How to Dress Your Body

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I have been struggling with my own body image my entire life. Even when I was 100 lbs there were things about my body that made me crazy. Now that I am approaching 30 and the heaviest I've ever been, the self loathing is great. The past few years I have had a crash course in learning to dress my ever changing body. We could go on for hours about fitness plans and how to change your body type, but let's start by dressing the body you have. It is much healthier to learn to love the body you have rather than pin point all the things you hate and begin trying to change them. Don't get me wrong, being healthy and active is extremely important, but fixating on your flaws is not. If you fall in love with the body you have, you will get to a place where you will be able to make those fitness changes. Take it from someone who has tried, hating your body does not make you skinny. The first step in loving your body, is learning to dress it properly!!

Let's start by identifying your body type. I know we've all heard the terms "pear" and "apple" before, but what does that actually mean?


1. Apple Shape
A fuller face and neck
Broader shoulders
Fuller Breast
A fuller, undefined waist
Narrow hips
A flat rear end
Shapely legs

2. Pear Shape
A long or slender neck
Sloping or narrow shoulders
Narrow back
Small to medium bust
Defined waist
Curvy hips and backside
Full thighs and calves

3. Hourglass Shape
Symmetrical shoulders and hips
Full, shapely bust
Distinctly defined waist
Medium to broad hips in proportion with shoulders
Shapely Legs

4. Rectangle Shape
A full neck
Broad back
Average bust
Undefined waist
A balanced figure
Great legs and arms

Have you figured out your shape yet? 
Let's see how to accentuate your specific shape.

Dressing your Apple Shape

If you're an apple, you probably have a rather large set of twins, if you know what I mean. You're boobs are going to be the focal point on your body, so make sure your girls have the support they need. A good bra can totally change the way your boobs sit and it can be super slimming for the rest of your body. No matter what your shape, a good bra is a wise investment. You'll also want to focus on emphasizing your waist. You can do that with Empire dresses and tops, along with belts.  V-necks are a great way to elongate your neck and give the illusion of a longer torso. If you're an apple, you probably have some good legs, so show them off with shorter skirts! Lastly, if you're an apple focus on monochromatic dresses, they'll help even out your proportions.

Dressing your Pear Shape

I'm a pear, and I've always been one. I started getting hips in 6th grade. I am actually quite content with my shape (it's the extra weight I hate). Dressing a pear shape is almost the exact opposite of dressing an apple. Apples and Pears hold their weight in entirely different hemispheres of the body. Pears want to minimize their hips and accentuate their bust. So, start with hip length blazers, and voluminous tops to even out your proportions. Longer tops will only accentuate your hips, so keep your hems shorter. Adding ruffles to your blouses will create the illusion of a bigger bust. A-line skirts and dresses are great for hiding wider hips, and wide-leg trousers help even out proportions. Also remember to show off your narrow shoulders with sleeveless garments. Lastly, pointed toe heels will help elongate your legs and make you appear taller and leaner. 

dressing your hourglass shape

If you're an hourglass, you have the most sought after shape. Hourglass figures are the epitome of femininity and women have been striving to achieve such a figure since the beginning of time. Why do you think corsets were in vogue for so long? But, just because you have a super sexy figure, doesn't mean you know how to dress it. So, focus on fitted dresses that show off your curves. Wrap dresses can also accentuate your "goodies." A good bra that adds support is key for an hourglass figure as well. Droopy boobies, aren't appealing. If you're an hourglass figure, you can play with high waisted garments and skinny jeans too. The last thing I will suggest to you is big belts. A chunky belt will help define how small your waist is, so don't omit them from your wardrobe.

dressing your rectangle shape

Rectangle is just another term for "boyish." I don't know when the terms were switched, but I'm just going to go with it. Having a boyish figure is a blessing and a curse. It means you can basically wear anything you want without looking heavy, but you also have to work hard to get the illusion of an hourglass shape. Scoop necks are an easy fix to help create curves around your bust. You will also want to focus on detailed tops, ie: collars, pockets and embellishments. Long blazers will make you appear leaner. Ruched and A-Line dress will help accentuate your waist and give the illusion of curves. My favorite garment for rectangles is the peplum. Peplum tops, skirts and dresses are a great way to add curves to a narrow body shape.

Did you find this helpful? 
Are you prepared to start dressing the body you have, not the body you want?

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Unknown said...

I'm a rectangle, and I wear all kinds of things, even if they don't accentuate my body. If that's the case, I distract from my center using accessories. Kinda like you mentioned with the added details point.

You correctly pointed out that long blazers make you look leaner. In my experience, they also make me look even more rectangular. I find that shorter ones look better on me. I wear long blazers anyway, though. They're very comfy. In fact, I only own long blazers, but only because I'm also petite and can never find anything short enough.

Also, the whole body image thing is a huge thing for me. Sorry if I'm being pushy here. It's just a sensitive topic for me. Lol. Where I'm from, women are "supposed to" have pear or hourglass-shaped bodies. Kim Kardashian or JLo is good, Taylor Swift is not. So it was pretty rough having a "boyish" figure growing up. I would've killed for your hips in the 6th grade! Lol.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading this post. It was very thought-provoking. Thanks for posting. :)


Ladies in Navy said...

this is fantastic. thank you for sharing this awesome post and the outfit ideas. i am an hourglass and can totally hate my body at times and these items are beautiful compliments to my figure.
kw, ladies in navy

Bailey said...

Amazing post! I'm a pear, but have an apple bust, which can be annoying at times, but I'm learning to compensate. As I've gotten a bit older, I've totally learned to spend at bit (or, usually a lot) more on a good bra. It really does make everything else fit better.

BeautyStyleGrowth said...

I am so apple. Not proud of that but my outfit posts show how I dress to flatter my shape and hide the big tummy and boobs.
K at

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Laura said...

Great post! I love seeing all the suggestions. Truthfully, I sometimes even struggle to figure out which of these categories I fit into...but I think I could pick pieces from two of the categories that could work on me. Thanks for the suggestions!

Unknown said...

what if you are like a granny smith apple, thats me, lol.

I so want to be a pear!!!!

Love this post, I am going to recommend it everywhere to my friends!


Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. I think I am somewhere between an apple and a rectangle. I don't have have ample breasts, but have most of the other attributes of an apple. LOL

renae said...

Ah nice post here! Thanks.

I knew most of that stuff but it is nice to get a refresher course in it. I'm an apple or a rectangle. I ain't gots no waist; never have, and at 60 I doubt I ever will. Ruching in my friend!

Unknown said...

Love this post :) (Maybe you should've broken it up?) I'm closer to an hourglass than anything but having a tummy, maybe not. I love that you addressed that you need to love the body you have. I wholeheartedly agree. :)

xo Ashley

Anonymous said...

Even being heavy, I find that my body type actually leans a little more towards rectangle than apple. I don't have a flat butt or small hips. And my bust and waist are within a few inches of each other with my hips not being far behind. Anyway, I love this post! It is informative and I like that you gave an explanation of each shape and how to flatter them. Also, thank you for your comment on my post. It's hard to put yourself on display for everyone to critique. But you hope that people will see beyond your size and value your style. :) Have a great weekend! <3


Ashley of Southern (California) Belle said...

This is such a great post Tori! Many people don't know how to dress for their bdy type and you made this so informative and easy :)



Southern (California) Belle

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Nikki said...

Loved the ideas for the different body types! Instead of just talking about what to wear it's good that you showed women what to wear. :) I'm running a giveaway right now and would love for you to enter it.
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