How to identify your Body Shape
As a Personal Stylist in Switzerland, my clients are often highly educated women, from different cultural and ethnical backgrounds. One of the things I often hear from my clients is that they can’t decide what suits them, even if they’re able to advise others, and they struggle to know what looks good on them and why. While every woman is different, one of my favourite tips is to identify your Body Shape or type so that you can dress to suit your body shape so that you look and feel your best everyday.
It’s likely that you – like many women, including myself - may not fall neatly into one particular body shape category.
As a starting point, it’s helpful to identify whether you have a curvy or straight body line. You can do this by looking at your silhouette in a mirror or from photos to see whether you could draw straight lines or curved lines around your body shape. In general, if you have a straight body line, you will suit straight clothes and structured materials whereas if you have a curvy body line, you will suit more fluid materials and which skim and flatter your shape.
You will often see references to the 5 basic female body shapes which I summarise as follows:
Hourglass - defined by a narrow waist with full hips and bust. Top Tip: define waist with a belt or wrap dress/top. Pear - defined by a smaller bust and full hips. Top Tip: add details to shoulders/neckline and keep it simple below to create the impression of an hourglass figure. Apple - defined by a larger upper body, particularly in the tummy area, compared to the lower body. Top Tip: layering long necklaces over an a-line dress to draw attention away from your tummy. Strawberry - defined by a larger upper body, particularly in the shoulder/bust area, compared to the lower body. Top Tip: keep it simple on top, adding details, embellishments or pockets on the bottom 2/3 to balance the upper and lower body. Rectangle - defined by a slender or athletic body with little curves. Top Tip: consider flowy materials and consider belted A-line coats/dresses etc. to give the impression of curves.
Once you know your Body Shape, you can then make sure that you wear your clothes to best flatter your shape, not your size.
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Hi, I’m Charlotte, International Personal Stylist & Colour Consultant based in Geneva, Switzerland. I provide online and in-person services, to empower women to curate your personal style to look & feel your best everyday.
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