What Is Your Body Type?

Every stylist will agree, the best fashion advice is to dress for your body type. But how do you know what your body type is?


The numbers don’t lie. 8 out of 10 women I have consulted with over the years (and there have been thousands) tell me at first blush their body-shape is X or Y. And, most of those women are wrong. Rather than argue with them, I’ve learned to get out the pink measuring tape, a piece of paper, and a stick drawing of a woman…and start measuring!

Got your measuring tape? You will want to take measurements of:

  • Your shoulders (with your hands to your sides) – you might need some help with this one
  • Your bust line
  • Your rib (right under your bust line)
  • Your high waist – natural waist
  • Your low waist – belly button high
  • High hip (about at your hipbone)
  • Low hip (about mid booty)

Be sure to plot all of those numbers on a diagram. Below is one that will be helpful to you:


Look at the numbers – you will see a shape appear. Remember (again) your shape has to do with your proportion, not your height or weight.


The hourglass figure is curvy with hips and shoulders about the same width. The hourglass has a defined waist, about 9 inches smaller than the bust or hips. Lower hips are wider than high hips. The thighs are full but narrower than the lower hips. Shoulders and hip measurement are about the same. The ‘X’ gal has a cleavage, and sometimes – an ample bust line. She also gains weight proportionally – those few extra lbs. are distributed everywhere.


The rectangular body type has an undefined waist, with similar bust, waist, and hip measurements. The waist is less than 8 inches different from the hip or bust measurement. Rectangles may carry weight through the upper back or neck. This is someone who has an athletic build, and a small bustline.


The apple body is rounded in shape. She has a full bust, waist, and upper back and sometimes a prominent tummy. This body type appears top heavy, usually with a pronounced midriff and flat rear. The high hip is wider than the lower hip. The bust and/or midriff are larger than the hips. People with this body type tend to be short waisted, with the thighs/hips being the narrowest part of their bodies. Generally the Diamond gal has no booty; she holds her weight in her midsection.


The pear-shaped body type has wider hips and thighs than shoulders and bust. The curvy lower hips and rear are the biggest part of the body. The waist is at least 8 inches smaller than the hips and the bust and shoulders may be on the smaller side. The legs are average to large in size, and the face and neck are slender in relation to the overall body size.


This shape is one whose measurements show that shoulders are about 8-9 inches bigger than the measurement of her waist or hip. Many “H” gals might also fit into this category. This is also an athletic build, but different from the “H” in that these gals have boobs. Inverted Triangles don’t have hips, and carry weight through their torso and back.

All photos and illustrations are property of Kathy Friend. Just don’t reproduce them with out written expressed consent – it’s not nice!

Kathy Friend is a wardrobe coach and personal shopper. For more tips on your shape, visit Kathy at www.FashionAnswers.blogspot.com or www.KathyFriend.com

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What do you think?



  1. 8

    Shoulders: 43″
    Bust: 39″
    Natural Waist: 32.5″
    Belly Waist: 37.5″
    High Hip: 40.5″
    Low Hip: 40″

    So maybe an apple with a little bit of a butt? I always get apple-shaped, but my butt is my best feature. And my boobs aren’t all that big . My lower belly is the biggest part of me though and my hips don’t slop like a pear or hourglass. These things always leave me more confused than when I started.

  2. 10

    40, shoulders
    35, boobs
    27.5 belly
    33.5, high hips
    36, low hips (wide just because of booty, they appear narrow from the front)

    What I am? This would suggest hourglass, if not for the shoulders that are so much bigger than everything else. Not 8-9 inches more than the hips, just 4, but 14 more than the waist. So, hourglass or rectangle?

  3. 11

    still have no idea what my shape is, if someone could help me based on my measurments 🙂
    Shoulders: 37
    Bust: 31
    Rib: 27-28
    Waist: 25
    belly: 29
    High hip: 33
    Low hip: 36

    What is my shape? thanks ! 🙂

  4. 12

    I never seem to fit perfectly into any of these categories; my shoulders are 1.5 inches more than my hips, my waist is 8 inches less than my hips. So am I an hourglass with a thicker waist? Thank you!

  5. 13

    thanks! I thougt I was a pear because of my big thighs…but my shoulders are just a bit wider than my hips and my waist is very prominent. turns out I’m an hourglass!

  6. 14

    Finn, that is exactly why I wrote this. Most ladies think they are one shape, but the numbers don’t lie. Glad you found it helpful!

    • 15

      I’m still confused about my body type, my measurements (in inches) are as follows:
      shoulders: 39
      fullest part of bust: 35
      ribcage: 29.9
      natural waistline: 26
      low waist: 27
      high hip: 31
      low hip: 36.5
      i was hoping you could help me figure out my body type, as a professional (And tell me how womanly it is).
      Thanks in advance!

  7. 16

    Excellent article – thank you! I was always sure I had an hourglass shape, but I love how specific this is. It leaves no doubt.