Shop for Your Shape Checklist

Most women fall into one of the following categories: triangle (larger at the bottom), circle (thick around the middle), hourglass (curvy but evenly proportioned), and rectangle (straight up and down). Learn which pieces work best for your unique body shape—and which won’t flatter you.

What to Look for If You’re a Triangle:

  1. Check Wide-leg pants.

    A dark pair slenderizes the thighs while creating a longer and slimmer silhouette.

  2. Check Boatneck top.

    The wide neckline broadens the shoulders to offset fuller hips.

  3. Check Tailored jacket.

    A structured jacket plays up the shoulders (which are narrower than the width of the hips on a triangle shape) to even out the lower body's proportions.

  4. Check A-line skirt.

    Its nonclinging design is a godsend for those who are bottom-heavy. Look for a tapered A-line to avoid appearing too triangular.

  5. Check Avoid clothes that work to emphasize a larger lower body:

    shapeless, oversize sweaters; skinny jeans and pants; and skirts in a flimsy, curve-hugging fabric, like silk.

What to Look for If You’re a Circle:

  1. Check Tunic.

    A relaxed cut glides over the stomach, which is where those with a circle shape carry their weight. Look for styles with pleating or big sleeves, which look modern.

  2. Check Slim-cut pants.

    Long and lean, these let trim legs take center stage. Pair them with a blousy top or a tunic.

  3. Check Shift dress.

    With its structured style, a shift dress helps slim trouble areas—especially when worn with high heels.

  4. Check Empire-waist top.

    A waistline that rests just below the bust will emphasize a narrow rib cage and camouflage the stomach.

  5. Check Avoid clothes that draw attention to the middle:

    high-rise pants, belts, and waist-cinching tops.

What to Look for If You’re an Hourglass:

  1. Check High-waisted pants.

    Since they hit at the natural waistline, pants with a high waist will draw the eye to a thin middle.

  2. Check V-neck top.

    A close-fitting blouse with an open neckline flatters curves without exaggerating them.

  3. Check Wrap dress.

    Choose clothes that work and move with your natural curves, not against them: A wrap creates a diagonal movement across the body that is really forgiving.

  4. Check Pencil skirt.

    This classic silhouette works best on hourglass figures because it accentuates a narrow waist and skims over fuller hips.

  5. Check Avoid clothes that don’t play up your proportions:

    shapeless or boxy styles, like baby-doll dresses, tunics, and oversize cardigans.

What to Look for If You’re a Rectangle:

  1. Check Boot-cut pants.

    A slim fit at the hips that graduates to slightly wider hems gives the impression of all-around shapeliness to a straight-up-and-down figure.

  2. Check Feminine top.

    Ruffles and wispy sleeves add volume to the bust and shoulders, making the waist—which has little definition with this shape—look smaller in comparison.

  3. Check Fitted jacket.

    A nipped-in blazer creates a waist and the appearance of fuller hips.

  4. Check Flared skirt.

    A flouncy hem contrasted with a tapered waist gives the illusion of an hourglass.

  5. Check Avoid clothes that won’t create “curves”:

    dresses that are tight all over and anything too flowy or unstructured around the waist, like Empire-waist tops.