What's the Best Dress Style For My Body Type?
You enter into a clothing store and begin to casually browse the garments.
The store assistants watch on in gut-wrenching anticipation as you closely examine one of the items. Gasp! Maybe one of us should ask if she needs help, they murmur to one another.
No, no⸺play it cool, the manager explains to the staff. Let’s see where this is going.
You continue to browse, blissfully unaware. Just when you think you’ve seen enough, you catch something in the corner of your eye. Your head turns so fast it nearly falls off.
There it is. The dress you didn’t know you needed until right now.
Without a moment’s hesitation, you rip the dress right off the rack and storm the fitting rooms. You desperately try to remove your own clothes as they hold onto you like a clingy boyfriend.
You take a deep breath before checking yourself out in the mirror only to realize⸺oh god, it looks terrible on you.
You walk out feeling defeated. Disappointed. You’re left wondering, what’s the best dress style for my body type?
This is Your Body, Get Use to it
Do you ever wish you had a more ‘typical’ body? That you looked like other women?
Well, I’m here to tell you that the idea of an average body type is a myth.
This is backed up by a 2004 study that found people do not have mathematically proportional bodies. And in fact “The shapes and proportions of today's American population differ greatly from the shapes of the generations before.”
The result is that a lot of manufacturers can’t ‘fit’ their customers. It’s impossible!
With that in mind, you need to stop comparing yourself to others. It’s time to accept your body for what it is and learn how to dress for your body.
The good news is that there is a lot of choice out there, so you’re guaranteed to find something for your body type if you look hard enough.
Joy of Clothes tells us that if you want to look good, focus on the fit of the clothes, not the size or shape of your body.
As I discussed about French style, sometimes it’s better to look past trends and focus on creating a signature style instead.
If you really want to know the best ways to dress for your body type, you need to understand what types of clothes will help you show off your best assets. And help hide the not so flattering parts.
This way you’ll always be able to answer the question of what’s the best dress style for my body type?
How to Find Your Body Shape with Measurements
There are five general body types:
- Inverted Triangle
I say general because even within these five body types there can be a lot of variation (Remember what I said about there being no such thing as a typical body). You might discover that your body shares characteristics with a few different categories.
But let’s keep it simple for now.
If you can imagine an outline of your body, that is essentially what your body shape is. Understanding this will help you determine the best dress style by body type for you and your style.
You want your dresses to sit naturally according to your body proportions in a way that will flatter you and your silhouette.
Stylecraze says that as important as your silhouette is in determining your body type, it's equally important to know your basic measurements for an accurate picture.
Before you measure, make sure to use a cloth tape. It’s more flexible than metal tape and therefore more accurate. Not to mention comfortable, too. And don’t hold the tape too tight or too loose, it should be firm against your body.
Here’s what you need to measure:
Ask someone to help you with this if you can, otherwise it might be a little tricky trying to get an accurate measurement.
Start at the top of either shoulder and wrap it all the way behind you and around the opposite shoulder until the end of the tape meets the same shoulder you started with. The tape should be close to your shoulder to measure it at its widest point.
Make sure you’re standing up straight. You want to measure the fullest part of your bust. It’s okay to wear a bra while you’re doing this. Place the end of the tape at the fullest part of your bust and wrap it under both shoulders before bringing it back to the starting point. Don’t let the tape squish your breasts.
This one can be a little difficult psychologically because a lot of us instinctively want to suck in our stomachs. Just try to relax yourself and stand up straight.
You’re also measuring the slimmest part of your waist, this is not where the waistband usually sits. So start above your belly button and below your rib cage. And then wrap the tape around your stomach back to the starting point.
You need to get your booty involved in this one. Start below either hip bone and then bring the tape behind you, across the fullest part of your buttocks and back around to the hip you started with. Have a mirror handy to make sure the tape is level.
You guessed it, this one’s taken a little higher. Start at the top of the hip curve (about 3” - 4” below your belly button) and bring the tape back around to the opposite hip. Again making sure the tape remains level.
If you need a little help, this video from Made to Sew will show you how to measure everything right.
Once you’ve got your measurements, enter them into the Omni Calculator to find out which body shape you are.
What is an Apple Body Shape?
According to SheKnows, if you have an apple body shape then you should display most of the following traits:
- Your hips, shoulders and waist are roughly the same width
- You tend to gain weight mainly around your waist
- The lower parts of your legs and arms are slender
- The width of your high hip is greater than your lower hip
- Your bust is wider than your hips
- You have a short waist
Your thighs and hips are the narrowest part of your body
In summary, Stylecraze says an apple body shape tends to have a heavier upper-body in comparison to your lower body. Meaning, you have broad shoulders and a relatively large bust.
How to Dress For an Apple Body Shape
So now that you know your shape, let’s get into how to style an apple shaped body.
As you no doubt know from personal experience, this is one of the most difficult shapes to dress. Your instinct may be to try and cover everything up with loose clothes. But this is a mistake, says 40+STYLE.
Your aim should be to create the most flattering silhouette you can. The way to do this is to draw attention away from your waist by emphasizing your cleavage and creating clean, vertical lines.
How to Draw Attention Away From Your Tummy
You want to create balance and draw attention away from the widest part of your tummy.
To do this, you can either completely skim over your tummy or redefine where your mid-section is.
To redefine your mid-section, tie a belt a little bit above your widest point. This will help create the illusion of a smaller waist.
How to Emphasize Your Cleavage
Of course, you don’t have to draw attention to your cleavage. But if you want to take the focus away from your waist, it needs to go somewhere.
A super simple way to do this is with a v-neck top or dress. A deep v-neck will help create a more elongated torso.
How to Emphasize Your Legs
Hopefully, like many other apple shaped women, you have some great legs to show off, too.
You don’t necessarily need to wear a mini skirt but keep the hem above the knee.
What Are the Best Dresses for Apple Shaped Bodies?
Successible Life says flowy tunics, midi dresses and A-line dresses make flattering dresses for apple shape women.
How to Dress Your Lower Body
You want to emphasize your curves when picking out skirts and pants, so choose pencil skirts because they will follow your curves perfectly.
For pants, choose bootcut and flared styles to complement your curves too.
What Are the Best Dresses for Hourglass Figure?
Successible Life suggests the best dress shape for curvy figure women are bodycon dresses, wrap dresses and mermaid dresses.
It makes sense, you’ve got all them curves, so flaunt ‘em! Just make sure the dress sits well in all the right places.