What to Wear For Body Type

Her long legs were beautifully decorated in fur leg warmers. She looked so apres ski chic. I, too, wanted to look chic with long beautiful legs so I ordered said beautiful pair of fur leg warmers from Neiman Marcus.

I received said leg warmers and ripped them open— I tried them on and gasped!  Not from delight but from sheer horror.  

Horror may be an exaggeration but THEY WERE SO BAD.  Like comically bad. I am short. And have a ridiculously short inseam.  (Hello long torso/ short legs! That’s me.)  

This moment was a great reminder that shopping for my figure would save me a lot of time, money and perhaps even some heartache. I do this for clients similarly as a personal stylist shopper (and of course during my personal shopper service online)!  Practice what I preach, right?

For those of you that have been following my journey for some time, this too (acknowledging different figures) has helped when terms of letting go of my grandma’s wardrobe. To clean out my closet. 

 While some of her pieces have fit me magically, most have not.  She and I are almost completely different figures. My grandma was tall, big chested and had thin long legs.  Me: short, small chested and athletic legs.

Knowing your figure and what works well for you is a great additional tool to help you clean out your closet if you struggle to do so. 

So, if you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole trying to figure out your body type,  what to wear for your figure, I’m going to help with a few quick tips. 

The most wanted shape is an hourglass figure (because it’s the most balanced body type of them all) and often deemed to be the most feminine. 

So, please take this blog with a grain of salt and know that I fully support and encourage you to dress however makes YOU happy and feel your best self.  

I don’t believe in shapewear, body shapewear, body shaming or any of that.  We are so lucky to be alive, let alone have bodies to dress.  

But, here I am sharing these tips because “what to wear for body type”  as a question has come up too many times from clients and readers so it would be remiss to not share. 

Simple flattering tips 101

  •  Shiny fabrics attract so if you’re self conscious about an area, don’t wear shiny fabrics on areas you want to avoid attention.
  •  If trying to minimize your chest/tummy area- don’t wear oversized accessories as it will only bring more attention to that area.
  • If you’re trying to elongate your legs, avoid contrasting shoes/boots.
  • For example, if wearing a light denim paired with a black knee high boot- it’ll  shorten your look as opposed to wearing black denim with a black boot –which would elongate the look.

Numbers and tags lie

This is going to be difficult for most folks: TAG NUMBERS MEAN NOTHING.  To give you an example, I once purchased a size 10 skirt that *almost* fit perfectly.  I am typically a size 4/6.  Said size 10 skirt was on the sale rack and ridiculously marked down, for good reason. I am very aware I bought that skirt for such a steal because I am sure that tag “scared” away both ends. People that are typically not a size 10 would pass it by and then those that typically purchased a size 10 would feel horrible that it likely didn’t even pass their hips. 


Tags, lie. Do we have to buy based upon numbers? For now, yes we do.  But please don’t be afraid to size up or down- it means nothing about your body.  (P.S-As a personal shopping stylist I always buy at LEAST 2 sizes in almost every garment I purchase for clients. I do not trust tags/sizes as labeled. Is it a pain? Absolutely. But the more practice, you can start spotting these size discrepancies)

There are four main body types:

How to dress for my body type:

  • Triangle (otherwise known as a pear)
  • Inverted triangle (a lot of supermodels have this figure)
  • Rectangle 
  • Hourglass

Rectangle and triangle figures are two of the most common body types I’ve worked with (and for good reason, I believe these are the two most common body types for women). 

Rectangle: 

Potential struggles: you often complain of “tummy” troubles. 

Key wardrobe goals:  creating / faking a waist. 

Peplums are going to be your best friend.  J.Crew and Tory Burch are two brands that dress rectangle figures shockingly well. Especially Tory Burch. Her brand has horrible hanger appeal but can look like magic ON the body.  

I feel pretty strongly about this. Try.it.on. You will  be absolutely delighted.   Peplum styles may be your bff. 

Triangle body type:  (also known as pear shaped body type)

This one of the most common figures I shop and help (perhaps because fit can be difficult?)  

Potential struggles: you can appear bottom heavy.  

Key wardrobe goals: wear tops that create balance with your hips (puff sleeves, v-necks and boat necks).  

A boyfriend blazer like J.Crew’s Sophie open front sweater is one of my *favorite* pieces for a triangle body type if it’s your style of course. It’s that “do-it-all” piece (hello, versatility = sustainable clothing for women). 

Inverted triangle 

Potential Struggles: you can appear top heavy.

Key Wardrobe Goals: add visual interest to your bottom half  (this could be done with pattern, fading, whiskering)

Hourglass:  you have balanced curves, woo! 

Key wardrobe goals: accentuate your waistline

Quick tips to balance your proportions:

Short torso / long legs

Long legs / short torso

Long torso/ short legs:
1️⃣. Cropped styles work well
2️⃣. Short necklaces bring eye upward and can shorten your long torso
3️⃣. Tuck your shirt / tie.
Short torso/ long legs:
1️⃣. Think length-literally. Tunic styles elongate
2️⃣. Vertical stripes on top elongate your top half
3️⃣. Wear long necklaces to elongate your upper body
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