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Women's Body Types and How to Dress Them

Updated on October 23, 2012

Are you an "A", "T", "H" or "X"?

How to determine your body shape and what types of fashions that will help you make the most of that body type!

What kind of body shape do you have? Learn how to make the most of it! Maybe you're an "A" i.e. a little larger on the bottom than the top. There are tips below to show you how to even things out. Or maybe you are a "T" - with wide shoulders but quite slim on the bottom? There are also tricks for you. Or an "H" - learn how to introduce some curves with your choice of clothes? Or an "X"? Definitely you will want to know how to emphasize those curves.

Thanks to Eveology for this body shape diagnosis approach.

The "A"

This is otherwise known as a pear or triangle and weight is carried in the hip area.

How to determine if you are an "A"

The hip measurement will be the largest, with narrow shoulders and defined waist. If in doubt, take the shoulder measurement and add 5%. This will give you the minimum hip measurement to be considered an A.

If you are an A

What to do: Distract attention from hips. Divert attention to shoulder/chest areaWhat to wear: Fur collars, scarves draped horizontal will help to balance out hips. Close fitting necklace, punchy earringsWhat to avoid: Anything that creates a horizontal line across hips - low slung belt, tops that end at the widest part, pants with pockets that create this horizontal lineSome suggestions:-Jackets with strong shoulders or large lapels help to balance out hips-Boot cut pants will slenderize hips-Dark on the bottom always diminishes-Jackets should end above or below the widest part of hip-Use your accessories to give some flash to your upper body-Horizontal lines on a vest add width to shoulders-Flare leg balances out hips-A-line skirt will balance out hips-Graphic details on a top keep the attention on the upper half-Light on top, dark on the bottom is a quick and easy way to divert attention to the upper half. The eye will always go to the lighter colour.-Add an accessory at the neck as a double whammy to keep focus on top

The photo

This is an example of applying the light on top/dark on bottom approach, and adding a colourful accessory near the neck (the scarf). These garments are part of the Optionelle (now Eveology) spring/summer 2009 fashion collection, further information on which you can find in my Eveology lens.

The "T"

Broad and sometimes busty, this wedge shaped (or inverted triangle) woman carries their weight in their upper body

How to Determine if you are a "T"

The shoulder or bust measurement will be the largest. If in doubt, take the hip measurement and add 5%. This will give you the minimum shoulder measurement to be considered a T.

If you are a T

What to do: Distract attention from shoulders. Divert attention to slender hipsWhat to wear:Create the illusion of v neckline or slimming vertical line with longer necklaces. Bangles or chunky bracelets divert attention to your wrist, which is naturally close to hip area. Belts slung across hips are an instant way to balance slim hips with wide shoulders. Stand out shoe will divert attentionWhat to avoid: Avoid large lapels, shoulder pads or sleeve gathers that will emphasize your broad upper half. Horizontal lines across shoulders or bust areaSome suggestions:-Create the V-neckline by unbuttoning the top two buttons of shirt - it will slimdown shoulders-Stripes will hold your attention at the lower part of body-Double whammy by adding longer necklace to slim upper half-Light on the bottom, dark on top will keep attention southward-V-necklines, turtlenecks or a deep scoop slim down broad shoulders-Halters or straps that are closer to the neck will slim shoulders. Halter draws eye tofocus on collar bone rather than shoulders-Head to toe colour always creates a streamline silhouette-Choose pants that flare at the bottom to balance hips-Bottoms that have a detail like buttons, a print or embellishment divert attention tolower half-Jackets that cinch in at the waist and then flare at hips create the illusion of neededvolume in the hips-Slim skirt makes hips look wider to balance shoulders

The photo

This is an example of creating a V neckline, using stripes or other detail on the bottom to divert attention, and adding a longer necklace to slim the upper half. These garments are part of the Optionelle (now Eveology) spring/summer 2009 fashion collection, further information on which you can find in my Eveology lens.

The "H"

Anyone who craves a waistline is considered an H. They may have been diagnosed as an I, an O or a rectangle in the past. They carry their weight in their middle.

How to Determine if you are an "H"

Hip and shoulder measurements will be the same (or very close) and the waist will be very similar or larger than the hip or shoulder measurement. Take the hip or the shoulder measurement (remember that these will practically be the same) and subtract 25%. This will give you the minimum waist measurement to be considered an H.

If you are an H

What to do: Distract from waist. Create curves. Divert attention to upper and lower bodyWhat to wear: Belts - if slim or average with long torso, can use at waist to pull the eye inward and create waist, otherwise avoid in this area. A low slung belt can add volume to the hips and make waist smaller by comparison. Attention begging footwear will help to emphasize your slender legsWhat to avoid: Boxy cut, gathered pants that will hide your slender lower half. Detail at your middleSome suggestions:-Swirly print instantly creates curves and adds softness to silhouette-Empire cut and roomy fit hides tummy-Flare pant leg creates curves-Loose fit top hides sins-Create shape with a tailored jacket - a nip and flare at waist fakes a curvy figure. Pair with a flare cut pant and voila! Instant va voom!

The photo

This is an example of an empire cut top with a print to add softness and hide the tummy, and the use of flare pants to create curves. These garments are part of the Optionelle (now Eveology) spring/summer 2009 fashion collection, further information on which you can find in my Eveology lens.

The "X"

The curvy gal! Their shoulders and hips are balanced and they have a small defined waist. Also known as the hourglass, they are well proportioned.

How to Determine if you are an "X"

Shoulder and hips should be within 5% of each other. Take the hip (or shoulder) measurement and subtract 10 (assuming that you're working in inches). This will give you the approximate waist measurement for this person to be considered an X (within a couple of inches).

If you are an X

What to do: Keep hips and shoulders balanced. Show off smaller waist and va va voom shapeWhat to wear: Belts - always wear at waist to show it off. If busty - choose necklace that sits above bust line on chestWhat to avoid: Boxy cuts that hide your shape. All over horizontal stripes which will visually add bulk to your silhouetteSome suggestions:-Fitted tee hugs in the right places. Horizontal pattern emphasizes curvy shape-Pencil skirt shows off curves-Large collar and shiny shoes keep the upper and lower body in check. Belthighlights waist-Criss-cross under bust emphasizes shape-Accent your curves with a well fitted jacket and pant-Balance neckline with glossy shoes-Head to toe dressing will accent your silhouette

The photo

This is an example of a fitted tee with horizontal patterning (in this case, writing) to emphasize upper body curves, and a pencil skirt to emphasize the lower body ones. These garments are part of the Optionelle (now Eveology) spring/summer 2009 fashion collection, further information on which you can find in my Eveology lens.

Some Style book recommendations - Some books with sensible advice on how to dress your best

What about Men's Body Types?

I've had a few questions about that...

As I jokingly replied in the feedback section, men are mostly "H"s and a few lucky ones are "T"s. And the "T" is basically what men want to strive for (like the "X" type for women). So here's a quick summary for men... I'm still searching for photos, so this is a work in progress...

The "H":

As in the women's types, this type carries their weight in their middle.

How to Determine if you are an "H"

This is essentially the same as the women's determination. Hip and shoulder measurements will be the same or very close (shoulder measures are often the larger of the two) and the waist will be very similar or larger than the hip or shoulder measurement.

If you are an H

What to do: Distract from waist. Divert attention to upper bodyWhat to wear: Belts - as with women, a low slung belt can add volume to the hips and make waist smaller by comparisonWhat to avoid: Boxy cuts - why be a rectangle?Some suggestions:-Try to emphasize your upper body (shoulders). This is why most men's jackets have shoulder pads-Choose shirts/tops that are fitted but that don't excessively hug the body, especially if you are more of an "O" (larger in the waist)

The "T"

This inverted triangle or wedge shape is the "desired" men's body type.

How to Determine if you are a "T"

Like for women types, the shoulder measurement will be the largest. If in doubt, take the hip measurement and add 5%. This will give you the minimum shoulder measurement to be considered a T.

If you are a T

What to do: By all means, attract attention to the shoulders and to the hips/legsWhat to wear: What women want to avoid, you want to emphasize: larger lapels, shoulder pads or sleeve gathers in reasonable proportion will emphasize your broad upper half, but don't overdo it. Horizontal lines across the the shoulders or pectoral area will also highlight this area.What to avoid: Not too much, most men's fashions will do justice to your body typeSome suggestions:- None yet... most men's fashions are made for this type

Like some of the styles in the photos here?

As I said in the modules above, the styles are Eveology (formerly Optionelle)

NOTE: Eveology is no longer in business, but you can still find some of the fashions on eBay.

Eveology (formerly Optionelle) on eBay

Here's some of the auctions, etc on eBay featuring Eveology/Optionelle fashions:

Don't forget to accessorize - how about some shoes?

Accessories, like just the right shoe, a beautiful necklace, a scarf, a handbag are all part of making the most of your body shape. Use these as accent pieces to either draw attention to or away from certain body points.

More accessory possibilities - necklaces

If you have a great decolletage, you may want to draw attention there and away from other areas

eBay is also a good place to try to find some deals on accessories

Handbags... I love handbags!

I'd love your feedback on this lens, and welcome your questions on the subject matter!

What did you think?

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    • profile image

      yourbodytype 4 years ago

      every body type has its own diet!

    • Fit And Fab profile image

      Fit And Fab 4 years ago

      Interesting read and suggestions based on body type. Thanks for sharing.

    • AdeelAthar LM profile image

      AdeelAthar LM 5 years ago

      Awesome Suggestions.

    • profile image

      jenifer-david 5 years ago

      Suggestion For Women Fashion is required if you are quiet fashionable.

    • syaza lm profile image

      syaza lm 5 years ago

      Great lens! :)

    • truorder profile image

      truorder 5 years ago

      Great fashion tips. Thank you.

    • profile image

      jess22 6 years ago

      I have been looking around the internet trying to figure out my body type, but Iâm not having much success. Could you help me out? Iâm 6â1â and an athlete. I work out a lot, but when I do gain weight it goes straight to my midsection. I have long arms and legs, both toned from athletics. My rib cage is large, but I only am a b cup. I donât have a Kim Kardashian butt, but its larger than average. My shoulders and hips are about the same size and I have no definite waistline. I would say I am an apple, because my midsection is where it is the hardest for me to lose weight, but I donât have a large bust. Itâs really difficult for me to find clothes that fit and every store I go to I feel like I wear a differnet size. Any suggestions?

    • profile image

      huvalbd 6 years ago

      Helpful and concise advice. Thanks much!

    • DallasNicole LM profile image

      DallasNicole LM 6 years ago

      Great Lens! Blessed!

    • howdoyouspellst profile image

      howdoyouspellst 6 years ago

      Very nice lens!! There's some good information here. I'm definitely an A, with my big hips and small top. Thanks for the tips on how to dress!

    • GoldenChile profile image

      GoldenChile 6 years ago

      nice lens. Knowing your body and what will enhance it is the key to looking great.

    • Princessa LM profile image

      Princessa LM 8 years ago

      Excellent lense. The secret to looking great, confident and sexy is to know your body shape and dress accordingly.

    • profile image

      falasharegina 8 years ago

      thanks for the info.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Very informative fashion lens! Five stars and lensrolled to my fashion lenses. Also I'd love to have you join my fashion groups: Fashion Guru's and Discount Family Fashions.

    • cjsysreform profile image

      cjsysreform 8 years ago

      Me again. I've also lensrolled this to my latest lens, The Pretty Bitty Bra Guide. :)

      Have you submitted this to spirituality's Women and Girls Shopping group? It's a great one to help more people find your lens.

    • cjsysreform profile image

      cjsysreform 8 years ago

      Great information! I'm not really any of these, though... the closest to my body type is X, but I'm too flat-chested to be an hourglass. Sigh.

      Rated 5* and lensrolled to Designer Jeans for Women: An eBay Buyer's Guide. In that lens I've included some information on how designer jean brands fit various body types. Please lensroll back if you think this will be of interest to your visitors. Thanks!

    • cineteq profile image

      John Parr 8 years ago from Montreal

      Great approach, love the photos and content. 5 stars!

    • ChrysW LM profile image
      Author

      ChrysW LM 8 years ago

      Ha ha, it can apply to a man if you want it to ;-) Technically, and typically, men fit into the "H" category... you should be wearing empire waists, flared pants and a tailored jacket to make the most of your feminine curves...[in reply to AndrewShim]

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great work. I'm personally an "O" body type... but I suppose guys' body types don't count here!