How to dress for your body shape

Pear, apple, rectangle, triangle body shapes

Are you a pear or apple? We’re talking fashion, not food, with a fashion guru who knows a thing or two about dressing for your body shape.  

Dressing for your body type is a must for women who want to look and feel amazing in everything they put on.

While most women have an idea about what shape their body is, they are not quite sure how to go about choosing clothes to complement it.

We spoke to style experts at The Box Fashion to get some tips on what works best for your body shape.

“When dressing for your body shape, the aim is to maintain the correct proportions, because well-balanced proportions can make you look slimmer. You always want to create the illusion of a proportional hourglass figure. You know, like Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara,” says founder Winessa Potgieter.

You’ve probably heard of the terms apple and pear-shaped when describing a woman’s body type, but Winessa says they prefer to use the lettering system.

The four basic shapes are A, X, V and I.

A (pear/triangle shaped)

A woman with this body shape has a smaller upper body compared to her lower body.

DO: Wear designs that emphasise a horizontal focal point above the waist e.g. off-the-shoulder tops and high-waisted skirts or trousers.

DON’T:  Wear shapeless upper body garments that hide your smaller torso, but if you choose a looser top, tuck it in rather than having the top ending on your hip-line.


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X (hourglass)

Your upper body is similar in size to your lower body (with a small waist)

DO: Wear tailored clothing that accentuates your waistline e.g. a tailored blazer or by cinching your waist with a belt.

DON’T: Wear untailored, bulky clothes that make you look as if you have no shape.

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V – (inverted triangle)

You have a bigger upper body than a lower body

DO: Place the focus below your waist-line e.g. printed trousers, a skirt with a lace or frill border and embellished jeans.

DON’T: Wear tops with extra volume such as off-the-shoulder looks, puffed sleeves or a bulky scarf if you have a large chest.

I (Apple/rectangle)

You don’t have a defined waist.

DO: Wear garments that create an illusion of a waistline, such as an A-line skirt. Show off those legs, opt for shoes with details or choose shorter hemlines.

DON’T: Avoid big shapeless garments that hide your figure and instead of high necklines, rather choose a V-neck.

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Regardless of what body type you have, Winessa says there are a few key fashion items every woman needs in her closet.

Items such as a black or navy blazer, white crisp button-up shirt, striped t-shirt and a red lip will never go out of style. Invest wisely, choose quality over quantity.

“However, if there is one fashion trend that exemplifies 2018, it would definitely be florals! The floral prints we are seeing now, often have dark backgrounds, which is perfect for camouflaging any lumps and bumps. So, whether it is a scarf, blouse, skirt or dress, as long as it has moody blooms in your preferred style, it is guaranteed for be a fashion win from now until at least summer,” she says.

The Box Fashion is South Africa’s first and only accessories membership/subscription service that provides clients with the latest fashion pieces and styling advice – all delivered to your doorstep in a box.

Visit their website for more details.

Main image: iStock (gpointstudio)