How to Determine & Dress For Your Body Shape

At Connected Apparel, we’re proud to make dresses that make women of all body shapes and sizes not only look good, but FEEL good too! We believe that fashion should empower you and boost your confidence. 

The first step to building a wardrobe that makes you look AND feel fabulous is knowing your body shape, or the outline, of your body. Knowing your body shape will allow you to choose outfit styles that compliment your features and achieve a figure flattering look. 

To help out, we created a guide to help you learn how to dress for your body type. You’ll also learn how to accentuate your favorite features with flattering and quality Connected Apparel styles to wear now and forever. 

First Things First: What are your measurements?

There are four measurements you need to know before figuring out your body shape: shoulders, bust, waist and hips. The relationship among these numbers will reveal the shape of your frame.

  • SHOULDERS -- Measure from the top of one shoulder (where your arm and shoulder meet), straight across your upper back to the same point on the opposite shoulder.
  • BUST -- Measure all the way around the fullest part of your bust. Make sure that the tape measure is tight, without pressing down on your chest. 
  • WAIST -- Measure around the smallest part of your waist above the belly button. 
  • HIPS -- Start on one side and wrap the tape measure all the way around the fullest part of your hips.

PRO TIP: Use a cloth measuring tape instead of a metal one. When measuring, the tape should fit comfortably around the area you’re measuring not too tight and not too loose. 

HELPFUL REFERENCE: Watch our video or read our guide on How to Take Your Measurements for an in-depth lesson to help you determine your body shape. 

What’s your body shape? 

Now that you have your four measurements, it’s time to figure out your body shape! 

There are many different body shapes with most women falling in-line with one of the following: apple, pear, hourglass, inverted triangle or rectangle.

Keep reading to learn about the different characteristics of each shape and tips on how to dress according to your shape!

Apple Shaped Body (or Round)

If you’re curvy with a less defined waist, you’re likely an apple shaped body (also known as a circle or round body shape). 

As with any body shape, there are certain styles that are most figure flattering and work with your body. With an apple shaped body, you’ll want to draw attention to your upper body or your legs. 

Tips for Apple Shaped Bodies:

  • Take your measurements! We can't stress this enough! Make sure you’re truly an apple shape by taking your body measurements.
  • Draw attention away from your midsection. Redefine where your mid section is by placing a belt a little further up from your waistline to create a slimmer figure. 
  • Emphasize other parts of your body. Whether it's emphasizing your cleavage or your legs, draw attention away from your mid section to other body parts you love. 
  • Choose the right fabrics. Opt for loose and texture materials or draping and ruching. 

Styles for Apple Shaped Bodies:

Pear Shaped Body (or Triangle)

If your hips are broader than your shoulders, you’re likely a pear shaped body (also known as a triangle body shape). 

With a pear shaped body, you may want to downplay your hips. To do that, you will want to accentuate your shoulders, drawing attention to your upper body and waist while elongating the legs. 

Tips for Pear Shaped Bodies:

  • Draw attention to your upper body. The idea is to detract from your bottom half and draw attention to your upper body. 
  • Consider your neckline. Create width across your shoulders to balance out your hips. 
  • Show off your shoulders! Cold shoulder styles work best to draw attention up to your shoulders. 
  • Accessories are your friends. Draw the eye up away from your hips with colorful scarves, statement necklaces, and yes, even fashion-friendly face masks. 
  • Dresses are your best friend! Fit and flare dress styles cinch at the waist and fall over your hips, creating a flattering body shape. 

Styles for Pear Shaped Bodies:

Hourglass Body Shape

If your shoulders and hips are balanced and you have a defined waist, you’re likely an hourglass body shape. 

Many would consider you one of the lucky ones as your body shape is already balanced. Your bust and hips are around the same size, making it easy to accentuate your feminine figure. 

Tips for Hourglass Shaped Bodies:

  • Fitted dresses are perfect for you! Because your body is already balanced, fitted dresses only aim to accentuate your shape. 
  • Avoid bulky clothing. Avoid adding ruffles and/or extra fabric so that you don’t end up losing your hourglass body shape. 
  • Opt for v-neck styles. High necklines will make your bust area feel larger than it actually is. 

Styles for Hourglass Shaped Bodies:

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

If your shoulders are broader than your hips, you’re likely an inverted triangle body shape. 

As an inverted triangle shape, you will want to draw attention away from your broad shoulders or chest and draw attention to your slim lower body. 

Tips for Inverted Triangle Shaped Bodies:

  • Choose open necklines and collars. Bring attention to your upper body with open necklines. 
  • Choose dresses with a voluminous skirt. Add volume below the hips with a-line or fit and flare dresses. 

Styles for Inverted Triangle Shaped Bodies:

Rectangle Body Shape

If your four measurements are fairly uniform and you have a straighter build, you’re likely a rectangle body shape. 

Add more shape to your body with the clothes that you wear. These outfit styles should define your waist and create curves on the top and/or bottom of your body. 

Tips for Rectangle Shaped Bodies:

  • Avoid clothes with no shape. You always want to choose items that will do wonders for our body shape. 
  • Belts are your new best friend. The easiest solution for creating a waistline!
  • Opt for A-Line dresses. Create a waistline with minimal effort by choosing this figure flattering dress silhouette. 
  • Jumpsuits are also your best friend. Choose a cold-shoulder jumpsuit to highlight your shoulders. 

Styles for Rectangle Shaped Bodies:


5’ 3” & Under 

While not technically a body shape (petites come in all different shapes and sizes), we put together some universal styling tips if you’re 5’3” and under. 

Plus Size

Having a Bust, Waist or Hip Measurement Larger Than A Regular Size Chart

Creating looks that compliment your body shape doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Read our guide to help you create your most stunning look yet. 

Styles for every body shape & size!

Keep in mind that as we age, our body shapes may change. If your body used to be an hourglass body shape, but you come to find that you’re veering closer to an apple shaped body nowadays, IT IS OKAY! You and your body are perfect the way you are now. Feel good no matter what your body shape is with clothes that are designed with you in mind! 

Everybody and EVERY BODY is different, a fact that we love to celebrate at Connected Apparel. Whether you’re one of these body shapes or a combination of two or more, we have styles that are figure flattering just for you! 

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