From red carpets to our own wardrobe, when it comes to what's best to wear, a lot depends on the body we're working with. We all come in wonderfully unique shapes and sizes, and it makes a huge difference when we're aware of our shape and how to highlight our best self. One simple detail to keep in mind, for instance, is how to select the best neckline for our body shape.
To start, you have to know your own body, and although no two of us are exactly alike, there are, in general, four main body shape categories when it comes to our feminine forms. This has nothing to do with weight, but rather proportions. What's amazing about clothes is we can create optical illusions with line, shape and color to balance out our proportions, drawing the observer's eye towards our face—what we always want our clothes to do!
To find the ratio of your own proportions, you'll need to grab a flexible tape measure.
Standing up in front of a mirror, first measure the bust, waist, and hips, by wrapping the tape measure fully around your body in each section. Hold the tape with both hands and loop around your back meeting again in the front. The tape should remain parallel to the floor. Do the same for the waist (measure at the smallest part), and hips (measure the largest part of your behind). Take note of the inches for each.
The four general categories of body shape are:
PEAR - if your hip measurement is greater than your bust.
HEART - if your bust measurement is greater than your hips
BOX - if your bust, waist, and hip measurement are all very close and almost equal
HOURGLASS - if your bust and hip measurements are around the same number and your waist is smaller.
Now, for the fun part. Find what neckline best suits your shape!
PEAR – Balance and slenderize the appearance of your bottom by rocking tops with collars and high necklines such as bateau, off the shoulder jewel, and portrait and square. Creating a slight width to your top will balance the width of your hips. Avoid sloping shoulder tops and V-necks.
HEART – The challenge for you is to slenderize the appearance of your top and balance with your bottom. Shirts with diagonal or vertical lines such as short and long v-necks are gorgeous on you, because the angles will elongate your neck and lengthen your appearance. Try wrap tops and raglan (baseball T's) and traditional collared button downs. Avoid bateau, strapless, and spaghetti-strap tops.
BOX – To add more shape, you'll want to create the appearance of an indentation at the waist for a more curved silhouette. Wrapped blouses, rounded-scoop necks, and peter pan collars will look darling on you! Just be sure that the shirts are fitted nicely around the waist.
HOUR GLASS - The good news is most necklines will look fantastic on you (the garment industry creates clothing specifically for hourglass proportions) so your main concern is to make sure your tops are well fitted—not too frumpy and not skin tight.