - legged people!

beautybyella said...

Keerat...isn't it a lollipop?? top heavy and skinny legs? try some of those clothing guides and hopefully it works on you.

Young_ski..remember hide what you don't like and show off your beautiful large shoulders. You can try one shoulder tops, strapless, shoulders cut-offs...anything to show them off, and cover up the thighs with an A line skirt, or gaucho pants, or wide leg trousers...these all balance your top and bottom! Good luck in your travels ;)


Jennifer said...

Hi, what about a huge bust with large upper arms (skinny lower arms)? I have a tummy that pretty much sticks out as far as my bust and with no defined hips/waist. On top of that I'm a short 5'1". It's pretty hard finding a top that can fit my bust without showing the buldge, one that hides the buldge but doesnt makes me look pregnant,or one that is not too tight on the bust. Some help please?

beautybyella said...

Dearest Jennifer,
I can see why you have a challenge.
It is one of my hardest challenges as well in dressing this body type. It would probably fit in the general category of an apple or lollipop body shape, however my best advice is to bring attention to your best features! your face can be framed by a pretty hair style, do a V neck to bring attention up, slim the body and lengthen your figure. As for hiding the mid section of your body type, use stiffer but not bulky materials, thin layers work, like a pretty vest on top of a dress shirt (with tails sticking out at the bottom and sleeves being rolled up a couple of times where the skinny arm starts; it creates a visual illusion. Don't always do one color across the tummy, or a horizontal stripe, a print (not too big- not too crazy-not too small) sometimes does the same trick.
Do not wear bulky jewelry on your neck, as well as no little tiny chains...better go for a pretty earring that shows off your face.
Avoid tight bottoms, go for a boot cut pant/jean that flares a bit at the bottom, and absolutely no tiny will off-set the whole look. Do a medium heel (not the chunky ones) that will give you height and elegance.
I hope this helps Jennifer...try on a few looks in this and please let me know how it works out ;)
Best of Luck


Kay said...

Dear Ella,
Yes, I need to exercise to shrink and tighten abdomen: it worked 3 or 4 years ago! Am 63 now.
Am 5' 5", short-waisted, long nice legs in good shape everywhere,
no hind-end,
good arms, nice face.
Not fat anywhere, just lazy belly muscles.
Frontal view shows "column," bust is 38 B. Seems like sites differ in recommendations for same shape.
am giving away the horizontal striped tops and double-breasted blazer. Probably the cowl-necks and cable-knit sweaters.
Help, Please!!

Kay said...

Ella, These additions:
I know tops should be hip-length, and better if not tucked in -- except I have professional position. Definitely no wide belts, no breast pockets on blouses?
Short blazer with short skirt? Longer with short or with long? I have all kinds.
I know sleeves should not hit at waist level. I have trouble finding sleeves that are long enough to button comfortably.
Probably boot-cut pants to balance bulky-looking top half. And skirts should probably stay below-knee so legs don't monopolize the whole look -- ? I have 3 nice ankle-length ones, two are good wool.
Fairly sturdy high heels, I think.
Gored skirts, flippy-bottomed ones, after i shrink the gut-bulge and while wearing Serious girdle -- (sigh, they make me feel sick.)
Thanks for your help!!

beautybyella said...

Hi Kay,
if you look like a column shape, try to follow those directions. However if you don't want to bring attention to the belly section of the body with belts and wrap dresses, try with patterns, some clothes are designed with stitching or patterns that give the illusion of an hourglass shape (the pattern should be of vertical stitching or stripes that taper in at the waist).
Never do short jacket with short skirt...and never with ankle length shirt...toss those skirts in the "give away" pile (not in fashion anymore. Use instead a tulip skirt (just passed the knee), they are classic shapes and will look fabulous at work!
The secret is: bring the attention where you want it to a gorgeous necklace, or a cute pair of booths...rather than a belt or embellishment on a shirt...shirt pockets are ok, because you have smaller breasts, but I would rather bring attention to the face with a pretty necklace or a V-neck.

I hope this helps :)


KayM said...

Dear Ella, Thank you so much for your rapid and informative answer. (My thanks would have been faster if I had remembered my log-in name.)
I spent a good part of yesterday trying on clothes and looking in the mirror, setting some aside for used clothes shop, others to be altered. And some to try on again in a month. Also in looking for "princess seam" on-line in patterns and in clothing.
So you see you gave me plenty to work with! Thanks again.

plamena97 said...

What about me :
Muscular strong, shoulders, line up with the hips. Small waist, not flat butt, muscular, full thighs and the hips are pretty wide.
I'm not a pear, not the no curves, so.. i'm not an hourglass since i have full thighs? :[

La Ruta de los Jóvenes Emprendedores said...

What about broad shoulders, fat arms, small breasts, average waist, average legs and hips but narrower than shoulders, short legs, average bum, and big ankles??? In what category would I fit? I'd appreciate if you could answer my question.

beautybyella said...

Hi Plamena97 and La Ruta...

seems to me like one is bottom heavier and the other top heavy...not sure if either of you fits a specific "type"...hard to tell with no visual, however you should use the guidelines to dress your body...try the balance the top or the bottom according to your needs! Are you bottom heavy? then balance the top half with the the bottom heavy guide lines...vice-versa for top heavy!
remember these body types are very generic!!! Do not worry so much about what "body Type" you are, and more about what you want to show off and what you want to hide!
Hope this helps girls :)


plamena97 said...

I say i'm an hourglass..since:
My shoulders and hips and waist they form the hourglass shape. I just have full thighs, but i do NOT look like a pear. I really don't have small shoulders.

mllanos87 said...

I'm not a very visual person and trying to decide what body shape I am just isn't working haha.

If I give measurements maybe you can help?

Height: 5'3"
Bust: 34"
Waist: 28"
Hips: 38"

Also, I have slight lovehandles, and not the cute kind!

Thank you. (=

plamena97 said...

ur an hourglass. lucky. idk wat i am. :\

Tami said...

Hi, I'm not sure where I fit into the catagories. I have broad shoulders, 34DD bust, slim waist, big hips, big butt, big thighs and chunky calfs. Many of my friends say I'm a pear shape figure but I'm not conviced, please can you help? Thanx

Mermaid327 said...

What about a mom of a toddler who is trying to get back to her slimmer curvy figure. Broad shoulders, good though not extra large sized breasts, a waist that used to be smaller and one of the best features, wide hips and bootie. Where do I fall? What kinds of clothes can I wear? (One of my students told another in a note that I look like I am pregnant again when I was wearing a more form fitting shirt...)

plamena97 said...

Tami, I say ur an hourglass. :] Broad shoulder and big boobs. yep. small waist. pears don't have big boobs. Im like u. broad shoulders, small waist, big butt, big thighs.

plamena97 said...

Mermaid427, I say that ur an hourglass. :] Don't worry. Stupid kids-- ima kid. xDD but they always find something to make fun of others.. :\

Shae said...

I stumbled across your blog and i thoroughly enjoyed it! I'm a fashionista-wannabe and try to dress right and fashionable,but find it difficult with my overweight, extra curvy hourglass figure. Thank you so much for you tips! I plan on implementing them next time i go shopping!

beautybyella said...

Oh girls, you are all so lovely, I enjoy reading your comments all the time!!!
The trick to figuring out what body shape you have is to look at your curves, BUT if you can't figure it out, then try on one of the suggested outfits...nothing wrong with going the other way around!! ;)
an example...if you look pregnant when wearing a tight fitting shirt (like kids so cruelly put it!!), then try an un-tucked button up shirt..does it do the trick? not...then try another one, maybe a baby doll shirt is best or maybe it's the print!!! I do have a swirly print shirt that makes me look preggo, and by the's now in the GIVE-AWAY pile hehe
Big-shoulders+small waist+ bigger bottom= hour glass (a bigger hourglass maybe, but who said there is only small hourglass!!!)...As I said TRY TRY TRY it on...not pretty, then out it goes, it's not for item of clothes!
By the Way, if you find a good fit, by one in every color!!! you will never regret it!

ruby armah said...

what about bigs arms and broad tummy?i dont seem to fit in ur category.

ruby armah said...

what about big arms and broad shoulders,big thighs,big hips but not too big bottucks and broad tummy.

hhoping said...

I'd also like to know about some other body combinations. For instance, I have large boobs (38D) and vary small hips (I wear a size 6 or 8 pants/skirts). A-line skirts, don't hang right on me because of my narrow hips and I can't get any dresses because I have to buy a 14 top to fit across my breasts. It's very frustrating!!

Literally Speaking said...

Yikes, i dont seem to fit a catergory :/
Im rather petite 5'4'', and i have broad shoulders, a very small bust, a gentle sloping waist towards slightly larger thighs, and short, slim calves. I have a large bum, but my hips are not large at all. How odd! :D

Ive had real issues with jeans recently, they seem to make me look dumpy, and larger than i am. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank YOu

plamena97 said...

Ur an appl ruby.

Laura said...

Hi! I never ever seem to get it "right".. I think i'm a mix between lollipop and hourglass/vase:
I have wide-ish shoulders which are in line with my hips, i then have a 32DD bust, and a small waist (but a long torso). I then have fairly wide hips, and large upper thighs in comparision. I then have long legs (I'm 5ft 10/11).
A lot of fashion these days has big padded shoulders and these look utterly horrendous. Can you recommend what styles would suit me?
Thanks :)

beautybyella said...

Oh boy, I wish I could spend time with each one of you personally to guide you in a perfect fit, but I am a professional in the busy season, so I will try to help as much as I can in a brief note. Firstly, broad shoulders with about the same size width & waist going in IS an hourglass, no matter what size. If the waist does not go in, then you are more the athletic type.
Big arms and ankles do not make a category in themselves, so if you don't like them just cover them up!
If A-line skirts don't hang right, try tulip skirts (not really a pencil skirt because it flares at the bottom and balances the broad top nicely). As for dresses, go for separates, do not even attempt to cover top and bottom together if they are not the same size, or you will look like you are wearing a tent. try a wrap top with a pretty A-line skirt, in the same color.
No matter how large your shoulders, if your bottom is larger you are still a pear shape, or a not perfect hourglass.
Maximise your potential a broad shoulder looks beautiful with a halter top, spaghetti straps, or even a beautiful v neck, minimize the hips with darker jeans, or trouser jeans which flare at the bottom.
I hope this helps girls...the shapes I describe are NOT perfect, they are an example to show you how to minimize what you don't like and emphasize what you do like :)
Much love and many blessings,


Katarina said...

I don't really know what my body shape is or how i should dress...
I have broad shoulders, small bust, broad hips and short legs. My waist is narrower than my shoulders and hips but not quite like the hourglass shape. I'm also pretty tall.

Katarina said...

Just adding some details:
-I'm almost 5'6"
-cup size A or B
-measurements 42-31-38
-short legs when compared to upper torso

Nothing really works for me, mainly because of my shoulders..

plamena97 said...

Look ya'll.
Broad shoulders, small waist, broad hips--hourglass.
Small shoulders, small waist, big ass and short fat legs--pear.
BIGG shoulders, big boobs, small butt and skinny legs--upside down triangle, the goblet, the man-shape.

beautybyella said...

Hi Kathrina,
how can your chest be a 42 with an A/B cup? are you sure you measured it correctly? Regardless, your waist is the smallest part of you, so you're an hourglass, use illusion to give yourself long legs, have you ever tried high waisted skirts, so cute!! and because you have a small chest size it will look pretty not matronly! try some on!! then follow the hourglass guide, might be of some help :)

Gym... said...


I'm an athlete so i have relatively broad shoulders with a small chest flat stomach and thin legs. Would high waisted skirts suit me? What kind of top would i need to wear in order to "hide" my broad shoulders?

Thanks :)

DaRkHyAcInTh said...

Hey I have 38-inch shoulders, 28B bust, 25.5-inch waist and 36-inch hips with short short legs (26-inch inseam) with 22-inch thighs (wow so many measurements). I'm really short (5-foot-1) i suspect i'm a skittle but when i dress it seems to make me look even shorter! and my high arch means i can't wear high heels without my feet hurting lots. Is there a way i can elongate my legs without the use of high heels but still make it proportionate? thanks(:

Binh said...
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Binh said...

I put on a lot of weight after two children. I think I am apple shape but my arms are flabby, big tummy, big thighs and calves, short legs and short overall (torso longer than legs generally). Please help!

elizabeth said...

i realize you havent responded to comments latly and i hope you will respond to mine.i also realize people are asking you the same questions and it is probably getting really annoying... im sorry. i am 14 and in 8th grade and trying to get away from my normal.. a guys t-shirt and cargo-ish shorts... definitly not flattering. I also am wondering what you recomend for a dress because i have a mildly formal dance coming up at the end of the year. i dont really understand the definition of large sholders so ill try to give you a basic outline. im 5'7 i have a 36B bust. the smallest point of my waist is 31 .the widest point of my hips is 40 and my legs are 38 in long. i have a mildly define waist, small but, med breast and a puggy stomache with mild-large thighs??? i am totally confused and not even sure i gave you the right measurments... please help?

Kayla_d said...

Hi, I don't seem to fit any categories either. I have fairly broad shoulders and an average cup size (is B average?). However, I have a small ribcage and my hips aren't very wide, but my legs are pretty long and muscular for my height (4'11" approx), and I have...well, quite the buttocks. Although my hips are thin, I can still tell where my waistline is compared to my hips and dinky ribcage. So, as I see it, I could be a

nerolii said...

I also don't know which is my body shape. I always thought i am a pear, but now after reading I'm confused.
My measurements are: 35 (34B bra) – 26 – 37.5, my hips are the widest at lower part and my legs are quite chunky. When I gain weight it goes to my hips and maybe a lower part of tummy. My should are smaller than my hips.

And a question from my friend: could you be a lollipop withdout a big bust (she has slim legs, almost no waist, and small bust and she's tall)

Thank you.

Grace, Goldie Lock (Todd only) said...

Hey I would love some advice please...I am getting married in September 2011 I really can't find THE DRESS! I hate my arms! I'm 5'3 140 lbs I'm a size 10. I am broad across my shoulders and need to draw attention away from that area. Any comments are so weclomed!

Grace, Goldie Lock (Todd only) said...

Hey I would love some advice please...I am getting married in September 2011 I really can't find THE DRESS! I hate my arms! I'm 5'3 140 lbs I'm a size 10. I am broad across my shoulders and need to draw attention away from that area. Any comments are so weclomed!

rhiannonzz said...

What if I have broadish shoulders, size B boobs, a little bit of a waist, and a big butt and thighs?

Ava said...

What about broad shoulders, small arms, small boobs, slim waist, small hips, wide lower hips, big butt, large legs?

My shape is slightly curvy.

chelsea said...

I have a small skinny shaped head, big arms at the top, skinny from elbow to wrist, biggish thighs, skinny from knee caps down, small bust, bit of a belly, no hips, smallish bottom, I generally wear size 12 but tops are tight on the arms, Im 5"2 and 50 this year, what do you suggest I wear? HELP.

beautybyella said...

Hey Girls,
I apologize for the unanswered comments, but honestly I would be on my computer all day responding to the comments and emails I get! I would recommend you stand in front of a mirror and visualize what shape your body fits...ask a close friend to help you if you cannot figure it out; as I said previously, these are barely guidelines on how to dress your off what you love, whether it's a small waist or your ankles!!! Just remember that your best assets are your smile and confidence!
Many blessings to all


R said...

Hi ella, sorry to bother you, but I'm really confused. I'm under 5' (but I'm not in my teens yet) and have broad shoulders, slim everything else. Should I wear a strapless? and if not strapless then what other neckline?

vmsecrets said...

Im 15. 5'7". 178 pounds. I have broad shoulders, a D-cup, skinny waist, wide hips, and a heavier bottom half. Theres a party coming up for one of my friends and im not sure what to wear.... Any suggestions?

FOXYCAZ said...

HELP...i'm an athletic petite with broad shoulders, small waist and small bum. I just had a boob job so now im stuck with what to do as a lot of things to fit my large back and boobs are massive on my wasit. Lots of tops make my shoulders look bigger so do i go strappy??? Please help!!

christian said...

I'm apple shaped but my backside is flat and my thighs down are small. It's all in the middle! What kind of jeans and skirts are best for me?

Ashley @ Apparel Addiction said...

Hey, so I think I'm a brick shape (curveless, small bust, etc.) but I have narrow shoulders and my legs are fairly long for my 5'1 frame (I have a 30 inch inseam). So am I a brick or a cone?

Emmaphant said...

Ok , I have no idea whatsoever where I fall . Im 5"6 , I have a fair size bust 36D , small shoulders but bigish arms tho , have defined waist , but with some lovely love handles and have a jlo bum with BIG thighs . What am I ? And how can I dress to flatter . Help !

ellu said...
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ellu said...

shoulders broader than hips (around 40" it's very hard to measure and 38"); 27 waist, flat-chested - 130lbs, between 5'4" and 5'5" tall

It does not seem to fit any category and I often have trouble with clothes. Help?

ellu said...
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ellu said...
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ellu said...

I have been told I'm an pear, an hourglass, or an inverted triangle by the way - I just don't know what to dress for. I don't mind my hips and I would like to make my shoulders look smaller; but the 'recommended' styles for that does not hold up with my small breasts...

Gloria said...

Hi, i am not sure where i would be classified.. i am thinking i would be "vase", but i would like to see what you think: I am a very small, petite person (5 feet) and i am pretty skinny in the waist, because that is pretty much the last place i gain weight. I gain in the breast (D) and in the hips and thighs (i work out heavily, so my legs are very toned, just a little more..maybe maternal would be the word, and my hip bones themselves stick out while gaining weight in the hips, makes them wider). I also have a larger ribcage, so most all of my ribs stick out, and i have broader shoulders. What would i fit in best? And what are ways that i can dress to make myself look longer and taller? I usually use high waist skirts, or high waist belted dresses/shirts, to make waist look shorter and legs longer, with platform or spike heels..what do you recommend? Thanks!

al said...

Uhm I'm really confused about my body shape! I have normal shoulders, extremley small boobs, but I don't think their done growing cause I'm 14.. I have an extremley small tummy & waste but my thighs & butt are huge. People tell me I'm an hourglass but I don't have big boobs..

nokia said...

What about broad shoulder + small bust (b cup) + small waist + about 5'6 OR 7 heigh.Size 1or 2 pant clothing small. I'm not sure if i fit into any of the category? I think I'm curry or vase cause my hip and bust are kinda the same.

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Justin Methew said...

I think that this is the right way to wear dress, according to body shape.

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Gilit said...

I just want to say that I think it's incredible how you take the time to respond to everyone and answer their questions. The post is wonderful and as an hourglass, I intend to put your advice to good use!

Daniella86 said...

what about broad shoulders ,quite small breasts, flat stomach and a small high waist ,narrow hips but big thighs and chunky calves and overall short legs? how should i dress because i never know what body type category i fall into

2c.tre.c said...

I'm 5'2, c cup, average shoulders, short torso, big hips, not a flat butt and super skinny legs (ugh) When I gain weight it goes straight to my thighs :( I've always wanted to wear skirts or dresses but so self conscious that will only wear long dresses that cover them up. PLEASE HELP

lylaburns123 said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have learned so much from this information. I have a pear shaped body which is difficult to dress. Thanks again!

apryn jenneve de guzman said...
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apryn jenneve de guzman said...
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apryn jenneve de guzman said...

hi, this sight is so helpful, mine is like i have 36 inches boobs size, 31 waistline and 37 hips, what type of wedding gown should i wear? pls help me. thanks.

kathy newman said...
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kathy newman said...

what about small frame everywhere but with curves, and a little stomach

ELBOSM said...

I want to buy a skirt but I never know what skirt to get and what to wear it with. So I'm 15 and i have narrow hips, C cup, my shoulders are wider than my hips, my stomach isn't thin and i have muscular thighs, but I am okay with my legs. Please help

Nix said...

Hey thanks for the tip-I'm 5'6,broad shoulders ,small breasts,small waist,wide hips and long legs-which category do I come into?

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Clarissa Benitez said...

Hi My name is Clarissa,
I have not too broad shoulders, average bust, triangle shaped buttox.....and my hips are average. Christmas is coming up and i need a dress but i dont know what kind of dress will fit me well.

Clarissa Benitez said...


Chloe Matson said...

What about large bust, super narrow shoulders, large stomach, not much hip or butt definition but large thighs?

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