For me, identifying and understanding your shape is about knowing what works for the largest and smallest parts of your body. Think of shape identification as a guideline to your best looks. The most common shapes in women are apple, pear, hourglass, and a rectangle.
Most apple shaped women have large chests but there are some apple shaped women with small breasts and high waists which can blend in with the pear shape.
To help make shopping a little more fun and less strenuous I’ve created a mini shop your shape post. I’ve listed characteristics of each of the most common shapes, your style goal, and what to buy. Since I’m a visual learner I added some notable celebs with the common body shapes.
How To Dress Your Shape When You’re Plus Size
*Key Point to Know: Once again, let me say that you can be a blend of two shapes so it’s not always set in stone that your are 100% an apple shape or a pear shape but the goal is to get you to see what works for your body based on the shape characteristics. Got it?!
Dressing An Apple Shape
The most common characteristics of an apple shape are slim legs, large chest, and you carry most of your weight in your tummy and top half of your body.
Note: Some apple shapes are also referred to as diamond or oval shapes.
Rebel Wilson dresses her apple shape very well with fitted dresses that show off her legs and decolletage.
Style Goal- For most apple shapes creating or defining a waist is key since you carry most of your weight in your mid section and upper body. Most apple shapes have broad shoulders. Show off your legs in a pencil skirt or a stylish fit and flare dress, or in a pair of mid rise skinny jeans.
What to Buy– Deep v-necks, skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, wrap dresses, strapless dresses, jackets that are hip length, ruching details, printed bottoms, A-line cuts.
Since apple shapes have slim legs shorts work well for your body type. You also want to look for structured and tailored pieces.
Shop these pieces for apple shapes
Dressing A Pear Shape
The common characteristic of a pear shape is wide hips, thick thighs and legs, small defined waist, and narrow shoulders. Pear shapes are considered to be the most common on women today. Note: Some pear shapes can also look like they’re bordering hourglass.
Plus size model Fluvia Lacerda shows off her pear shape with a body con dress that has intricate details on the smallest part of her body and a slim and sleek fit on the lower half of her body, which is her fullest part. In addition, the details on the top help to balance out her lower half.
Style Goal– If you’re a pear your focus is going to be on balancing out your upper body with your lower half. Often pear shapes have a hard time finding bottoms that fit their ample hips and small waist so a tailor should be on your speed dial.
Celebrity’s with your shape-Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Tyra Banks
Dressing A Hourglass Shape
This is probably the most coveted shaped of them all due to a well balanced proportionate body. However, I think all shapes can definitely shine. Common characteristics of an hourglass are large chest, defined waist, and round full bottom.
Ashley Graham always plays up her hourglass shape. In this Michael Kors dress she rocks a belt to further cinch her waist. The strapless top of the dress plays up her full breast and the fitted knee length bottom of the dress shows off her curvy hips.
Style Goal- Hourglass shapes much like the apple tend to have a large chest. Your goal is to find clothes that fit and flatter your curves. Hourglass shapes also tend to look great in classic cuts and styles.
What to Buy– Hourglass figures look great in body con dresses, structured tops, and high waisted pants and jeans. You definitely want to look for clothing with a little stretch.
Your best styles are classic silhouettes like a sheath dress, pencil skirts, and peplum. Clothes should be more structured and on the tailored side but offer a little give.
Celebrity’s with your shape-Christina Hendricks, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johanson
Dressing A Rectangle Shape
The main characteristics of a rectangle shape are an undefined waist, same size bust and hips. Women with rectangular shapes can look a little boxy and boyish.
Celebrity’s with your shape: QueenLatifah
Style Goal-To find clothes that create a curvier shape.
Hopefully we helped you get a better understanding of your shape and how to dress it. Remember, these are just suggestions, you can wear whatever you like and mix and match styles from each body type.