The Complete Guide to Dressing for Your Body Shape

As fashion editors, we likely know what looks good on you. Perhaps there’s a wrap dress that consistently makes you feel confident or you tend to gravitate towards wide-leg pants. However, we’re taking a more in-depth look at dressing for your body type, as it’s never a bad idea to look your best.

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(Image credit: @emmabreschi)

From deciding if you’re an hourglass shape, pear, banana, or apple (yes, fruits are very helpful here), there are plenty of different physiques that with just a little knowledge can look even better. That could be balancing out your proportions with a pair of flared jeans, or highlighting the most flattering part of your body with a cutout dress, there are some incredible ideas you might have never even thought of. One thing’s for sure, though: This guide will help you feel and look your best. Scroll down to see the specific styles that make your body type look its absolute best, from coats and tops to skirts and dresses.

Hourglass

If you’re curvy with a tiny waist, then you’ve got an hourglass shape. Your goal is to highlight your curves, not hide them, by emphasising your waist.

Key Buy: A Belted Jumper

Key Buy: A Crop Top

Key Buy: A Pencil Skirt

Key Buy: A Wrap Dress

Apple

If you have a slim lower body and carry weight around your middle, you’ve got an apple shape. Your goal is to minimise your midsection by highlighting your shoulders and legs.

Key Buy: A High-Waisted Skirt

Key Buy: A Shift Dress

Key Buy: Straight-Leg Tailored Pants

Banana

If you’re not very curvy and your hips are around the same size as your waist, you’ve got a banana shape. Your goal is to highlight the thinnest part of your waist so your hips and bust appear larger and more proportional.

Key Buy: Wrap Top

Key Buy: Cropped Jacket

Key Buy: Side Cutout Dress

Key Buy: Tapered Trousers

Pear

If the widest part of your body is around your hips, you’ve got a pear shape. Your goal is to elongate and balance your figure by accentuating your top half.

Key Buy: An Off-the-Shoulder Dress

Key Buy: Structured Jacket

Key Buy: An A-Line Skirt

Key Buy: Flared Jeans

Editor in Chief

Kat has over a decade of experience in fashion writing, and she joined Who What Wear in 2012 as our co-founder Katherine Power’s assistant. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at WhoWhatWear.com. Working on the site with our editors takes up most of my day, but I also contribute trend direction for our namesake fashion line, the Who What Wear collection. Prior to Who What Wear, I did assistant styling work for brands like Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples, as well as freelance fashion writing. I graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and now call West Hollywood home. As for my fashion perspective, I gravitate toward more tailored pieces and add touches of personality with items like a mesh metal belt or cow-print mules. I’ve always been a vintage fan and know that I’m destined to do some damage whenever I enter my favorite local haunt, Scout, usually scooping up ’90s-era pieces from Japanese designers. When I’m not shopping or writing about shopping, I can be found reading (my book club’s current pick is The Beauty Myth), planning my next trip to Tokyo, or delighting in food usually reserved for 5-year-olds.