Why you should dress for your body shape and not your dress size
The amount of times I have 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 and the amount of damage these changing room blunders can cause on 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 shape, avoid that body criticism and dress to show off your best assets!
A GUIDE TO THE 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.
Still confused about which you are? Use the Body Shape Calculator based on Trinny and Susannah’s shapes here or the diagram below.
HOW TO DRESS FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE:
Now to dressing for body shape, here is what to opt for to flatter the following shapes:
APPLE: To avoid attention to your midriff wear clothing items that elongate your figure and adds structure 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.
BELL: The bell, like the pear and skittle, means you are 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 you must use volume in clothing to increase your upper half, avoiding 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 therefore your lower half will appear smaller. Wearing pleated heavy fabrics and wide trousers will cover and compliment your widest parts.
BRICK: 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 will compliment your figure. Avoid strapless items that will broaden your shoulders and mini skirts that will throw off the proportions of your lower half. Opt for draped fabrics to create curves, fitted tops and knitwear that will bring in and compliment your figure, patterned items that will create shape and panelled skirt which will define your waist and flare to elongate your body.
CELLO: The cello is voluptuous and often tall, everything remains quite 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 that will draw attention to these larger areas.
COLUMN: Like the brick you must draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with the use of belts and dresses that clinch at your midsection. Use a variety of solid colours when choosing clothing and avoid the use of print which will fail to highlight your slender figure and the creation of curves. Opt for high waisted or wide legged trousers which will frame your waist and show off your legs, additionally you can get away with wearing round necked jumpers which will balance your frame. However, avoid cropped items as they will elongate and emphasize your already enviably long limbs.
CORNET: With your athletic and slender figure draw attention and create the illusion of a waist with the use of belts and dresses that clinch your midsection. Shapeless clothes are a no-go, it will only throw off your proportions even more. Opt for asymmetric clothing that creates shape and proportion, skinny jeans that will give you the illusion of curves and show off your long and slender limbs and flared dresses that shape you.
GOBLET: 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, wide legged pants and ?), bright colours that will create emphasis on the top half and create disproportion and high neck lines. Opt for empire waisted tops that bring in your waist and flatter your midriff, wide-necked tops that compliment your chest and low-rise trousers that skim your hips and compliment your slender legs.
HOURGLASS: An evenly proportioned shape that needs simplistic and fitted clothing that work 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 which will swamp, covering up throws off your proportions and can lead you to feeling and looking frumpy.
LOLLIPOP: Lollipops 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: Pear are a slim shape with wide thighs, not necessarily hips (although this is 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 your thighs and adding length to your legs, especially dark colours. The use of an A-line skirt works wonders too, covering your thighs and creating a classic look. The use of high necks is also goods as it will 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 that will draw unwanted attention and throw you off balance.
SKITTLE: 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.
VASE: 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 idea is to understand your body and its proportions and dress to flatter them, but at the end of the day wear whatever makes you happy and confident!
What do you think of the Trinny and Susannah body shapes? Do you dress to suit your shape?