How to Know Your Body Type

“So what is my body type?” — it’s the question every woman needs to know the answer to.

Knowing your body type unlocks the ability to understand your style. Your body type gives you the freedom to accentuate curves, balance proportion, and create intentional shapes within your outfits.

There are a variety of different ways people measure body type, and this article is one of the best I’ve found. I’m using some of the math from it with some tweaks of my own.

But before we get into the body types, it’s important for me to mention this…

If you’re an hourglass body type, your shoulders and your hips measure within 5% of each other, and your waist is more than 25% smaller than your hips and shoulders.

I come from the new school of thought on body type — I don’t believe that if you are a pear, you should never were skinny jeans (a big old no no once upon a time) or if you’re an inverted triangle, you should never wear a power blazer that accentuates the width of your shoulders.

I believe all bodies are beautiful, and you can use your body and style in any way you want. If a look is authentic to you and makes you feel good, it’s worth giving that look a shot.

This is not about doing it wrong or doing it right. It’s about giving you the knowledge, so that you can explore how you wear clothing in the most satisfying ways.

Clothing should always be exciting, which means you’ve got to take risks every once in a while. Whether that means adding cropped flare pants into the mix or belting an oversized patterned mumu, it’s your time to play. Have fun with it.

So without further adieu! Start here:

First, measure your shoulders, bust, hips, and waist.

If you’re unsure of where your natural waist is, it’s situated below your rib cage and above your belly button.

If you’re unsure of where your hips are, stand up and raise one leg, so there is a 90 degree angle between your foot and your glutes. Touch the crease where you bent your leg, then lower your leg. That spot from side to side is where your hips lie.

For shoulders, measure (or get someone to measure for you) straight across the back of your shoulder girdle.

Jot down all four of the measurements, and determine your body type…


If your hips are 5% larger than your shoulders and/or bust, and you typically gain weight in your bottom half over the top half of your body, you’re a pear.

To accentuate your curves, try these:

Outfit 1: fit ‘n’ flare skirt, graphic tee tucked in, pointed-toe pumps

Outfit 2: high-waisted, wide-leg trousers, pull-over blouse tucked in, block-heel sandals

Outfit 3: flare dark blue jeans, button-down tied up, stacked-heel booties


If your bust is more than 5% larger than your hips and you easily gain weight in your abdomen, but rarely in your legs, you’re an apple.

To highlight your body type, try these:

Outfit 1: tunic top, long pendant necklace, faux-leather leggings, knee-high boots

Outfit 2: wrap dress, sock booties, gold hoops

Outfit 3: boat-neck tee, white jean shorts, embellished sandals


If your bust, shoulders, and hips measure within 5% of each other, and your waist is less than 25% smaller than your shoulders and/or bust, you’re a rectangle.

To play with your shape, try these:

Outfit 1: shift jumpsuit, kimono, slip-on sandals

Outfit 2: bodysuit, skinny jeans, duster, cowboy boots

Outfit 3: ribbed tee, denim pencil skirt, stretch blazer, oxfords


Your shoulders and your hips measure within 5% of each other, and your waist is at least 25% smaller than your hips and shoulders.

To enhance your curves, try these:

Outfit 1: pencil skirt, moto jacket, tucked-in spaghetti strap top

Outfit 2: high-waisted joggers, mock-turtleneck top, fashion sneakers

Outfit 3: crop top, printed pants, chandelier earrings, strappy heels

Inverted Triangle

Your shoulders and/or bust are more than 5% bigger than your hips.

Outfit 1: boyfriend jeans, crew neck tee, platform sandals

Outfit 2: a-line skirt, silky button-down, pointed-toe pumps

Outfit 3: skinny jeans, cowboy booties, relaxed fit blazer, v-neck tee

As always, I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and share your body type and what outfit you’d love to try this week.

Happy Styling!