Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to know what your Body Type is?


Part 2 of the Key #3 The 5 Keys to Dressing Well

Our objective is to learn how to emphasize the best parts of your body and de-emphasize the ones you don't like so much.

The trick to always looking your best is to call attention to your most pleasing parts, both of your physical appearance and of your personality.

Let's continue with Body Types. We classified five major body types. For your reference go back to The 5 Basic Body Types

We already know that there are different geometrical shapes that we use to classify human's body shapes. The best way to really know which body type you fit into, is to do a body tracing. You are going to need a lot of paper to do this! a black or blue marker, a tape measure and a good friend.

Triangle and Inverted Triangle


  • Tape the paper to the wall or a plain door, at least a few inches taller than you. The paper should be long enough to touch the floor. 
  • Wear a swimsuit or your underwear only and no shoes.
  • Stand with your back against the wall or door with your legs hip distance apart, arms outstreched, fingers outstreched touching the wall or door.N
  • Have your friend trace your entire body with the marker on the paper.
  • Now have her place a horizontal line on the paper at each of the following places.
  1. Top of head
  2. Waist
  3. Hips or thighs (if thighs are wider than hips)

  • You can also do a sideways body tracing, standing sideways with your arm close to the side of your body, have your friend trace your profile view, have her hold the marker perpendicular to the paper. For all tracings its better to use a fine marker, as you want to trace as much of your natural indentations as possible.
It is very useful to do a profile tracing of your body, as we are three dimensional, and to look at the overall body type without considering our "fullness" would not be very accurate.

Now that you have your body traced both from the front and from the side. What shape can you see? Which geometrical shape does it resemble? Does it look similar to any of the 5 basic body types we talked about before?


Now we need to use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your:

  • shoulders
  • bust
  • waist
  • hips or (thighs if bigger than hips). 

Let's analyze the results:


What is your waist measurement in relation to your shoulders, bust and hips? Is your waist at least 9 to 11 inches smaller (23-28 cm), than your bust or hip (thigh) measurements? Then it means that you do have a definite waist, which narrows your body type, as either a triangle/pear or an hourglass or inverted triangle.
Now let's look at your shoulder measurement in comparison to your hips or thighs, are they the same? only less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) difference in measurement then your body shape is an hourglass.
See we made two different comparisons:
  1. Waist and Hips (or Thighs)
  2. Shoulders and Hips (or Thighs)
No you don't have to have a full bust to be an hourglass! What determines an hourglass body type is  having a definite waist and the relation of shoulders size and placement to your hips. There are many women who have hourglass body shapes but don't have a big bust size, or maybe they do, but have achieved that artificially.

What happens if  you have a definite waist but your shoulder measurement is smaller in more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) from your hip or thighs measurements, then you have a triangular shape.

If your shoulder measurement is bigger than 1 inch (2.5 cm) from your hips (or thighs) measurement then you most probably have an Inverted Triangle body shape.


What if there is not much difference in your waist measurements in relation to your bust and hips(thighs), then it means you have most probably an Apple or a Rectangle body shape.

As you may known the main characteristic for the "ideal" women's body is the waist. Some body types are characterized by having almost no waist, although everybody has one, but it is either visually obvious or not.

So the challenge for those that have Round or Rectangular body shapes, is to visually create a waist, and that can be achieved by many different ways. One of the easiest, simplest and that is flattering to all body shapes, is to cinch the body  right under the bust-line, by the use of an empire style dress for example.

Remember that the idea is always to draw attention towards our face!

Take a look again at the drawings at The 5 basic body shapes to compare them to your body tracing, and use that in combination to your body measurements to find out which body shape your body is more similar to. It doesn't have to be so obvious and exaggerated (do not follow the drawings on this post!) you most probably fall somewhere in between two body shapes. Which one do you lean more towards?

You know your body better than anybody else, you have been inhabiting your body for years! You might not have known how to name the shape of your body, but you certainly have more knowledge about it than anybody else!


There is no one body shape better than the other. There are many different ways to dress the body, and the Golden Mean Ratio can be applied no matter what your body shape is.
So let's use what we have learned about body shapes as a tool to achieve our style goals, whatever those might be! No matter what your body shape is we can achieve different style looks, if we know ourselves first there is no limit to what we can create!

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