What is My Body Shape? The Quick and Easy Way to Find Out

What is my body type? The quick and easy way to find out

Find our your body shape the quick and easy way!

Do Your Know Your Body Shape?

As soon as we start developing during puberty, women are trained to identify their body shape. We might hear it from a friend, a relative, or a sales associate, but most of us have been identified as a fruit somewhere along the way. Instead of diving into extensive descriptions of what our bodies are shaped like, referencing fruit as an easy visual descriptor.

But are you absolutely sure you know what your body shape is?

It’s possible you already know what it is, but be open to the idea you may have a different shape than you think! Most women think they are one body shape, but are really another! The differences can be subtle, or maybe someone told you what body shape they think you are and you accepted it. Now we are going to find out for sure.

What Are the Stats?

According to this article, some body shapes are more common than others.

“The research found that although only 8 percent of women now had the sort of hourglass figure flaunted by curvaceous 1950s film stars such as Sophia Loren, designers and manufacturers continued to make clothes to fit a slim-line version of that figure.

Of the 6,000 women’s body shapes analyzed, 46 per cent were described as rectangular, with the waist less than nine inches smaller than the hips or bust.

Just over 20 per cent of women were bottom-heavy “spoons”, or pear shapes, with hips two inches larger than busts or more.

While almost 14 per cent were “inverted triangles” – women whose busts were three or more inches bigger than their hips. [This includes apples and carrots]

The study, by the North Carolina State University, was based on data from a two-year study of American body types, SizeUSA. It was commissioned by Alva Products, a manufacturer of designers’ mannequins determined to force the industry to design clothes for the majority rather than the minority of women.

Although the study concentrated on American women, its implications were relevant for British women, Ms. Wang said, because eating habits and lifestyle meant the shapes of women in the two societies ‘mirrored each other’.”

So, even if you are 100% certain of your body shape, let’s measure and confirm it once and for all!

Measure

If you can have someone help you, especially with your shoulders, that will be tremendously helpful. I tried to measure my shoulders myself, and I was off by 2.5 inches, which put me in a different body type category!

Remember, these are just numbers, and they don’t define your value. We are using them as tools, gathering data. We are measuring body parts, not our personal worth.

Shoulders

Place the measuring tape at the tip of one shoulder and wrap it all the way around you like a shawl until it meets back at the same shoulder. The tape should skim the top of your shoulders so closely and be so high up, it almost slips off.

We are measuring your shoulders, not your arms. Think of that skeleton that hung in your science classroom. Where did the end or the torso end if the arms are taken off? It might help to feel for the end of those bones. This is the widest circumference of your shoulders.

How to measure your shoulders

Bust

Wear your best fitting bra that lifts the girls up where they should be, if you are busty, or with the least padding, if you are smaller breasted. Don’t wear a sports bra or anything that smashes you.

Stand up straight and wrap the measuring tape around your back and across the fullest part of your breasts, usually the middle of them. Make sure the tape makes a straight line all the way around (use a mirror if you don’t have a helper) and it’s not higher or lower than in the front. Pull the measuring tape tight without changing the shape of your breasts and smashing.

How to measure bust

Waist

Wrap the measuring tape around the narrowest part of your middle, your waist. Again, make sure it’s even all the way around. Stand naturally without sucking in or holding your breath.

How to measure your waist

Hips

Below your hip bone, find the fullest part of your hip. If you have a fuller bottom, this will include the fullest part of your backside.

How to measure your waist

Calculate

To calculate your body shape, we are going to use Bradley Bayou’s equations. Yes. It’s math. If you’re like me that makes you cringe, or if you’re a math whiz it makes your heart leap with joy! Either way, it’s the most accurate method I’ve found, and I’ve looked into several.

We are going find out the proportions of your shoulders, bust, hips and waist.

Grab a calculator, download my free worksheet, and let’s start!

Still Not Sure?

After filling out the worksheet, are you still not sure? Sometimes it’s a close call if your measurements are on the border of one or the other. Take a look at these descriptions and see what rings true, and if it jives with your measurements.

Pear

Defining Proportions of a Pear-Shaped Woman

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 Characteristics

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!

What Can Trip You Up

You lean towards an hourglass figure if you’re busty.

You lean towards an apple shape if you gain weight in your tummy, especially after childbirth and menopause.

You lean towards a rectangle body shape if your waist is slightly straighter and not very defined, which is much more likely if you have a short torso, after childbirth and menopause/hormonal shifts.

Pear shaped woman sketch

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

Defining Proportions of an Inverted Triangle Body Shape

As an inverted triangle 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 Characteristics

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 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 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 inverted triangle shape is your natural muscle tone and shapely limbs, and your primary complaint is usually your shoulder to hip ratio.

What Can Trip You Up

You lean towards an apple shape if you have a big bust and weight around the midriff.
You lean towards an hourglass figure if you have slight curves.
You lean towards a rectangle body shape if you have weight or strong bone structure around your hips.

Carrot shaped woman sketch

Rectangle Body Shape

Defining Proportions of a Rectangle Body Shape

As a rectangle body shape woman, your defining proportions are your waist to hip to shoulder measurements being very close. Your hips and shoulders are the same measurement (remember, this is where your 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 Characteristics

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 flat, 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 your naturally athletic, healthy look, and your primary complaint is usually a lack of curves.

What Can Trip You Up

You lean towards an inverted triangle shape if your shoulders are slightly broader than your hips.
You lean towards an apple shape if you are bustier along with extra weight around the abdomen.

Straight body type woman sketch

Apple Body Shape

Defining Proportions of an Apple Body Shape

As an apple-shaped woman, your defining proportion is your waist is your largest measurement. Your shoulders and your bust are also wider than your hips. Similar to an inverted-triangle shaped woman, your torso makes a V shape, but your waist is wider.

Other Possible Characteristics

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 an apple-shaped woman, you usually have a flat bottom, and your bust size can vary from small to very full and shapely. When you gain weight it shows up primarily in your midsection while your limbs remain quite 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.

What Can Trip You Up

You lean towards an inverted triangle shape because your shoulders and bust are wider than your hips.
If you are full-breasted, you can lean toward an hourglass figure if you lose weight and the waist gets smaller.

Apple shaped woman sketch

Hourglass Figure

Defining Proportions of an Hourglass Figure

As a woman with an hourglass 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.

Other Possible Characteristics

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 childbirth and menopause.

When shopping for clothes you typically wear the same size in both top and bottom. The best asset of an hourglass figure 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.

What Can Trip You Up

You lean towards an inverted triangle body shape if you have slightly fleshy upper arms, which make your shoulder line appear wider.
You lean towards a pear shape if you have a slightly fuller bottom or extra weight around your hips.
You lean towards an apple shape if you carry extra weight around your waist.
You lean towards a rectangle shape if your waist is undefined (particularly after childbirth or menopause) or you have a short torso.

Hourglass shaped woman sketch

Were You Surprised?

Did the results surprise you? Do you have the body type you thought you did?

It’s Ok to Have Mixed Emotions

It’s possible you’ve believed yourself to be one body shape and now you’re shocked to discover you’re a different body shape. Maybe you have negative beliefs about the body shape you have identified and you feel disappointed or upset.

Remember, all body shapes and sizes are beautiful, we’ve been conditioned to believe that an unattainable ideal is the standard we should hold ourselves to, and it’s a marketing lie. Your body is perfect! Each of us has our best assets, and learning to feature those is how we can work WITH our bodies instead of against them. When you dress the body you have, you create the body you love.

Style Your Silhouette

for the last year I’ve been working on a new course called Style Your Silhouette to help you celebrate your body shape, highlight your best assets, and dress the body you have to create the body you love! It’s coming soon, and you can join the waiting list to be the first to know!

7 thoughts on “What is My Body Shape? The Quick and Easy Way to Find Out”

  1. April, can you clarify the instructions under “Do you have a straight body?”
    You say: Now look at measurement 8 [largest measurement divided by .95]. Does the answer come out larger than the other two?

    Larger than the other two what? Your answer for hips was 38.9. All of the other answers range between .75 and 1.08. What other two measurements are you comparing to? The raw measurement for bust and shoulders maybe?

  2. I am a little un-clear how to measure my shoulders but not include my arms. So the tape won’t actually be around anything but more or less held on my body, maneuvered over my shoulder/arm socket and then across my upper back to my other shoulder end point, back up and over to the starting point? I’m sorry if this is a dumb question or my directions aren’t clear.
    Since we are talking about a silhouette, can we just double the front distance from shoulder to shoulder?
    Thank you, Vicki

    1. The shoulders are the trickiest part. Get as high up on your shoulders as possible, like where you’d wrap a shawl and the tape is almost slipping off. Wrap it all the way around, making sure it’s straight and even. It’s super hard to do yourself. Having a helper is best.

  3. Does a body shape change with age? For example, can a pear shape become an hour glass as she ages from young lady into mom and then to older lady?

    1. No, it doesn’t change except for apple. When they are very slender they are more of an inverted triangle. Other than that, you don’t change. It’s based on bone structure and DNA.

  4. I feel like I could be inverted triangle, rectangle and hourglass. My hips and bust are similar, I have a straighter waist, but narrower than the bust and bottom. I have very slender, but shapely legs. When I gain weight, it’s in my arms, back and face (the worst!). Is it possible to be more than one on top or bottom?

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