It’s Not the What, It’s The How

How to: Dress for your body type

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up”. It’s one of those famous quotes we’ve
seen on motivational social media pages and one that’s supposed to inspire us to face the day
with zest. However, I wonder how we can show up if we have not dressed up. By dressing up I
mean putting on an outfit that makes us feel amazing and confident enough to take on the day.
Although it sounds easy, putting an outfit together can sometimes be a herculean task. Especially
when we’re not sure how best to dress. This is where knowing our body type comes in. When we
know what clothes enhance our features and make us look great, we can get up, dress up and
show up.
Given this, let’s consider some things before we discuss them further.

Firstly, the body types exist on a spectrum, and you may fall into one body type or exist between
two body types. Our bodies are bound to change as we age so our body type may change as well.
It is also possible that you’ll favour style tips from a body type completely different to yours.

Secondly, the tips in this article are merely a guide, style is personal, and you can make anything
work for you. So, take these tips and make them your own😊
Now we’ve gotten all that out the way, let’s look at the hourglass body type.

Note: To find your body type, you’ll need the following measurements: shoulders, bust, waist and hips. Find out how to take these measurements here

The Hourglass Body Type

You are an hourglass if your waist ÷ shoulders + bust = ≤ 0.75
or your waist ÷ hips = ≤ 0.75.

Characteristics of the body type:

➔ Shoulders and hips are proportionate
➔ Defined waist
➔ Curvy hips and bottom
➔ Round/slanted shoulders
➔ Thick thighs

What clothes to avoid

This body type is quite curvy and balanced on the top and bottom so you may want to style this
figure in a way that doesn’t upset this balance.

➔ Boxy/straight clothing: these types of clothing hide the curves and waist. An easy fix for this
is to define the waist with a belt or wear darker colours around the waist.

➔ Overembellished clothing: this includes clothing with very busy prints, ruffles, and details.
Opt for clothing with minimal details and embellishments or opt for clothing with
embellishments on the top and bottom, to keep the balance of the figure.

➔ Cropped pants: depending on how you style them, these pants can unbalance your silhouette
as they cut off the length of your legs. Pairing high-waisted cropped pants with a fitted top
can work to keep the balance of this figure.

Wardrobe must-haves

➔ Wrap tops, dresses, and jackets: these types of clothing are an ideal pick as they sit nicely on
your figure. You can also play with different colours and prints to spice up your wardrobe.

➔ High-waist skirts & trousers: these garments show off your natural curves and help keep the
balance of your overall figure.

➔ Fitted tops & jackets: these are a perfect addition to your wardrobe as they follow the
natural shape of your figure without making you look too top or bottom-heavy.

Key style tips
➔ Follow the natural silhouette: this is key to styling this figure because excessive detailing on
the top or bottom can unbalance the silhouettes and make them less flattering.

➔ Show off your curves: choose clothing made from soft fabric and clothing that is fitted (not
tight) to pull off this tip.

➔ Keep it simple: choosing simple, clean garments (pattern-wise) is a good way to go. Apply
this tip, especially when picking dresses. You can opt for garments that are simple in the
bodice and have details at the shoulders, cuffs, or calves.

That’s all for now folks! Now that you have these tips are you looking forward to dressing up and
showing up? Have you enjoyed the series so far? What tips have you tried out? We’re nearly at the
end of our body type series, with just one more body type to look at next: the plus-size body
type. Until next time😊

~ Boma


It’s Not the What, It’s The How

How to: Dress for your body type

Dressing up shouldn’t be a chore. If it is, then you’re doing it wrong (kidding). No but seriously,
getting dressed should be fun because there are so many ways, we can present ourselves to the
world. Sadly, this can also make this daily task very daunting. Regardless of how you feel,
dressing up can be fun, exciting, and even easy when you know how to wear what you already
have to flatter your figure.

That said, welcome to the fourth part of the body type series. Before we dive in, some general
caveats to keep in mind are:
1) The body types are on a spectrum, and you may oscillate between one type or another. Your
body type may also change over the years as your body changes, which is perfectly normal.

2) This is a style guide to help make getting dressed easier. You can wear anything you want but
it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the Rectangle body type.
Note: To find your body type, you’ll need the following measurements: shoulders, bust, waist and
hips. Find out how to take these measurements here.

The Rectangle Body Type

You are a rectangle if your waist ÷ shoulders or bust = ≥ 0.75
Characteristics of the body type:
➔ Athletic looking just like the inverted triangle
➔ Shoulders and hips are proportionate
➔ No definition of the waist
➔ Straight shoulders
➔ The bust and hips are the same widths
➔ Straight frame overall i.e., lack of curves and straight hips
and bottom

What clothes to avoid:
With this body type, you’ll want to break up the rectangle and add some curves. So, it’s best to steer
clear of clothes that emphasise the straightness of this figure.
Boxy tops/jackets: opt for tops that have a curvy shape to them. This will help add curves to
your silhouette. Belted, button-down and wrap shirts are good for this body type.

Straight cut clothing: as mentioned earlier, this body type is straight all around so wearing
straight cut clothing can emphasize this. However, as you know you’re free to wear whatever
you like. When wearing straight clothing on this body type, choose clothing with
embellishments around the shoulders, bust and hips.

Tops/dresses with straight necklines: square and straight necklines enhance the straightness
of the shoulders. If this is the look, you’re going for then opt for clothing with
embellishments around the neck.

Wardrobe must-haves:
➔ Clothing made from soft and flowy fabrics: these types of clothing soften the figure and add
volume to create gentle curves on this body type.

➔ Tops & dresses with low/wide necklines: off-shoulder, sweetheart, scoop, and V-necks are
flattering necklines for this shape as they soften the straight shoulders.

➔ Full skirts: creating volume at the bottom is a clever way to add curves to this body type and
detailed skirts do this wonderfully. Skirts/dresses with ruffles, ruching, gathers, or pleats are
ideal wardrobe must-haves for this figure.

Key style tips:
Define the waist: do this by wearing darker colours around the waist and keeping detail at
the waist minimal. Wearing belts or clothing cinched at the waist is also a terrific way to
achieve this.

Create curves: you can do this by wearing loose clothing nipped at the waist or wearing
clothing with asymmetrical lines or draping.

Play with different prints and textures: prints and textures can help to balance out the entire
silhouette as they can draw attention away from the shoulders, soften the figure or create a
visual illusion of curves.

So that’s all for the rectangle body type. Did any of these tips inspire you? Not quite sure you fall
under this body type. It’s fine, we’ve already covered style tips for some other body types: e.g.
Apple, Pear and Inverted Triangle. If you’re still not feeling any of these don’t worry, there’s still
more to come. In the next article, we’ll explore tips for the Hourglass body type.

Once again thanks for sticking around till the end of this article.

See you soon