We all know that style is nothing if the clothes don’t fit us well. So to find the most flattering pieces of clothing, you need to know your body type. Here’s how to get to know your body shape, according to Joy of Clothes: look at yourself in the mirror in your underwear. Stand with your legs together and your arms a bit away from your sides. Examine the area from under your arms, past your bust and ribcage, over your waist and hips to the fullest part of your thighs. Then check your proportion against our guide below.
Your shape: Pear You have: Full hips, shoulders narrower than your hips, and a defined waist What to wear: Camouflage your hips but show off your shoulders and accentuate your small waist with fit-and-flared dresses. Your no-fail outfit is a fitted top that hits the smallest part of your waist, pulled together with waist-cinching belts and deep pleated a-line skirts. Separates work best, like Kate Winslet here.
Your shape: Straight You have: Shoulders, waist, and hips are within the same ratio What to wear: Create an illusion of curves around hips and bust and of the waist. Anything flowing and feminine adds subtle volume to an otherwise boyish figure. Gwyneth Paltrow emphasizes her slim waist with a belt (in the billboard) and a high waist style and creates roundness on her neckline and sleeves.
Your shape: Hourglass You have: Broad shoulders, a trim waist, and full hips. What to wear: Show it off in a slim-fitting sheath dress with a nipped-in waist that flaunts all your curves. Salma Hayek stays away from boxy shapes and always opts for a silhouette that skims her hourglass figure. Invest in a very good bra that will provide your bust full support and define your waist even more.
Your shape: Apple You have: Round shoulders, a full middle, and a big bust What to wear: You want to unnecessary bulk (or excess fabric) around the bosom, waist and tummy. So keep it simple in this area, going for clothing line that’s straight or slightly fitted. Catherine Zeta Jones cuts a slimmer figure by keeping her silhouette fitted here, from the bust along to her waist.
Your shape: Inverted triangle You have: You have square shoulders that are wider than your hips. What to wear: You want to balance your bust with your hips so look for tops that will accentuate your waist. The wide band on Jessica Alba’s dark-colored dress here defines her waistline while the deep V-neck narrows her upper body. Always go for tailored shirts and jackets.