Do I Have An Inverted Triangle Body Shape?

Do I Have An Inverted Triangle Body Shape

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.

More from the Stunning Style Know Your Body Shape Series!

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.

This model has an inverted triangle body shape.
This model has an inverted triangle body shape.
This model has an inverted triangle body shape.

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.

Defining characteristics for an inverted triangle body shape.

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.

Jennifer Garner has an inverted triangle body shape.
Renée Zellweger wearing a red dress.

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.

Common Myths

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!

Natalie Coughlin is an inverted triangle olympic swimmer.

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.

Jennifer Garner has an inverted triangle body shape.
Jennifer Garner is an inverted triangle.
Jennifer Garner wearing a white top and grey pants.
Even with weight gain in her midsection, she is still an inverted triangle.
Drew Barrymore has an apple body shape.
Drew Barrymore is an apple.

Wearing the wrong pants can also create a tummy where there is none. This is such a common problem that I’ve created a FREE Masterclass on how to find pants that fit you right, and you can reserve your spot right now! If you want to dive even deeper into dressing for your body shape, my new 2-part course, Style Your Silhouette has an entire module dedicated to bottoms and so much more!

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.

Angelina Jolie wearing a silver dress.
Angelina Jolie is an inverted triangle.
Angelina Jolie wearing a black dress.
Her shoulders are wider than her hips and waist.
Angelina Jolie wearing a gold dress.
Her dress may add curves, but she is still an inverted triangle.
Salma Hayek wearing a red dress.
Selma Hayek is an 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.

Amal Clooney wearing a pink dress.
Amal Clooney is an inverted triangle.
Amal Clooney wearing a white lace top and jeans.
Her shoulder to hip ratio is not as drastic, but she is still an inverted triangle.
Kate Middleton wearing a white top and red pants.
Kate Middleton is a rectangle.

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.

Demi Moore wearing a black dress.
Demi Moore wearing a floral patterned cardigan and jeans.
Cindy Crawford has an inverted triangle body shape.
Cindy Crawford has an inverted triangle body shape.
Wendy Williams wearing a silver and black dress.
Wendy Williams wearing a black top with patterned pants
Jennifer Garner wearing a red top with black pants.
Jennifer Garner wearing a black top with black pants.
Charlize Theron wearing a black dress.
Charlize Theron has an inverted triangle body shape.
Twiggy has an inverted triangle body shape.
Twiggy has an inverted triangle body shape.
Terri Hatcher wearing a black tank top and shorts.
Terri Hatcher wearing a pink top and athletic pants.
Renée Zellweger wearing a beige top and white skirt.
Renée Zellweger wearing a navy dress.
Amal Clooney wearing a cream dress.
Amal Clooney wearing a pink dress.

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.

Wendy Williams wearing a black top with patterned pants
Wendy Williams wearing an orange top and tan skirt.
Wendy Williams wearing a yellow dress.
Wendy Williams wearing a pink dress.

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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2 thoughts on “Do I Have An Inverted Triangle Body Shape?”

  1. Thank you for going into detail about this body shape. It has only been in the last year or so that I realized this was my body shape so has been a learning curve on trying to find flattering clothing.

  2. Thank you! I have been in the Society awhile and never actually done the measurement. I always felt I was a rectangle and tried to follow the dressing recommendations for that. Tonight I measured and, voila! I am an inverted triangle. Not dramatically so, as the percentage difference in my hips and shoulders is about 7% but enough to establish my body type as a carrot. So many things make sense now! I will send my numbers to April for confirmation but based on the formula, I had mis-cast myself. So glad to be in this journey of self-discovery!

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