Stylewatch: this will make your clothes look better

Here’s how to find out once and for all what your actual body shape is so you can dress for it.

middle aged woman trying on jeans

As with most things in life, one size rarely fits all and fashion is no exception. As tempting as it can be to try a new trend, the most successful way to always look stylish is to dress for your body shape. But what is your body shape?

It’s quite bizarre that we compare our figures to pieces of fruit such as apples and pears. Thankfully, there is a way to once and for all find out what your actual body shape is so you can start dressing for it rather than throwing on clothes and hoping for the best.

Bradley Bayou is the brains behind the body shape calculator, which comes with no less than Oprah’s seal of approval. Based on maths (who knew it could come in so handy after school) the method uses simple measurements to help identify which shape and size you are. His book, The Science of Sexy, elaborates on the 48 different body types and how best to dress for each so you flatter your figure.

Armed with a measuring tape and assistant (read friend or family member) here’s how to do the maths.

1. Shoulders: Place the measuring tape at the tip of one shoulder and wrap it all the way around you like a shawl until it meets back at the same shoulder. This will measure the widest circumference of your shoulders.

2. Bust: Stand up straight and wrap the measuring tape around your back and the widest part of your breast – usually the middle.

3. Waist: Find the smallest part of your natural waist and wrap the measuring tape around – it should meet just above your belly button.

4. Hips: Wrap the measuring tape around the widest part of your hips and bum, below your hip bone.

Based on these measurements and how weight is distributed, the most common four silhouettes are:

*          Triangle (or pear): if your hips are more than five per cent bigger than your shoulders or bust.

 Dress best by accentuating your tiny top with fitted or figure hugging pieces while opting for flare or A-line when it comes to the bottom half.

*          Inverted triangle: your shoulder or bust measurements are more than five per cent larger than your hip measurement.

Dress best by adding volume and attention to your hips. A fitted top or jacket that hugs the waist and flares out over the hips will help to balance out broad shoulders.

*          Hourglass: your waist is at least 25 per cent smaller than your shoulders or bust and your waist is also at least 25 per cent smaller than your hips. Your shoulder and hip measurements should also be within five per cent of each other.

Dress best by highlighting your small waist to enhance your hourglass figure. Think wrap tops or dresses, crop tops or fitted outfits that show off your shape.

*          Rectangle: if your waist is less than 25 per cent smaller than your shoulders or bust and your shoulders, and bust and hip measurements are all within five per cent of each other.

Dress best by creating volume around the bottom half – think full skirts or pants. This will help to enhance your hips and balance out your upper body.

Once you know your shape according to the numbers there’s really no excuse not to shop and dress for it – you’ll only enhance your best assets and find pieces that flatter rather than make you look frumpy.

Grab your tape measure and tell us which body shape you are? Do you have any foolproof tricks for dressing to suit your shape?

You can find out more about the 48 different body types and how to best dress for them in Bradley Bayou’s book The Science of Sexy.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    30th Jun 2017
    Again what about men's clothes?
    30th Jun 2017
    No one cares. Besides all you need to attract women is money! They don't care what you look like. All these years you thought they were looking at your arse but they were actually looking at your
    30th Jun 2017
    Get real! Why would I want to accent "my tiny top with fitted or figure hugging peices"? Wouldn't my "tiny top" look better with loose-ish tops to make it look bigger, and fitted skirts and/or slacks to trim down the biggest part of my triangle? Who thinks up these ideas anyway??
    30th Jun 2017
    If we wore clothes which make us feel nice and look nice and above all are comfortable , hen we have got it right. Do not be a slave to fashion - the designers and retailers are only interested in selling their products
    30th Jun 2017
    Does my arse look big in this. Shit yeah! Never happens! Men's idea of women's fashion ,,,come naked bring beer.
    30th Jun 2017
    So Oprah endorses this. I have watched Oprah's yo-yo dieting for years and this is probably a dubious endorsement. Buy clothes that fit your body instead of buying by size. It is a very simple task to cut off the tag.
    30th Jun 2017
    Go naked

    8th Aug 2017
    nice....have look on my site
    25th Aug 2017
    most clothes these days are season only, that is if they don't pill or stretch. Even clothes that were expensive. It was much better when we had our own Aussie clothes industry. Now we have to be satisfied with rags from Bangledesh, india, china and other 3rd world countries. WHILE I KNOW THAT THEY NEED THE EMPLOYMENT, SO DO WE, charity begins at home

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