Pear shape, apple shape, do you have to compare your body shape to a fruit?
Do I Have to Be a Fruit?
Am I a fruit? Apples, pears, carrots, celery and hourglass?
Or a shape? Oval, triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle, figure eight?
A number? 0, 6, 7, 1, 8?
A letter? O, A, Y, H, X?
We could all be glasses instead.
Wine glass, carafe, Pilsner, water glass and hourglass?
Whether you call them by fruits, shapes, numbers, letters, or glassware, the female form comes in five basic shapes we can easily visualize with these descriptions. Each shape has its best assets and challenges when it comes to choosing clothes that play up the best features and creates the visual balance that is so pleasing to the eye in all forms of design.
Different styles of clothes suit different types of bodies, and before you can learn the tips to maximize what you’ve got, it’s important to figure out your shape. But first, let’s answer a few basic questions.
Do Height and Weight Matter?
Height does not play a role when determining body shapes. For instance, a woman who is 5’0 and a woman who is 5’9 could both be pear shaped. Both tall and petite women can be any body type because what we are looking at is proportion. Likewise, weight is not necessarily a defining factor. A slim woman can be a pear shape just as much as a plus size woman, though the proportions can be less obvious when she is slimmer and more obvious if she gains weight. It really comes down to proportions.
There are lots of different body typing systems out there, some of which include more than five body types. Some women don’t love being referred to as a fruit, but it’s a very simple visual that helps you get the idea and not meant to be derogatory. Fruit is delicious and beautiful. If you don’t like being a fruit, feel free to use your own term or whatever feels good, but for simplicity, we will stick with the most commonly accepted and well-known shapes and names.
Which Is the Best Body Shape?
There isn’t one! Each body type is beautiful and has its beautiful special features as well as dressing challenges. While we tend to idealize an hourglass figure because it naturally has the balance our eyes are seeking, it’s by no means an easy shape to dress either.
Are They All the Same?
These body shapes are generalities, and there is always variety in every one of us because we are all so unique! So just because there are general features that are typical to a body shape doesn’t mean all women in that category will meet those criteria.
Can My Body Shape Change?
Our bodies change with age, pregnancy, and other factors. Women’s waists tend to thicken with age, or we develop a full midsection or wider ribs after birth. My friend’s proportions changed after a hysterectomy. As we gain weight we can also take on attributes of other body shapes. A pear can put on weight around her tummy that normally wouldn’t be there.
Do I Only Have One Shape?
We are all so unique, and so are our bodies. It’s impossible to put everyone into five boxes. You have a predominant body shape, but you can also have some attributes of another body shape. You might be a pear-shape with a straighter waist, or a busty inverted triangle. A very slender apple body shape can look more like a rectangle body shape from the ribs down, like Catherine Bach, the original Daisy Duke.
What Are the Five Basic Body Types?
Do I Have a Pear Shape?
Pear-shaped bodies are the most common female body type and are characterized by wider measurements on the lower half of their body, particularly in the hip area. Women who fit this description often use the term curvy on the bottom to describe their body shape and are curvy through the seat, hips, and thighs while having proportionally narrower shoulders and waist.
Key Features of a Pear-Shaped Body
As a pear-shaped woman, your defining proportion is your shoulders are narrower than your hips. And your shoulders may be sloped or straight. Your hip measurement is also larger than your bust measurement (but shoulder to hip measurement is more important than bust). This can be a subtle difference, or one that’s more dramatic. More slender women may notice a smaller distinction, and it can be more difficult to identify.
Your waist is usually narrower than your hips, but that can change with weight gain and age. Your shoulder to hip measurement is more important when determining your proportions.
Other Possible Features
You are blessed with curvy, shapely thighs and bottom and can have shapely calves as well. Your bust size can vary from very small to very full. You tend to have slender arms and a well-defined, slender waist. If you have a short torso, that extreme taper isn’t possible, and if your torso is very short, you may have a very straight waist, but because of the proportions from torso to hips, you will still look like you have a waist.
Your musculature tends to be naturally softer. A pear-shaped woman gains weight from the waist down first, including lower abdomen, hips, seat, thighs and calves, and your proportions become even more obvious. The last place you gain is above the waist. With weight gain you may go up a pant size or two and not at all in your top
You tend to wear a smaller clothing size up top and a larger size on bottom, or at least you probably should for best fit.
For many pear-shaped women, their primary complaint is a large bottom, hips and thighs, but they are really your best assets!
Famous Pear Shapes
Two of the most notable pear-shaped bodies include Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé. Both of these women have slender shoulders, a defined waist and wide hips. They are also the women in the entertainment industry who proudly embraced their curves when we were being told to hide them. Other classic pears are Michele Obama, Kate Winslet, Claire Danes, Kiera Knightly, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Linda Carter, and Jennifer Anniston
Do I Have an Apple Body Shape?
Unlike some other body shapes, the apple shape can be harder to detect on a very slim woman. Apple-shaped bodies are characterized by a fuller bust and slender limbs. Apples are known for their gorgeous, shapely legs and slender arms, and tend to have a flatter bottom.
Key Features of an Apple Body Shape
As an apple-shaped woman, your defining proportion is your bust is your largest measurement. Your shoulders and your waist are also are wider than your hips. Similar to an inverted triangle shaped woman, your torso makes a V shape, but your waist is wider.
Other Possible Features
You are blessed with slender, shapely, gorgeous legs, particularly your calves. Your arms are also slim. Your overall musculature tends to be curvy and soft, except you’re your calves, which tend to be well-defined.
As a woman with an apple body shape, you usually have a flat bottom, and your bust size can vary from full to very full and shapely. When you gain weight it shows up primarily in your midsection while your limbs remain quit slim.
When shopping for clothes, you typically wear a larger size up top and a smaller size on bottom, unless you need to accommodate for your waist size.
The best asset of an apple-shaped woman is her gorgeous gams, and sometimes her shapely bust. Your primary complaint is usually your proportionally larger waistline.
Famous Apple Shapes
Some of the best-known apple body shapes are Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, and Meg Ryan. Other apple-shaped celebrities are Rebel Wilson, Jessica Simpson, and Catherine Bach.
Do I Have a Rectangle Body Shape?
Rectangle body types are very proportional and exactly what they sound like, you make straight, flat lines from pretty much every angle. You have a pretty flat tummy and tend to gain weight evenly throughout your body. Your bust and hips are very close in measurements, and your ribs, waist and measurements are very close. Super models tend to have rectangle body shapes because they are universally easy to dress across different types of clothing.
Key Features of a Rectangle Body Shape
As a rectangle body shape woman, your defining proportions are you waist to hip to shoulder measurements being very close. Your hips and shoulders are the same measurement (remember, this is where you actual shoulder ends, not including your arms), and you have a straight shoulder line and ribcage. Your bust measurement is very close to your waist measurement. Your waist is often the same as your hips and bust but can be up to 25% smaller. Your hips, bust and waist are very close in size.
Other Possible Features
You are blessed with a naturally athletic, healthy look, and your body is the easiest to shop for off the rack because your proportions are so even. Your arms and legs are slender and athletic looking, and when you gain weight, you gain it proportionally, which gives you a naturally slim look.
Your bottom tends to be flatt, and your bust size is typically small to medium. Though a woman with a straight shape can be full-breasted, it’s not common.
When shopping for clothes, you wear the same size on top and on bottom. Your best asset is you naturally athletic, healthy look, and your primary complaint is usually a lack of curves.
Famous Rectangle Body Shapes
Maybe the most famous straight shape is Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. The runways and big screen are packed with famous straight shapes like Nicole Kidman, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Queen Latifah, Natalie Portman, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Do I Have an Inverted Triangle Body Shape?
Your body is naturally muscular and defined. Other women may ask how you get such shapely defined arms and abs and give you the eye when you say you don’t work out. Your shoulders are the widest part of your body and you get narrower as you go down to your ribs, waist, and hips.
Key Features of an Inverted Triangle 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.
Other Possible Features
You are blessed with a strong shoulder line that provides excellent structure to tops. Your legs and arms tend to be slender but muscular and toned looking. 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 more flat. An an inverted triangle-shaped woman’s bust can vary from very small to very full. If you gain wait it tends to show up in your belly and upper body evenly.
When shopping for clothes you probably wear a larger clothing size up top and a smaller clothing size on bottom. The best asset of a carrot-shaped woman is you natural muscle tone and shapely limbs, and your primary complaint is usually your shoulder to hip ratio.
Famous Inverted Triangle Body Shapes
Demi Moore, Lucy Liu, Cindy Crawford, Wendy Williams, Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron, Twiggy, Terri Hatcher, and Renee Zelwegger.
Do I Have an Hourglass Figure?
The hourglass figure is proportionally the same top and bottom. The hip and shoulder measurements are about the same. Like a pear you are curvy in the hips, seat, and thighs, and have a defined waist, but unlike the pear your shoulders are proportionally the same as your hips. Only 8% of women have an hourglass figure.
Key Features of an Hourglass Figure
As woman with an hour-glass figure, your defining proportion is bust/shoulder measurements are within half an inch of your hips and your waist is very defined and at least 25% smaller than your hips and bust/shoulders. Your hips and shoulder have a more rounded, softer look. Your ratios are extreme, and your waist is dramatically smaller than your shoulders, hips, and bust.
Other Possible Features
You are blessed with curves galore! Your legs tend to be curvy and shapely, but not necessarily naturally muscular and defined. Your bust is shapely and full, but can range in fullness. You don’t have to be overflowing to be an hourglass. Your arms tend to be slender but soft.
Your bottom is curvy to very curvy, and your musculature tends to be naturally soft and rounded rather than well-defined. If you gain weight it shows up first in the bust, hips, seat, and thighs, but you can also gain in the midsection, especially after child birth and menopause.
When shopping for clothes you typically wear the same size in both top and bottom. The best asset of an hourglass-shaped woman is all your curves, and it can also be your primary complaint. It can be hard to find clothes that fit your curves and your waist.
Famous Hourglass Figures
Probably the most famous hourglass figure is Marilyn Monroe. Other notables include Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansen, Christina Hendrix, Sophia Loren, Priyanka Chopra
Did any of these surprise you?
Part of that can be because each of these celebrities has a personal stylist who chooses outfits that create an optical illusion that makes them look balanced. They feature their best assets and draw the eye where they want it to go, like directing you with a spotlight. Think of yourself as the cat, and they are holding a red light pen.
Style Your Silhouette
If you’ve been around me for a while, you know I love…and hate rules. Knowing them is powerful, and knowing which ones I want to break is just as powerful.
I’m so excited to share my new 2-part course, Style Your Silhouette that focuses on body types, how to identify yours, what makes yours special, and how to flatter it. I created this course to help women of all shapes and sizes understand the body shape general rules and then help personalize it all to their unique body, style and lifestyle.
I’ve helped tens of thousands of women identify, create and flourish in their own personal style. Let me help you break free of all the rules the “experts” want to give you so you can create your own rules to live by so you look and feel amazing everyday. Learn more and enroll here!