How To Figure Out What Body Shape You Are Once And For All

Let’s face it: Some fashion trends just don’t translate well on certain body shapes. For years, I attempted to rock ruffles, pleats, and other fashionable accents that only made my hourglass shape appear heavier. Until I learned how to work with (and not against) my body shape, I was constantly asking myself why my top looked better on the model. Figuring out which body shape you most resemble could help you avoid diminishing your natural curves.

Though every person’s body shape is different, it’s likely that your body at least falls into one of four categories, according to Who What Wear: Inverted triangle, in which your shoulders or bust are larger than your hips; rectangle, in which your shoulders, bust, and hips are roughly the same size; triangle (or pear-shaped), in which your hips are wider than your shoulders; or hourglass, which is exemplified by a defined waist with shoulders and hips that are roughly the same size. Aside from these main body shapes, Oprah’s fashion expert, Bradley Bayou, details at least 44 other body shapes in his book, “The Science of Sexy,” which is now considered to be the ultimate guide to body types (per InStyle).

According to Who What Wear, if you’re struggling to determine which body shape you most resemble, pulling out the measuring tape might be your best bet.

You'll have to crunch some numbers to figure out your body shape

Instead of determining your body shape from a quick glance in the mirror, grab a measuring tape, says Bayou, according to Who What Wear. To measure your shoulders accurately, pull the measuring tape from the tip of one shoulder around to the other so that the measuring tape falls across the top of your back. Then, to measure your bust, pull the measuring tape until it is taut across the fullest part of your bust and around to your back. After measuring your bust, circle the measuring tape around the smallest part of your natural waist, which should be located just above your belly button, to find the most accurate measurement for your waist. And finally, to determine the measurements for your hips, starting at one hip, wrap the measuring tape around the largest part of your butt (per Oprah.com).

After taking these measurements, it’s time to grab the calculator. Those with an inverted triangle body shape will notice that their shoulder or bust measurement is at least 5% bigger than their hip measurement. On the flip side, those with hips that are at least 5% bigger than their shoulders or bust are considered to possess a triangle (or pear) body shape.

A rectangular body shape, meanwhile, exists when waist measurements are less than 25% smaller than shoulder or bust measurements and when shoulder, bust, and hip measurements are within 5% of each other. The hourglass figure exists when waist measurements are at least 25% smaller than the shoulder, bust, and waist measurements, and the shoulder and hip measurements are within 5% of one another (per Who What Wear).

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