Parties are often preceded by fun questions, like what to give? Who to bring? When to arrive? And, crucially, what to wear? Most of us don't just happen to have a floor-length silk gown or a tailcoat hanging around in our closet, waiting for the day our Met Gala invite finally arrives. But would that even be the right kind of thing to wear to such an event? We've got answers, and options, for every possible occasion on your social calendar.
You walk towards a store ogling at the dress near the window pane (If it’s me I’ll probably bang my head on the glass door, Ouch!) and walk towards it. In your head, you already have a rough plan (pseudo) about where to wear it, how to style it and everything else possible. All of this in the thirty-second walk into the store (for all you know I’m already broke for the month). Thinking you know how to dress for your body type, you strut into the trial room with chin up and chest high! Everything comes crashing down ‘cos the dress looks awful. That sums up most shopping experiences. Why? Because, it’s not for your body type, simple. And, most of us are oblivious of these basics. I’m not ready to let go of any more of my dreams. So, I did a little digging in that I’m here to share with you.
Let’s take it from the top and discuss all of it. Stay put.
Your body silhouette is what your body type is, which is what we would discuss shortly. However, it is also important to know your vitals first, as much as it is to understand your body type.
Tip – Using a cloth tape is better than a metal one. Let the tape be neither too tight or loose, it should be snug to a point where you think it will slip, it probably will but hold on to it and it gives you the most accurate number.
Measuring your shoulder measurements is relatively difficult because it is tricky to hover the tape while keeping it intact. If you have people around, let someone else help you with this part at least. Start at the tip of the shoulder (any side) and then take it around to the other side, till the end meets the tip of the same shoulder. Remember that the tape should be very close to the shoulder. This way, you get the measurement of the widest point of your shoulder.
Stand straight before you do this, you need to measure the fullest part of your bust. Start by placing one end of the tape at the fullest part and wrap it around from under your shoulders to bring it back to where you started. You now have your bust size. Don’t let the tape to squish your breasts; it should stick to your chest end to end.
Do not slouch your stomach or pull it in, just stand as straight as you can. Start at the slimmest part of your waist above your belly button, and below the rib cage, this is your natural waistline. Wrap the tape around your stomach and bring it back to where you first started. If you are someone who usually wears clothes below your belly button, you might want to make a note of that number too.
You need to measure the circumference of the fullest part of your buttocks to get the measure of your hips. Start with one side of the hip and take it from the rear towards the other hip. Bring it back to the starting point. Do this exercise in front of the mirror, so you know the tape is leveled throughout.
Simply put, your body type is the outline of your structure. Thus, understanding your body type helps with mapping clothes, and tweaking it in a way that matches your style too. The idea is to make sure the dresses we choose to sit beautifully and proportionately (or according to your body proportions) and enhance your looks for an even better-looking silhouette. Short, tall, slender, curvy, etc., do not determine your body type, the body parts do. Since all of us almost have a distinct shape, yet (our bodies) fall under bigger buckets that we need to delve into this a little.
If you want to be doubly sure and make it seem more than an eyeball measurement, your vitals can be used as the basis too. You can look at the math and be able to point a finger to the body type.
• What Is An Apple Body Shape?
• What Is An Hourglass Body Shape?
• What Is A Pear Body Shape?
• What Is A Rectangle Body Shape?
• What Is An Inverted Triangle Body Shape?
You will fall under this apple-shaped figure when you have a heavier upper body in comparison to your lower part of the body. People with this body type usually have broad shoulders, bigger bust line, and that’s why it feels like the weight gathers around the midriff.
Since most of the weight and concentration is above the hips, the mid-riff appears heavier than the remaining body with a minimal waistline. So, the idea here is to take the attention away from that part of the body and highlight your strengths. That’s why you need to flaunt your legs or wear the dress with V or deep V necklines that created an elongated illusion of the torso.
A-line or empire cuts are ideal for you. Wear printed dresses or patterned jackets that add a layer to shift the focus. Monochrome looks, dark colors, full or 3/4th sleeves dresses, and flowy tops will help. You could also wear flared bottoms; palazzos etc. to create a balance. Also, since your shoulders are broad and you might already have a bigger bustline, ensure you wear the right bra.
Avoid figure-hugging dresses or tops with skinny jeans; this will make it more visible. Try and replace the waist belt with an upper waist belt to strike a balance.
You know when you’re an hourglass body shape, and so will the others. This body type is the most balanced of all with a proportionate top and bottom part of the body with a well-defined waistline. So when you look for dresses, choose the ones that do just that for you. It is a body to die for, so flaunt it and in the right way.
Since you have a well-balanced figure, your dresses should do the same as well. The dress should sit well at the right curves and follow the outline of these curves. Make the most of it, because not everybody has this!
Dresses that cinch at the waist will be your best fit. V or plunge V and sweetheart necklines help you flaunt your upper body. To flaunt your waistline, go with a belt at your natural waistline or below the belly button—either way it only looks great. A-line dresses or similar cuts take care of working on the lower part of the body and needless to say; body-hugging dresses are your thing, because, why not?
Almost anything looks great on this body type. But pairing it up with loose tops or bottoms might kill the look. What is the point, otherwise?
The pear-shaped body is all in the lower part of your body. Your butt and thighs are visually bigger than your upper body. So, make some space for that base, people. Thanks To Kim Kardashian and others, this body is a rage right now. You’re lucky if you’ve naturally got a figure like this or achieved this with workouts. It is the Best Pants For Pear Shaped Petites.
The advantage of this body type is that you can create an illusion of an hourglass figure if styled correctly. Your shoulders are narrow, and hips are wide. All you have to do is to strike a balance. Or, wear outfits that enhance your lower body, either way, works well.
Wide-legged pants, A-line skirts or dresses with patterned or ruffled tops that add definition to the upper body look great. Skinny jeans with loose tops help create an hourglass illusion. Crop tops, sweetheart, V or deep-V, scoop or boat necks will balance your bottom out.
Avoid skin fitting tops and loose bottoms, unless you prefer the look.
The rectangle-shaped body is usually well balanced from the shoulders to the hips. So, there is not too much of a definition to your silhouette, and it’s fairly straightforward.
Your arms and legs are the assets. So, focus on enhancing that. It’s like the hourglass figure minus the defined waistline.
Choose A-line skirts, ruffled and layered tops. Dresses that add definition to your bottom and necklines that add meat to the upper body. Sleeveless, strapless and sweetheart lines are your thing. Blazers, long jackets and capes add the much-needed drama here.
How to style a shirt dress for work, weekend and evening
Avoid dresses that are overarching, they look very consuming and will not look great.
The inverted triangle is the most athletic looking body type. Your shoulders are much broader than your hips. So, your arms and shoulders need to be enhanced as much as we can, let’s work on them.
You have to remember to add definition to your hips and thereby to focus on creating a balance. Straight-cut jeans and dresses that naturally have an inverted V-look to them are all clothes that will suit your body.
Since your hips are much narrower than your shoulders, pencil cut skirt, skinny jeans, etc. with any tops will look great. But, do make sure that there is not much layering or definition to your upper body because it needs none. V-neck lines work well and create an illusion of narrow shoulders, so this should be your go-to neckline.
Let all the patterns, ruffles, layers, etc. be part of the bottom part of your body; and, the upper body be minimalistic. As long as you remember this, you will do more than good.
Being self-aware and most importantly informed can solve a lot of your shopping nightmares. You at least know that if a dress is not fitting or not looking a certain way, it does not imply that you’re out of shape and disproportionate. You have to work around things and more than anything there’s a glove(s) that are meant for all of us, we need to know how and where to look! I hope by now you have gotten a better idea of how to dress for your body type. Now chin up-chest-high honey bunches!