I recently received a question from a reader for my Beck and Call Q&A newsletter, but decided it was worth creating a dedicated blog post for it! Over the last (almost) decade of blogging, I’ve discovered that while most people have an idea of their style and what clothes they like, not everyone knows how to dress in the most flattering way for their body type. For example, as much as I love a flowy, bohemian-style dress, there’s no way it will look good on me unless it is belted. Some styles are just more flattering than others, depending on your silhouette!

So with that in mind, today’s post is all about dressing for your body type! In addition to sharing tips on how to identify what silhouettes and styles will look best on your figure, I am highlighting my favorite pieces under each section for you to shop your own shape! Below you’ll find each body type name (I didn’t choose these – why are most of them fruit?!), along with suggestions for the most flattering choices under each.

Before we get started, I wanted to say one thing that I believe is MOST important in finding your style: buy things that make YOU happy and feel confident. There are a lot of brands, stores and influencers out there telling you what you need to buy and what trends to try, but if it isn’t a HELL YES for you, it’s a no. Bike shorts for example? HARD PASS (for me).

Scroll down to read all of my recommendations! As always, these are just my personal thoughts on dressing based on body shape… at the end of the day, you need to choose what’s right and best for you!


What it means: exactly how it sounds! You’re curvy up top and on the hips/bottom, but with a well-defined waist. This is my body type! For reference, I’m 5’9 and wear a 27/28 in jeans, 4-6 in dresses and tops, and wear a 34D bra. Celebrities with an hourglass figure: Eva Longoria, Blake Lively, Gabrielle Union, America Ferrera, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara.

Tips for dressing this body type

  • Dresses that are cinched at the waist are KEY! Whether you like the skirt of the dress to be more loose in the hips (how I like it!) or more curve-hugging is up to you, but be sure to avoid dramatic/full skirts. Also avoid straight/pencil silhouettes, as they tend to tug at the hips/butt!
  • When shopping for jeans, choose styles that have bigger back pockets! Small pockets accentuate a larger rear, while bigger pockets diminish them. Also, high-rise styles are generally more flattering as the top of the jeans will hit you closer to your natural waist! For me personally, skinny and flare styles are most flattering.
  • For skirts and shorts, also try to focus on high-rise, A-line styles to highlight the smallest part of your waist.
  • Tuck in or half-tuck shirts and sweaters. This will help show off your waist! Otherwise your tops and sweaters could end up looking like tents, therefore making you look wider than you are.
  • Use a belt to cinch in loose-fitting dresses or over blazers/outerwear to highlight your natural waist! A big trend right now too, which is great. Love this belt for styling over both kinds of items!
  • To give the appearance of a smaller chest, try off-shoulder and one-shoulder necklines! Avoid halter-neck styles (show off your collarbones) and oversized sweaters/statement sleeves.
  • Choose jackets and outerwear that show off your waist: belted trenches, fitted blazers, etc. Avoid boxy styles!


What it means: you’re wider on the bottom. Celebrities with a pear shaped figure: Beyonce, Leighton Meester, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock.

Tips for dressing this body type

  • When shopping for jeans, try a flare or skinny style! A flare balances out a big bootie, while a skinny leg style will create a long line that visually elongates your frame. As I mentioned with the hourglass suggestions, choose denim with bigger back pockets to help minimize your rear.
  • For dresses, try a style that is fitted up top, cinched at the waist and loose in the hips. Choose hems that hit right below the knee or all the way to the floor to elongate your frame! If you feel confident rocking a curve-hugging dress for nights out and party looks, get after it!!
  • Avoid wearing brights and prints on bottom – these will draw attention to the area!
  • Special necklines like plunging V-necks, embellished, dramatic sleeves, cowl necks, etc, will help draw the eyes up and away from your hips/bottom.
  • Choose jackets that hit you right at the waist, and coats that hit you mid-thigh!


What it means: you’re widest in the middle. Celebrities with an Apple body type: Chandra Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Rebel Wilson.

Tips for dressing this body type

  • Empire waists, tiered styles, shift dresses, and A-line silhouettes are going to be your bestie! Empire waists are fitted right below the bust but loose beyond that. The shift is the same width all the way down, so just make sure you choose a size that doesn’t hug you around the middle. A-lines are styles that widen from the bust to the hem – they skim the waist to create the appearance of “A”. Chose styles that hit you at or right above the knee to show off your stems!
  • Flowy tunics or tiered tops and skinny jeans are going to be a flattering combo you can reach for on the reg!
  • Go for a v-neck with sweaters, tops and dresses to create a visual, vertical line.
  • For jackets and coats, avoid belted styles and go for things that hit at your hip, upper thigh or knee-length styles.


What it means: you’ve got a straight/rectangular figure – your weight is evenly distributed throughout your body. You have a more athletic build or are not particularly curvy! Celebrities with a banana body type: Emma Stone, Lupita Nyong’o, Cameron Diaz, Karlie Kloss, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Tips for dressing this body type

  • Play with volume and texture to add dimension and curves to your frame! Ruffles, smocked details, statement/puff sleeves, and tiered styles are all details to consider when shopping.
  • If you’ve got a smaller chest, you’re one of the few that can pull off deep V modern necklines in a modern, sleek way! I’ve always wanted to wear a dress like this – can’t pull it off tastefully with big boobs, unfortunately.
  • For denim, I’d recommend straight or wide leg styles! You can certainly wear skinny jeans too, but the others will keep you from looking like one long line.
  • When shopping for blouses, try styles with pockets on the chest, wrap styles, a tie neckline, peplums, puffed sleeve details, etc.
  • Pleated skirts will give the illusion of volume and curves! Pencil styles will also look great on you.


What it means: you’re wider on top (broad shoulders, big boobs). Celebrities with a Strawberry body type: Chrissy Tiegen, Kate Upton, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hillary Duff.

Tips for dressing this body type

  • To give the appearance of a smaller chest, try off-shoulder and one-shoulder necklines! Avoid halter-neck styles (show off your collarbones), oversized sweaters/statement sleeves and shirts/blouses with pockets on the chest.
  • Avoid ribbed knits and tees.
  • To diminish a broad shoulder: try v-neck and scoop necklines and empire waists. Avoid tops/dresses with shoulder details (puffy short sleeves, for example) or structured shoulders (sharp blazers/shoulder pads), and choose thick straps over thinner straps.
  • Draw eyes away from your top half with a printed skirt or a cool pair of pants.
  • Show off those legs! A leather miniskirt + pretty blouse is a great combo to try for a night out. For weddings and cocktail parties, try one-shoulder minidresses. The asymmetrical neckline will diminish your shoulder width and cup size, while the hem length will draw attention to your legs.


While the guidelines above are specific to body shape, I do have some additional suggestions based specifically on height as well!

if you’re petite

  • Avoid shoes with an ankle strap – these cut the line of the leg, when you want to lengthen them visually.
  • When shopping for boots, try an ankle boot instead of a knee-high or mid-calf style! Taller shafts can tend to make petite people look even shorter.
  • You can pull of cropped styles better than anyone! Try cropped sweaters, jackets and pants.
  • Avoid oversized blouses, tunics and boxy styles. Petites tend to swim in tops like this!
  • Flowy, long-sleeved shirts or sweaters can sometimes dwarf petite gals. Cuff sleeves or scrunch sleeves to the elbow to break up the look.
  • Tailored pieces and separates are going to be your best friend! Instead of a dress, try a chic blazer + cropped skinny pant combo with an embellished top for your next cocktail party.
  • Opt for vertical stripes over horizontal to elongate your figure.
  • Avoid tea-length, midi and maxi skirts – they often hit petite gals in the wrong spot and often require tailoring. Try a miniskirt instead! Plus, a shorter hemline gives the appearance of longer legs.
  • Play with proportions! If you go loose-fitting on top, make sure you wear something fitted on bottom (and vice versa).
  • As far as trenches and coats go, choose a hem above your knee so you don’t look like you’re swimming in it!

if you’re tall

  • Show off leg length with a high-waisted pair of jeans! I highly recommend investing in a pair by Frame or Veronica Beard – both create quality styles with longer inseams and high-rise waists (avoid the cropped styles and you should be good to go).
  • Knee-high and over-the-knee boots look great on tall girls! They help further elongate your legs.
  • Define your waist – choose a style that cinches in your natural waist or add a belt! It gives the illusion that your legs start even higher on your body. Super flattering!
  • Embrace large accessories, like big totes and other handbags! These can tend to overwhelm smaller frames, but look great on tall gals.
  • Choose midi skirts with hems that hit right below your calves for the most flattering, slimming visual!
  • Find a jumpsuit that fits your torso length correctly and it can be VERY flattering!
  • Don’t be afraid of high heels. I read about the 3-inch rule on the Bergdorf Goodman blog and totally agree that shorter heels can give a “clown shoe” effect on bigger feet. A higher heel heightens your foot’s proportion, therefore eliminating some of the visual length. Plus, they show off your long legs!


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