Choose the best style for your body shape!

Questions from recent workshops, helped me realize that many people could use a little more clarification on how to choose the best styles for their body type.  If workshop participants asked for clarification, I decided that that many of you might find it helpful as well.

There are six different body shapes for women and five for men.  Men do not have an hourglass shape.

SWA Body Shape


Rectangle                                    Oval                                                Triangle

Inverted Triangle                        Hourglass                                    Figure 8

To keep it simple, we will focus on the first three this week and the remaining three next week.

No one will guess you don't have a 26" waist.  (Saks)
No one will guess you don’t have a 26″ waist. (Saks)

A rectangle is that body with very little waist indentation. The shoulders and hips are balanced in width. This body usually does not have a large derriere and the side of the body through the hip area is generally straight.   The challenge for this body type is camouflaging the waist. This is easily accomplished by bypassing it. I love the little white blouse with the asymmetric hem. It totally bypasses the waist and your attention is drawn to the hem design. Most people with this body type have slender legs so the skinny jeans or tights are an excellent choice. The teal dress uses the same technique but creates a dressier look.

Classy rectangle.  (Saks)
Classy rectangle. (Saks)

For a professional business look, the suit exposing a panel of blouse color is a great technique for making most any body shape appear more slender. One’s eye is drawn to the light narrow color in the middle keeping the attention away from the width of the body.

Great look for an oval.  (Saks)
Great look for an oval. (Saks)

The oval body shape has balanced hips and shoulder width but this body is wider, especially if one is a bit heavy. However, I have had clients who are a tiny size 2 but their body is simply wider through the waist. If the person is slender, many of the styles for a rectangle will be flattering. If an oval is significantly fuller through the waist, camouflaging with a fuller cut like the black dress is a great solution.   One could always add sheer sleeves if exposed arms are an issue. Straight cut trousers will be the best choice for the oval.imgres

A triangle is probably the most common body shape; with hips wider than the shoulders. Choosing a fuller skirt with a flair is an excellent solution. This gray dress not only hides wide hips but the white panel draws the eye to the center, and is visually slenderizing. Avoid skinny jeans. Straight-legged trousers hanging straight from the widest part of the hip to the bottom are the best choice.

Ideal look for a triangle.  Hide those hips!  (Saks)
Ideal look for a triangle. Hide those hips! (Saks)

Your body shape is not in this list? Wait for next week and we’ll talk about the last three! Don’t hesitate to email if you still have some questions:


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