Why you should be dressing for your body shape and not your dress size
Dressing for your body shape is so important. The amount of times I’ve been out with my female family members and friends and heard the frustrated cries from their dressing room while jumping about in an outfit is ridiculous.
Worst thing is, I too have been guilty of exclaiming ‘why doesn’t it look right?!’ before giving up and slinking off for a coffee and depleted chat.
Shopping can be both a pain and a joy. When it comes to finding the perfect outfit, the amount of damage changing room blunders can cause us girls is shocking.
I’ve decided to take Trinny and Susannah’s 12 body shapes as a definitive guide to help you dress to suit your body shape. It’s time to avoid body criticism and dress to show off your best assets!
A guide to different body shapes
APPLE: Average chest, larger tummy, flat bum and average legs.
BELL: Small shoulders and chest, small and short waist with large thighs and bottom.
BRICK: Broad shoulders, undefined waist, average tummy, flat bum and large thighs and calves.
CELLO: Large chest, hips, bottom, and thighs with a short waist and slim lower legs.
COLUMN: Slight waist, long legs, same width shoulders, and hips.
CORNET: Broad shoulders, small breasts, undefined waist, slim hips, and long slender legs.
GOBLET: Broad shoulders, large chest, undefined waist, narrow hips, and long legs.
HOURGLASS: Large chest, small and short waist, big hips, and generous thighs.
LOLLIPOP: Large chest, slight waist, slim hips, and long legs.
PEAR: Small chest, long waist, flat stomach, and large legs.
SKITTLE: Average chest, slim waist, average stomach, large thighs, and calves.
VASE: Large chest, longer defined waist, hips to match, slim thighs and legs.
Which body shape am I?
Still confused about your body shape? Use the Body Shape Calculator based on Trinny and Susannah’s shapes or the diagram below.
Dressing for your body shape
Now, onto dressing for your body shape. Here’s what to opt for to flatter the following shapes:
To avoid attention to your midriff, wear clothing that elongates your figure and adds structure. Items such as blazers, ruched dresses and shirts, tunics and empire tops that gather below the bust and flow outwards. ‘Opt for bootcut and flat fronted trousers to lengthen and compliment your legs. The use of large vertical print and patterns also works a treat on highlighting your best assets. Avoid baggy, tight and high-necked clothing that will swamp your figure.
The bell, like the pear and skittle, means you’re bigger on the bottom. As bells naturally have a narrow top half, balance needs to be restored to keep you in proportion. To do so, use volume in clothing to increase your upper half. You need to avoid use of the same colour, v necked clothing and long jackets which will emphasis. Use of turtle and cowl necks, vests and frilly shirts will make your upper half appear larger and your lower half smaller. Wearing pleated heavy fabrics and wide trousers will cover and compliment your widest parts.
Draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with the use of belts and dresses that clinch your midsection. Avoid shapeless clothing and opt for well fitting and structured items that compliment your figure. Strapless items will broaden your shoulders and mini skirts will throw off the proportions of your lower half. Opt for draped fabrics to create curves. Fitted tops and knitwear will compliment your figure. In addition, patterned items will create shape and panelled skirts will define your waist and elongate your body.
The cello is voluptuous and often tall. Everything remains proportionate with a defined waist which needs to be focused on. Wear fitted items that flatter your figure and chest and stand tall. Items such as scooped and V necks, long fitted jackets, empire waist clothing and wide-legged trousers will define and flatter your slim torso, long legs, and large thighs. Avoid mini skirts, skinny jeans, and polo-necks as these will draw attention to larger areas.
Like the brick, you must draw attention and create the illusion of a waist. It’s key to use belts and items that clinch your midsection. Use solid colours when choosing clothing. Be sure to avoid prints which will fail to highlight your slender figure or create curves. Opt for high waisted or wide legged trousers. These will frame your waist and show off your legs. Additionally, you can get away with wearing round necklines which will balance your frame. However, avoid cropped items as they’ll elongate and emphasise your long limbs.
Cornets have athletic and slender figures. Be sure to draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with belts and dresses that clinch your midsection. Shapeless clothes are a no-go. They will throw off your proportions even more. Opt for asymmetric clothing that creates shape and proportion. Skinny jeans will give the illusion of curves and show off your long and slender limbs, as well as flared dresses.
Known for larger upper halves and slender legs, goblets must take the emphasis off their upper body to create proportion. Avoid baggy clothing (such as shift dresses and wide legged pants), bright colours that will create emphasis on your top half and create disproportion and high neck lines. To compliment, choose empire waisted tops that cinch your waist and flatter your midriff. Wide-necked tops compliment your chest and low-rise trousers skim your hips to compliment slender legs.
An evenly proportioned shape that needs simplistic and fitted clothing that works with your natural curves. Opt for items that compliment your chest, hips, and waist and avoid shapeless items. Wrap dresses work well to define your shape, as do scoop and v necklines, three-quarter length sleeves, small belts at the waist, pencil skirts and skinny jeans. Hourglass shapes must avoid layering, baggy clothing, tunics, chunky knitwear and high necklines. These will swamp and covering up throws off proportions and can lead you to feeling and looking frumpy.
Lollipop’s are tall and slender with long limbs and a sizeable chest so the idea is to broaden your hips and shoulders to maintain proportions. Avoid high necked and high waisted clothing that will over emphasise your chest, long legs and create unbalance, shapeless items are a no go also. Opt for fitted items and draping fabrics to create curves, wide neck lines that will compliment your chest and bring in your waist and flared trousers to balance out your chest and make the most of your slender legs.
Pear are a slim shape with wide thighs, not necessarily hips (a common misconception). To create proportion you must balance your small upper and wide lower half. Opt for items that compliment your chest, hips and waist and avoid shapeless items such as tunics and wrap dresses. Wide and straight-legged pants are great for slimming thighs and adding length to legs, especially dark colours. An A-line skirt works wonders too when covering thighs and creating a classic look. High necks are good to broaden your torso. Avoid skinny jeans that will hug your wider half, mini skirts that will elaborate your thighs and bright colours on your lower half. These will draw unwanted attention and throw your proportions off balance.
Similar to the pear, skittles have wide thighs and calves along with voluptuous legs. Once more to create proportion you must balance your small upper and wide lower half. Opt for fitting clothing on your upper half to draw attention away from your lower, detailed blouses work wonders also. The addition of a flared skirt will skim your thighs and highlight your enviably small waist. Like the pear, wide and straight-legged pants are great for slimming your thighs and adding length to your legs. Avoid skinny jeans that will hug your wider half, mini skirts that will elaborate your thighs and calves and bright colours on your lower half that will draw unwanted attention and throw you off balance.
A vase closely resembles an hourglass but with a much longer and gently curving torso that must be complimented in similar ways. With long limbs, it is best to show them off with straight leg trousers and high waisted pencil skirts. Opt for fitted shirts to compliment your waist. It’s best to keep clothing simplistic and to avoid covering up with layers, especially baggy or high necked items that will swamp you.
The key to dressing for your body shape is to understand your proportions and flatter them. At the end of the day, wear what makes you happy and confident!
What do you think of the Trinny and Susannah body shapes? Do you dress to suit your shape?
Looking for other fashion advice, guidance and thoughts?