Your body type is beautiful. Here's how to find the clothes that match
Shopping for your shape made easy.
If shopping for a new outfit seems like enduring some kind of self-inflicted torture, we hear you. With so many fits, styles and finishes it's a daunting task to say the least. And because comfort is key to looking and feeling your best, we talked to style expert Genny Iannucci for the lowdown on how we should be shopping and what pieces our wardrobes are missing. She has been dressing women of all shapes and sizes for over 25 years and refreshingly, she doesn't believe that one size fits all — instead she encourages women to style themselves according to their unique shape. So she stopped by The Goods to offer her styling tips for the three most common body types.
Finding your shape
There are so many different body shapes out there and knowing yours will help you dress your figure in the most flattering silhouette. You can figure out your body shape by looking at three key measurements: bust, waist, and your hip, in relation to one another. The shapes Genny unpacked in detail are the rectangle, triangle, and oval — three of the most common body types.
Before getting to the looks, Genny has a few tips to prevent your next shopping trip from ending in a headache. Shopping for jeans can be especially stressful, so to keep it from feeling overwhelming, make sure to give yourself lots of time so you don't feel rushed. And don't be hard on yourself — shaming yourself in the changing room for not sticking to a diet won't make the process any easier. Instead of trying to work against your body, take advantage of the specialists at the stores that know the denim because there are tons of options. With the right fit, any body type looks stunning.
Rectangle body shape
For a rectangle body type, the bust and hip measurements are the same or very similar with minimal waist definition — it's mostly straight up and down. Someone with this body type might feel that waistlines on clothing pieces often feel a little snug. To make the most of this shape, use clothing to create gentle curves and the illusion of a more defined waist.
If you have a rectangle shape, don't look for pieces that have set-in waistbands. Instead opt for a dress that has shaping in the waist and stretch, so it can skim your curves. This dress has ruching which creates soft folds and really creates waist definition, so look for similar detailing or a soft belt. Shop for dresses and blouses that come in just under the bust to highlight the narrowest part of the upper body and give more shape and curves to the upper torso. Details that add softness and curves, like sleeves or curved edges such as round toed shoes will flatter and help you look your best.
When shopping for jeans, look for pairs that create shape and curves. Mid to lower rise jeans create the illusion of a smaller waist by bringing soft focus to the hips. Skinny, flare and bootcut fits all work. This pair has some volume through the leg in order to create shape in her lower torso. Opt for details like lighter washes, brighter colours, metallic finishes, fades along the legs, or whiskering at the thighs, which will add curves and shape to thighs.
Triangle body shape
For a triangle body type, the bust measurement is smaller than the hip measurement with a well-defined waist. Typically someone with this body shape will wear bottom pieces that are two or more sizes larger compared to their upper half. To make the most of this shape, Genny recommends creating the illusion of added width in the upper torso while visually minimizing the hips.
The strategic use of colour and prints in this outfit creates a flattering look for a triangle figure. When a print is teamed with a solid piece, the printed piece draws the eye and appears to advance, making the area it covers appear larger and thereby creating the illusion of greater balance through the frame. The texture and volume in this look help balance out wide hips. Clean lines in the lower torso work best here. For pants, shop for something with a clean, flat front, and something that falls straight off your hip instead of wrapping tightly around your body — wide legs are great for this, and they're super trendy right now. Pair a wide leg trouser with a higher heel so you don't get lost in the fabric, and avoid waistline gather and pleats to help keep your waist defined.
If you have a triangle shape, the right pair of jeans can help balance your silhouette, so Genny went with a boot cut flare jean that works to balance the hips. Always select the perfect fit through your fullest area first, in this case the hips and thighs and then get it tailored if it's loose at the waist. Genny says to avoid low-rise jeans which can create the illusion of greater width through the hip area — instead, mid-rise will work best for you. Darker washes slim and elongate the legs, and for a flattering look, opt for clean outside seams, free from embellishment or contrast stitching. Those details will only call attention to thighs. Pair with a higher heel for a stunning statement.
Oval body shape
For the oval body type, the bust and hip measurements are the same or very similar, with a waist measurement that is larger than the bust and hips. Often times someone with this body shape will find fitting clothing through the waistline challenging. To make the most of this shape, use clothing to create the illusion of a trimmer waistline.
This jacket has wider lapels which work to draw the eye across the shoulders and visually broaden the shoulders which in turn creates the illusion of a trimmer waistline. The jacket also has gentle shaping through the waistline. Avoid the temptation to wear overly loose styles which will add visual weight. To minimize the stomach, look for tunic or A-line style tops that float over the tummy, do not cling, and that fall straight off the stomach and ends below the fullest part of the tummy. An ideal length of a shirt for most women with this body shape is to about at the top of the leg. Any longer, and you might be adding extra volume to the bottom of your body.
When shopping for jeans, look for a pair that fits comfortably through the waist, flatters the tummy, and creates a long lean line. A classic straight leg jean that falls straight from the hip is a great option for an oval figure. Dark washes are a flattering option and create a long, lean line. Look for jeans that fit and support your tummy. If it is too tight, it's not going to be comfortable and you may create some "spillover" of the tummy and feel uncomfortable all day. Instead, the top of your jeans should sit at or just below the belly button, with the waistband sitting across, but never below the belly. Mid-rise jeans are great for this shape. Look for details like dark washes, and softer materials so that the jean flows with your curves, instead of stiff denim that may just add bulk.