personal stylist & shopper
personal & corporate gifts

The Insider’s Guide to Body Shapes for Clothes

By Connie Matthews, The Stylish Director, Personal Stylist, Brisbane Australia.


Mirror, Mirror on the wall please tell me the body shape I saw!

You’ve walked around for hours, have sore feet, tried on so many things and nothing looked good on you.  Hmmmmm…sounding familiar? 

The one thing most women get wrong (drum roll) is:  Body Shape.  It becomes crystal clear once you see and understand your shape. 

One thing I won’t do is call you by a Fruit name  – Eccccckkkkk!!!!

We have:                                                          



Understanding your Body Shape is one of the keys to getting the right fit with your clothes

Understanding your Body Shape is one of the keys to getting the right fit with your clothes.


Stand in front of your mirror, with your arms down.  What do you see?

If it’s not clear, ask someone to measure you – and keep those arms down.  Measure hips, waist and bust, may I say it just one more time, keep your arms down.

You may have picked your shape quickly when looking in the mirror and if you didn’t it may be that you are just a ‘slight’ Inverted Triangle or Triangle.  Terrific!!!  You can just about get away with being an Hour Glass.

So, what is the shape we are aiming for – I hear you ask?  The Hour Glass.

Everything in our world is built around creating illusions and our dress is no different.  Our clothes are used to create the illusion of an Hour Glass shape.

Now that we know our shape, the next question is how do we dress that shape?  That’s a very good question and I could write a blog on each shape, however I’m keeping this short for now.

Connie Matthews The Stylish Director Personal Stylist will help you understand your Body Shape

When you know which Body Shape you are, shopping becomes a pleasure.




With this feminine and curvy shape, we need to find the right tops to accentuate while not appearing heavy.

Do scooped and V-necklines, tops that sit at the waist, coats that are fitted and well cut.

Avoid high necklines, shapeless cuts, baby doll or empire tops.  Give embellishments around the hips a miss as well.


Just about all pants will look great.

Go for A-line and fitted skirts.

Avoid baggy pants, overly short skirts and skirts that finish at the heaviest part of the leg.


Stilettos are hard to beat on this body shape.

Do knee high boots, peep or rounded toes.

Avoid pointed toes and chunky heels.



Find Jackets and tops the will show off your slender upper body and create a fuller look.

Go for large V and U necks.  Horizontal stripes and big lapels work for you.  Padding and embellishments on the shoulders will help balance your shape.  Cropped tops are also great for the shape.

Avoid shapeless tops.  Keep away from Jackets and Tops that have patterns at the bottom.


You can get away with wide-leg pants, A-line skirts that are fitted at the hips and darker colours.  Keep away from Pencil skirts which cling at the hips and Capri pants.



This shape is basically straight up and down so here we want to create a waist.

Go for fitted jackets with shoulder pads which helps to define the waist.  Embellishments or pockets around the bust will create the illusion we’re looking for.

Avoid stripes, square neck and fitted tops.


Aim to add curves to your bottom and legs.

Do large back pockets, figure hugging and low-rise jeans.  A-line and pencil skirts cinched at the waist.

Avoid straight skirts, baggy styles and wide pants.


Flats and heels will always look fabulous.

Avoid thin heels.



Go for things that slim down your upper half, but be careful not to lose your curves.

Do V-necklines, other open necklines or strapless tops.  Large belts and Empire Tops are great.

Avoid bold patterns, embellishments around the shoulders and shoulder pads.  This will only accentuate your broad shoulders.


Here we want to create fullness to give us that Hour Glass look.

Go for relax fit pants with pockets. Skirts with flare or A-line are the way to go here.  Boot cut jeans as well.

Avoid skinny jeans and pencil skirts.


This shape can go for just about any style – so knock yourself out!



Go for tops that enhance volume to your bust area, but also define your waist.  Deeper V-necklines or wider necklines, along with tops that are nipped in at the waist.  Semi fitted or loose.  Shirts and Jackets that end at the hip.

Avoid tight fitted clothes, small prints, embellishments and ruffles around the waistline and bust.  Forget tucking in your tops.


Stay with bottoms that enhance your shape without adding bulk.

Go for pocketed cargo pants, straight or slightly flared skirts, bottoms that have a bit of stretch.

Avoid anything that is extremely short, tight, clingy or bulky and overly tapered pants.


Oval shapes won’t have any trouble finding shoes.

Go for wedges, chunky heels or platforms.  Strappy sandals, ballet flats and calf length boots.

Avoid pointed shoes or anything that is dainty.

Know your body shape by Connie Matthews The Stylish Director Personal Stylist

It takes time to know your body shape and when you do, you can pull anything off.

Dressing to any shape can be confusing.  Reading about it is one thing and doing it is another which is why Personal Styling is my thing.  So…how can I help you from here?

Why not come along to my Half Day Hands On Shopping Experience Workshop where you can join a small group looking for the same answers as you.  BOOK HERE to be part of this amazing, fun and inspiring workshop.

If being part of a group is not your thing – call me:  0439 088 669 or email:  Let’s do a 1 on 1 Personal Styling session together.  We’ll clear up the body shape concern, your dominant style type, source the right stores that suit you and have fun along the way.

Connie Matthews

STYLE…as Individual as YOU!

0439 088 669

Advice from The Stylish Director Connie Matthews Personal Stylist

Providing clear Personal Styling advice from The Stylish Director Connie Matthews


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *