One of the most common mistakes women make when shopping is not purchasing clothes that flatter their particular body shapes. There are four basic female body shapes:
1) Pear shape – upper body is noticeably thinner than lower body. Weight gain tends to accumulate around hips and thighs.
2) Hourglass shape – very curvy body with clearly defined waist.
3) Apple shape – upper body is noticeably larger than lower body. Weight gain tends to accumulate around waistline.
4) Rectangle shape – figure appears “straight up and down”, and curves are not very well-defined.
Pear shaped figures are flattered by clothes that enhance and draw attention to the upper body while emphasizing the waist. Wrap shirts and off-the-shoulder or V-necked tops are very flattering. Jackets with nipped-in waists and pockets and enhancements around the bust work well with this figure. Pants or jeans should be cut to where they fall straight down from the widest part of your hip with a mid-rise waist. Boot cut and slightly flared pants are ideal, but stay away from tapered legs.
Hourglass shapes are flattered by clothes that are proportional on both the top and the bottom, and attention should be drawn to the waist. Wrap tops and shirts that are gathered around the waist look great on this body type, but stay away from boxy styles. Pants and jeans that fall away from the widest part of your hip look best. Fitted, straight, or flared jeans work well as long as the flare does not exceed the width of your hips.
Apple shaped figures are flatted by light, layered fabrics. Proper layering around the midsection can make you look shapely verses thick. Monochromatic themes work best on this body type, as wearing the same colors on the top and bottom will create clean, straight lines. Tops and shirts should never be tight or clingy, and should always be long enough to at least hit the hip area. V-necks and wrap tops are very flattering, while chunky styles and long, thick jackets should be avoided. Bootcut jeans and pants that fall below the ankle are a great choice. A little stretch in the jeans goes a long way to pull in the midsection and emphasize the right curves.
Rectangle, or “straight shaped” figures are flattered by more form-fitting clothes with mixed and matched tops and bottoms to create the image of curves. Wide belts are recommended around the waistline. Tops and jackets with nipped and flared waists are ideal, and the bottoms should not extend beyond the hipbones. Off the shoulder, wide necked, or V-necked tops are very flattering. Pants or slacks with wide waist bands and full or flared legs that fit low on the hips are ideal.
Remember, all body shapes are beautiful, and there is no “ideal shape”. Relax and have a blast while shopping for funky, fun clothes, and enhance the beauty that Mother Nature provided!