Flatter your figure: How to dress for your body shape

Jenny Mullan

Knowing what category your body shape falls into will effortlessly help you flatter your figure, so that you can pull off the latest trends with ease.



Open up any fashion magazine and instantly be met with a sea of this season’s styles. While we might all be keen to get on board with the latest floral, gingham or monochrome trend, don’t neglect the importance of dressing for your shape. This winning formula will ensure you both look and feel great!

And in order to do just that, knowing what category your body shape falls into will effortlessly help you flatter your figure, so that you can pull off the latest trends with ease.

While every single body differs, our shapes tend to fall into one of five different categories, and may even be a combination of two.

Pear shape

Envision a pear and you’re halfway there! Pear shaped beauties are typically broader on their bottom half than top, so that their hips are wider than their shoulders. If you fall into this category, you’re in good company, sharing a silhouette with Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Clarkson.

And while they may have a team of experts on hand to ensure they dress flawlessly for their shape, we can help you do it without breaking the bank. When it comes to choosing clothing, opt for silhouettes which will draw the eye to your torso and shoulders. Light coloured tops paired with dark trousers are the perfect combination and a clever way to disguise hips. When it comes to necklines, sweetheart, scoop and strapless are key, and choose dresses which slim the hips and thighs.


Apple shape

If you fall into the apple shape category, you carry most of your weight around your mid-section, above your hips, which are narrow. Celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Angelina Jolie and Elizabeth Hurley are experts in creating the illusion of a smaller waist. Easy ways to elongate your body include choosing V-necklines, empire or A-line dresses, while structured tops will create curves. A structured jacket is the perfect finishing touch, while monochrome colourings are super-flattering.


Column shape 

If your body is column or ‘rectangular’, your celebrity pairings include Cameron Diaz, Nicole Kidman and Sheryl Crow. With column shapes, your waist, hips and shoulders are similar in width, meaning your legs and arms are your best assets. With this body shape, you are afforded the chance to have fun with proportions. Add length to your figure with flowing boho inspired dresses or add curves thanks to the power of a sweetheart neckline. Layering is another element to get on board with, building interesting dimensions through the addition of accessories, kimonos or jackets.


Hour glass

Equally proportioned shoulders and hips with a defined waist mean you fall into the iconic hour glass figure category, which includes celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson. Clothes which show off your gorgeous curves should be your calling. Keep your proportions perfectly balanced in bodycon dresses, which will carefully define your waist without overwhelming it. Choose graphic prints or colour block to draw attention to the smallest part of your frame.


Strawberry shape

Also commonly known as ‘wedge’ or ‘inverted triangle’ strawberry shaped ladies have a broader chest or wider shoulders, with a smaller waist and hips. Cindy Crawford, Demi Moore and Reneé Zellweger boast athletic shaped figures. The opposite of pair shapes, choose bold prints or bright colours on your bottom half, paired with a neutral coloured top.

When it comes to dressing for your body shape, think about what it is that you love about your figure. If you’ve got a small waist, use a belt to highlight it. Show off your shoulders or arms in a strapless top. Flaunt your killer pins in a shorter number. Play around with different styles and silhouettes and don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. You may just discover an unexpected style that both you and your figure love.

Shop the Ariana spring/summer collection online here.

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