In Categories, Fashion and Beauty

Do you ever walk into a clothes shop and reach the changing room with far too many items to try on but then walk out of the store disappointed, thinking that nothing fits and it’s all your fault – must lose weight, must tone up, what happened to my waist, why have I got such big boobs or no boobs?

Dressing for your body shape

Dressing for your Body Shape

Sometimes I think we just don’t suit certain looks, and certain stores cater for young audiences with different shaped bodies to ours. So no matter how much I love some brands, I know that their delightful designs just won’t suit or fit me once I’ve got them on because they just aren’t made for my body shape.

The dress I’m wearing in this post is from KLASS in the UK. I absolutely love it because I think it flatters my body shape, it skims my belly, is not clingy and it fits comfortably. I have a little blue bolero cardi to go with it – I’ll save that for winter.

Dressing for your body shape

Different Body Shapes

When it comes to body shape, I’ve learnt that most women fall into one of four categories:

Circle – thick around the middle

Triangle – larger at the bottom

Hourglass – Curvy but well proportioned

Rectangle – straight up and down

For added hints and tips to determine your own body shape, pop over to Real Simple.


The circle shape tends to carry weight around the midriff.

An empire waist dress will show off the narrowest part of your torso and skim over the tummy area, so too a shift dress which will show off your shapely legs.  A maxi dress that hangs from an empire waistline is also a good bet. Dressing the Circle Body Type.

For more information you might like to also check out what The Refinery has to say.


The triangle shape is defined as having shoulders and a torso that are narrower than the hips. The top part of your body is probably larger than your bottom part and you might wear a bigger size on top and have a large bust.

You need to create vertical lines – vertical stripes are good. Try strapless dresses or dresses with belts to define your waist even more. Try wearing open necklines – such as halter neck dresses. For more information check out what 40Plus Style has to say.


Hourglass: With an ample chest, a narrow waist, and full (but not wide) hips, this shape, although evenly proportioned, can seem as if it’s all angles.

Avoid anything shapeless and figure-hugging fabrics, but you will want to accentuate your feminine body so fitted clothes in the right places are important.

Look for dresses that fit your boobs and elongate your waist. They should fit very snugly around that area.

If you have weight around the tummy then make sure your buy your dress in supportive fabric.

Hourglass figures might also like : What’s so great about Jersey dresses?

Want more? Pop over to …  40 Plus Style – How to Dress The Hourglass Shape


With little definition at the waist, this straight-up-and-down figure is often considered boyish – many models have this shape. You might try to find styles that fit snugly at your middle but flare out at the bottom to create curves.

You might want to avoid dresses that are tight all over, as well as anything too flowy or unstructured around the waist – but shift dresses and empire line dresses might work well for you.

For more information about this body shape, take a look at: How to Dress the Rectangle Body Shape


  1. Which body shape are you?
  2. Please help 🙂 I really can’t decide which shoes to wear with this dress for a lunch date at the weekend. Which of the FRANKiE4s do you like best with this dress? The black PENNis , the Orange KATs or the tan and white MARGiEs? Which would you wear?

Dressing for your body shape
Dressing for your body shape

Dressing for your body shape

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Showing 16 comments
  • Diane buchanan

    Hi Jo

    Personally i love the orange, with the blue it adds a pop of zest, looks gorgeous, have fun


    • Johanna

      Hello Diane, thank you – yes, I think the pop of zest makes it more fun too 🙂

  • Maria

    The orange KATS. The black ones are too heavy and the tan and white ones don’t suit the dress, which is gorgeous.

    • Johanna

      Thanks for your suggestions Maria. I love how you’re thinking 🙂

  • Life Images by Jill

    I’d love to say I am hourglass, but I think I am more circle. My friend says she and I are Rubenesque. I rather like that description.

    • Johanna

      Yes, I’ll go for Rubenesque Jill. Who wants to be square, rectangle, circular or hourglass when they can be Rubenesque! Love it 🙂

  • anne

    Hi jo, I really like the orange sandals, they really make the outfit pop! Great information I am definitely a circle shape, very hard to find empire tops they seem to be a look of the past! Any ideas where to find them?:)

  • Rae Hilhorst

    The orange KATs look great with your fab dress xx

    • Johanna

      Thanks Rae, I didn’t think I’d like the orange with the blue, but they add such a lovely pop of colour.

  • sue elliott

    That dress looks fabbo Jo!

  • Kathy Marris

    I suppose I’m an hourglass because I am very curvy and have big boobs with wide hips. I am battling at the moment to keep my weight under control and I have no answers. I am still eating the same healthy diet and exercising like mad but the weight just keeps creeping on. I am wearing a lot of shift dresses during the warm weather which are probably a little shapeless but at least hide my curvy body. I do agree that good fitting clothing does tend to flatter curvy figures the best. I love your dress and I think the red(or coral) sandals look great with it.

    • Johanna

      Thanks Kathy. I’m just beginning to realise how cool coral can be as a colour to bring something to life. I’m sorry to hear about your weight issues … if you’re doing the same as always, it doesn’t sound right that the weight keeps creeping on. Time to maybe speak to a health professional? I think you look lovely in shift dresses, but I also remember seeing you in fitted, curvalicious little black dress on Lifestyle Fifty once, which looked gorgeous on you.

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