ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: How to dress for your body shape

Picture yourself at your favourite clothing label, going through an abundance of outfit choices! Confusion, panic and hesitance are often the unwanted emotions that accompany us on our shopping sprees. Will they have my size? Will this fit me properly? Will I be able to carry this off? Does the colour look right on me? Just some of the questions, most women find themselves pondering over, whilst making their ways to the fitting rooms!

To avoid these panic moments and confusion, we need to realise that skimming through size tags isn’t enough of a factor to decide whether or not we should go for that mini black dress or that bright off-shoulder peplum! We need to realise that our body shape plays an important role in determining the type of clothes that are most likely to suit us. Although, height and weight do play an important role in our choice of clothes, body proportions are the key to picking out the right outfit.

Once you’ve figured out your body shape, you’ll know exactly which outfits to embrace and which ones to avoid. While there are a number of different body shapes to refer to, the four main categories include: hourglass, wedge-shaped, pear-shaped and rectangular/column-shaped. Read on to find out which category you fall under, the type of clothes you should that will compliment your body and the styles you should avoid…


Hourglass-shaped body: This figure is on the wish-list for most women! You know you’re an hourglass if your upper body and lower body are roughly the same proportions, along with a well-defined waist. Almost any type of outfit is flattering to this figure. Your curves are your asset, so be sure to highlight them!

What you should wear: You don’t need to add dimension or volume to any part of your body. Go all-out with pencil skirts, bodysuits and body-hugging outfits that draw attention to your jaw-dropping figure. You can easily flaunt your curves with some bold outfit choices! High-waist jeans, sweetheart necklines and V-necks are also very well suited for this body-type.

Styles you should avoid: Clothes that are ill-fitted and baggy might make you look stout. Also, avoid heavy fabrics that will add unnecessary volume to your body-type.

Celebrity: Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé

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Wedge-shaped body: Also known as the inverted-triangle, this body type includes wide shoulders and a broad chest with a relatively narrow waistline. This body shape makes for a very athletic figure. The legs are usually the best asset with this body-type and be sure to accentuate your torso while dressing up.

What you should wear: Go for clothes that will help define your sleek waistline. So, adding belts to your outfits or opting for high-waist bottoms will be ideal. Straight cuts such as cigarette style pants will look great on you! Definitely choose bright colours for your lower-body as you can pull them off with great flare. No to forget, you must opt for those occasional pant-suits and flowy, strapless gowns that will help highlight your wonderful upper body-frame.

Styles you should avoid: Try and stay away from spaghetti strap tops and boat line necks, which will draw unwanted attention to your shoulders. Strictly avoid ill-fitted clothes and jacket-style lehengas.

Celebrity: Teri Hatcher, Naomi Campbell

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It’s all about that base!

Pear-shaped body: This one is a common body shape seen amongst most women. It means that your lower body is wider than your upper body. Your hips, thighs and derrière are much more prominent than your shoulders and your chest. So, the lower body definitely takes centre stage in this body type!

What you should wear: Flared bottoms should be your go-to with this body shape. A-line skirts, skater skirts or wide-leg pants, paired with body-fit tops/crop-tops will help you create the illusion of an hourglass figure, removing the unwanted attention from your lower body. Lighter shades for the upper-half contrasted with dark-coloured bottoms also work well with for pear-shaped figures.

Styles you should avoid: Body-fitting bottoms will highlight your wide lower body and therefore, should be avoided. However, if you do want to wear tight-fitted bottoms, make sure you pair it with a flowy or ruffle top!

Celebrity: Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea

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Slim and Slender!

Column-shape/rectangular body: If you have this body shape, your chest, waist and lower body measurements would not vary to a great extent, giving your body a straight, column-like look. People with this body shape are usually slim and slender and often lack curves. The arms and legs are a great asset here!

What you should wear: Always go for the scoop necks and the sweetheart necklines to accentuate your curves. Wearing ruffle tops or collar shirts will give your upper body the dimension that is required. You should make belts an essential accessory in your wardrobe which will help define your waistline and add slight curves to your body. Layering up with accessories and experimenting with colour-blocking can also be a good idea!

Styles you should avoid: Do not go for something that is body-hugging or too lose because that will bring out your straight frame. Always find a balance between the two by either adding lose bottoms with a tight top or vice versa. Also, avoid vertical patterns as that will draw attention to your linearity.

Celebrity: Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman

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Somya Mehta

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