How to dress for your body shape on a budget
Published 25 March 2015 by Kyri Levendi
Our style guide for this week will help you to dress for your body shape while remaining on budget.
It can be hard to know how to dress for your body shape, especially as everyone tends to be built slightly differently. But generally, most women can fit into one of the following body types: hourglass, apple, pear or rectangle. However, real body shapes are not just restricted to these four categories, and you may be able to recognise your features in more than one.
To help you embrace your body and dress for your shape, our guide will walk you through what you should wear for each body type, and provide you with some budget-friendly outfit ideas:
An hourglass figure is curvaceous with a small waist. Celebrity wise, think Kim Kardashian, Kelly Brook and Dita Von Teese. If this is your body type, you want to choose outfits that accentuate your curves and draw attention to your waist.
• Wear pieces that fit well and emphasize your shape
• Define and cinch in your waist
• Choose the right undergarments to give you support and the right proportions
• Wear high necklines – they’re unflattering to your shape
• Wear frills or ruffles on the bust, this will only add volume to this area
• Wear baggy shapeless clothing
Our top picks for women with an hourglass body shape:
Look 1: A pencil skirt is a curvy girl’s best friend, as it fits high above the waist and smoothes over the hips – creating the perfect hourglass shape. This yellow flower pencil skirt from Primark is a great find at just £8 and would match perfectly with this lemon scalloped top, also from Primark. The scalloped edges will sit on the waist and its yellow colour will help you to be bang on trend for spring!
Look 2: This black belted dress from Primark is a great option if you have an hourglass figure. The tie waist will help to draw attention to the smallest part of your body, and at just £13 it certainly won’t break the bank!
Look 3: Jeans-wise, boot cut or flared jeans tend to be the best shape for hourglass figures as the flare of the jean balances out the wider part of your hips – there’s a science to it, believe it or not! These dark wash jeans from Matalan are perfect and will be a great investment for this spring, which sees the revival of the seventies as a style trend. As wrap tops pull the fabric in at the smallest part of the waist, the perfect top to pair these jeans with would be this striped one from Primark.
An apple shaped figure is top heavy with slimmer legs and arms. If you have this body shape, it will be similar to that of celebrities like Katherine Zeta Jones, Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie. If you have an apple shaped body, try to reduce your midsection by highlighting your legs and shoulders.
• Show off your legs, as they are your best asset
• Define your waistline by cinching in the narrowest part of your stomach
• Wear flared skirts or trousers
• Wear tight tops, they are not flattering to your body shape
• Wear trousers that are too tight on the waistline
• Wear halter necks
Here are our top picks for women with an apple body shape:
Look 1: A shift dress is ideal for women with apple shaped figures, as they tend to hang loosely around the waist and don’t cling to any problem areas. This daisy print dress from H&M would be perfect for an evening out and is a great price at £14.99. To accentuate your pins even more when wearing a shift dress, make sure to wear nude heels as they make your legs look longer!
Look 2: A high-waisted skater skirt like this one from Primark will hit at the smallest part of your waist and skim over your stomach. A skater skirt like this would look stylish worn over a navy tee or denim shirt!
Look 3: Low waisted trousers like this patterned pair from H&M are ideal for apple shaped figures, as they cut just below the stomach. You could match this pair with a loose blouse like this one from F&F at Tesco.
A pear shape is bottom heavy, with the widest part of the body being around the hips. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé all have pear shaped figures. If you fit into this category, your aim is to balance out your figure by accentuating your top half.
• Wear A-line skirts or dresses
• Define your waist
• Wear longer tops that finish at the hip bone
• Wear light wash jeans
• Wear oversized clothes, they will make your body look big
• Wear horizontal stripes on your lower half
Take a look at some of our tops picks for pear-shaped women:
Look 1: An A-line skirt will draw attention to your waist and skim over your hips, so why not give this skirt from H&M a try? This is ideal for spring and would look great worn with this effortlessly chic striped top from H&M, which is now reduced to just £6.49 – what a bargain!
Look 2: A skater dress like this one from Dorothy Perkins will do wonders for the pear shaped figure, as it will accentuate the waist and provide structure to the shoulder area. Priced at just £11.20, what more could a girl ask for?
Look 3: Embellished tops are perfect at bringing attention to the upper part of your body and this white embellished top from George at Asda will look chic worn with a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans like these from Primark.
Rectangle body shape
The rectangle shape is the most common body type in Britain and is when your hips, waist and shoulders are all the same width. Celebrity wise, think Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Sheryl Crow. If you have a rectangle body shape, you want to highlight your waist in order to make your bust and hips appear bigger.
• Draw attention to your legs
• Clinch in your waist, to help create curves
• Wear scoop neck and sweetheart tops, to further create curves
• Wear clothes with vertical patterns, they will make you look slimmer rather than curvaceous
• Wear loose, shapeless clothing
• Wear overly tight clothing that will accentuate your rectangle shape
Have a look at our top picks for women with a rectangle body shape:
Look 1: Women with a rectangle shaped often have great pins, so why not draw attention to these with a jumpsuit? This khaki jumpsuit from George at Asda will help to draw attention to your waist with its tie belt and when worn with high heels, will help to elongate your legs even further!
Look 2: This imitation leather skirt from H&M will help to give you the appearance of curves with its shaped hem and high-waisted design. To soften up this leather look, pair this skirt with a pastel jumper like this one from Primark. At just £6 it’s great value.
Look 3: Flared jeans are ideal for helping to create curves and this pair from George at Asda are a bargain at just £16! A big style trend for this spring is the seventies and pairing these jeans with this yellow blouse from H&M, will help you to look like you’ve just stepped out of the disco era!