A Guide for Dressing for Your Body Type and Facial Features
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” Oscar Wilde
Hello and welcome to this post about knowing your body type and features, as part of my series of articles about building a beautiful wardrobe. It complements perfectly my previous article on color analysis and is equally helpful to detoxifying your wardrobe and finding your very own signature style.
Regardless of what the glossy fashion magazine tells you, there is no one size fits all style approach. As with the color analysis, the starting point is you, not that beautiful (orange) scarf over there, that dress that looks so amazing in the hanger or on the model in the catwalk. You must then know your body type and facial features. Fashion and the clothes you wear has to be at your service and adapt to you, not the other way around. This is by no mean a comprehensive guide on dressing all body types under the sun. We are all unique, and so are our bodies. Our bodies also change throughout our lives. We do not have exactly the same body as an early teen that we have in our twenties, before, during or after pregnancies and menopause. But overall, the type we fall in does not change much in our lifetimes.
My aim is to get you started on figuring out on your own the type of clothes that flatters you the most based on five general categories: triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, round and hourglass. Because we are all so unique, we could be either one of five categories or a combination of two or more. Most importantly, after reading this article I would like you to embrace your natural body shape, and make the most of it. There is also no such a thing as an ideal body type or size: in Chad, where I come from, a woman that would be considered obese in France is seen as beautiful while the European or American “ideal” of skinny tall model would be considered ugly and unhealthy looking. The only ideal is our own body, know it, understand it, embrace it and love it!
I/ BODY TYPE
Here is the really simple 3 steps method: 1/measure 2/write it down 3/find out your type.
So start by measuring your shoulders, bust, waist and hips and write it down.
If you can ask someone to help you with your shoulders as ideally you measure it from the back but for the rest, you can do it on your own. For your bust, measure it around the fullest part of it. For your waist, it should be on the smallest part of your natural waist, just above your belly button. Lastly for your hips, go from one hip –just below the hip bone and wrap the tape around the larger part of your back.
And now, with your measures in hand, find out what your body type is!
Your shoulders and hips are around the same size, with a very defined waistline.
This is actually my body type. It is a proportionate and feminine silhouette. Our shoulders are perfectly aligned with our hips and we have a well-defined waist. For us, even when we put on weight, it stays well spread. But when we really put on serious weight, it may show on your stomach, hips and thighs.
The biggest advantage of the hourglass figure is that it is very balanced, so fairly easy to dress. We can pretty much wear anything as long as we avoid boxy styles and undefined waists.
Your hips are wider than your shoulders.
You would want to show off your slim waist and your tiny chest. To make the most out of your figure, wear blouses and tops that will create the illusion of being large at the top. Examples include puffed sleeves, horizontal straps, shoulder pads, American necklines...
3/ Inverted Triangle
Your shoulders are wider than your hips.
You often look like an athlete- even if you do not remember was last time when you hit the gym! When dressing, you can create volume around the hips with pleated pants, umbrella skirts... You should also avoid anything that is too boxy on top. A dress with an empire style waist is also your best friend.
Your shoulders, waist and hips are all aligned. This is the body type of many models. It is a fairly easy body shape to dress even though some of you might regret not having a defined waistline. Instead of trying to define it, embrace it by wearing straight styles. Trying to mark your waistline often does point the fact that you don’t have a defined one, so it is better to play up your naturally elongated appearance.
Your waist is the larger than your hips and shoulders.
You have beautiful curves! Wear flowy material and avoid tight ones. I love the monochrome look in all white or black for example in O shaped women. Dark opaque tights are also your best friends.
It is also important to know which facial type you are mostly like as this will help determine the best haircut for you. You should also take into account your facial features to choose accessories such as sunglasses or a hat as well the type of collar you wear to put out your best features. There is no good or bad facial shape. But knowing yours will help you play out the features that you prefer.
Same as our body types, we each have a very unique face. However, there a few types where we all more or less fall. Here they are and the best way to play them up: stand in front a mirror facing it directly and using a lipstick chalk up your face reflection. Step back and look at the shape you've traced. Where is it widest? Is it short or tall? What shape are yourforehead and jaw? Based on your answers, your face should fit in to one or more of the following seven categories:
Your drawing roughly looks like a tall rectangle with rounded corners. You have broad but even foreheads, cheekbones, and jaws.
If your shapes closely resembles a circle, with wide cheekbones and a tapering jaw and forehead, you might have a round face.
Your outline should be wide at all points, with a broad forehead, strong cheekbones, and an angular jaw.
The forehead should be slightly broad, with narrower cheekbones and a tapering jawline.
You have just a broad forehead, strong cheekbones, and a small chin.
You have a broad jaw but a small forehead.
This is my face type. It differs from a round or oval face in that the cheekbones are significantly wider than the chin and forehead, which are both narrow. I really love my cheekbones, and often play with it when I apply makeup to make them look even wider.
Some Tips for All Body Types
There are some guidelines that are good to know for all body types.
-If you wear a loose pant, your top should be closer to your body and the other way around;
-Never wear more than three colors. You can find out more about colors in my article about color analysis.
-Horizontal stripes makes you look larger while vertical one are slimming and elongating;
-Black and dark colors in general are slimming, while white and light colors are “fattening’.
I hope that this was helpful to you to get a first grasp of your figures and facial feature and to empower you on how to best play them up.
What you need to remember is that no matter your physical look, you are beautiful and that everything that you should wear, regardless of what the ever-changing trends.
So what do you think about body type and facial features analysis? Did you go ahead and do yours? Please feel free to share the article, your thoughts in the comment section and do not forget to suscribe!