How to Dress your Body Shape

Last month, I've attended a session from my church ministry about the different body shapes and how to dress according to the shape of my body.

We'll I know there are tons of information on the web regarding this topic and my post is nothing different. But still, I've decided to go online for easy reference on my part.

How to Dress your Body Shape
[photo not mine]

The Different Body Shapes

Pear - smaller bust, narrow shoulders, wider hips and bum
Apple - bigger bust, wider shoulders, fuller middle, slimmer hips and bum
Straight - bust and hips are about the same width, with little waist definition
Hourglass - defined waistline between bust and hip
Plus size - wider shoulders, bigger bust, wider waistline, wider hips, overall proportionate

How To Dress Your Body Shape

Note: The tips below are tips shared during our worship ministry session at church. These tips have the Sunday Service stage in mind (FAQ: I'm serving as a choir under the worship ministry team). But I think, these tips are also useful for everyday modesty dressing whether it be for corporate/formal look.

The pear shape...
  • Shift the attention from your lower body to your torso.
  • Wear tops or jackets that fall pass your hips to slim them down.
  • You can experiment with tips that come with nice details, for example, minimal frills, pleats or embellished collars.
  • AVOID skinny jeans that further emphasize your hips. Cropped jackets and tops that cut at the waist are not encouraged.

The apple shape...
  • Straight cut pants will help enhance your body proportions, instead of skinny jeans that will further emphasize your small hips.
  • Wear shirts or dresses that flow from under your bust, skims over the waist.
  • Your tops/jackets should fall lower than your hipbones to elongate your frame.
  • AVOID high/decorated necklines, thick belts, clingy materials (especially those that hugs your middle), low-rise pants, high-cut shirts, or any fabric length that cuts off below or above your middle.

The straight shape...
  • Wear clothing that adds dimension and curves to your frame, for example, a round lapel jacket or a cowl neck blouse.
  • You can experiment with various cuts, shapes or like textured materials; wider legged pants (not bell-bottoms), wrap blouse, pussy-bow front, clean frills, etc.
  • A jacket or a peplum top that nips at the waist helps to create more shape.
  • AVOID boxy jackets, stiff structured materials that further emphasize the straight lines of your body.

The hourglass shape...
  • When dressing your hourglass figure, look for styles and fabrics that reduce the bulk and prevent boxy-ness especially your bust and hip areas.
  • Look for snug tailored pieces that skim your body well without hugging your curves too much.
  • Tops can nip in slightly at the waist to emphasize your slim waist.
  • Belts do well for this body type.
  • AVOID heavy frills, collars and statement accessories that bring attention to your bust area, or wide belts that bring too much emphasis to your waits and hips.

The plus-size...
  • Show off your neckline with modes V-necks, bateau or scoop necks.
  • Look sharp and chic with well-tailored jackets and collared shirts.
  • Wear tops with flattering but minimal details like vertical pleats and waterfall front. Fabrics should be soft and flowy, skimming over your frame.
  • A wrap blouse helps to elongate your torso.
  • Wear flat front pants that are a narrow and straight cut.
  • AVOID heavy knits or clingy tops and skinny jeans that hug too much of your curves.


Extra, Extra for Dressing Modestly

When buying clothes check for...
  • The lowest point of the neckline is maximum 3 inches from the collarbone.
  • When lifting hands, the tummy area and the armpits should not be exposed. Look for sleeves that are at least elbow length.
  • The spaces between the buttons (if there are any) don't gape open. If they do, remember to add additional buttons.
  • The top should skim the body not hugging, i.e. no bulges showing especially the bra and waistband area. But at the same time not too baggy/shapeless.
  • No off-shoulder tops and tops that look like falling off the ends of your shoulders.
  • Butt-cleavage (do a personal 'touch-toe' test to check this. If you bend down and your butt shows, the pants are too low-riding or your top is too short.

There you go! I hope the tips I've shared above are helpful. I'm grateful for the visual arts team in our church ministry for this reference material.

So what's your body shape?