The beginners guide to identifying body shapes: How to get the most out of your body

Sep 21, 2014

The female body comes in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and although the magazines that we depend on for all the latest gossip and fashion news may claim that "The Hourglass" of "The Rectangle" is the ideal body type, we disagree. We think that every shape is beautiful in its own right, and each has its own merits and pitfalls that can be accentuated and hidden for you to look and feel your best.

I'm never usually one to get in between a shopaholic and clothes (my boyfriend can attest to the fact that that is never a good idea) but before you hit the shop floor in search of that perfect outfit, how about taking a minute to really study your body, and identify your shape.

So how do you do that and what should you be looking for?

First of all, stand naked in front of a full length mirror (underwear can disguise your body's shape) and just take a look at yourself...when you can drag your eyes away from the beauty stood before you, move on to the next step.

Observe your overall body shape, focussing on your shoulders, hips and waistline. Where is the weight distributed? Make sure you're breathing normally and not holding anything in or pushing anything out! Remember that every shape is as beautiful as the next, and you will only be making things harder for yourself later when deciding how to accentuate your best bits.


  • Hips wider than shoulders and waistline - You're Pear and Proud
  • Shoulders wider than hips and waistline - You're an Imperious Inverted Triangle
  • Shoulders, hips and waistline all the same size - You're a Resplendent Rectangle
  • Hips and shoulders same width with a wider waistline - You're an Amazing Apple
  • Hips and shoulders same width with a smaller waistline - You're an (H)outstanding Hourglass

Of course with 3.5 billion women in the world, these 5 basic shapes aren't going to fit everyone. If you're still not sure, have a quick read through the potential features of these 5 basic shapes, and remember that you may be a mix of shapes.

What should a pear bodyshape wear Pear Shape

Hips are wider than your shoulders
Well defined waistline
Fall and round buttocks and thighs
Weight gain generally falls on the thighs


Famous Pear: Beyonce

What should an Inverted Triangle wear body shape guide Inverted Triangle Shape


Prominent shoulders that are broader than your waistline and  hips
Athletic build
Flat buttocks
Large chest and fuller back
Weight gain falls around the torso and back

Famous Inverted Triangle: Giselle Bundchen

What should a rectangle body shape wear body shape style guide Rectangle Shape

Hips, waistline and shoulders are about the same width
Flat buttocks
Athletic build and smaller chest
Weight gain falls evenly across the body


Famous Rectangle: Gwyneth Paltrow

What should an apple body shape wear plus size larger Apple Shape

Hips and shoulders about the same width
Waistline same with or wider
Weight gain falls mainly around the waist
Potentially slender lower legs and arms
Your thighs or hips may be the narrowest part of your body

Famous Apple: Angelina Jolie

How to wear hourglass shape clothes. Style guide. Clothes for your body shape Hourglass Shape

Hips and shoulders about the same width
Well defined waistline
Prominent cleavage
Rounded buttocks
Full thighs but narrower than the lower hips
Weight gain falls through the hips and above the waist

Famous Hourglass: Kim Kardashian

So now you know what body shape you are, what should you be wearing to make yourself look your best? Click the links below to find out what you should be wearing and how best to flaunt those assets to the max!


TAGS: #Tips, #body shaped, #fashion look