TFS Body Shape

Dressing for your Body Type - Made Simple

Unlocking the secrets of dressing for your body type can be a game-changer in creating a wardrobe that truly reflects your style and boosts your confidence. Gone are the days of fashion frustrations and outfit dilemmas. With the knowledge of how to dress according to your body type, you'll find getting dressed to be a fun and effortless experience. Not only does it save you time and money, but it also brings you peace of mind. Who doesn't love that?

In this comprehensive guide, I have compiled an array of tips and tricks to help you navigate the world of dressing for your body shape

Whether you fall into the categories of Hourglass, Triangle, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, Diamond, Plus Size, Petite, or Tall, this guide has got you covered.

Before we dive in, it's essential to note that these tips serve as guidelines. Ultimately, the most important aspect is wearing what makes you feel confident and comfortable. Embrace your individuality and don't hesitate to experiment with different styles until you find what truly resonates with you.

Now, let's explore the fascinating world of dressing for your body type and unlock your personal style!

In this article, you’ll find:

How to take measurements to determine your body type.
A description of each body type.
Real Life with T - Tips and tricks for how to dress in a way that highlights your favorite features.

Let’s dive in!

Discover Your Body Type:
Take Your Measurements

Determining your body type involves taking measurements and comparing those measurements to standardized guidelines. 

Here are the 6 easy steps to measure and determine your body type:

Use a flexible measuring tape

Use a flexible measuring tape for accuracy. The tape should be wrapped snugly around the body part being measured, but not so tight that it squeezes the skin.

Measure the shoulders

Measure around the top of your shoulders, so that it is as far up as you can go without popping off of your shoulders.

Measure the bust

To measure the bust, wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of the bust, making sure the tape is level all the way around. Write down the measurement in inches.

Measure the waist

When measuring the waist, wrap the measuring tape around the narrowest part of the waist, usually just above the belly button. Write down the measurement in inches.

Measure the hips

For the hips, wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of the hips, usually below the hip bone (around your buttocks). Write down the measurement in inches.

Calculate the body shape

Once you have the measurements, you can use them to determine your body shape.

Pro Tip: Hang on to these measurements for when you are shopping online! Make sure and check the size charts when shopping online and when in doubt, SIZE UP!

There are several different body shape classifications, but here are some that are most common.

Hourglass: Bust and hips measurements are roughly the same, with a smaller waist measurement.
Triangle: The hips are larger than the bust measurement, with a smaller waist measurement.
Inverted Triangle: The bust and shoulder measurements are larger than the hip measurement.
Rectangle: The bust, waist, and hip measurements are roughly the same.
Diamond: The waist measurement is larger than the bust and hip measurements.

There are also different types of fit categories, depending on your proportions. 

Full-Figured/Plus Size: Full figured can be any of the above shapes, but tend to be curvier in the bust, waist and hips.
Petite: Petites can also be any of the above shapes, but the general guideline for petites is 5’4” and under.
Tall: Talls can be any of the above shapes as well, but the general guideline for talls in women’s clothing is over 5’9”. Over 6’2” is considered extra tall.

PLEASE NOTE: While these classifications can be helpful in determining a woman's body type, every body is unique and there is no "perfect" body type. It's more important to focus on feeling healthy and comfortable in your own skin.

Dress the Best for Your Body Shape

Tips for an Hourglass Shape

Emphasize your waistline: Highlight your small waist by choosing clothes that cinch at your natural waistline. You can wear belted dresses or tops, high-waisted pants, or skirts.
Choose fitted clothing: Tailored clothing that hugs your curves will enhance your hourglass figure. 
Opt for V-necklines: V-necklines elongate your neck and draw attention to your bust, creating a flattering silhouette. You can also try scoop necklines or sweetheart necklines that show off your décolletage.
Avoid shapeless clothing: Avoid baggy or shapeless clothing as it can hide your curves and make you look larger than you are. Instead, opt for clothes that accentuate your curves.
Experiment with textures and prints: Wearing textures and prints can help create depth and add visual interest to your outfit. Look for prints that emphasize your waist, such as wrap dresses or tops with cinched waists.
Wear supportive undergarments: Wearing well-fitted bras and shapewear can provide extra support and enhance your curves.

Tips for a Triangle Shape

Emphasize your upper body: Create balance by highlighting your upper body with clothing that adds volume to your bust, shoulders, and arms. You can wear tops with ruffles, details on the shoulders, or bold prints.
Choose A-line or flare skirts: A-line or flare skirts will help balance out your hips and thighs by creating volume around the lower body. 
Opt for high-waisted pants: High-waisted pants can elongate your legs and create the illusion of a smaller waist. Avoid pants that are too tight around the hips and thighs as they can draw attention to the lower body.
Wear darker colors on the bottom: Darker colors on the bottom can help minimize the appearance of your hips and thighs. Pair dark-colored pants or skirts with brighter, attention-grabbing tops.
Avoid skinny jeans or tight-fitting pants: Skinny jeans or tight-fitting pants can accentuate your hips and thighs, making them appear larger. Instead, opt for pants that are straight or slightly flared.
Wear accessories to draw attention upwards: Accessories such as scarves, statement necklaces, or earrings can draw attention to your beautiful face and upper body!

Tips for an Inverted Triangle Shape

Choose V-neck or scoop-neck tops: These types of necklines can help to balance out the broadness of your shoulders by drawing attention downwards.
Look for tops with ruffles or embellishments at the waist: This can help to create the illusion of a more defined waist and balance out your upper body.
Avoid shoulder pads: While shoulder pads were popular in the past, they can make your shoulders look even broader, which is not ideal for this body type.
Wear bottoms with volume: Adding volume to your lower half can help to create a more balanced silhouette. Look for skirts or pants with pleats, ruffles, or a flared shape.
Opt for A-line dresses: A-line dresses can create the illusion of a more proportionate shape by fitting closely at the top and flaring out from the waist.
Consider wearing belts: Belts can help to define your waist and create a more hourglass shape.
Experiment with prints and patterns: Prints and patterns can draw attention to your lower half and create a more balanced look.

Tips for a Rectangle Shape

Create the illusion of curves: Add volume to your bust and hips by wearing clothing that creates the illusion of curves. You can wear tops with ruffles or details around the bust, or by wearing dresses or skirts with a flared hemline.
Choose clothing that defines your waist: Define your waistline by wearing clothing that cinches at the smallest part of your torso. This can be achieved by wearing belts or choosing dresses and tops that are nipped in at the waist.
Experiment with layering: Layering can add depth and create the illusion of curves. Try layering a fitted tank top under a looser top or jacket to create more dimension.
Wear clothing with details: Clothing with details such as ruching, pleats, or gathers can add volume and create the illusion of curves. Look for tops or dresses with these details around the bust or hips.
Opt for tailored clothing: Tailored clothing can help create a more defined silhouette. Look for jackets or blazers that are nipped in at the waist and pants that are fitted through the hips and thighs.
Play with different silhouettes: Experiment with different silhouettes to find what works best for your body type. Try wearing dresses or tops with a cinched waistline, or pants that are wide-legged or flared.

Tips for a Diamond Shape

Choose clothing with a V-neckline: A V-neckline creates an elongating effect and draws attention to the bust. This helps balance out the roundness of the midsection.
Look for clothing with a relaxed fit: Avoid wearing tight or clingy clothes, which can highlight problem areas. Instead, opt for looser, relaxed fit clothing such as A-line dresses or tunics.
Wear clothing with structure: Clothing with structure such as jackets, blazers, or coats can help define your waist and create a more flattering silhouette.
Avoid clothing with too much volume: Avoid clothing that adds too much volume around the midsection, such as loose, baggy tops or dresses. This can make you look larger than you are.
Choose dark, solid colors: Dark colors can create a slimming effect and help minimize the appearance of problem areas. Stick to solid colors instead of prints, which can draw attention to your midsection.
Wear clothing with vertical lines: Clothing with vertical lines can help create the illusion of a longer and leaner silhouette. Look for clothing with vertical stripes, or create the effect with long necklaces or scarves.

Dressing for Your Proportions

Tips for Full-Figure

Choose clothing that fits properly: Clothing that is too tight or too loose can be unflattering on a curvier figure. 
Emphasize your best features: Focus on highlighting your best features such as your waist, bust, or legs. Wear clothing that accentuates these areas.
Look for clothing with structure: Clothing with structure such as jackets or blazers can help define your waistline and create a more flattering silhouette.
Avoid clothing with too much volume: Avoid baggy clothing or oversized pieces that can overwhelm your figure.
Choose darker colors: Darker colors can create a slimming effect and help minimize problem areas. Do experiment with bold colors and prints, but try to balance them out with darker pieces.
Wear shapewear: Shapewear can smooth out problem areas and create a more streamlined silhouette. Look for shapewear that fits well and is comfortable to wear.
Accessorize with confidence: Don't be afraid to experiment with accessories such as statement jewelry, scarves, or hats. These can add interest to your outfit and draw attention to your best features.

Tips for Petites

Choose clothing that fits properly: Clothing that is too long or too loose can overwhelm a petite frame. Look for clothing that is specifically designed for petite women or alter your clothing to fit your body properly.
Wear clothing that elongates your silhouette: Vertical lines and elongating shapes can create the illusion of height. Try wearing high-waisted pants or skirts, vertical stripes, or long necklaces to create an elongated look.
Avoid clothing with too much volume: Clothing with too much volume can make petite women look smaller than they are. Avoid oversized clothing or billowy fabrics that can overwhelm a small frame.
Choose smaller accessories: Choose accessories that complement your petite frame. Avoid oversized bags or jewelry that can overpower your outfit.
Experiment with monochromatic looks: Wearing a monochromatic look can create a streamlined, elongated effect. Try wearing different shades of the same color to create a cohesive outfit.
Opt for shorter hemlines: Choosing shorter hemlines can create the illusion of longer legs. Look for skirts or dresses that hit above the knee or pants with a shorter inseam.

Tips for Talls

Embrace maxi dresses and skirts: Maxi dresses and skirts are a great option for tall women, as they help to elongate the body and create a more balanced look. Look for pieces that skim the floor when you're wearing heels.
Choose high-waisted bottoms: High-waisted pants, skirts, and shorts can help to create the illusion of a more proportionate body shape. They also help to elongate the legs.
Opt for fitted styles: Fitted clothing can help to create a more flattering shape on a tall frame. Avoid boxy, shapeless pieces that can make you look larger than you are.
Experiment with layers: Adding layers to your outfits can help to create visual interest and break up the length of your body. Try layering a long cardigan over a fitted dress or wearing a scarf with your outfit.
Play with proportions: As a tall woman, you can play with proportions more than someone who is shorter. For example, you can wear oversized sweaters or jackets without looking overwhelmed by them.
Choose the right footwear: Tall women can wear any type of shoe, but certain styles can be more flattering. Avoid shoes with ankle straps, which can make your legs look shorter. Instead, choose shoes with a low-cut vamp to elongate your legs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be a mix of two or more body types?
Absolutely, each and every body is unique and these types are merely guidelines.

Does our body type change over time?

Bone structure dictates body type rather than weight and height.

But, of course, all factors are considered when we get dressed, so these guidelines are just that, guidelines.

For example, I am a classic hourglass due to the way my frame is structured. But when I was younger, and at my most fit and thin, I could wear pretty much anything. Now that I’m well into my 50’s, that flat tummy is gone, and my back is no longer smooth and bulge free. But, I’m still an hourglass shape. I just have a few areas that I prefer not to stand out.

The following definitions may help explain.

Body Type is your natural frame or bone structure.
Fit/Size is your proportion; you may be “regular,” "petite", "tall", or "plus".
Weight is a factor to consider which tends to fluctuate for most of us.

I encourage you to read about all of the different body types because the more you understand the concept of balance and proportion, the easier it will be to get dressed.
Also, if you fall in between two body types, you’ll want to learn about both so you can start to find your way between them.

Remember, these tips are just guidelines - the most important thing is to wear what makes you feel confident and comfortable. Don't be afraid to experiment and find your own unique style!


I hope you enjoyed this post! I post weekly to share the journey with you, and I have a million ideas floating around in this head of mine. But, I want to serve you! So, what would YOU like to talk about?