Fashion is more than having a good taste and style—it’s all about balancing silhouettes too. Knowing your body shape and the styles of clothes that accentuate your best features makes a big difference. The shape of your body influences to a large extent what shapes suit you and which ones don’t .
Simply put, we like looking at balanced objects. The point is, the more balanced your silhouette appears, the more visually pleasing your outfit will be.
And that is a great way to use your clothes. You can highlight well-loved features of your body and play down other not-so-well loved ones by using the right fits and cuts.
To find out which features of your body require some balancing work the theory of body shapes can be a useful starting point, as long as you take it for what it is supposed to be: a rough guide. You don’t have to bend yourself into any of these body shapes; they are not hard-and-fast categories.
Knowing you body shape can help you when shopping, both in real-life and especially online.
Below you can find the 6 most commonly used body shapes. There is also an step-by-step guide on how you can find what body shape you are.
Step-by-step guide to finding out your body shape
Step 1. Take a flexible measuring tape
Step 2. Start by measuring the width of your shoulders followed by your bust, waist and hips:
- Shoulders – measure around the highest point of your shoulders.
- Bust – measure around the chest over the fullest part of the breasts.
- Waist – measure around the smallest point of your waist.
- Hips – measure around the hip over the largest part of the buttocks.
Step 3. Determine which body shape you are based on the information below in the pictures.
As a general rule of thumb, you can look at this first:
- The H-shape looks more or less like a column; i.e. the body is straight with little to no definition.
- The A-shape has a bigger lower body compared to the upper body.
- The X-shape has a wider upper and lower body with a narrow waist in the middle.
- The Y-shape has a bigger upper body compared the lower body.
- The O-shape is wider in the middle and upper body with a smaller lower body.
- The 8-shape has a wider upper and lower body, with a narrow waist but is more curvaceous than the X-shape.