Dressing Your Body Type Part III: Hourglass, Inverted Triangle and Rectangle

It’s time for Part III of my four part series on Dressing Your Body Type. In this blog, I will cover the Hourglass, Inverted Triangle and Rectangle shapes. Let’s dive in.

Hourglass Shape: Defined by delicate bones, a large bust, a small waist and curved hips with shapely legs

Key Figure Balancing Actions: Draw attention to your waist and emphasize your curves!

Ways to do this:

  1. Draw attention to your waist by using waist bands and belts. Your body type was made for cropped tops and mid rise pants.
  2. Soft and flowy fabrics are your friend, as they will show off your curves. Wrap styles are particularly flattering on you, whether it is a wrap skirt or dress.
  3. If you have a very large bust or a round and protruding rear, be careful not to cinch your waist too tight, as it will emphasize this.
  4. Oversized styles just hide all of your assets. Shoot for semi-fitted styles that either define your waist or hint at your waist.
  5. Choose medium sized handbags that hit at your waist.
  6. As this body type usually has fine bones, you should choose delicate jewelry and low profile shoes

Best styles to choose from: Anything semi-fitted will flatter your curves. Tailored jackets and short skirts will look lovely on your as will wrap styles, as already mentioned. Choose styles that can be belted to show off your waist. Wearing your blouse knotted and cropped with jeans will show your slim waist and hips. Avoid loose fitting and boxy styles.

Inverted Triangle: Defined by broad shoulders, a medium to large bust, a defined waist that is medium width, narrow hips, long legs.

Key Figure Balancing Actions: Your legs and hips are your best feature, so draw attention to this part of your body. You are broad shouldered, so you will want to balance this part of your body out with your smaller lower half. Draw attention away from your shoulders and upper body.

Ways to do this:

  1. Because of your pretty legs, skirts and short dresses will be a great choice for you. Because of your slim hips, you will look nice in straight or a-line styles. You will also look nice in slacks, jeans, and leggings.
  2. Wearing loose and non-tailored or semi-tailored tops will be your best bet to minimize your upper torso. Avoid structured shoulders or anything with shoulder pads, as it will add extra girth to your shoulders. For this same reason, avoid necklines that draw attention to your shoulders like boat necks.
  3. Styles that have loose sleeves like kimono, raglan, and dropped will give you extra room in the bust. V necks will optically slim your upper torso, the deeper the better.
  4. Minimize your upper body by using dark and neutral colors on top and play up your strengths by wearing color on the bottom.
  5. You will want to choose better quality, heavier fabrics for your top that have a good drape and do not cling.
  6. Choose low waisted styles and low slung belts that fall at your hip instead of your waist.
  7. Wear handbags so they sit at your slim hips. Avoid shoulder bags.

Best Styles To Choose From: Tie belts will be your friend because you can tie them at your hips instead of your waist. Any bottom that has a mid-rise instead of a regular rise will be more flattering on you. Flared skirts and dresses will help balance your shoulders. A loose fitting knit top tucked into a mid rise skirt would be very flattering. Wearing a scarf horizontally will help give the optical illusion of elongating your torso. Slimmed legged bottoms with loose fitting tops are also a great look for you. This body type can also do palazzo pants well when they are paired with a top that goes past the hips.

Straight/Rectangle: Defined by a “square” shape where the upper and lower torso are the same width, a medium sized bust, a wide rib cage, a thick waist, a flattened rear, and slender legs.

Key Figure Balancing Actions: Draw attention away from your rib cage and waist. Draw attention to your legs.

Ways to do this:

  1. Avoid skirts that add girth with style details like gathered or tiered. Instead choose sleek skirts in any style from short to long, tailored to a-line.
  2. Tailored slacks and mid rise bottoms will flatter you without bringing attention to your waist.
  3. Wear longer tops with slim bottoms to draw attention to your strengths. You can tuck in a top, but make sure you pair a jacket over the top to avoid drawing attention to your waist.
  4. A monochromatic (all one color) or keeping your jacket and pant the same color and adding a punch of color in the middle will be the most slimming.
  5. Tops should not be clingy. Choose flowy, medium to heavy weight fabrics that drape well.
  6. Use v necks to vertically slim your torso.
  7. This figure type is often short waisted so you will want to avoid cutting your body off at your waist or it will emphasize this. Make sure your demarcation of color or style happens below the waist.

Best Styles To Choose From: Non tailored shirt dress (buttons up the front with a collar). Longer jacket that fits loose over a short skirt. Loose shift style dress. Loose fitting safari jacket that hits mid to low hip with slim legged pants. Styles that have a dropped waist. Avoid empire waists. Tunic dresses.

Watch my live video on these three body types for examples of what to wear. You can watch here tonight at 6 p.m. MST. The first blog post in the series was called Dressing Your Body Type: The Fundamentals and the second was Dressing Your Body Type: Pear, Diamond and Round. You can see the videos for this series on my YouTube page here.