The amazing thing about people is how we come in so many shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, this can make shopping kind of tricky!
There are many style tips and fashion advice pieces on dressing for your particular shape, but what use are they if you don’t know what shape you are?
Many people can benefit from this practice because this gives them a better approach to their wardrobe and fashion choices. These calculations will also help you find the best athletic wear for your body type and look great in the gym or on the go.
If you’re interested, check out our body shape calculator and tips for dressing to inform your choices going forward.
How to Prepare
To figure out your body shape, you need to be able to see your body clearly, so no baggy clothes will do here. Choose some form-fitting yoga clothes, or wear your underwear, and get yourself in front of a full-length mirror for accuracy.
Remember, body shape calculation is not about testing your confidence or image - it’s about empowering yourself to make choices to look and feel beautiful.
Remember that body shapes vary. No one fits the boxes perfectly, so if you don’t completely line up with the below definitions, don’t worry about it. Just use the information you’re given to get a general idea of your dimensions.
You can still learn a lot from this process, even if you find you aren’t strictly one shape or another. We’re going to be looking at proportions, so don’t pay too much attention to whether you wish the numbers were bigger or smaller when it comes to the measuring tape.
1) Measure Your Bust
The first step is to measure around your bust. Put the tape around the fullest part of your bust, and hold it firmly, but do not pull it so hard that it squashes you. The tape should wrap fully around your body, across your back. Write down the measurement.
2) Measure Your Shoulders
You may need some help with this one as it can be hard to do alone. Measure around your shoulders, at the highest point you can manage, all the way around your body. Write down this measurement too.
3) Measure Your Waist
If you need assistance with locating your waist, bend to the side and put your hands on the point where your body bends. This is your waist. It isn’t necessarily the narrowest point of your torso or in line with your belly button.
You will often find that the tape is just above your belly button when you measure your waist. Wrap right around and jot the number down.
4) Measure Your Hips
Wrap the tape measure around the widest point of your hips. This will vary a little from person to person, and it can be just under your waist or just above your thigh. Write this final measurement down.
Now, you’re ready to calculate your body shape! We are going to be looking at how these numbers compare to each other, so a pen, paper, and calculator could prove useful here.
Inverted Triangle (Or Apple)
There are multiple names for this body type, reflecting when your shoulders and bust are larger than your hips. Essentially, the top of your body is wider than your lower half.
If your bust/shoulders are more than 5% bigger than your hips, you may find clothing that flatters an inverted triangle shape is good for you.
If you’re feeling your look, don’t be afraid to make the most of your cleavage and show off your shoulders!
What to Wear
The inverted triangle shape often looks better in clothes that sweep past the waist and form a line between shoulders and hips.
Clothes that finish mid-thigh and low-cut tops that make the most of your cleavage are also great options. Avoid bulky or ruffled tops, as these can make you look a little top-heavy.
Choose pants that have definition and give your legs a sculpted look. If you favor dresses, it may be best to choose a stylish wrap dress that gives you definition around your waist or under the bust.
What if your shoulders are bigger, but you have a smaller bust? It’s not something you need to worry about. You may be between an hourglass shape and an inverted triangle, so you can try on clothing that suits both kinds of figures and see what feels best.
If your body is straighter than it is curvy, you are likely a rectangle shape.
Women with this shape tend to have a waist less than 25% smaller than the bust or shoulders, and their hips, bust, and shoulders are all within a 5% range of measurement.
This is the most common body shape for women, so don’t be discouraged - there’s plenty you can do with it!
What to Wear
Rectangles have a lot of flexibility in the clothes they choose. Select an area of the body that you want to accentuate, such as the neck, legs, ankles, hips, cleavage, or anything else. A few accessories are the best way to do this.
Do your best to find clothes that pull in and flare out to increase the sense of definition and shapeliness. Low-rise or mid-rise pants can be a good option or dresses with a belted waist that pulls in and then puffs out. Use wraps and tunics to your advantage!
Avoid clothes that are very straight or lack definition themselves, as they will just make you look stiff and shapeless. You should also avoid very puffy clothes unless you are going to use them to create definition with belts and waistbands.
To find out if you are an hourglass, you’re going to be looking at your waist and shoulder or bust measurements. Your bust or shoulders should be 25% bigger than your hips. Next, check your waist to your hip ratio. Again, your waist should be 25% smaller than your hips.
Your shoulders and hips should be approximately the same size as well. Overall, your shape will be quite “balanced,” and your figure will resemble an hourglass.
What to Wear
Hourglass figures are usually flattered by fitted clothes. Avoid ruffles or puffs on the top or bottom, as these can make you look unbalanced. Sleek and smooth clothes will flatter your silhouette beautifully.
You will find that dresses flatter your shape very nicely, especially if they are close-fitting and finish around your knees. You can also choose fitted pants and use belts or ties to enhance the hourglass silhouette shape.
In winter, you may struggle to make the most of your figure, but selecting clothes that have ties and tuck in will help. Avoid baggy clothes that are shapeless or that hang down past your waist and hide their shape.
The Triangle (Or Pear)
If your hips are more than 5% bigger than your bust, you are probably a triangle, otherwise known as a pear. This is irrespective of waist definition, though you will probably find your waist is a little wider, and you have great legs.
What to Wear
Ruffled tops are a great way to make the most of your shoulders and bust. You may find that scoop necks with a supportive bra are particularly flattering.
Go for form-fitting on the legs, whether that’s skinny jeans, leggings, tights, etc., to make the most of your shape and avoid looking unbalanced.
Try to accentuate the narrowest point of your waist using belts or gathered tops, and choose bootleg or flared pants that will help to shape your legs and behind.
Select jackets that finish just above your hips or ones that fall to around mid-thigh, above your knee. This will help to accentuate your shape and create a nice curve between your torso and your legs.
A properly fitting bra will also be crucial to forming a flattering shape, especially if you’re wearing tops that are cut to accentuate your bust. You may want to try a few different kinds to find the ones that best support you.
Dressing from your shape isn’t comparing yourself to others - it’s about finding clothes that are designed to make you look and feel good.
Knowing your body shape can also help you when filling out a style quiz for a yoga subscription box or just shopping around for your next piece of athletic wear.
Only the best subscription yoga clothes services take body shape into account, along with other factors like your workout preferences, favorite colors, and seasonal trends. This is the best way to get quality activewear that truly flatters your physique and complements your personal flair!
Living a healthy lifestyle is all about embracing the body you have and making reasonable improvements over time. Use these measurements as motivators and wear clothes that inspire you to stick to your perfect routine.
From the yoga studio to the office, dinner downtown, and beyond, you will always have the ideal outfit for your shape and look fantastic no matter what.