Your Body Type – dress tips for the 4 most prominent body shapes

Dress Tips for the 4 main Body Shapes in women

Dressing for your body type is easy!

We explain and have dress tips for your body type. Read about the 4 most prominent body types – so whatever your figure – you can look your best!

Whether you are an hourglass shape, pear, banana or apple there are plenty – with just a little bit of knowledge you can dress and better for your body type and look great.

Dressing for your body type is easy especially when you know what looks good on you.

Perhaps there’s that one wrap dress that consistently makes you feel confident or maybe you always move toward wide –leg pants. We figured that a deeper look at dressing for your body type is never a bad idea.


You have an hourglass figure

You have a full bust, a well defined narrow waist and rounded bottom. Your bust:wait:hips ratio is: 4:2:4

  • The goal is to highlight your proportional balance and curves and not hide them; so emphasising your waist for example with a belt
  • Try a belted jacket, it is the easiest way to show off your petite waist
  • Halter top and V necklines
  • Full circle and pencil skirts are great
  • A crop top and pencil skirt outfit is incredibly flattering on curvy girls
  • A long-sleeved wrap dress is also ideal as it is ultra-flattering to your bust and the wrap detail highlights the curve between your waist and hips.

These styles are not for you:

  • tops and dresses with high necklines or empire cuts
  • tops that increase your body volume, e.g. ruffles, tiers and bows
  • boxy dresses and tops, tunics

You have an apple figure

You have an average to big bust, narrow hips and a full and less defined waist. You often have broader shoulders. You generally have slim legs. Your bust:wait:hips ratio is: 4:4:3

  • The goal here is to minimise your midsection by highlighting your shoulders and legs and to elongate your torso.
  • Go for V-neck or wide necklines or empire cut tops and dresses
  • Good are A-Line skirts or A-line wrap dresses
  • Try a swing coat, it will be incredibly flattering on you, a high-waisted circle skirt (the waistband will hit at the smallest part of the torso and flare out over the stomach.
  • You can also try the shift dress as it lies just far enough away from the body to conceal any problem areas.

Tailoring Tip: Most women with apple figures have shapely leg, so get your dress hemmed to show them off.

These styles are not for you:

  • high-waisted pants and skirts
  • tiered and ruffled skirts
  • shoulder bags that end on your hips
  • anything that draws attention to your hip and waist area


You have a rectangular shaped body type

You have not many curves, a small to medium bust, undefined waist and straight hips and bottom. Your bust:wait:hips ratio is: 3:3:3

  • You need to create the illusion of curves and a defined waist and emphasise your arms and legs.
  • The ultimate goal here is highlighting the thinnest part of your waist so your hips and bust appear larger and more proportional.
  • A ruffled top would b e a good way to start. Shirts with ruffles around the bust make your top look half larger, which makes your waist look smaller and shapelier in comparison.
  • A jacket with a banded bottom, floral cut-out maxi dress, a soft lux tapered trousers are some of the items that will work well with this body type.

These styles are not for you:

  • crop tops
  • straight dresses and skirts
  • boxy tops and tunics
  • square necklines

 You have a pear shaped figure

You have a triangular shaped body with a well defined waist and narrow shoulders. Your hip line is proportionally wider than your shoulders. Your thighs and butt might be full and round and you carry most of your wait in this area. Your tummy if most likely flat. Your bust:wait:hips ratio is: 3:2:4

  • Your goal is to elongate and balance your figure by accentuating your top half. enhance your waistline and arms.
  • Clothing that draw attention to hips and thighs are not for you
  • Try an off-the-shoulder fit-and-flare dress. Your bare shoulders will take the attention off your lower body, and the skirt shape is ideal for highlighting the smallest parts of your waist and then generously flaring out to conceal wider hips.
  • Try a Suede biker Jacket. The interesting details or prints direct attention to the top half of your body and gives a bit of structure to the shoulder area, which makes your bottom half appear smaller in comparison.
  • An A-line skirt highlights the smallest part of your waist and flares out over the hips.

These styles are not for you:

  • bias cut skirts and dresses
  • pencil and tight skirts
  • low cut pants or low belts
  • shapeless and baggy tops and tunics
  • anything that enhances your hips and thighs

2nd Take is the largest consignment second-hand clothing Franchise group in South Africa with boutique shops in Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, as well as a convenient online store. 2nd Take stocks exclusive designer brands and high street labels, often not available for purchase anywhere else in South Africa.

For further information on 2nd Take, please contact us on 021 434 5878 or e-mail

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