Thinking about your body shape is one factor that can help with making clothing choices. So you can sew and wear the clothes that suit your lifestyle and will make you feel your best! After all, if we spend hours sewing our clothes it’s nice to be 100% satisfied with the results. Here we are providing our styling suggestions for different body shapes. They’re guaranteed to make your next sewing project a party! And...settling on your personal style will become a whole lot easier too! ;-)
Body shapes... ¿Qué?
You can think of body shape as being a combination of ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ proportions.
All bodies are different. But that’s not to say there aren’t similarities amongst body shapes, for example: pear, neat hourglass, inverted triangle, full hourglass, wide rectangle, apple or slim rectangle. If you understand your own body shape then it makes it easier to decide which parts of your body you want to highlight.
The ‘vertical proportions’ refer to the length of your upper and lower body and their proportion to one another. Do you have a short upper body and long legs? Or do you have a longer upper body relative to your legs? These vertical proportions play a key role in choosing how different designs will look on you when you wear them.
8 -types / full hourglasses
figures often have rounded shoulders, sturdy hips, a slender waist, and a short upper body. They often have a larger bust and lots of curves. Accentuating the waist a little, for example with a thin cord or belt, can provide visual balance to the hips and shoulders. Pencil skirts looks fabulous on full hourglass figures, as do fabrics with a fluid drape.
H -types / wide rectangles
tend to have shoulders and hips more or less the same width, and less of a defined waist. But a waistline can easily be created if that’s the effect you want. Try combining a top that stops just below the hips with a pair of skinny jeans. It’s the perfect way to make the upper body look longer. Knee length dresses are another good choice if the aim is to put the emphasis on gorgeous legs. If you’re wearing a pair of bootcut trousers or a flared skirt, you can try a top that is a little wider and straighter at the shoulder, which will emphasis the waist. V necklines look lovely, as do structured fabrics and bold, graphic prints.
X - types / neat hourglass
Are your shoulders and hips perfectly aligned and do you have a slender waist? If so, you’re a neat hourglass. Try selecting garments that follow your natural curves. In addition you can also emphasise your waist by tucking it into a top or dress, or wearing a pair of wide-legged or bootcut trousers with a fitted waist. As a neat hourglass, fabrics with a fluid drape that hug your natural curves look fantastic. ‘Less is more’ – that goes for accessories too.
I - types / slim rectangle
has a slender and straight figure. Shoulders and hips are equally wide, and they tend to have less of a defined waist and curves. Tops with voluminous sleeves, layers, and details in the bust and shoulder areas can create more shape. Ruffles around the lower body will also provide for additional volume, and can enhance the silhouette.
Experiment with mixing different prints: flowers + horizontal stripes, for example. Play with bold colour combinations – that will create definition and give more shape to your body. Slim rectangles can wear most trouser types very well, including skinny, flared and straight leg trousers. A-line skirts also look fantastic! As for fabric types, fabric with structure will look great ... perhaps with a mix of colours and prints!
V -types / inverted triangle
Inverted triangles tend to have a more “athletic” build with shoulders that are broader than the hips. If you prefer to emphasise your hips more than your shoulders, you can accentuate your lower body rather than your upper body. When selecting a pair of trousers or a skirt, bright or light colours and patterns are a great way to give the lower body more oomph. When deciding on the length of clothing on the upper body, for example tops or jackets, try hip length. When it comes to outfits, wearing a top in a fabric with a fluid drape together with a more structured fabric for skirts or trousers is a delightful combination.
O -types / apple
Apple shapes are rounder in the middle of the body, but with delicate ankles and lovely calves.
There are many options depending on which part of the body you’d like to emphasise. For example, skirts and dresses with a slit can draw attention to the ankles. And eye-catching accessories such as a pair of dazzling earrings or a bright scarf will draw focus to the face.
If you’d like to look longer in the body, you can try clothes with vertical patterns or seam lines, together with hem lines that are closer to the hips or knees. Form fitting or slightly more flared trousers/skirts and tailored or straight dresses with a subtle drape look great! As far as fabric choice is concerned, fabrics with a fluid drape that have a balance between prints and colours are a lovely choice.
A -types / pear
The pear’s upper body becomes wider from the hips down. Would you like to accentuate your upper body? You can try wearing bright colours and prints on your upper body and pair this with more muted shades on your lower body.
Another way for your upper body to stand out is to choose clothes with details around the bust and shoulders. For example, try breast pockets cut at different angles. You could also choose wide V necklines or eye catching collars, bishop or capped sleeves. Details such as ribbons, buttons, shoulder pads will also draw attention to your shoulders. Tops look particularly nice when they are tucked into trousers/skirts, as do classic boat necks with horizontal stripes!
Wide-leg trousers look fantastic on the pear. Tip: want to make your legs look longer? Try corduroy trousers with their long straight wales, or dresses/skirts with side slits to create visual length. Are you more of a curvy pear? Try fabrics with a fluid drape. Or if you are less curvy, structured fabrics can look wonderful!