What Is My Body Type?
Describing the shape of your body helps personal stylists offer guidance around what type of clothing suits you best. Many reasons why we enjoy wearing certain fashion styles above others, is due to our body shape – we wear what we feel flatters us. Sometimes we just don’t feel like a particular look is for us and that’s because it can highlight areas of our figures we are less comfortable with.
Benefits of Understanding The Shape of Your Body
A mind shift – identifying your best bits helps see yourself positively rather than criticizing the worst
Increases body confidence
Knowledge is power
Clothes can then help to highlight or conceal
Looking for certain style details that you know work for you
Quickly recognising what clothes will fit you when shopping saves time & effort
Acknowledging that you can’t always wear what your friend wears as not all clothes will flatter
Avoiding making costly mistakes when buying clothes
Knowing that sometimes alterations may be necessary
Aligning yourself with a similar sized celebrity or blogger for inspiration
Click here to read more about my body shape analysis service to help you make the most of your figure.
How To Dress For Your Body Shape
It’s easy to search the net for ‘how to dress for an apple body shape’ but the fashion tips written are generic, generally for a larger apple body and they don’t take in to account your proportions (discussed below), lifestyle or personal style!! In fact, a small apple shape should wear quite different things to a women of larger build. That’s why obtaining PERSONAL style guidance around what is right for YOU is vital as you will understand from reading on…
Types Of Shapes
There are different ways to define different body types, ie. geometric shapes or fruit for example (I generally use both), but they all reflect the same theory.
Female Body Types
All women will fit in to these 5 categories but in my experience, many can straddle 2 predominant body shapes and that’s when it gets very tricky when a client asks ‘what is my body type’ as it’s not so clear cut. I have worked with an ex-model who struggled to dress well because she couldn’t work out what physique she had until I told her she had a combination of 2!
Read my descriptions below plus click on my PINTEREST boards for outfit inspiration including WHY these garments suit that particular body type:
HOURGLASS Body Type (8.5% of women)
When shoulders/bust and hips are similar in circumference and your waist is significantly smaller
INVERTED TRIANGLE / STRAWBERRY Body Type (14% of women)
When shoulders/bust are wider than hips so you can tend to look top heavy or broad
ATHLETIC / RECTANGLE Body Type (46% of women)
When shoulders, waist and hips measure similar creating a straighter torso
PEAR / TRIANGLE Body Type (20% of women)
When hips are wider than shoulders so you can tend to look bottom heavy
APPLE / OVAL Body Type (11.5% of women)
When you carry your weight over your tummy area but with narrower shoulders and hips
Now, we could get caught up with the specific measurements of how to calculate exactly what the difference in your hip to bust ratio should be but to be honest, it all gets a bit technical so to me, keeping it simple is the best way to approach it because, as I say, a lot of women are a combination so you if you don’t identify easily with one of these, read on..
Male Body Types
There’s only 4 main types of men’s body shape as seen below and in general I find my male clients are less concerned with in-depth summaries, compared to my female ones.
When shoulders, waist and hips measure similar creating a narrow, straighter torso
When shoulders are wider than hips so you can tend to look broad and triangular
When shoulders and torso are similar width, quite wide resulting in looking square
When you carry most of your weight through your tummy with narrower shoulders
How To Tell Your Body Type
So if you can’t identify yourself easily through the imagery, then take a tape measure and note down your measurements to help categorise the shape of your body. It’s also really interesting to do this as often it can yield different results than what you might think. As mentioned, we don’t need to get too technical with the amount of centimeters difference between 2 body parts, but by measuring with a tape it allows you to understand the full circumference of that body part to compare your narrowest point to your widest so you categorise.
Many of my clients wrongly self diagnose their body type. Sometimes when people have lost weight and struggle to re-identity themselves or it can be a childhood hang up that follows us in to adult hood but actually your body has changed over time and needs to be reassessed.
Now, to throw a complete spanner in the works, body SHAPE is not the only factor, BODY PROPORTIONS is the other KEY driver of why you will look good in some styles versus others.
This can include a long neck or sloping shoulders which would mean that your physique is slightly out of proportion
Other Different Body Types
We also need to address the following groups of ‘non-standard’ sizes:
Petite : under 5ft 3″ Tall : over 5ft 8″ Curvy : over a size 18*
*However, this concerns me as the average dress size for an Australian woman is 14-16 and getting bigger, so categorising plus-size to start at size 18 isn’t representing a typical Aussie woman as sizes should be starting around a 20-22!
So you can see that the subject of body types can get quite complicated for some people, although not all, for some it’s quite straight forward as they will look good in most styles and this is where the science stops and the art begins as personal style takes over in the decision making.
That’s why my bespoke body shape summary gives you exactly the right guidelines for YOUR body type AND your personal style.
Important Side Note..
Another huge issue regarding body shape and sizing that makes shopping more complicated is because, cue gasp, there is NO INDUSTRY SIZING STANDARD!!
“The Australian Standard Size Coding Scheme for women’s clothing was scrapped in 2008, allowing retailers to develop their own sizing scale based on sales data” Rebacce Sullivan of News.Com.Au reports on September 18, 2016. Therefore,
DO NOT LET A SIZE TAG CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT BUYING – OR NOT BUYING – AN ITEM!!
So please don’t ever blame YOUR body. It’s chaos out there so let me help you! Contact me
Read more industry insight from my years working as a fashion designer that will make you feel better about your body: www.stylesense.net.au/body-shape