How to Dress For Your Body Shape

The definitive guide.

How many times have you walked in to a boutique and fallen in love with a dress only to find that when you tried it on it looks nothing like you imagined? You are left wondering what – if any – style dress suits you? Sometimes it can feel as though the racks are full of clothes but there is nothing for you.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Those celebrities you see that always look fabulous? They know their body shape and they dress for it.

So, don’t waste time fretting over dresses and skirts that don’t look good on you. There are many ways to make a fashion statement working with your own amazing body shape. It’s all about highlighting your assets and downplaying the parts you’re not so fond of. Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. Start scrolling down to learn more about what style works for your body.

1. Straight body shape

Some experts also refer to this as the banana body shape. Imagine a ruler where the figure follows one straight line. small bust, undefined butt, basically little or no curves. Clothes will hang effortlessly on your shoulders and drape your bod like a second skin. Think IT girls Hailey Baldwin and Bella Hadid.

Bella Hadid has a straight, or banana, body shape (Credit: Getty Images)

Style of clothing that suits a straight body shape:

Dressing for your body shape is easy as the sky’s the limit with a straight frame.  

Skirts, Dresses and Bottoms

When it comes to skirts & bottoms, oversized trousers, jumpsuits, peplums, gathered skirts, and boyfriend jeans with pronounced hip and rear pockets will look awesome on straight-bodied people. Pencil skirts also work well.

Look for dresses with a full skirt or detailing such as ruffles. Straight dresses are a big no-no for obvious reasons. They dont add definition and make you look straighter than you already are.


Cropped tops are big at the moment but if theyre not your thing, find clothes that will add volume around your bust and hips where you need it, while fitting snugly around the waist. Halter necklines show off your shoulders.

Wide necklines such as boat, off-the-shoulder, and one-shoulder lengthen the shoulders and make you bulkier than you really are.

2. Pear and Spoon Body Shapes


If your hips and butt are wider than your shoulders, then youve got a pear- shaped figure. You might also have a small bust and flat tummy. Spoon body shapes carry weight a little higher on their hips and may have a rounded tummy and love handles. This is the most common female body type.

Rihanna is a celebrity style icon with this body shape who is super comfortable in her skin and really knows how to use her shape to her best advantage.

To find ultra-flattering slimming clothes for a pear or spoon frame you should be looking for outfits that highlight the narrowest part of your body — the waist, while adding volume to the upper body.

Rihanna has a pear body shape (Credit: Getty Images)

Style of clothing that suits a pear or spoon body shape:

Skirts, Dresses and Bottoms

Instead of skinny jeans, go for straight leg jeans since they’re cut to have a slim silhouette. Wearing pencil skirts will also work when its paired with a billowy top for a more put-together look.

Balance your silhouette by looking for dresses with cap sleeves, ruffle or billowing sleeves or A line skirts. Avoid bias cuts.


Scoop, wide V or U neck tops, tops with flutter sleeves, and hip-length jackets with structured shoulders, are your friend and will draw more attention to the upper body.

3. Hourglass body shape

Hour Glass
Ashley Graham has an hourglass body shape

The hourglass body type is curvy with a well-defined waist just like Beyoncé or Ashley Graham. Outfits that accentuate the waist and show off those curves work best for the hourglass. The hourglass frame looks amazing in clothes that make the waist appear as slim as possible.

Style of clothing that suits an hourglass shape:

Look for clothing that will emphasise your body’s natural silhouette.

Skirts, Dresses and Bottoms

Hourglass frames look fabulous in wrap-around dresses, skater dresses, and pencil skirts with a side slit. This season boyfriend shirts and dresses are big: pair them with a wide belt and structured jacket to give definition. For a bit of fun go for a playfully chic jumpsuit with a broad belt.

4. Apple body shape

Apple tend to be – top heavy- with slimmer legs and hips. So, when looking for outfits lets celebrate that décolletage with necklines that draw attention to your bust. Go for asymmetric tops and dresses with a sizable bottom to balance your top.

Style of clothing that suits apple shapes:

skirts and Bottoms

Notice how Drew Barrymore pulls off A-lines, swing and shift dresses? If dresses leave you cold, flowy tunics, boyfriend button-ups paired with skinny jeans and leggings are a smart option. Drew also looks great in a French tucked low-neck tee with hip-slung tattered jeans, topped with a longer line army jacket, or you could substitute a blazer or open shirt. Flares with heels are great for elongating your silhouette.


Apple ladies own your bust! Halters and deep V necks will help you flaunt your assets. A classic white t shirt is a wardrobe essential! 

5. Petite body shape

Petites are short with a small or slight frame. They will often have hips and shoulders perfectly aligned. Think Ariana Grande who rocks her ever iconic crop tops and wide-legged pants.

Style of clothing that suits a petite body type:

The key to dressing for a petite frame is to create the illusion of length. Look for vertical stripes and high-waist skirts and pants which are a huge trend right now. Steal a look from Ariana Grande. A printed crop top and high-waisted skirt matched set will look super cute.

reese witherspoon
Reese is petite

Dresses, Skirts and Bottoms

Other styles that are a petite womans friend include jumpsuits and shift dresses with monochromatic patterns. Avoid loud and crowded prints- they will just make you look child-like. Oversized shirt dresses look cool on petites. Cinching your waist can be a great body shaper if you’re going to wear maxi dresses and will give you longer-looking legs. Scalloped shorts, mini- skirts, and overalls are also flattering for this shape.


Tailored well fitted pieces are most flattering for petites who can tend to look lost in oversized clothing or busy detailing. If you do opt for larger clothing give it shape by cinching your waist with a belt.

6. Lollipop body shape

Angelina Jolie is probably the most well- known celebrity with this body shape. If you are a lollipop you are blessed with a full round bust, broad shoulders, slim arms, waist, legs, and hips.

Style of clothing that suits a lollipop shape:

Dresses, skirts and bottoms

Skirts should be draping or fluted, not straight and long. Shift dresses can look heavy on lollipop-shaped bodies. Steal Jolie’s style in black tight pants, topped with a deep U-neck tank and an open front structured blazer.

angelin jolie
Angelina Jolie has a lollipop body shape


If you are this body type, its best to avoid tops that will make your bust look oddly out of alignment. Halter and sweetheart necklines are the best picks to balance your proportions as well as tops with full sleeves. Scoop and V-necks also look great on a lollypop body shape however turtlenecks can make you look too heavy.

When it comes to jackets, narrowed lapels and those fitted to cinch in your waistline are the best.

With a better understanding of your body type and the clothes that work for you, those dressing room horror show moments will be a thing of the past. Happy shopping!

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