Many women find they need to purchase plus size clothing to get items that fit. However, finding clothes that flatter the curves challenges many ladies. This involves determining the body shape and learning which styles best complement that shape. Experts state there are 12 female body shapes. However, four shapes are the most common, with the other eight being derived from the basic four.
Determining Your Body Shape
North Carolina State University conducted a study of over 6,000 women approximately 15 years ago. During this study, the researchers found 46 percent of women have a rectangular or banana shape, 20 percent fall into the pear shape category, 14 percent possess an apple shape, and eight percent are blessed with an hourglass figure, which men and women consider the ideal. Knowing your body shapes makes it much easier to find plus size clothing that flatters you.
To determine the body shape, women need to measure certain parts of the body. Start at the bust. While wearing a bra, put the arms down by the side, keeping them relaxed throughout the process. Measure the largest part of the chest, making sure the tape remains parallel to the floor. The tape sits under the armpit and goes around the body in the area where most women find their bra line falls.
Move down to the waist and find the narrowest part of the midsection. This serves as the waistline, and many women find it difficult to determine where they should measure. Bend to one side and see where the body bends and a crease forms. For most women, this falls right below the rib cage. The crease marks the natural waistline, although many ladies don’t realize this because they wear their pants or jeans lower on the body. Keep the tape measure parallel while measuring this area.
Next, measure the hips, doing so at the point where the rear end is the largest. For most people, the hips need to be measured at the area where the legs and torso meet. This is around eight inches below the natural waistline.
Enter these measurements at Calculator.net to determine your body shape.
Understanding the Different Body Shapes
Pear-shaped women have small upper bodies when compared to the lower body. The hips are wider than the shoulders and the woman carries her weight in the hips, buttocks, and legs. These women have small chests and flat stomachs in proportion to the hips and thighs. Stand with legs together and measure the shoulders and hips. If the shoulders measure smaller than the hips, you have a pear shape.
Apple-shaped women serve as the exact opposite of pear-shaped women. They have a small bottom half and carry their weight in the upper body. These women possess slim hips and a large chest and stomach. The abdomen appears wider than the shoulders and hips, and the midsection appears wide and round. As a result, experts refer to these women as apple shaped, much like an apple one eats.
The hourglass figure remains highly desired by women the world over, as this silhouette remains well proportioned. Women with this body shape have hips and a bust that are the same size or close, and the waist on these women is very narrow. Women with an hourglass figure gain weight all over, mostly in the chest and hips area.
Rectangular or banana-shaped women have shoulders, hips, and a waist that all measure approximately the same. However, these women lack the waist definition seen in ladies with an hourglass figure. Their waist measures nine inches or fewer than their bust or hips, but lacks clear definition.
Dressing for Your Body Shape
Certain pairings accentuate different body types. Knowing which combinations work best for your figure helps significantly when the time comes to buy new clothes. Nevertheless, women need to wear clothes that make them feel good and are comfortable, even if experts don’t recommend a particular style for their body type. Each woman knows what she feels best in, and that’s the most important thing.
Pear-shaped women should choose clothes that create a waistline that is more defined. This includes wrap dresses and tops along with ruche dresses and tops. Belts easily add definition to the waist, and many women find they look great in prints. Flare pants help balance the upper and lower body, and women in this category should look into A-line or pencil skirts. Bring attention to the upper body with the help of great accessories, such as large earrings and necklaces. Geometric-shaped necklines and V-necks remain great choices for these ladies, and women shouldn’t hesitate to grab a short skirt or knee dress to show off gorgeous legs.
Women with an hourglass shape wear anything they want with no problems. This includes fitted clothing that shows every curve and line. Sheath and bodycon dresses remain favorites of these ladies, as do mermaid dresses. When a woman with an hourglass figure needs pants, look for flare, boot-cut, or wide-leg versions. To emphasize the small waist, choose peplum dresses and skirts, pencil skirts, fit-n-flare or A-line style dresses, and those with an empire waist.
Banana-shaped women need to minimize the lines of the body while defining the waist. Do so by purchasing semi-fitted clothing as opposed to fitted items. Peplum jackets serve these women well, and belts allow for definition of the waist. Consider great prints, along with A-line and pencil skirts. Women with this body shape find they can wear any style of pants. Define the waist with the help of pencil and peplum skirts or wear a peplum, A-line, or fit-and-flare dress. Maxi dresses provide flare to the body, so try some dresses of this type.
Many women believe they know their body type only to take measurements and learn they were completely wrong. Start with your measurements and get clothes that fit you well and make you look great. When you do, your confidence increases and this shows in everything you do. Try new styles today, as you may be surprised by what you find.