Body Shape Tips

To create the perfect capsule wardrobe you need to understand your body type and how to dress it. Start with these tips!body shape                    Apple               Hourglass              Column               Pear             Strawberry




You have narrow hips and wider, square shoulders. You may take a smaller size on your bottom half and feel and look good in trousers and jeans. You may be conscious of what you call your “swimmers” shoulders. Your focus should therefore be on your bottom half. Here’s how to balance out your figure.

  • Avoid any details on your shoulder line like epaulettes or buttons.
  • Choose jackets without collars and avoid wide lapels which will make the shoulders look bigger.
  • Take advantage of your slim hips and bottom by focusing attention here with pockets and detailing.
  • You wear jeans well and can choose straight, wide leg (to balance with the shoulders) boot cut and flares – now very much back in fashion.
  • Choose coloured jeans to draw the eye to your bottom half.
  • Choose stiffer fabrics and straight lines and avoid bias cuts and soft fluid fabrics.
  • Wear straight or A-line skirts and dresses and choose styles that have pocket detailing on the hip area.
  • Denim and leather jackets and the double breasted straight trench work well on you.
  • For jackets and tops look for an inset sleeve that visually narrows the shoulders.
  • Look for geometric patterns that complement the straight lines of your body.
  • Crisp shirts and sharper tailoring are your best work wear options.
  • Choose darker colours for your top half and lighter on the bottom.
  • Pleated and gathered skirts add volume to balance out your wider shoulders.
  • Wear A-line style skirts and dresses.
  • A ruffled hem will draw the eye and add balance.
  • Avoid too much bulk on your upper half so choose finer knits rather than chunky styles.


If you are pear shaped you will have a bottom half that is bigger than your top half. You will have a defined waist and often if something fits your bottom it will be too big on the waist. Here are some tips to help balance out your body:

  • Your best dress and skirt shapes are A-line but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear a pencil skirt, just look for one that has a good amount of stretch and smooths over your curves. Wear it with a A-line top or a top with more volume.
  • Trousers should fall in a straight line from the hip – better to steer clear of tapered trousers that will emphasise the width of the hip.
  • Choose palazzo, wide leg, straight leg and boot cut trousers.
  • Define your slim waist – buy to fit your hips and then take skirts and trousers to the tailor so that you can get the fit on your waist as well.
  • Darker trousers or skirts are visually more slimming – wear dark trousers with a lighter top or a dress that has a darker colour below the waist.
  • Lengthen your leg line with heels or a pointed toe shoe.
  • Draw the eye up to your top half with details on your tops, interesting necklaces or scarves.
  • Wear patterns and lighter or brighter colours on your top half.
  • If you want to wear slim leg trouser choose a top that comes down over the hip.
  • Skinny jeans can work if they have a slightly roomy cut rather than skin tight.
  • Remember that volume on your top half makes your bottom half look smaller.
  • Harem trousers and looser jogging style trousers will work in a fine fabric that gives you volume over your hip area but pull in and define your waist.
  • Choose shift style dresses that have waist emphasis and then flare out below the waist.
  • Tops and jackets with waist emphasis show off your neat waistline.
  • A peplum style top works well with trousers and skirts.
  • Wear layers on your top half to balance out the bottom half.
  • Cinch in your waist with belts.
  • Jackets and tops with detail on the shoulder line will balance out your hips.
  • If you have a small bust you can wear chunky knit jumpers.
  • Make sure that tops, knits and jackets to end at your widest point.
  • You can wear tops tucked into straight leg trousers and A-line skirts and add a delta to draw the eye to your waist.
  • Wear one colour in a top and trousers or skirt to create a column of single colour then add a long cardigan or jacket over the top but left open, this trick visually lengthens and slims the body.


If you are  full hourglass shaped you will have a curvy body with a full bust and a small defined waist. You can also be a neat hourglass, you will still have curves and waist definition but they won’t be as obvious. Here are some tips for making the most of your wonderful shape:

  • Choose fabrics and shapes that enhance your curves rather than fight against them.
  • Show off your slim waist with belts.
  • Choose elasticated belts or those that are curved.
  • Choose V and scoop neck tops and avoid polo necks and crew necks if you have a large bust.
  • If you want to wear a higher neckline create a V shape with a cardigan or jacket over the top or a long necklace.
  • Wrap style tops follow the curves of your body.
  • Dresses and skirts that are bias cut will flow over the body.
  • Avoid sharp tailoring and stiff fabrics.
  • Avoid shirts and jackets with breast pockets if you have a full bust.
  • Peplum style tops work well over slim trousers and pencil skirts.
  • Wear single breasted jackets that curve in at the waist.
  • If you want to wear a trench coat look for a single breasted style and wear it belted with the top buttons undone to create a V.
  • Ballet wrap style cardigans that tie under the bust work well if you are wearing a dress without waisting to pull it in and show off your shape.
  • Choose wrap, fitted sheath and belted shirts dresses – avoid a shapeless tunic style.
  • Choose flat fronted trousers and avoid pockets on the hope area. Side zips and drawstring waists on fluid trouser shapes like silk palazzo pants work well.
  • Wear slim trousers with belted longer tops if you don’t want to show off your hip area.
  • If you want to wear looser styles in tops or bottoms keep one area fitted. So with a poncho for example wear skinny or straight leg trousers or with baggier trousers wear a fitted cardigan.
  • Avoid chunky knits that add bulk and choose more fluid knits in soft cotton, silk and cashmere.
  • Avoid heavy weight denim and linen and choose washed versions of denim that are soft and linen that is mixed with silk or jersey.
  • Jersey dresses and tops are your wardrobe heroes for comfort and style.
  • Harem and jogger style trousers can work as they will give you room over the hip and pull in the waistline – wear with a fitted top.


If you have few curves and no waist you are likely to be column shaped. Use the following tips dress your shape and introduce some curves.

  • Look for semi structured shapes and stiffer fabrics.
  • Fluid fabrics don’t work so well on you because you don’t have curves.
  • Choose straight lines and masculine shapes like suiting.
  • Choose tuxedo style and Biker jackets for evenings and weekends.
  • Boxy shaped jackets and double breasted styles work well on the straight lines of your body.
  • The classic double breasted trench coat in gaberdine is perfect for you – leave off the belt and let it hang straight or create the illusion of a waist by belting it.
  • Vertical stripes and geometric patterns are also good.
  • Shirting with collars, crew necks and polo necks are also good if you have a neat bust.
  • With a neater bust you can wear detailing on your top half like ruffles and breast pockets.
  • Choose wide and straight leg trousers as well as straight leg crops and combat style trousers (although avoid pockets on the leg if you have shorter legs)
  • A-line and straight skirts work well as do styles with stitched down pleats.
  • For dresses choose straight shirt dresses and shifts or if you have a fuller bust a wrap dress will work too.
  • Classic jeans in straight and bootcut styles work so much better on you than on those with a curvy body and you can also wear a boyfriend cut.
  • Use layering and a variety of textures, for example a cotton vest top under a shirt with a knit over the top.
  • Show off your flat hips and bottom in trousers with a crop jacket.
  • Square and V necks are better than a scoop style.
  • Avoid anything too figure hugging.


You are apple shaped if you are generally curvy but don’t have a defined waist. Don’t be confused with the column who has a straight body and no waist – you are curvy. sometimes as women get older and/or have children they may move from the hourglass shape to an apple. Use these tips to draw attention away from your waistline and accentuate elsewhere.

  • Fluid shapes and softer fabrics work best over the mid section.
  • Avoid waisted tops and dresses and instead look for shapes that are structured at the shoulder line and flow out over your tummy area.
  • A wrap style that fits under the bust and then becomes fuller will show off your curves without emphasising the tummy area.
  • Look for cocoon style tops with a V or scoop neck and wear with a slimmer fitting bottom like skinny or straight jeans or a pencil skirt (your legs are often slim)
  • Choose waterfall style cardigans and looser draping knits that fall longer at the back to give a curved shape.
  • Tunic style tops in soft fabrics like silk, jersey or a combination of both work really well.
  • Choose cocoon and swing style coats too.
  • Avoid classic shirt styles in stiff cotton as they will pull across your bust and tummy. Instead choose looser style blouses in softer fabrics with gathers for example a Gypsy style top.
  • Dresses should be slightly flared shifts, A-line or loose jumper dress styles.
  • Jackets can be difficult but a wrap style in a soft fabric will cover the mid section or choose a shorter boxy shape left open over a looser style dress that flows away from the middle.
  • Tops and dresses that have a crossover, knot or gathers below the centre of the bust and then flare out over the middle look great because they show curves but conceal the waistline.
  • Avoid anything double breasted as it will make your middle look wider. Choose single breasted jackets and wear them open over a single column of colour whether that is a top and trousers or a dress.
  • Choose prints and patterns that are soft and rounded as they are great for concealing but avoid anything to geometric or square.
  • For trousers choose straight and slim fitting trousers to balance more volume on your top half.
  • Flat front and no waistband styles work well – avoid gathers as they will add bulk.
  • You can wear wider leg trousers in soft fluid fabrics like silk, jersey and viscose.
  • Crop trousers with a tunic style top and heels are great for the summer.
  • For jeans choose a style with plenty of stretch as skinnies, boyfriend or straight leg.