How to Dress for Your Shape

14/08/2011 23:26 BST | Updated 08/10/2011 10:12 BST

Every woman has something about her body she doesn't like. However, visual tricks can help disguise problem areas and emphasise the best bits of our bodies. The key idea is to achieve balance and give the appearance of an hourglass figure.

The first step is to identify which of the five bodyshapes matches your own. Are you a pear, rectangle, apple, wedge or enviable hour-glass? Once you know this you can dress for your shape. We focus on the most common and offer some tips to hide problem areas.

Pear Shape (Triangle)

Are you bottom heavy with full thighs and calves? This is the most common bodyshape. Emphasise your positives: defined waist, upper body and shoulders. Achieve balance by giving the appearance of wider shoulders and bust. Choose fitted tops with wide low necklines or v-necks to draw attention to the face. Cinched dresses with A-line or draping skirts help disguise the hips.

Apple Shape (Circle)

Do you have a prominent tummy and large breasts? Busts are back in fashion and this is a cause for celebration for apple-shaped women. Choose a bra with good support and emphasise your cleavage; go for v-necks, scooped necklines and turtle necks to draw attention away from your waist. Foundation underwear such as CASS shapewear can help smooth bulges and give the appearance of a defined waist and curves. Empire dresses with A-line or drape skirts work well for apple shapes. Cinched waists also give the appearance of a smaller tummy. Avoid anything too tight or too baggy and flouncy.


If your hips and shoulders are the same width and you have no curves; add definition by wearing A-line skirts and cinching your waist with a belt.

Inverted Triangle

Do you have broad shoulders, ample bust, slim waist and bottom? Then you are an inverted triangle shape and the aim is to achieve balance by drawing attention away from your upper body. Choose simple fitted bodices and A-line or full skirts. Avoid shoulder pads and embellished necklines at all costs.


Congratulations you have the ideal figure: hips and shoulders in line with one another; defined waist and curves in all the right places. Everything suits you. Emphasise your attributes with Mad Men style 1950′s sheath dresses that accentuate your waist.

Flabby arms

Although not a bodyshape, we feel this body part deserves special attention as many women are unhappy with their upper arms. The key is to draw the focus down towards your wrists with fluted or three quarter length sleeves with a gentle drape. Bolero cardigans or shrugs work well with dresses as a quick fix cover-up, but if you want to go sleeveless make sure you choose something with wide straps.

A great site for dressing for your shape is - there you can shop according to your bodyshape. For great foundations visit for CASS luxury shapewear.