The Beginners Guide to Discovering Your Body Shape


We’ve discussed how defining your personal style involves a 2-part cocktail. One part self-knowledge, and the other self-confidence. While part of that process involves some personal soul searching, there are some key foundations to help build your self-awareness when it comes to your style.

One of those foundational elements is knowing your body shape. Think about it, how can you effortlessly express your personal style if you don’t understand your body’s proportions. It’s an essential and yet many women haven’t a clue as to how their body is shaped, which leads to wasted time and money buying items that end up sitting in the back of the closet. ::raises hand:: I know I’m guilty of this.

There are 5 body shapes women generally fall into – inverted triangle, rectangle, pear, hourglass, and apple. In this post I’m going to show you how to discover which body shape you have so you can start becoming more self-aware of what items may or may not work for you.

Now keep in mind that these are very broad body type definitions. You may find yourself having characteristics of two different shapes, and that’s okay! Every body is unique and no one person is going to fit exactly into one shape. This is meant to help set some general guidelines and principles for how to dress your body.

Warning: there is going to be some math involved, nothing too strenuous, but you may want to bust open a calculator 😉

First we’re going to take some measurements, so grab a pen, paper, and a measuring tape!

Step 1

Your Shoulders: Place the measuring tape on the tip of your shoulder and wrap it around, almost like wearing a shawl, till the end meets back at the original shoulder. This is the widest circumference of your shoulders.

Note: you may need a friend to help get the most accurate measurement.

Step 2

Your Bust: Stand up straight, wrap the measuring tape around your back and across the fullest part of your breasts (usually right across the middle), pull so it’s taut but not to the point where your breasts are squished, if that happens you’ve gone too far.

Step 3

Your Waist: Wrap the measuring tape around the smallest part of your natural waistline. It should lay flat against your back and meet just above your belly button.

Step 4

Your Hips: Place the tip of the measuring tape on one hip, just below the hip bone, and wrap around the fullest part of your butt, keeping the tape flat, and bringing it back around to the meeting point.

Note: this is where a lot of women tend to cheat, so save yourself from future frustrations when shopping and be honest.

After recording your measurements continue reading to discover your body shape!

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Just to reiterate, you may find you have characteristics of more than one body shape and that’s okay! Our bodies are all unique, I personally hover between an hourglass shape and rectangle – I have curves in my hips, thighs, bottom, and bust, however my waist only has slight definition, definitely not as much as a true hourglass shape.

Now don’t worry, I’m not just going to give you this information and leave you to figure everything else on your own :) Consider this an introductory post to an upcoming series on dressing for your body shape. I’ll go through each shape in detail over the next few weeks, sharing guidelines on how to dress each one.

Congrats to you for taking a step towards increased self-knowledge and effortless style! Don’t forget to share your discovery! You can shoot me an email, leave a comment, or connect via social media (my favorites being Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!).

As always, I’m here to answer any questions you may have, so don’t hesitate to ask!

Thanks for reading!


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2 Responses to The Beginners Guide to Discovering Your Body Shape

  1. […] A lot of websites will tell you to find a celebrity style icon. Forget that foolishness. Start with yourself. What are you comfortable in? Look in your closet. Is there a colour that keeps coming up? Is there a style of pant that you find looks really great on you? Those are probably the pieces that look great on you. You are most likely comfortable in those things. Find cuts and colours that work with your body shape. […]