tips to flatter your figure and help you feel more confident and body positive
Do You Have an Inverted Triangle Body Shape?
We seem to be determined to label women’s body shapes as produce, and you may have heard yourself called a carrot, but you may also call your inverted triangle body shape a Y shape, a V shape, or a fork (oh yes, cutlery comes into play now too!). If you check out the lineup of Olympic swimmers, you will recognize your body type among the athletic elite, and you may have heard it referred to as a swimmer’s body shape.
Yours is one of the less common female body shapes, but like rectangle body shapes, it’s also a common shape among models like Naomi Campbell.
This article and the video below are part of the Stunning Style Know Your Body Shape Series! Join us live this week (March 29th-April 2nd) as we explore a different body shape each day at 1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page (HERE) or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.
Defining Proportions of an Inverted Triangle Body Shape
As an inverted triangle-shaped woman, your defining proportion is your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips. This can be a subtle difference, or one that’s more dramatic. Your waist is not well-defined, and you have a strong shoulder line that creates a V shape with your body.
Your bust measurement will also be larger than your hips, even if you aren’t busty.
The typical carrot shape is depicted as looking like an elite swimmer with strong shoulders, a small bust, a tapering torso with narrow hips, a flat bottom, and muscular legs, creating a V shape in the front and back. While many do resemble that definition, there are many variations of this body shape, and it’s easy to think you might be something else.
An inverted triangle can be very busty, have a somewhat defined waistline, a fuller bottom, and a fuller midsection, but the key measurements are that your shoulders are wider than your hips by at least 5 percent.
Other Possible Characteristics
You are blessed with a strong shoulder line that provides excellent structure to tops. Your and arms tend to be slender but muscular and toned, and your legs can be slender and toned, or your thighs in particular can be quite muscular and toned, whether you work out or not. Your musculature is well-defined with little to no effort, you gain muscle easily and have a naturally athletic, healthy look.
You can have a flat or curvier bottom, but it’s typically flatter. An inverted triangle-shaped woman’s bust can vary from very small to very full. If you gain weight it tends to show up in your upper body first, but it can show up in your waistline eventually. Your legs come straight down from your hips with no curve in the thigh unless it’s from your muscular thighs. Your body is angular and straight.
When shopping for clothes you probably wear a larger clothing size up top and a smaller clothing size on bottom. You specifically struggle to find tops and dresses that fit both your shoulders/chest and your waist. Pants tend to fit easily off the rack.
The best assets of an inverted triangle-shaped woman is your strong shoulders, natural muscle tone and shapely limbs, and your primary complaint is usually your shoulder to hip ratio.
If you’ve watched any exercise infomercials, you’ve heard the myth that certain types of exercise will lead to a certain body type. The truth is that we are born with our body shapes, and they are determined by our bone structure and our DNA. Not only that but certain body types are ideal for certain sports as James Clear pointed out in his book, Atomic Habits. So being a swimmer won’t give you an inverted triangle body shape, but having a V-shaped body does give you an advantage for competitive swimming. You’re either born with this body shape or you’re not, and if you were, lucky you!
Inverted Triangle Vs Apple
You lean toward an apple shape if you have a big bust and gain weight around the midriff. Age, menopause, childbirth and other factors can change our bodies, and if you’ve gained weight around the middle, you may mistake yourself as an apple. The main differences between apples and inverted triangles are apples will gain weight in their midsection FIRST, and an inverted triangle will gain weight there eventually. Carrot shapes also tend to be more angular and muscular in their arms, shoulders, and torsos, and apples are softer and more rounded in those areas.
Wearing the wrong pants can also create a tummy where there is none, and in my new masterclass, It’s Not You, It’s the Pants! Four Tips to Find the Perfect Pants so You Never Have a Muffin Top Again, we talk about how to find pants that fit you right. You can sign up at the link above.
Inverted Triangle Vs Hourglass
You lean toward an hourglass shape if you have slight curves, like a more defined waist and a full bust, similar to rectangles, some of the bombshells who are listed as hourglasses are actually busty carrots like Angelina Jolie. They have the curvy bust, but their hips don’t match up to their shoulders, and they don’t have a dramatic and defined waist like a true hourglass.
Inverted Triangle Vs Rectangle
You lean toward a rectangle shape if your ratios between shoulders and hips aren’t as dramatic and you have a small bust. There is a scale to everything, and the difference between your shoulders and hips can be dramatic or minimal, and if it’s on the minimal side you may confuse yourself as a rectangle body shape.
Famous Inverted Triangle Body Shapes
There are plenty of inverted triangle body shapes in the celebrity world. To name a few, look at the photos below of Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, Wendy Williams, Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron, Twiggy, Terri Hatcher, Renee Zelwegger, and Amal Clooney.
How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Shape
Highlight and Accentuate Your Best Assets
Most body shape courses and articles focus on hiding or covering parts of your body, which adds to the shame and media lie that we all need to achieve an impossible ideal. Your pear-shaped body is perfect, it’s beautiful, and we don’t want to cover anything up. Instead, we are going to direct the spotlight to accentuate and highlight specific parts of our bodies.
Think of a stage production. The lighting crew shines spotlights on certain parts of the stage to draw your attention to the place they want you to look. It could be because they want to direct our eyes to where the most important action is, to distract us from something like a set change, or because they are trying to achieve an effect like telling us we are seeing a memory, a weather change, or magic.
We can do the same thing with outfits, spotlighting the parts where we want to focus their attention, and use that to make them see what we want them to see. When you work with, not against, your naturally fabulous features it’s so freeing. I want you to fall in love with your body because it’s amazing!
Your Spotlight Goal
Your shoulders and (often) bust are already so fabulous and provide perfect structure to your tops, they steal the spotlight! They are like your bubbly, fun, giggly, gorgeous, attention-stealing friend or sister. Even when she isn’t trying, she steals the spotlight and makes you feel like a wallflower.
Your upper half is fabulous in every sense of the word, and it doesn’t need any help in getting attention, but your lower half needs the upper hand. It’s a little quieter, more subtle, but just as lovely when people can see past your top half long enough to pay attention to it.
So basically, your upper half has everything going for it already, even in the plainest tops. Don’t help your it steal the spotlight from your equally lovely, but not always as noticeable, lower half by giving it a microphone and theme music too.
The goal for dressing the inverted triangle is to shine the spotlight down at your narrower waist and lovely, naturally athletic legs so they get equal treatment and attention.
You want to bring the eye in from your strong shoulders, chest and back and balance them by visually filling out and creating curves and a defined waistline in your lower half. You’ll do this by choosing clothes that visually create curves in the hips and bottom while creating a more defined waist and drawing the spotlight away from the upper body.
The Biggest Outfit Mistakes an Inverted Triangle Makes
Because your lower half is so easy to dress and so slim compared to your upper torso, you tend to wear fitted bottoms like skinny jeans to accentuate that. Even though that is one of your great features, it also shines the spotlight on the difference between your shoulders and hips and exaggerates the V shape of your body.
When you fill out the lower half of your body, you balance your shape and enhance your waistline.
Your body shape has so many enviable features, from model to Olympic elite, and it’s easy to focus on the challenges. When you learn to work WITH your body and feature your best assets, you will love your fabulous shape.
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