Perfect Dress for your Body Shape

Knowing your body type is the first step in choosing your perfect dress. There are 5 body types. APPLE, PEAR, RECTANGLE, HOURGLASS and ROUND.

APPLE - Apple shaped tends to describe women who have wide torsos (full bust, waist and upper back), as they store body fat around the mid section of their bodies (stomach, abdomen and chest). Such women have relatively slim thighs and upper legs. Apple shaped women often have a 'top-heavy' appearance, with a bust and midriff bigger than their hips, a prominent tummy and a flat bottom.

To assess whether you are apple shaped, again measure your hip-waist ratio; if the ratio is greater than 0.8, then you are apple shaped.

Dress Tips:

This body type is one of the more challenging ones to dress. Apple bodies should avoid
1. halter
2. heavily decorated
3. off-the shoulder
4. boat necklines as these accentuate your already broad shoulders.
5. Try to avoid puffy sleeves or big tops in combination with slim bottoms. This will exaggerate your wider shoulders as well.
6. Strapless and scoop necklines work nicely, as do soft, rounded necklines with a narrow bodice.
7. Stay away from heavily embellished bodices however. The most flattering neckline for a full bust is the V-neck or a plunging neckline as they make the body appear less round.
8. A fuller skirt will also balance your fuller bust. Choose fabrics that aren't too clingy or stiff. An empire waist can also work well by drawing attention to your midsection and away from your heavier top.

Pear - Pear shaped generally describes women who store fat below the waistline on their hips, thighs, and bottoms, as opposed to their stomachs and mid-sections. Such fat being stored on the thighs often leads to cellulite. Commonly the upper torso is relatively slim in comparison to these lower parts of the body, with shoulders and bust being narrow compared to the hips. Pear shaped women are commonly viewed as 'bottom heavy' with well defined waists.

To see whether you are pear shaped, obtain your 'hip-waist ratio' (also known as 'trunk fatness') ~ divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement; if the ratio is 0.8 or below then you are pear shaped.

Dress Tips:

To achieve a balanced look
1. go with a full or a-line skirt (a slightly flared skirt that has a silhouette resembling the letter "A") or even a ball gown. These skirts will flatter a slim waistline and make the bust stand out while disguising your fuller hips.
2. Avoid thin straps
3. boat necklines
4. stay away from pleated or gathered fabric at the waist as this will accentuate your broader hips.
5. Fitted tops such as a strapless corset-style bodice look best with this body shape especially in combination with that a-line skirt.
6. Try tops with some kind of embellishment also to add a little more volume to your bust line.
7. If you don't want to go strapless, think about a halter with a more circular neckline.
8. If you're flexible with color choice, wear light colors on top and dark colors on bottom. This will bring the eye up and away from your wider bottom.
9. You could also go with an allover print. The key here is to show off your upper body. That means your arms, back, and bust.

RECTANGLE - This body type has very little curve. Rectangle bodies have small frames and are considered athletic or slim. These are those "skinny" bodies that will many times wear petite or tall sizes. They also often times have a small chest size. The rectangle body looks straight up and down. Weight gain would deposit evenly throughout the body.

Dress Tips:

You want to add the appearance of curves since you don't have them naturally.
1. choose a dress that draws attention to your bust.
2. Go with a beaded neckline or bodice.
3. The empire style dress (a raised waistline, sometimes right below the bust) can also give the appearance of a fuller chest and add some extra definition and shape.
4. Another option to create the illusion of curves is to draw attention to your waist. To do this try a ball gown (full skirt, form-fitting bodice) as this will draw attention to your waistline and give you a curvier look.
5. A ruched or embellished waistline is also a nice choice. 6. Ornaments, belts, wraps, darts and ribbons are just a few examples for waistline embellishment.
7. Fuller sleeves are yet another way to add curves
8. dress with detailing and patterns can help to break up your straight body line.
9. Avoid sheaths and other clingy styles as this will not add any fullness to your slender shape.

HOURGLASS - This body type is the one that most women want. It is considered curvy but proportional. Hourglass bodies have well defined waists with hips and shoulders that are well balanced. Weight gain distributes evenly throughout the body with this body type as well.

Dress Tips:

This is the easiest body shape to dress. Nothing needs to be hidden or enhanced since your shape is already proportional.
1. You can pull off just about any dress you choose.
2. Two-piece dresses and corset bodices look great with this body shape as they will enhance your natural curves. The corseted bodice will work well for your bust as well.
3. Accentuating the waist is always a good idea so you may want to go with a ball gown.
4. A strapless or off-the shoulder neckline is perfect for an hourglass shape. You really do have a lot of options so feel lucky to have been blessed with such a great body shape.
5. Stay away from heavily beaded dresses however since they tend to make you appear heavier than you actually are.

ROUND - This body type has a lot of weight around the tummy and will likely have large breasts. The waist line is not well defined. Many women fall into this category due to weight gain or natural changes in the body with age. Shoulders and hips appear narrow. Weight gain would deposit around the waist with this body type.

Dress Tips:

Many round shaped women will go with a dress that covers a lot of skin. You don't have to take that route.
1. Showing a little skin can make you appear slimmer often times, not to mention sexy. The trick is to look for slimming styles.
2. Look at the waistline first. To disguise a thicker waist you'll want to raise, lower, or eliminate the waistline of your dress.
3. Choose an A-line dress that slims throughout the waist and lengthens the whole body without drawing attention to your midsection.
4. An empire style dress is also an excellent choice since it helps to conceal your waist and hips.
5. Showing your arms and neck can have a slimming effect, so go with a deep v-neck, sweetheart or scoop neckline.
6. Thick straps or a halter top style neckline will also work with this body type. Revealing the arms and neck will bring the eye up and away from your waist. 7. If you want more bottom coverage choose a ball gown with a tight-fitting corseted bodice.

Hopefully now you have a better idea of which dress is going to flatter your body type.

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Anonymous said...

Can you lose weight and become hourglass if you are apple-shaped? Because I really like wearing dresses but am afraid and know that others will tell that I am apple-shaped.

Apple Shaped Body said...


I can't figure out how to calculate your 0.8 ratio in the apple shape section of your post.

Please advise!

Anonymous said...

hi!!!What if my ratio is 0.8 ?