Every person is born with different shapes and forms and these are what make them unique. Being comfortable in your own skin is important to walk around with confidence. The clothes we wear that highlights our body's best features will be able to boost our confidence. Having said that, it can be a little tricky when it comes to understanding your body type.

Well fret not because ahead is a handy guide to help you learn how to dress according to your body shape and how to enhance your favorite features. The first step is to find out what is your body shape. Once you have discovered your body type, you will have more clarity on how to play up your style and celebrate your special attributes.

The most common body types

Below are the most common body shapes and these classifications can also give you some direction as to how to plan your wardrobe to make dressing up more enjoyable and rewarding. The most common ones are:

  • Apple(oval or round)
  • Pear(triangle)
  • Athletic(inverted triangle)
  • Rectangle(straight)
  • Hourglass
  • Petite

Our body type is based on bone structure and proportions that are inherited. Understanding and accepting your body type is a big step towards self-love. Dressing accordingly will help you to find the most flattering and snug fits so that you can carry yourself with confidence. The best method to figure out your body type is to measure yourself.  shoulders, bust, waist and hips.

The Different Types Of Body Shapes

  1. Hourglass

Hourglass figures are often curvy with proportionate busts and hips. Women with this body type have a balanced upper body with their leg length. Hourglass figures also have well-defined waists and this is the asset that should be accentuated. Look for dresses that open necklines, V-necklines, cinched waist and form fitting tops. A wrap dress with belted waist is a great option for hourglass figures.

Dresses to avoid : Baby doll dresses, shapeless and oversized dresses and empire waist styles.

  1. 2. Pear Body Shape

For pear or triangle body shape, the upper body is thinner while the hips and thighs are larger. The hips will be the largest part of the body while the waist is the smallest. In order to appear more balanced and proportionate, triangle body types should go for dresses with more volume on the top. Any dresses that are strapless, have fitted open neck, a V-neckline and dresses with A-line or full skirt are ideal for this body shape. Dresses with details on the bust area will help to create a balance effect. In short, pear body shaped women will look fab in fit and flare dresses.

Dresses to avoid: Oversized/shapeless dresses, poofy skirts, short hemlines and curve hugging dresses.

  1. Athletic Body Shape

If you have an athletic body or in inverted triangle body, your silhouette is slightly more narrow in the hips than in the shoulders. Women with athletic body types also tend to have waists that are not well-defined and broader shoulders. The key  to styling this body type is to balance the upper body with the narrower lower body by accentuating the legs and other curves. In other words, you want to give your figure more of an hourglass effect. Dresses that will balance the upper body and fill your hips like those with embellishment, ruffles or other volume increasing details are the perfect choice. A-line dresses and dresses with lower waistlines are very flattering. These dresses are slightly flare out are ideal for you as they help to balance out the broad shoulders.

Dresses to avoid : Short hemlines as they will make the top look heavier, strapless dresses and dresses that do not have enough support such as spaghetti strap dresses should be avoided. Also steer clear of necklines like boat neck or jewel, halter neck or larger patterns on the top.

  1. Apple or round body shape 

Women with apple body types often carry their weight in their midsection. They usually have shoulders that are broader than the hips, a shorter, undefined waist, and slim legs. Apple body type women also tend to have flatter bottoms. Any dresses that draw attention to the upper body is a good choice. Drop waist dresses, belted styles, swing dresses, dresses with an embellished top or a dress with an empire waist all fit this criteria. Dresses with full skirt, A-line dresses and wrap dresses are also great options, as they help conceal the midsection. The legs are the major asset of apple body types, so go forth and flaunt them in shorter dresses

Dresses to Avoid : Dresses with horizontal lines, natural waistlines and fitted torso.

  1. Rectangle Body Shape

The rectangle body shape is characterised by having equal bust, waist and hip measurements. The body appears like a column or rectangle shape due to lack of. You have a straight shoulder and hips and also do not have an overly defined waistline and the bottom is usually flat. The important thing is to create the illusion of a waist. Having belts around your waist is a great option. Dresses with soft fabrics are great when belted so they can draw the attention to the waist.  It is best to stick to skirts or dresses with volume-increasing details like pleating, ruching, tiers, ruffles or embellishments.

Dresses to avoid : Angular A-line skirts that will make you look more shapeless. Opt for a slightly voluminous A-line style. Do steer clear of skirts that are too full as they can make you bottom-heavy and create an imbalance.

  1. Petite Body Shape

A petite figure is one who is 5'4" or under. There are some tricks to help style this body type in the most flattering way. Dresses that are short and cinched at the waist will enhance the legs and elongate the body. Off the shoulder necklines will even your proportions. Slim fitting dresses with vertical prints or pleating are also good choices. 

Dresses to avoid : Maxi lengths unless they are specifically made for petite women.