We all know that women’s clothing is not one size fits all — and it’s not one shape fits all, either. Each of us has a unique figure, and understanding what works for yours is the key to looking sharp, chic and put-together.
Here’s the thing: some have ample curves, while others have more athletic physiques with straight lines. Some have wider hips, or more voluptuous derrieres or longer legs. And all of these factors come into play when shopping for new pieces that make you look — and feel — good. Mainly, this is because your body type will determine how certain garments fit you and hang on your body. While the fit is obviously important no matter what, it’s especially crucial with certain items, like bras, jeans, dress shirts and suiting. A blazer or button-down shirt only looks polished if it’s perfectly tailored to your physique. Jeans are only flattering if they’re the perfect rise, style and inseam length for your figure. And bras can only offer the right amount of support, lift and shaping to make your bust look phenomenal if they’re the right size and style for your body.
There are a number of different body types to familiarize yourself with. True to the name, the hourglass-shaped body features a full bust and hips with a defined waist, whereas a pear-shaped body is characterized by narrower shoulders, and a fuller rear and waist. The apple-shaped body features pretty even measurements throughout the bust, waist and hips, with broader shoulders. The athletic body is also not very curvy but tends to have narrower shoulders than the apple and is characterized by a torso that’s straight up and down. In addition to these core types, it’s helpful to note other features about your body, like the fact that your legs are much longer than your torso, or that you have sloping shoulders. All of these factors can come in handy in helping to guide your shopping decisions.
So, why is it so important to dress for your body type? Here are some of the top benefits to be aware of.
- Your Confidence Soars
You know how you feel when you find that magical pair of perfectly fitting skinny jeans? The pair that feels like it was made for you? Now imagine how it would feel if all your clothes made you feel that way. When you wear clothing that’s right for your body type, you experience a surge in confidence. Instead of trying to make your body conform to certain clothes, you’ve found clothes that conform to you — which, unsurprisingly, gives you quite the boost. As such, you’ll walk into a room differently. You’ll run a meeting differently. You’ll hold your head a little higher. Basically, you’ll be 100 percent comfortable in your own skin. And that confidence is definitely something that radiates to those around you. So don’t be surprised if your boss, coworkers, besties or your date takes notice of it.
- You Accentuate Your Assets
We all have features that we’re particularly proud of. Maybe it’s your feminine hips or your shapely legs or your muscular arms. Whatever it is, when you start dressing for your body, you get to show it off. Dressing for your body means drawing attention to those assets. For example, if you’re a pear-shaped woman who loves your hips, a high-waisted pencil skirt will definitely highlight your curvy silhouette. Or, if you’re an apple shape, layering a lace bralette under a sleeveless flowy racerback blouse is an ideal way to proudly display your athletic arms. In turn, this can be an act of self-love. When you wear attire that accentuates your assets, you’re more likely to appreciate your body.
- You Learn to Live With Your “Flaws”
Just as we all have things we love about our bodies, most of us have a few insecurities as well. It’s totally natural, but guess what? Dressing for your body can help you to get over those perceived flaws. When you wear well-fitting garments, anything you’re self-conscious about starts to fade away. For example, if you’re an apple shape, you may be insecure about your midsection — but when you wear a V-neck patterned wrap dress or a floaty tunic sweater, both of which flatter your particular figure, you’ll likely forget about that altogether. Here’s another pro tip: wearing shapewear underneath your outfit can help to smooth out your silhouette, giving you clean lines and making any ensemble hang on your body flawlessly.
- You Save Money in the Long Run
Take a peek in your closet. How much of what’s in there do you actually wear? For most of us, it’s a very small portion. We reach for the same items again and again, and cringe at the sight of those trendy pieces we purchased impulsively without trying them on (what were we thinking?). Fortunately, you can avoid that issue when you start dressing for your body. Once you know what styles look best on your figure, you can invest more wisely. Your shopping will be far more strategic, and slowly but surely, you’ll build up a wardrobe consisting only of pieces that make you feel absolutely fabulous. That also means you save money, too, since you’ll no longer be buying things you never wear. And you can use that money you saved to splurge on a classic garment that’s well-suited to your silhouette, whether it’s a stunning little black dress by your favorite designer, a high-quality trench coat or a vintage blazer.
The first step, of course, is to learn a little bit more about your body type. From there, you can do some research on which styles of tops, jeans, dresses, etc. will be most flattering. Remember: style is a very personal matter, and there are no rules. So at the end of the day, only you know what types of clothes make you feel comfortable and confident. This may seem like a lot of work, but clearly, it’s well worth the effort. These are just some of the incredible rewards you can reap simply by dressing for your shape.