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Shape



Women all have shape to their bodies and it occurs no matter what their scale or weight. By embracing her image and dressing for her own body, a woman is empowered to look her best for the body she has now. By accepting her shape, a woman acknowledges that no two bodies are the same and can enjoy the way she looks by choosing the clothes and accessories that highlight her natural beauty. 

 

The shape of a woman's body can be determined by considering how the bust, waist and hips are in proportion to each other, so it's more about the silhouette that she has. For women, there are five different shapes: the rectangle (or H), the oval (or O), the triangle (or A), the inverted triangle (or V), and the hourglass (or X). Women can dress appropriately for their silhouette by considering how certain garments create the impression that their bust, waist and hips are balanced. 

Shape is closely related to proportion since the aim is to offset the differences between the bust, waist and hips with the clothing and accessories a woman wears. But instead of the eight-heads rule, a woman uses tricks that draw and detract attention from the three areas of a woman’s torso that define a woman’s silhouette. Some of these tricks include placement of embellishment, pattern and colour, whereas others include fit, tailoring and styles to wear. 

For example, if a woman with a waist that is larger than her bust and hips wears a fitted jacket, the waist line would be emphasized by the seams so she looks more out of proportion than she naturally is. Instead, if she wears a jacket looser in fit and that falls past the waist, the line between her bust, waist and hip is disguised so her silhouette appears to be balanced. Because the loose-fitting jacket creates a straight line between her bust waist and hips, it also creates an illusion of a dip where her waist is imagined to be. 

In another example, a woman who has wider shoulders than her bust and waist will emphasize her broad shoulders if she wears a slim skirt. If she looks for skirts with pleats or gathers, she can create a sense of volume on her hips to offset her wider shoulders so that they appear to be in proportion to each other. 

By dressing for the silhouette, a woman is creating balance in her appearance so that one part of her body doesn’t stand out against the rest. In this way, if a woman finds a garment that she loves, she can modify the rest of her outfit by using the guidelines of her body shape. For example, if a woman with wider hips than her bust and waist falls in love with a printed gathered waist skirt. Since the print is on the bottom half of her body and the gathers will add volume, she will need to offset the difference on her top half. If she wears a jacket with more structured shoulders, she will look more in proportion with her bottom half. By following the guidelines of body shape, she can know exactly how to compensate for an item of clothing that is not ideal for her silhouette but she wants to wear anyways. 

Here are some guidelines to help her dress for her body shape:

 

Is her bust, waist and hips all in a line? If so, she is considered to be rectangle or H shape. 

Here are some tips for finding clothes that work for her: 

 

Is her waist larger than her bust and hips? If so, she is considered to be oval or O shape. 

Here are some tips for finding clothes that work for her: 

 

Are her hips wider than her bust and waist? Is so, she is considered to be triangle shaped or A shape. 

Here are some tips for finding clothes that work for her: 

 

Are her shoulders wider than her bust and waist? If so, she is considered to be an inverted triangle or a V shape. 

Here are some tips for finding clothes that work for her: 

 

Is her waist clearly smaller than her bust and waist? If so, she is considered to be the hourglass or X shape. 

Here are some tips for finding clothes that work for her:

 

Additional resources on dressing with Shape in mind: