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The 6 Body Shapes of Women

Individuals come in all sizes, but regardless of weight, the clothes that will flatter them often depend on their body shape. Knowing and understanding your body shape are the first few steps to learning how to dress that will highlight your good features and minimize attention to your less than perfect bits.

To help you determine your body shape, look at yourself in the mirror in your underwear. Stand with your legs together and hang your arms slightly away from your sides. And then, examine the area from under your arms, past your bust and ribcage, over your waist and hips to the fullest part of your thighs.

Once you’ve done this, compare yourself to the images per body shape below and review its characteristics. It is recommended that you go through all the body shapes to know your best match.

1. The Rectangle Body Shape

Women with a rectangle body shape has straight hips (side) with shoulders and hips almost the same width. There is no obvious indentation at the waist (with a general guideline that the waistline is no more than 7” to bust/hip circumference. The bone structure of ladies with a rectangular shape varies from small to larger builds.

Additionally, the excess weight of rectangle body shape types tends to be evenly distributed over the body or it may settle around the midriff.

2. The Oval Body Shape

Ladies with an oval body shape have narrow shoulders and hips in comparison to a wider waistline. Their weight is often on the heavier side but it is possible to find this body shape on a slimmer person. Moreover, their arms and legs appear relatively slimmer than their bodies. Like those with rectangular body shapes, the bone structure of women with an oval shape varies from small to larger builds.

The excess weight of those with an oval body shape tends to settle around the waist.

3. The Triangle Body Shape

Sometimes called the “pear” body shape, the triangle body shape seen in women are notable with shoulders narrower than hips. It’s also common for them to have a sloping and/or rounded shoulders. Those with this body shape tend to have smaller bone structures but are well-padded below the waist.

Ladies who have a triangular shape typically have uneven weight distribution—heavy around the hips, thighs, and buttocks.

4. The Inverted Triangle Body Shape

As the name implies, the inverted triangle body shape is the opposite of the triangle body shape. Women with this body shape have shoulders wider than hips. They also tend to have medium to larger bone structures with angular shoulders. They are typically slender in the hip and thigh areas.

Ladies who carry an inverted triangle shape often have uneven weight distribution and are heavy around the upper half of their body (underarms and bust).

5. The Hourglass Body Shape

Women with an hourglass body shape have shoulders and hips appearing equally wide with a noticeably smaller waist. The curve at the waist is generally smooth like a “ski slope”. Their shoulders are angular and are either balanced to the width of the hip or wider than. Their length proportion is balanced or longer at the waist with lower hip; resulting in a short lower half of the body.

Hourglass-types have a bone structure varying from small to large builds. Their weight distribution is uneven, generally gaining weight in the hip/thigh area with the waistline remaining smaller than shoulders and hips.

6. The Figure 8 Body Shape

The figure 8 body shape is similar to the hourglass figure, but with a high hip appearing like a “shelf”. Overall, women who has this body have a more curved appearance. They are often proportionately short-waisted and longer in the lower half. Figure 8 body types have an uneven weight distribution, with weight tending to settle in the bust, upper hips, and tummy areas. Their thighs generally average to slim.


Analyzing the body shape is the first step to a successful body line consultation. If you’re looking for better advice on determining your body shape, contact Radiance Image Consultancy today. You can also learn more about shapes, silhouettes, and how to dress based on your body shape by reading the second part part of this article series: How to Dress Based On Your Body Shape (For Women). Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for more body shape and clothes tips!

About The Author

Toni Miranda is a world-certified Image Consultant, and Executive Coach and Speaker, with over 20 years of experience in the corporate and retail industry. She is the founder of Radiance Image Consultancy. She is also the owner of blog site toni.ph.

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