Monday, January 27, 2014

Shopping with body shapes


Like I said, I went shopping with a friend yesterday. She and I are almost completely opposite body shapes. I am sort of between the pear and the hourglass shapes listed above -- I am a pear in the sense that my shoulders are narrow, but I have a bigger bust than the picture above would indicate. My friend is an apple in the extreme. She can wear a size 10 in jeans but might need an extra-large jacket.  Things that looked good on me looked terrible on her and vice-versa.

At Macy's, we were going through the bins of on-sale undies, and she was shopping in the S-M bin and I was looking at the L-XL. She kept sounding doubtful that I would need something so "huge." I do.

I was looking for images for this post and there are a lot of names for the different body shapes -- a pear might be called a spoon or an inverted triangle.  There is some confusion of body shape and body size -- "full" is not a body shape. It's a size. You could be a full-figured pear or a full-figured apple, and what you would need to wear would be different.

I noticed that on "What Not to Wear," the fashion victims often exaggerated their shape. An apple shape might dress to exaggerate her small legs and make her rounder upper half look bigger. Or a pear would wear very fitted tops and full skirts. I think this comes out of trying to wear the smallest possible size in everything.

I like to wear jackets and blazers to try to create a little balance. I also notice that I look better in A-line skirts than super-full ones or pencils.  I like to wear jeans but it's hard for me to wear dress pants without feeling dowdy and bottom-heavy, since I have heavier thighs.  Other than trying to create balance and to define a waist, what do you do to dress for your shape?


  1. I think I'm an apple like your friend. I've always thought of it as an inverted triangle. My daughter is more of a pear. We wear look best in totally different things. One of the things that I like to wear are scoop, v, or cowl necks. Somehow it minimizes the broad shoulders and creates some dimension in my upper half. Funny, I just did a google search and found a web site that said "v necks work for most body shapes but are particularly good for apples" So, I guess my intutition on that was right on!

  2. The most important thing for me is fitted under the bust. Anything that hangs straight down from bust is terrible.

    Neck lines are next most important - scoop, V, button up front with collar, Henley all work well. I avoid square and boat and crew totally.

    Hem lines just above knee are good for me.

    Trying the same thing in several sizes has proved valuable. I have to buy for biggest part of me (which is usually shoulders and bust). But often I need a smaller size than I think. I sometimes need long vertical darts put in back to take in waist/under bust when I buy larger size.

    When I pay attention to all of that, then I can wear a lot of different cuts in the way the rest of the garment is made (Aline, straight, pencil, etc).

    It is still very strange (for me) to no longer be an apple. . .


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07