Inclusive dressing: 6 universally-flattering outfits that complement any body type
Because there are certain styles of women's clothing that look remarkable whether you’re curvy, petite, short, tall, apple, pear or any fruit (haha)
With years of shopping experience under your belt, you generally know which clothing style works best for your body type. Maybe you predominantly gravitate towards high-waisted form-fitting jeans or perhaps you tend to grab those beautiful wrap dresses hanging nicely in your closet on a semi-regular basis. Yes, these outfits look great on you but it never hurts to extend your possibilities and try something new!
Since the fashion market is constantly expanding with new silhouettes, cuts, forms, trends, and fabrics being introduced to us regularly, it can be quite challenging to select what will work best for your body type and shape. While there are certain ‘rules’ to follow to have a curated wardrobe filled with clothing pieces that work well with a certain body type, there are specific styles of clothing that work best for any of the five body shapes. So, whether you’re petite, have an athletic build, or on the curvy side, these items will suit you.
Before heading to the list, it’s handy to find out which of the five body shapes you belong to. Read on to find out, plus which items will accentuate those curves (or lack thereof).
The five beautiful body types
Every body shape is unique and beautiful. Here, at Dressbarn, we believe that our distinct shape should not pose a limitation in terms of which outfit to don. Our body type is the outline of our body structure, and it has five different variations- apple, hourglass, pear, rectangle, and inverted triangle.
An apple body shape has a heavier upper body and a less defined waist, and is characterized by broad shoulders and a bigger bust line. It’s also known as circle or round body type. Eva Longoria and Kate Winslet are two of our favorite apple-shaped celebrities.
Meanwhile, the hourglass body type has an accentuated waist line, and fairly-balanced shoulders and hips, just like sexy glamazons Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian.
Pear shape is highlighted by a bigger butt and thighs. Also known as a triangle body type, the bottom body part is visually curvier than the upper body area. Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna are two of the beautiful pear-shaped celebrities we adore.
The rectangle-shaped body has a straighter built with pronounced shoulders and slightly curvy hips. It’s usually well-balanced from the shoulders to the hip area, like the statuesque Cameron Diaz and the stunning Taylor Swift.
Lastly, the inverted triangle body type is identified by much broader shoulders than hips. Angelina Jolie and Demi Moore are two of the gorgeous celebrities that fall under this body type.
As each body type has specific attributes that should be highlighted (that slim waist and curvy hips deserve all the attention, as well as those broad shoulders, mind you!), we have some ideas on how to play up your unique features using the six universally-flattering clothing pieces we have identified.
Six pieces that go well with any body type
Trends come and go, but just like the little black dress and the red lip, there are certain items of clothing that go past seasons and decades. Look more in-depth and you’ll see further pieces that transcend body types. Now, it’s not about which silhouettes we buy, but how we style each piece to make them work with our individual body shapes.
The chic jumpsuit
Have you had countless days when you’re just clueless on which top to pair with which bottom? Well thanks to the fashion goddesses for inventing the jumpsuit! It’s the perfect blend of style and ease. If you haven’t worn a jumpsuit before, it might come across as intimidating because of its shape. But with a variety of styles and fabrics available in the market, we’re sure you’ll find something that suits your personal style.
Define your waist by cinching it with a skinny belt in a contrasting color. If you’re wearing a one-color jumpsuit, throw on a lightweight jacket in a fun print or a classic denim jacket to give it a little pop. Experiment with fabrics by mixing hard and soft textiles like a jersey jumpsuit paired with a leather jacket. Apple and pear-shaped ladies will look amazing in tailored cuts with a straight leg; while hourglass, inverted triangle, and rectangle will benefit from wide-legged styles.
The maxi dress
Maxi dresses are one of those pieces in our closets that look phenomenal whether on the beach or when sashaying down the red carpet. Depending on how we style it, this item of clothing can go from day to night, and from boardroom to the bar. It’s a seasonless wardrobe essential that will work hard in our closets.
Maxis with low necklines or broad shoulders will draw attention to the bust area, making the top half of pear, hourglass, and rectangle body types look proportionate with the bottom area. Apples and Triangles will benefit from a nice long flow number, accentuating all your favorite bits!
For women looking for petite dresses or plus size dresses, these women's dresses are flattering and comfortable for all body types.
The jean and shirt combo
The classic jean and womens top combo is a look that surpasses trends, age, and body types. With the right shape and form, this killer combo will certainly make you look every inch stunning.
Hourglass should highlight their small waist by wearing high waisted skinny jeans as it hugs in all the right places. Same goes for rectangles and pears to create an illusion of a smaller waist. Apple and inverted triangle, on the other hand, will look great with form-fitting wide-legged jeans.
Kimonos are often under-hyped but it’s a modern wrap that looks fantastic with a pair of jeans, as a cover-up over a maillot, or by belting it and throwing over a tee and shorts. With a plethora of prints and colors available, you’ll surely find one that looks perfect with your body type.
Its long silhouette will give extreme style (and lengthening) advantages for all five figures. Simply throw it over your trousers or jeans and finish the look with minimal heels. It will make the basic tee-and-jean combo look fun and modern. If you’re opting for a printed kimono, the rest of your outfit should be solid-colored to balance out the busyness of the print.
The floaty floral dresses
Floral dresses can be deemed as busy but with a light fabric and right colors, it can be a staple in anyone’s closet - even for minimalists. These dresses can be worn as special occasion dresses, or to a casual lunch date.
Opt for a halter neckline if you’re an apple or a pear to emphasize your collar bones and direct the eyes towards your upper body. Meanwhile, V necks will go well with inverted triangle, hourglass, and rectangle body types. If florals are too girly for you, choose androgynous accessories such as a pair of white sneakers or leather flats, or throw on a black biker jacket over your shoulders.
The oversized cover-up
Everything oversized is so vogue now. We’ve seen a number of influencers and fashion editors going for a size (or two) bigger when styling their blazers, sweats, or jumpers. Another timeless piece to inject in your style is the oversized cover up.
For hourglass, pear, and apple shapes, choose a V neck cover up in a muted shade or this boho number to emphasize and highlight your upper body. Inverted triangle and rectangle shapes will benefit massively from these bell-sleeved items that go well with everything from swimsuits to cigarette pants.
To wrap it up
Dressing up should be an empowering and enjoyable experience. From trendy plus size clothing to form-fitting work dresses, every body type deserves to be flattered. By knowing which items work with your silhouette, you’ll be able to cut down shopping time in half. While there are certain rules to know and apply if you’re aiming to be successful at dressing to flatter your unique body shape, there are certain items available to work with any body type - it all boils down to how you confidently wear and style each piece.