Studio 5 Beauty & Style Contributor Holly Stone says most women fall into one eight different categories.
It is important to know your figure type so that as you purchase clothing, you understand what outer lines and shapes of clothing will be the most flattering on you. The ultimate goal is to create with clothing, the illusion of a balanced figure. Your figure type can change depending on weight gain or loss and will also have variations in different areas (arms, hips, bust, waist, legs, bottom, neck) which are unique to you.
Your figure type is determined by looking FIRST at the width of your shoulders in proportion to the width of your hips. To get a clearer picture, then look at your waist in proportion to those 2 body areas.
There are 8 figure types. They are called by many different names but below are the most technical. Here are the features of each and the method required to create the illusion of balance:
BALANCED: Hips are equal in width to shoulders. Waist is slightly indented.
Balancing Goal: already balanced
TRIANGLE: Shoulders are narrower than hips.
Balancing Goal: Broaden the shoulders. Bring the waistline in.
• Use shoulder pads to emphasize shoulders
• Bolder prints on top
• Empire-waisted tops
INVERTED TRIANGLE: Shoulders are broader than hips.
Balancing Goal: Broaden the hips. Bring the waistline in.
• Pleated skirts to slightly widen hips
• Seams of blouses inside line of shoulder
• Avoid high contrast of blouse and pant at hip level
HOURGLASS: Shoulders are equal in width to hips. Waist is strongly indented.
Balancing Goal: Specific figure variations with this figure type require balancing.
RECTANGLE: Hips, waist, and shoulders are all equal in width.
Balancing Goal: Bring the waistline in. Don’t over accentuate either the hips or the shoulders.
• Avoid high contrast break line of blouse and pant at hip level
• No shoulder pads
• Wear belt at waistline
• Princess seams create illusion of waistline
TUBULAR: A thin rectangle. More bony and angular.
Balancing Goal: Broaden the hips and the shoulders to make waistline appear more indented.
DIAMOND: Waist is wider than hips and shoulders.
Balancing Goal: Balance the hips and shoulders in proportion to waistline.
OVAL: Overall roundness in shoulders, hips and waist.
Balancing Goal: Bring the waistline in. Create slightly more angular shoulders equally balanced to hips.
• Slight shoulder pads
• Lighter weight fabric won’t add visual bulk
• Wear angular jackets to counter the round, square necklines work too
Figure variations are another contributing factor to finding clothes that fit. A professional wardrobe stylist can help you determine these figure variations and instruct you how to find clothing accordingly.
Contact Holly Stone to set an appointment: