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How To: Dress for Your Body Type

Marisa Anziano

Just like snowflakes, each one of us is different and unique especially when it comes to our figures. This means that not all of the latest trends look good on all of us. Therefore, it is pertinent to understand how to dress your specific body shape. Easier said than done, right? Now, unless your name is Clinton Kelly, of TLC’s “What Not to Wear”, chances are you are not entirely certain how to dress for your body shape. In fact, you might not even know what your body shape is to begin with. But have no fear; I am here to help you solve this ever-present dilemma. For starters, there are four main body types: banana, apple, hourglass, and pear. Despite the stupid monikers, these are quite helpful when figuring out what looks best on you.

“I try to focus less on the size of the clothing and more on how it looks and fits. At the end of the day, when you look better, you feel better. Personally that is why I like to wear skinny jeans. They go with every outfit and also really flatter your figure,” said senior Radiology Technology major Denise Finkel.

Banana: 46 percent of women have banana-shaped bodies. You have a straight, rectangular physique in which your hips and waist are about the same size. In order to avoid looking lanky or boyish, you should cinch in your waist to give the allusion of having curves. You want to add more texture, dimension, and femininity to your look. For example, try shirts with ruffles and frills while avoiding baggy clothing—that will only make you look boxier. Gwyneth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker are banana-shaped as well so check out how they dress.

Apple: The 14 percent of women that are apple-shaped are more top heavy than the other body types. Emphasize your legs, bust, and neck while camouflaging your waist and shoulders/arms. For instance, flowing v-neck tops that drape or skim over your midsection work to highlight your best attributes. Wear more flared or boot cut jeans as opposed to skinny jeans to help with more balance. Use Tyra Banks or Angelina Jolie as your body type double.

Hourglass: This is probably the most well-known shape, thanks to the Kardashians and Sir Mix-A-Lot’s famous hit “Baby Got Back”. However, only about eight percent of women are that lucky. Suffice it to say, we are no longer friends…only kidding! An hourglass shape is exactly what it sounds like—your bust and your hips are equal and your waist is narrow, you lucky girl. Make sure you dress to flatter, and not flatten, your curves. Take some cues from Sofia Vergara or Scarlett Johansson.

Pear: If you are more bottom heavy, meaning your hips are significantly larger than your bust, you are like the 20 percent of women who are pear-shaped. Slim your hips and butt to give the appearance of being more proportionate. Choose materials like wool or denim that keep their shape to streamline your body. Wear clean tailored lines on the bottom and a pop-of-color top to draw attention upwards. Celebrities like Rihanna or Kate Hudson can help you learn how to dress more flattering.

For more information, check out pictures of the celebrities mentioned to see what works best for them. After all, they are the ones with stylists that know what they are talking about. Lastly, check out website like where you can answer a few questions, figure out your body shape, and shop only clothes that pertain to it. Now go out there and get some fabulous, well-fitting clothes.

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