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8 Day and Night Looks for Different Body Shapes

34 Comments

how-to-dress-for-your-body-shape-header
Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3

Every body is different; we all come in various types of sizes and shapes – this uniqueness is what makes us beautiful. And even though no two bodies are the same, when talking about clothes for different body types, it’s helpful to group our body types into four very general shapes. They are: the pear, the rectangle, the hourglass, and the apple.

While I don’t think that anyone should forgo wearing a piece of clothing they love, there are certain types of clothes that can enhance your figure, and I’m here to tell you all about them!

Zephyr wrote a great article a while back on the basics of dressing for your body type, and today I’m going to expand on that thought, and provide 2 different outfits designed to maximize each body shape: one for day, and one for night. Interested? Read on!

The Pear Shape

You have a pear-shaped body if your bottom half tends to be bigger than your top half. Pears tend to have fuller hips and a larger butt/thigh area compared to their shoulders and bust. Celebrity pears include Jennifer Love Hewitt, Beyonce, and Lo Bosworth.

Because pears often have great shoulders and arms, a standout neckline on a top is the perfect way to draw the eyes up and show off your slim shoulders. Boot cut jeans and A-line skirts are some of the most flattering cuts for pears.

pear-shaped-outfits

Tank, Skirt, Flats, Dress, Belt, Wedges

For the day outfit, I chose a ruffle tank to show off your arms and toned torso area. The full skirt is a fun style right now, and it hits at the waist to create a beautiful hourglass silhouette. The metallic flats are a great pair of shoes for those long summer days.

For the night outfit, the black dress is a glamorous take on the popular one-shoulder trend, while the belt nips the waist in. Finally, the tall wedges will elongate your beautiful legs.

The Rectangle Shape

You have a rectangle-shaped body if your bust and hips are equal in measurement, and you don’t have much of a defined waist. Rectangle shaped women are also referred to as “athletic” in the fashion mags. Some celebrity examples of rectangles include Cameron Diaz and Hilary Duff.

To create more curves on an athletic frame, try belted dresses and tops to define your mid-section and create volume. You can also try ruffles and girlier silhouettes, which will also balance your frame.

rectangle-shaped-outfits

Tank, Belt, Jeans, Flats, Dress, Wedges

For the day outfit, I chose a loose, striped tank with a pair of form-fitting white skinny jeans and a belt to create a the illusion of a more defined waist. The jeans are a great way to show off your toned legs.

For the night outfit, I wanted to choose a dress that could be worn casual as well as dressy. Because the bodice of the dress is form-fitting, it will create the appearance of fuller hips. Finally, the wedges are simply a great pair of shoes to go out in, and the metallic gold shade goes with everything.

The Hourglass Shape

You have an hourglass-shaped body if your bust and hips are equal in measurement and you have a very defined waist. Women like Scarlett Johansson and Kim Kardashian are great examples of hourglasses.

To maximize your frame, opt for form fitting clothing to show off your curves. V-necks are also a great way to play up your assets and show off your fabulous shape.

hourglass-shaped-outfits

Tee, Jeans, Sandals, Dress, Pumps

For the day outfit, a plunging neckline paired with skinny jeans and sandals is a great way to show off your amazing body and flaunt your curves.

For the night outfit, I chose a white body-con dress that will hug your curves in the best possible way and paired it with a pair of fun zebra print pumps for a fun take on the animal print trend.

The Apple Shape

You are an apple if your bust and shoulders are larger than your hips and butt. Kristin Cavallari is a great example of an apple shaped celebrity.

To show off your shape, accentuate your legs by wearing skinny jeans. You can also get away with mini skirts, no problem. On top, v-necks as well as loose tanks paired with the aforementioned form-fitting bottoms will create a beautiful silhouette.

apple-shaped-outfits

Tank, Jeans, Flats, Dress, Heels

For the day outfit, I chose a loose fitting top and a pair of skinny jeans to show off your slim legs and some blue flats to pick up the blue in the tank.

For the night look, the v-neck in the dress and adjustable sash are flattering details that show off your shape. The silver heels are a great contrast to the beautiful cobalt blue of the dress.

What do you think?

Do you dress for your specific body type? Or do you wear whatever you want? Will you be following some of these tips? Let me know with a comment!

Posted on on July 9, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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34 Responses to “8 Day and Night Looks for Different Body Shapes”

  1. 1
    July 9th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    How can I tell if my hips are in alignment with my shoulders?

  2. 2
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Great article! This is extremely helpful to keep in mind for next year!!

    Steph

  3. 3
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    The flats mentioned in the Pear Shape are available at Payless for a quarter of the price. ;)

  4. 4
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Adore the black wedges for the pear shape night outfit! Gorgeous outfits!

  5. 5
    July 9th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Mmm… what if you have an hourglass figure, but you’re kinda to the overweight side (like me)? lol
    I find myself very uncomfortable with things that are so tight.

  6. 6
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    I love the wedges!!

  7. 7
    July 9th, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Hello, great article… I got a question, Is apple body similar to T-shape body? Because I got T-shaped body and I sometimes find it kinda hard to shop.

  8. 8
    July 10th, 2010 at 1:24 am

    i’m pear shaped, and that outfit (in my opinion) is definently on point for us pear girls

  9. 9
    July 10th, 2010 at 1:37 am

    These are quitegood. I’m a petite hourglass and I liked what you came up with. I have to figureoug something to wear tonight, but it’s soooo cold!! Layers it is!!

  10. 10
    July 10th, 2010 at 2:07 am

    I totally have no idea about my body shape? How can I find out? and how can I tell if I have or not have a defined waist?

  11. 11
    July 10th, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I love the dress in the hourglass outfit.

  12. 12
    July 10th, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Valeria: check the first girl on the top of the post, I think she’s a perfect hourglass example and she isn’t model-thin as well and for me she looks gorgeous :) Her top isn’t overly tight, but it still enhances her very proportional body and defined waist. I think its the key – to make your outfit form-fitting where you’re smallest, because a loose t-shirt would make this girl look ten pounds bigger and would hide her amazing curves, and also, to keep it balanced – all tight-fitting outfit wouldn’t look good on her as well.

    I don’t think any advice in this post is a break-through, those are things repeated over and over everywhere, but it’s nice to see them with some fashion-forward outfits :)

  13. 13
    July 10th, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Cute ideas, but I wish CF would include more styles for Plus size girls … there are more of us than you think!

  14. 14
    July 10th, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Nice post, but I think the apple shape section is a bit off. What you described is an inverted triangle shape – larger on top than on bottom. The apple shape represents girls who are rounder in the middle. It’s often the hardest body shape to dress. Here’s an example:

    http://charlesgoldman.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/apple-vs-pear-nytimes-20073.jpg

  15. 15
    July 10th, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Question Carri- I am most definitely an apple shape. My legs are tiny, but my bust is bigger. I always want to wear high waisted skirts but I feel like they look so bad on me because it eliminates my waist, and just accentuates my bust. I haven’t been able to figure this one out, so if you have any tips, I would really appreciate it! And great first article!

    -Karissa

  16. 16
    July 10th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I usually just lurk here, but I had to point this out: while the rest of the article is very good, what you described as an “apple” shape is NOT an apple shape. Shannon is right: apples are people who carry most of their weight in the middle/stomach area. You did indeed describe an inverted triangle. An apple can be difficult to dress, so I really wish you’d gotten it right and offered advice girls with that shape can consider.

  17. 17
    July 10th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Shannon already said what I was going to say–the body shape you described as “apple” is actually known as “inverted triangle” because it’s the exact opposite of the triangle (pear) shape. “Apple” refers to a body shape with a rounded midsection.

    Most of your outfits are really good, I would just note a few things.

    First, for the daytime pear outfit, because you paired an eye-catching color with a neutral, this outfit would work for those who have a slight pear shape (bottom is only a little bit bigger than the top). However, for those who have a very prominent pear shape, it is a good idea to wear the lighter color on top and the darker color on bottom, because lighter colors attract attention while darker colors camouflage. I LOVE the dress you picked for night, but I’d pick more of an A-line shape (the picture makes it look more like a sheath, form-fitting type dress, but maybe that’s just the picture).

    I was taught that ruffles and volume on a rectangle shape would look awkward. I guess it mostly depends on proportions–to much ruffles and volume on a really petite girl would look awkward, but maybe it would work in moderation and in proportion with the girl.

    Love the hourglass outfits (especially the dress!) but I would add a belt or something to the daytime outfit. The waistline is often an hourglass shape’s best asset (because it’s so well-defined!) and wearing belts really plays it up.

    Both of your outfits for the inverted triangle/apple shape have the most eye-catching details up top. While the shapes are good, I would avoid putting the most eye-catching details up top, as it only makes the shoulder area look bigger! A good general rule is to keep things simple up top and bring the eye downward with bright-colored skirts, interesting details at the hip, etc. Similar to the pear shape, I guess, it would depend on how prominent the difference between top and bottom would be.

    And the top you chose for the “apple” shapes would actually be a great choice for those with true apple shapes!

  18. 18
    July 10th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    JillAnn – One way to tell if your shoulders and hips are equal is to take a measuring tape and measure around your shoulders, and then also around the fullest part of your hips (around your butt). If the numbers are pretty close, than you’ve got an equal distribution.

    Valeria – Choose a looser fitting dress and belt it…this will still allow you to create a beautiful silhouette!

    Ivonne – An apple is the same as a T-shaped. As mentioned below, it can also be referred to as an inverted triangle.

    Ellen – This video is a great way to figure out your body shape http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_jpA6uo1E

    Karissa – You should definitely be able to rock a high-waisted skirt. Just make sure to wear one that hits at your waist, and pair it with a more form-fitting top, like a v-neck. If you tuck the top into your skirt it’ll give you a great hourglass shape!

    Shannon & Vanessa – The apple and the inverted triangle are very similar and I’ve always called that body shape an apple. I wanted that shape to be for girls that tend to carry some weight in their midsection. Thanks for the clarification though!

    Shaney Lee – Thanks for the tips!

  19. 19
    July 10th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    for rectangular/athletic shapes, where should the belt be placed? right under the bust? or more in the midsection where the ribs are?

  20. 20
    July 10th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    If my shoulders are 4 inches wider than my hips, does that mean I’m an apple or hourglass?

  21. 21
    July 10th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Not to be rude, and I really enjoyed the very helpful article, but actually, I disagree with the apple shaped suggestions: if you are top-heavy and you wear skinny jeans, they will emphasise your skinniest body part and make it seem even smaller, and so your larger top half will look vast in comparison.

    Also, I was watching Gok’s Fashion Fix and the apple-shaped woman he was trying to makeover paired dark skinny jeans with a glittery top: she looked very out of proportion and he advised her not to wear skinny jeans as they only made her look more top-heavy.

    i’d suggest wearing bootcut jeans, straightlegs, maybe even flares – anything that doesn’t cling – to give your bottom half more volume, balancing your top half out and give you a more proportionat silhouette. Perhaps make them long enough to cover your heels, for a longer and leaner look.

    Thank you all the same, I definitely have more ideas for how to dress for my ruler shape now!

  22. 22
    July 10th, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I think it would be nice, when people write about the hourglass body shape, to include smaller hourglasses, like Rachel Bilson. For the longest time I didn’t know I was an hourglass (I have measurements 32-23-35 … I thought i was a pear) until finally I realized that even though my chest is smaller, my SHOULDERS are the same as my hips, and my butt and chest look the same from the side (does that make sense?) Anyway, I just think it would be helpful to point out that you can be tiny and still have a hourglass shape, cause that seems to be a misconception – everyone thinks Kim or ScarJo like you said. I guess I understand why though – a tiny hourglass is more rare.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this article. I don’t worry much about defining my waist, but I never wear empire or drop waist dresses. Those look much better on the rectangle body shape.

  23. 23
    July 11th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    I just wanted to say, that if you can’t find your body shape within 4 body shapes, you may try to find yours among 12 body shapes: http://carsonspost.wordpress.com/2007/10/19/12-female-body-types-which-are-you-which-do-you-want/
    It’s still less than we have in nature (for example I am a bit on the pear side, but my legs are very slim), but more detailed than just 4 general examples.

  24. 24
    July 12th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I find it interesting how your suggestions tend to highlight that particular body shape. For example, having those with big chests and shoulders and smaller hips to wear details on top and skinny jeans. I see a lot of people disagreeing with your decision there. Did you mean to do this on purpose?

    One thing I do disagree on: apples and inverted triangles being the same thing. Inverted triangles have the width up higher than apples, who carry it more in their midsection than in their chest/shoulders. You point out Kristin Cavallari–she definitely doesn’t carry anything in her midsection. Its not even in her chest. Its all shoulders on her.

  25. 25
    August 29th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Something you overlooked in your hourglass idea:

    Us hourglass shaped ladies can’t really wear “plunging necklines” because a neckline that would be plunging on a less curvy gal ends up looking obscene on us. I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve put on a simple v-neck shirt and been told to cover up later on when I sit down or bend over!

    Also, skinny jeans tend to not be the best. A boot cut helps to balance out the shoulder-hip-ankle ratio, and keep us from looking like we’re teetering around on tiny little feet.

  26. 26
    October 8th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I wear whatever I want mostly. I am still confused to what I am. I am either an apple shape or an hourglass shape.

  27. 27
    March 5th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    If a pear wears the day outfit, her bottom will loke even more havy!! You have a lighter colour for the skirt then for the top! That is not good for a pear. Also a pear must create more volume on the top.

  28. 28
    May 10th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I disagree with the apple shape. If you are an apple, you have to find a way to balance your top half with your bottom half. The Day outfit would only make the bust look bigger and wearing dark jeans with it, will make the bottom half look smaller. The ruffles found on the Night outfit would only bring more attention to the bust.

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