How to Dress for Your Body Type

Have you ever been out shopping and LOVED something on the rack, but not so much on you? Have you ever tried on something that made you feel beautiful but it had one tiny unflattering feature that stole your confidence and convinced you not to buy it? We’ve all been there, but believe me when I tell you, it’s not you! Regardless of how comfortable you feel in your own skin, remember that you are a heaven-spun creation! You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God! Your appearance doesn’t determine your worth, but it can impact your confidence. As women, this is natural. So many of us struggle to find things that we feel good wearing because we don’t know our body types and how to dress to flatter them. Learning what sleeves, necklines, hemlines, shapes, and fits look most flattering on your specific body type is the key to putting together stellar outfits that you look and feel great in! Today, we’re going to look at some concerns that most women have with their bodies and what looks best on certain body types.

The object is never to “hide” areas of insecurity, but to find ways to flatter them.
The first step in learning how to dress for your body type is figuring out what body type you have. There are 5 main body types that most women fall into: Apple, Triangle, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, and Hourglass.

 Body shapes chart.

The Apple body shape is characterized by a slim lower half with an upper half that lacks definition. The tendency for those with an apple body shape is to buy everything oversized, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Draping tops such as our Mock Neck Printed Woven Top paired with straight leg pants provide a balanced look while also creating a flattering shape. Flared jeans with heels create a proportionate look. Dresses with an a-line shape that hit above the knee or at the mid-calf also create balance, showing off the legs and creating a flattering silhouette. Our Short Sleeve Stripe Midi Dress does this beautifully! V-necklines create the illusion of an elongated torso which draws attention away from the midriff. You can also wear printed tops and jackets with a draping fit to create another layer of depth.

Printed Mock Neck Top and Short Sleeve Stripe Midi Dress front view.

The Triangle body shape, also known as the pear shape, is characterized by a broader lower half and smaller upper body. The waist is defined and the hips are broader than the shoulders. Boat necklines, sweetheart necklines, square necklines, and puff sleeves all give the effect of broader shoulders, creating symmetry between the upper and lower halves. Tops with fun prints and textures add definition to the upper body and look great. Flowy or loose fitting tops paired with skinny jeans or well-fitted pants are great options for flattering this body shape. A good example of a top that looks great on the triangle body shape is our Pink Off Shoulder Top. Paired with a pair of straight leg jeans for balance, this top creates a flattering look! Another example is our Coral Flutter Sleeve Top. Paired with a slimming dark wash skinny jean, this top gives volume to the shoulders creating symmetry!

Pink Off Shoulder Top and Coral Flutter Sleeve Top front view.

In the Inverted Triangle body shape, the shoulders or bust are broader than the hips and the waistline is not overly defined. To offset the shoulders, wear pants with fun colors and prints or with a wide leg such as boyfriend style pants, palazzo pants, or flares. Tiered skirts also add fullness to the lower half and balance your proportions. Our Leopard Print Tiered Dress is a great option for this! Form-fitting tops with a narrow V-neckline and tops with a lightweight, draping material soften the upper body. Cover tops and jackets that hit at the waistline like our Green Cropped Tweed Shacket bring definition to the waist, and when paired with a flared jean, create symmetry.

 Leopard Print Tiered Dress and Green Tweed Shacket front view.

In the Rectangle body shape, also known as the athletic shape, the shoulders and hips are the same width, creating a relatively straight line from shoulder to hip. Belts and mid-rise pants can be worn to accentuate the waistline and create some definition. Our White Skinny Mini Fray Hem jeans are a great mid-rise option. Pair them with a peplum top to create some definition around the waistline. Any style of jeans or pants works for this body shape. If you opt for a more flowy or loose fitting top, wear skinny jeans or form-fitting pants to add structure and create balance. If you opt for a form-fitting top, wear a wide leg pant or flowy skirt for contrast. Halter necklines, round necklines, and square necklines look great on this body shape, as they emphasize the athletic features of the upper body. Our Green Boho Pleated Maxi Dress is a stunning option with a halter neckline that flatters the rectangle body shape. 

White Skinny Mini Fray Hem jeans and Green Boho Pleated Maxi Dress front view.

Finally, the Hourglass body shape is characterized by symmetrical shoulders and hips with a well-defined waist. If this describes you, then embrace those curves! Peplum tops, wrap tops, and a-line dresses really work to accentuate that hourglass shape. Anything that tapers into the waist will look super flattering on you! A great example is our Dreaming Again Red One Shoulder Top. The peplum shape AND tie waist really accentuate the waist! High waisted pants and pencil skirts are your friend and are a great wardrobe staple. Form fitting - but not skin tight - styles create a dynamic silhouette that enhances your natural beauty. A-line dresses such as our We Danced Anyway Woven Midi Dress are super flattering as well!

 Dreaming Again Red One Shoulder Top and We Danced Anyway Woven Midi Dress front view.

Now let's talk targeted areas: If your arms are a concern for you, never fear! Rather than simply covering them up, opt for tops and dresses that have flutter, bishop, or peasant sleeves. These sleeve types are flowy and whimsical, creating a flattering shape without actually “hiding” anything. Our gorgeous Hot Pink Satin Puff Sleeve Top and Evening Lotus Flared Sleeve Dress are perfect examples! As the Spring months approach, sheer designs are making a comeback, and these sleeve styles fit this trend perfectly. If you want something more full-coverage, adding a 3⁄4 sleeve jean jacket or cardigan is always a reliable option!

Hot Pink Satin Top and Evening Lotus Flared Sleeve Dress front view.

If your midriff is an area of concern for you, don’t sidestep form-fitting clothes and settle for baggy, oversized looks. Instead, wear clothes with an empire or shift shape and utilize light layers. Empire shapes accentuate right above the waist and drape over the midriff. Shift and sheath styles also work to even your silhouette. Light layers such as lightweight cardigans, kimonos, and jackets add depth and give shape. Our Navy and Gold Floral Kimono is a perfect light layering piece! Monochromatic looks work to camouflage the midriff and always look classy. You can also wear statement pieces to draw attention where you want instead of where you don’t. 

Let’s talk legs. If you are unhappy with the way your hips and legs look in certain outfits, there are several simple tricks you can use! First, skinny jeans, leggings, and straight fit pants are your friend. Wear these pants with billowy tops that hit about mid-thigh to create a flattering silhouette. Our Pink Tweed Shacket falls into this category and doubles as a wonderful light layering piece! Midi and maxi skirts are also a great option, especially for the Spring and Summer! Rather than going for ruffled skirts or fuller skirts, go for something that drapes and moves with you. Flowy skirts will fall over your hips and create definition at the waistline, effectively slimming the legs. 

Navy and Gold Floral Kimono and Pink Tweed Shacket front view.

We hope that these guidelines are helpful to you as you consider new ways to best accentuate your body type. But keep in mind, these guidelines are just that... guidelines. Always dress in what makes YOU feel beautiful and know that you ARE beautiful! Let us know if you try any of these tips! 

With love,

Your Fruit of the Vine family. 

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