Dressing for your body type: fact or fluff?

We've come a long way since the What Not To Wear days, but some style rules will forever reign as truth. Sorry #Cosmopolitan, but no, you should not wear white to a wedding; however, white after labour day is fair game.

Style rules are the old wives tales of the 20th century with many debunked by now as myth. Though some, such as the dress-for-your-body-type rule, may still hold truth and are worth investigating.

The foundation of dressing for your body type is based on the premise that our bodies adhere to certain shapes that are complimented better with specific silhouettes. This is arguably true but can be dismissive to some, especially in light of the current body positive movement, and can make individuals feel as though they shouldn't wear what they want. Self-confidence dips are not a good look for anyone, so how to tackle this? We argue that you can continually take it as suggestion.

In our experience styling customers for 10 years, we can confirm that only you can decide what you feel the most confident in and that we can only guide you on the way there. One way of guiding is by suggesting products that could naturally enhance your body shape. This is not meant to confine you to certain styles, but to empower you in your decision making process while you refine your wardrobe to fit your needs. The point of dressing for your body type is to enhance confidence by strategically choosing products that will be complimentary to your shape. 

How do I know my shape?

There's two ways to find out your body shape. One, you can eyeball it and recognize your main features or two, you can formally measure yourself. You'll need to measure your shoulders, waist, bust and hips. How to measure:


Place the measuring tape at the tip of one shoulder
Wrap it all the way around you until it meets back at the same shoulder.
The tape should skim the top of your shoulders so closely, it almost slips off. This is the widest
circumference of your shoulders. Record this number. 


Standing straight, wrap the measuring tape around your back and across the fullest part of your breasts (usually the middle of them). Record this number. Tip: If your ladies start to squish during this process, you've gone too far and pulled the measuring tape too tightly. 


Wrap the measuring tape around the smallest part of your natural waist. Record this number.


Hold the measuring tape at one hip (below your hip bone) at the fullest part of your hip. Keep the tape flat and wrap it around the largest part of your booty, your other hip, and bring it back to the meeting point. Record this number. 

What the numbers mean 


• shoulders or bust are larger than your hips.
• shoulder or bust measurement is more than 5% bigger than your hip

Complimentary products: a-line skirts, wrap tops/dresses, flare dresses and v-necks would look great on you to create balance between the broader top and narrow lower body.

The shape: RECTANGLE

• shoulders, bust and hips are around the same size
• no defined waistline.
• Shoulder-bust-hip measurements are within 5% of each other.

Complimentary products: choose some products that can help create curve - wrap dresses/tops, cinched waist via belts, or you can choose wide-legged pants to help create dimension and waistless dresses that will flow nicely to create shape. 

The shape:  PEAR

• hips are wider than shoulders
• hip measurement is more than 5 % bigger than your shoulder or bust

Complimentary products: flared dresses, structured jackets, tops with wider necklines (to create balance and have your shoulders appear wider),  & straight-legged pants/bottoms 

The shape: HOUR-GLASS

• Your shoulders and hips are around the same size
• Very defined waistline
• Shoulder and hip measurements are within 5% of each other.
• Waist is at least 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust

Complimentary products: anything that highlights your curves. Belts, tailored jackets, pencil skirts, tight fitted tips, mom jeans, high-waisted products.

If you fit into more than one type, just keep both in mind while shopping to find products that enhance your best features. These shapes are merely guidelines. They can be helpful to those who have trouble shopping and finding products that they love. They serve as an aid to us as personal shoppers to help enhance your shopping experience and find products that will look best on you. It can help us help you find your style. 

Remember: there is a difference between having style and simply dressing yourself. Having style means injecting your personality into what you wear and creating an outer persona that can be defined as aesthetically you. 

1 comment

  • Dianne

    Thank you for sharing all this info…we tend to forget .
    Looking forward to see ing you soon !

Leave a comment