Every woman of every shape and size is beautiful. And to accentuate that beauty, find out your right size and dress accordingly.
The era of people obsessing over their size, shaming others who don't fit into stereotypical forms, and celebs taking pride in Size 0 is over. Anyone who still measures people's worth based on how much they weigh is so last season and downright ignorant. Celebs, fitness experts, influencers, models, sportswomen, and individuals from all walks of life are beginning to lend their voice to an important cause: There is no perfect size or shape, and absolutely no fad, trend, or misogynist beliefs is worth treating your body like an enemy.
Some stars doing incredible work in the Body Positive Movement are Jameela Jamil, Ashley Graham, and Demi Lovato. The smarter of the brands and designers have been quick to join the movement. Platforms like Instagram are enabling individuals to stand up for the cause and encourage others to love themselves—with the flab, wrinkles, love handles, cellulite, and all. While this seems to be a fairly recent phenomenon, two fashion experts took the concept of celebrating all shapes and sizes as early as 2001, nearly two decades ago.
In their book, The Body Shape Bible, Trinny and Susannah outline 12 body shapes that pretty much covers every possible form. Apart from helping you identify your shape, they also suggest the cuts, forms, designs, and minor details to optimize your unique form and celebrate your body. To identify your body shape, use a full-length mirror. Or you could use the body shape calculator tool given at the end of the article. Be objective while you identify your shape and remember that there is no one perfect shape or form. The only people who benefit from you feeling insecure about your body is the billion-dollar cosmetic industry and a few unhappy souls who cannot bear to watch others feel comfortable in their bodies. You could also use this chart recreated based on Lisa Rutland's illustration.
According to Trinny and Susannah, the body shapes can be categorized as top-heavy, bottom-heavy, or nearly equal forms:
Think Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, and Susan Sarandon. If you have a long waist, slim hips, slight waist and a big bosom, you fall in the same category of these brilliant women.
Things that compliment your body: Lollipops can carry off a wide range of silhouettes. The key is to pick styles that balance the proportions, like broaden the shoulders and hips to even out the top and bottom halves. Coats where the buttons begin from your waist, a tank top beneath a shirt, printed jackets (breaks the expanse on the top half), draping skirts that are fluid, bell-bottoms or pants that are wide at the ankle, and the sweetheart neckline are the most flattering styles on you. If you love dresses, those with some strategic knots and gathers that accentuate the right places can make your elegant frame look party-ready in no time.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Polo necks, chunky sweaters, high-waisted trousers, elaborate necklaces, and shift dresses that hang from your bosom.
The most beautiful woman of 2019—Jennifer Garner—and supermodel Naomi Campell rock this body shape that is accentuated by broad shoulders, small bosom, slim waist and hips, along with long slim legs.
Styles that compliment your shape: People will kill for those long legs. The key is to accentuate your form but staying away from anything that broadens your shoulders. Angular dresses with dramatic shapes, asymmetrical cardigans, shirts with wide lapels, double cuff on sleeves, drape dresses, off-center gathering look sophisticated and classy on you. V-neck can be your best friend for dresses and tops, and your shape is one of the best for skinny jeans, fluted skirts, flared skirts, and cigarette pants.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Shapeless floaty dresses, three-quarter sleeves, scooped necklines, and cut-away shoulders. Go easy on shoulder pads, too.
What do Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger have in common apart from the Z factor and an incredible sense of humor? The elegant goblet form, which is characterized by broad shoulders, big bosom, small waist, narrow hips, and long legs.
Styles that compliment your shape: You can carry out so many different fits and styles with your form. Play up your best features—your curves and legs. Tops that have wide V necklines, suede can be your best friend for skirts, tight skirts with fluted hemlines, empire-line fitted tops, paneled skirts in heavy fabric, single-breasted coat with heavy fabric, a belt that can help draw a curve, snug-waisted jackets, slim-line (low cut waistline) jeans work very well contrary to popular belief.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Shift dresses, chunky knit sweaters, slashed necklines, wide-legged sweatpants, double-breasted jackets, skinny belts, baggy trousers.
If you find yourself wondering if you are slim or curvy or both, you are likely to be a skittle. Women with moderate bosom, slim waist, average tummy, big thighs, and chunky calves fall in this category. Think the incredibly skilled Meryl Streep and Halle Berry.
Styles that compliment your shape: Shirts with details like a bow at the center, puffed sleeves, vertically paneled skirts, skirts in stiff fabric, a clingy dress with a flared skirt, a belt at the waist around your dress or top adds depth by accentuating your waist. Don't fear shiny fabric and shimmer as they work fabulously well on your frame. Jackets with wide-cut neckline and big lapels, cropped jackets, draping sleeves for tops, fitted and waist-hugging knitwear/jumpers, wide-legged, flat-front trousers that don't cling your butt, darker colors at the bottom are a few tricks you can try when you want to play around and give your legs more shape.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Spaghetti-strap tops, jackets that cut across the bum, cropped trousers, stretch trousers of any style, calf-length straight skirts, and pencil skirts.
The Queen B who declared Who Run the World owns this gorgeous shape like no other. If your body shape is outlined by a long waist, small bosom, saddlebags and heavy legs, you share an enviable shape with this Beyonce and other incredibly successful women like Sandra Bullock, Shakira, JLo, and Katie Holmes.
Things that compliment your body: Can you imagine anything looking unflattering on these divas? Being a pear comes with so many advantages if you know how to dress right. Focus on your slim top, love and own your curvy bottom like a boss, and balance the top and bottom half with some strategic pieces. Like a chunky neckpiece or loud earrings can create the illusion of streamlined from head to toe. The next time you wear a vest or T-shirt, try a shrug on to see what it does to your shape. A smart jacket brings attention to all your gifted traits. The experts also say that bling is THE thing for this shape. Delicate, soft fabric, puffed sleeves, A-line skirts, belted coat, narrow horizontal stripes, shallow/slashed neckline, strapless dresses and tops look attractive on your form. Wide trousers without side pockets and flared skirts are great, too.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Well, there are very few things that may not do justice to your lovely frame. The few be bias-cut skirts, pencil skirts, and skinny jeans.
A few incredibly talented women who rock this body shape are Adele and Mindy Kaling. With a smaller upper half compared to the bottom, this shape is characterized by small shoulders, small bosom, small and short waist, big thighs and bottom.
Things that compliment your body: Bells can own almost any look if you learn a few simple tricks. Although your go-to method might be to cover yourself top to bottom, this can often create counter-results. You need to balance the top and bottom half and the best way to achieve this is to make your top half more prominent. You can use bold colors, accessories, bling, or additional detail/layers to achieve this. Pick more plain colors/cuts for the bottom half. Gilets, broad-shouldered shirts, funnel-shaped coats, necklines cut close to the neck, tiny ruffles on tops, kaftans, and jumpers look great on you. Side-fastening trousers, narrow-necklined, long-sleeved dresses, heavy fabric skirts, and pleated skirts can also help achieve this balance.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Balloon sleeves, tapered trousers, skimpy vests, and wide v-necks.
What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Fonda, and Nicole Kidman have in common apart from their incredible talent, feisty spirit, and sharp wit? That gorgeous column frame with long legs, slight waist, and shoulders that spread equal to the hips.
Styles that compliment your shape: The trick is to introduce shape and avoid anything that is long and shapeless. Round-neck jumpers will bring out the elegance of your shape, angular jackets add an edge especially when they narrow down on your waist and have pointed hemline, single button fastening is great, too. Feminine chiffon drapes are your best friends, fluted long sleeves, three-quarter length coat will help show off your legs. It's also good to have your coat belted; a gentle flare of a true A-line skirt can do wonders to your frame by adding dimension. Gatherings and pleats on tops and shirts look fabulous on you, and almost any trouser suits you as your legs are your shape's asset.
Things that don't do justice to your shape: Avoid outfits that hang straight down or are shapeless with no detail. Oversized jackets, shirt and straight dresses, and long tops with no shape can hide your gorgeous frame.
The Vase is very similar to the hourglass but tends to be a bit stretched in length. If your body has this shape, you will do well to follow these gifted women for inspiration: Kate Winslet, Mariah Carey, and Geena Davis. The gorgeous shape is characterized by gently curving, longer waist, big bosom, hips equaling bosom, as well as slim thighs and legs.
Things that compliment your body: The classic feminine look works exceptionally well for women with this shape. Get inspiration from old-school Hollywood styles, where the emphasis is on the waistline and the silhouette is fitted around the middle part. Single-buttoned jacket, wide and scooped neckline for dresses and tops, fabric that has shimmer or fleck, puffed sleeves, T-shirts with a squarish neckline, and cropped sleeves. Your waist and legs make perfect silhouettes for pencil skirts, big belts, off-shoulder dresses, straight-legged jeans, and draping fabric for evening wear.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Ruffles around your neckline, dresses with tiered frills, sleeveless round-neck top, polo-neck jumpers, and princess collar.
If you are blessed with a generous bosom, hips, and thighs, with slim lower legs and a short waist, you share this body type with none other Queen Oprah herself. Other celebs who rock this are the phenomenally talented Serena Williams and Kirstie Allie.
Styles that compliment your body: If you are a cello, there are a lot of curves and oomph to celebrate. Women with this body shape can carry off almost any bold style and loud prints with elan. Wide V-neck tops, shirts that curve into the waist, wide halterneck, wide cummerbunds, prints that play with light and dark colors alternately, A-line coats, and flared sleeves look fabulous on you. Skirts with sewn-down panels, long jackets that elongate your short waist, coats/jackets with long lapels, wide-legged trousers with no big size pockets, and bold prints can be your best friends.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Pencil skirts, leather or satin trousers, tight jeans, and mini skirts.
If you have broad shoulders, small waist, average tummy, flat-ish bum, generous thighs and calves, you share the same body shape as Kate Moss, Jennifer Judson, and Kim Cattrall.
Styles that compliment your body shape: Bricks have this ability to switch between cool androgynous looks and elegant, feminine looks like no other. You might assume that the cute, girly look might be hard to achieve, but all you need is a few strategic pieces. Belted jackets or coats with a sash, high-waisted dresses, round neckline, sequins or some glitter to line the neck or sleeves work well on your form. Fitted tank tops and vests, draping tops, empire-lined coats also compliment your shape. In terms of bottoms, asymmetric skirts, trousers made out of thin, fluid fabric, and paneled skirts will highlight the elegance of your form.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Boxy jackets, double-breasted coats, mini skirts, box pleats, and trousers in stiff fabric.
A few stars that rock this beautiful shape are Liz Hurley, Jessica Simpson, and Drew Barrymore. If your body has the traits of moderate bosom, tummy bigger than bosom, sort of flat bum, and average-sized legs, you fall in the same category as these attractive women.
Styles that compliment your fab body: Tops that clinch or narrow down at the waist, cap sleeves, t-shirts that are ruched on the middle, shirts that don't button all the way up to the collar, tops that are front open, jackets that create an open V-neck in the front, a coat with a belt around the waist are styles that work well on your lovely frame. In terms of trousers, flat-fronted, with a deep waistband, wide legs, and side-fastening can flatter you like no other. For skirts, opt for flat fronted ones as well as inverted box pleats.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Tight T-shirts, big square Tees, high-waisted trousers, pleated waists, and boyfriend jeans.
What do Nigella Lawson, Salma Hayek, and Sophia Loren have in common? Amazing talent, faces that are drop-dead gorgeous, and sexy accents. These incredibly versatile women also share a common body shape. If you identify with having a small and short waist, generous thighs and big bosom, then you fall in the same category as these beautiful women.
Styles that compliment your body: The hourglass is the quintessential shape that can make just a plain white T look effortlessly attractive. Your perfect curves and shapely waist can carry off almost anything. Nothing adds more elegance to your form than a V neck, whether it is for cardigans, dresses, or T-shirts. Dresses that elongate your waist by lifting your bosom, wide-necked T-shirts, curved lapels, side-fastening on shirts, three-quarter sleeves, and two-buttoned coats can be your best friends. These help accentuate your natural curves and make you look fabulous in casual and party outfits. Drapey fabric with a stretch for trousers (paired with longish top) are a great option, too. Pencil skirts and hourglass figures are a match made in fashion heaven.
Things that don't do justice to your fab body: Big belts, batwing sleeves, blouses with bows or flounces, smocks, cowboy boots, and flap-side pockets on trousers. Round and close necks (including turtle necks) might tip the balance of your form and make you look heavier on the top than you are.
You can use the body-shape calculator to identify your shape.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the writer. The categories and style tips are based on the book The Body Shape Biblewritten by fashion experts Trinny and Susannah.
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