Thursday, September 27, 2012


Hey curvy girls all over the world,
I get tons of questions about how to dress for your body type. Dressing for your shape takes patience and a lot of trying on clothes. Most people think they are limited when it comes to dressing for your body type but that's simply just not true. Identifying and understanding  your shape is about knowing what works for the largest and smallest parts of your body. Think of shape identification as a guideline to your best looks.

The most common shapes in women are apple, pear, hourglass, and a rectangle. There are other shapes and fruits that can be used to define your body type but lets just stick with the most common. Depending on your height and weight you can be a blend of two shapes. This is why trying on clothes when shopping is important. Most apple shaped women have large chests but there are some apple shaped women with small breasts and high waists which can blend in with the pear shape. 

To help make shopping a little more fun and less strenuous I've decided to to do a mini shop your shape post . I've listed the most common characteristics of each of the most common shapes, your style goal, what to buy, and because I am a visual learner, I also added some notable celebs who have your shape in common.

*Key Point to KnowOnce again, let me say that you can be a blend of two shapes so it's not always set in stone that your are 100% an apple shape or a pear shape but the goal is to get you to see what works for body based on the shape characteristics. Got it?!

Okay, lets go:

Apple-The most common characteristics of an apple shape are slim legs, large chest, and you carry most of your weight in your tummy and top half of your body.

Note: Some apple shapes are also referred to as diamond or oval shapes.

Style Goal- For most apple shapes creating or defining a waist is key. Since you carry most of your weight in your upper body it's important to try and create an illusion of an hourglass shape with your clothes. Show off your narrow hips and slim legs, while drawing attention away from your full tummy. Just take a look at Amber Riley, she has created an hourglass figure by placing a belt at the smallest part of her waist which is under her breast.

What to Buy- Pencil skirts that hit knee length and above the knee, skinny and straight leg jeans, wrap dresses, single breasted jackets that are hip length, ruching, printed bottoms, drop waist tops, A-line cuts, and v-necks.Since apple shapes have slim legs shorts work well for your body type. You also want to look for structured and tailored pieces. *Belts are your best friend for creating and defining a waist.

Featured Items: City Chic Skater Dress , Evans Contrast Blouse, Avenue One Button Blazer, Evans V-Neck Sweater,  New Look Full Skirt, Forever21 Skinny jeans

Celebrity's with your shape- Amber Riley, Jessica Simpson,  Jill Scott

Pear- The common characteristic of a pear shape is wide hips, thick thighs and legs, small defined waist, and narrow shoulders. Pear shapes are considered to be the most common on women today.Note: Some pear shapes can also look like they're bordering hourglass.

Plus Size Model: Fluvia Lacerda, Photo Credit: Madison Plus

Style Goal- If you're a pear your focus is going to be on balancing out your upper body with your lower half. Often pear shapes have a hard time finding bottoms that fit their ample hips and small waist so a tailor should be on your speed dial.

What to Buy- Flared bottoms, printed & detailed  tops, Flat front pants, highwaisted, A-line cuts, long jackets and blazers,  bootcut jeans, belts will aid you in showcasing your small waist.

Featured Items: Dorothy Perkins Dress, H&M blouse, Dorothy Perkins Peplum Top, Mod Cloth Full Skirt, Old Navy Pants

Celebrity's with your shape-Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Tyra Banks

HourglassThis is probably the most coveted shaped of them all due to a well balanced proportionate body. Think Jessica Rabbit. Common characteristics of an hourglass are large chest, defined waist, and round full bottom. 

Style Goal-  Hourglass shapes much like the apple tend to have a large chest. Your goal is to find clothes that  fit and flatter your curves. Hourglass shapes also tend to look great in classic cuts and styles.

What to Buy- Hourglass figures can honestly wear just about everything under the sun with the exception of billowy loose tops and dresses. Your figure can get lost in it if you don't choose the right piece. Your best styles are classic silhouettes like a shift dress, pencil skirts, and peplum. Clothes should be more structured and on the tailored side.

Featured Items: Dorothy Perkins Lace dress, Dorothy Perkins Peplum Dress, Eshakti Wrap shirt, Tailored Pencil Skirt , Cotton sateen contrast blazer , Dorothy Perkins Peplum Top, Eloquii Jeans.

Celebrity's with your shape-Christina Hendricks, Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johanson

Rectangle- The main characteristics of a rectangle shape are an undefined waist, same size bust and hips. Women with rectangular shapes can look a little boxy and boyish.

Queen Latifah is a full rectangle

Style Goal-To find clothes that create a curvier shape. 

What to Buy-Since the rectangle shape is proportionate you can go for bold prints, ruffled tops, asymmetrical cuts like tulip skirts, tiered styles, heavy knits, peplum, and wide leg pants/jeans

Featured Items: Dorothy Perkins Peplum Houndstooth Dress, Eshakti Blouse, Calvin Klein Jacket, Target Pleated skirt, LYS Pants

Celebrity's with your shape- Whitney Thompson, queen Latifah

That's it for today. Check back tomorrow to read our contributor Kawana's advice on shopping and dressing your plus size shop.

Don't forget to tell us what you think.


Anonymous said...

Where's that purple skater dress from in the apple section?

Naturally Nae said...

Great post! I'm really still learning what clothes look best for my body type. I feel as though I'm a combination of Apple and Hourglass. Because I'm tall, almost six feet and carry most of my weight from the hip up but I do cut in at the waist giving me the hour glass shape. I really appreciate this post, it helps A LOT!

Carsedra McKoy said...

I am hour glass all day, heavy up top smaller waist and then hips/butt, so seeing this really helps me. I do pretty good with picking things out for my body type but this give me better ideas!!!

Carsedra of:

Reina T. said...

Great Post! Where can I find the structured blazer in the hourglass post?!

PGRDresses said...

Great article. One of the better ones I have seen on the topic of styling for plus size women. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I wanna know I am short and I have big legs how do.I camoflage this to make it small I know dark denim...missy

Anonymous said...

Thanks I am guess I am a pear shape thanks for the help

mrsbossman48 said...

I really dont fall into any of these categories I am still trying to figure out what my body type is called

dong phuc cong so said...

you really give me solution, thanks your idea

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My new dress arrived in 2 days, and was slightly wrinkled only due to folding in bag, I'd expect it to be worse. But like I always say, who cares anyway. If that's a big issue, I am still not complaining.

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Millard Hiner said...

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It is always joyful to have a look at the fashionable and pretty looking boutique dresses online, and choose the most suited of them, according to the available budget.

Ella Imison said...

Thanks for the list!
My mom's a plus-sized and this is a good guide for gift-giving.

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Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this blog...I'm still trying to figure out just WHAT my shape is (I'm 5'11, smallish on top with wider shoulders, a non-defined waistline -- cuz that seems to be where all my weight is carried -- and so-so hips). I thought I had found it in the "Spoon" shape, but then as soon as I saw pictures, I could only shake my head. Then I thought 'Ok, maybe the Diamond", but that's not working for me either because, even though I wear a 42C/40D (depends on the maker), I'm still a lightweight when it comes to my bustline. I'm always told that with my height, I don't LOOK like I'm plus-size, but I'm pushing it in a size 20T right now. When I take pictures, I'm the one trying to breathe in so I can minimize my tummy as much as possible (and if I don't like the picture, I'll crop it & make it a head shot!). So now I'm in the process of updating my fall/winter wardrobe (hope I can find some sweaters that I like that aren't THIN like the ones I've been finding in stores like Avenue & Lane Bryant), and I'll definitely be taking my list with me as I look for tops/bottoms that'll accentuate my curves, flaws and all!

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For me personally, I keep a waist cincher on hand to be able to help achieve a better body shape when I go out :)

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