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Your Body, Your Canvas: The Art of Dressing for Your Shape

“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.”

—Hubert de Givenchy

Dressing is an art

Discover the art of dressing for your body type! Explore the connection between your clothes cut, and body shape and how these two can tango together.

Table of Contents

Oh, how fascinating it is to observe the myriad of human forms parading down the catwalk of life! Do you ever stand in front of your closet, feeling like you’re auditioning for a reality show titled “Fashion vs. Me,” where the clothes always seem to win? You’re not alone! We’ve all been there, struggling to decipher the enigma that is our wardrobe. Welcome, dear reader, to the baffling world of understanding body types and dressing for your shape.

Our body is a sculpture

Embracing Your Unique Canvas

As we embark on this fashion journey, let me share a little secret with you: our bodies are like unique works of art. Just as Picasso’s abstracts differ from Van Gogh’s sunflowers, your body has its own masterpiece. Each curve, each angle, and every line tells a story that’s entirely your own. So, the first lesson in our fashion class is this: Embrace your body, for it’s the canvas upon which you’ll paint your sartorial masterpiece. 

Decoding Body Types: Ice Cream Flavours and Body Shapes

Now, I could throw you into the deep end of the fashion pool with complex jargon, but where’s the fun in that? Let’s make this journey colourful and intriguing, just like a detective on a mission. So, here’s our first clue: Body types are like ice cream flavours. We’ve got pear-shaped, apple-shaped, hourglass, rectangle, and even a few mysterious hybrids! But hey, who doesn’t love a scoop of tutti-frutti once in a while?

Maria Drob Personal Stylist_Pear Shape Body Type
Baby Blue Brocade Dress
Amazing pearl alternative for earrings or this lovely Vivienne Westwood GRAZIELLA THREE-ROW PEARL Necklace on SALE. A more wearable dress version in a similar shade and matching elbow gloves

The Delicious Pear Shape

Our journey starts with the pear, of which I’m the proud owner. Imagine your lower half as a juicy pear and your top half as a scoop of vanilla ice cream. What do you think goes well with vanilla ice cream? A drizzle of hot fudge! Now, the sartorial advice for the pear-shaped is simple: divert attention away from the lower realms, just as one would tactfully change the topic at a dinner party. V-neck tops, statement necklaces, and anything that accentuates your shoulders will be your go-to fashion arsenal. 

The Luscious Apple Shape

If you’re in the apple-shaped category, think of yourself as a delicious red apple. The golden rule for apples is to create an illusion of a waistline—because, after all, in the world of fashion, illusions are the trusted architects. Cinched belts, A-line dresses, and peplum tops will be your trusty sidekicks. Who knew that a belt could be your superhero, right? 

The Marvellous Hourglass Figure

Ah, the hourglass, that mythical figure that leads us to believe that life is a constant red-carpet event. You’re the real-life Jessica Rabbit, with a waist that’s so tiny it could make an hourglass blush. They are the chosen ones—the ones who perpetually look like they’ve just stepped off a magazine cover. The key to their success? Highlighting that minuscule waist! Wrap dresses, high-waisted bottoms, and fitted blouses are the bread and butter of hourglass fashion, a reality that the rest of us look upon with a mixture of envy and disbelief.

The Graceful Inverted Triangle

Ah, behold the inverted triangle as it gracefully waltzes into our splendid fashion soiree. You, dear, have broad shoulders that could carry the weight of the world—a marvellous spectacle of structural integrity! Your secret lies in balancing your proportions. Enlist the aid of V-necks, A-line skirts, and wide-leg pants, for they shall be your loyal companions on this sartorial odyssey.

Rectangle: The Modern Statues of Ruler Shapes

If your body resembles a ruler, don’t worry; you’re not destined to be an accountant. You slay in fashion! You’re the modern-day statue of David. With a body that mirrors the straight lines of architectural splendour, envision yourself as a blank canvas of humanity, an empty frame awaiting its masterpiece. You’re what fashion designers dream about when they envision avant-garde collections that defy conventional curves. Be prepared to conquer any style that beckons. Deck yourself in bold prints, toss on ruffles like confetti, and revel in the power of layering, for you are a sculptor of dimension and texture.

Be not afraid to dabble in the realms of sartorial exploration, for your canvas knows no bounds!

The Jack of All, the Master of None

Now, if you find yourself standing in front of the mirror and realise your body doesn’t neatly fit into any of these categories, don’t despair. For many of us, there is no one-size-fits-all approach; you are the Picasso of your wardrobe, the creator of your own fashion masterpiece. “I am me, and that is fabulous!”

The Art of Patterns and Prints: Rules of Sartorial Engagement

Now that we’ve decoded the ice cream flavours and identified your canvas, let’s talk about patterns and prints. They’re like the spices in your fashion recipe. Too much, and it’s a fashion disaster; too little, and it’s a snoozefest. In this grand tapestry of fashion, where patterns and prints rule the kingdom of self-expression, it’s wise to heed a few whimsical rules of thumb. Think of them as your trusty compass through the labyrinth of choices:

The Rule of Moderation:

Like a masterful chef wielding spices, sprinkle patterns and prints with a judicious hand. Too much can turn your outfit into a fashion inferno, while too little renders it a dreary tale.

Harmonious Chorus of Colours:

When selecting patterns, consider the symphony of colours at play. Seek patterns that harmonise with your palette rather than clash like an ensemble of discordant musicians.

Mix and Match Maven:

Fear not the alchemical experiments of combining stripes, florals, polka dots, and animal prints. Fashion, my dear, is your laboratory; play the mad scientist, for in the world of attire, the invention is the mother of style.

The Boldness of Confidence:

Remember, the boldest pattern is the one you wear with unshakable confidence. Adorn yourself with audacity, and the world will bow to your sartorial supremacy.

A Dash of Quirk:

In this gastronomy of clothes, always include a dash of quirk. Fashion is not just sustenance; it’s the sweet dessert of life. So, leave room for the unexpected, for that’s where true enchantment resides.

Accessorise Like a Pro

Ah, accessories! They’re the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, the confetti at the party, and the fairy godmothers of fashion. They have the power to transform a pumpkin into a carriage and a plain outfit into a style statement. A chunky necklace, a colourful scarf, a chic hat, or a statement belt—they’re the magical ingredients that can turn your everyday attire into something akin to a fashion fairy tale.

Skinny Jeans: The Stubborn Ex

As for skinny jeans, well, they’re like Cinderella’s glass slippers of the fashion world. They might fit you perfectly, or they might not. They don’t flatter all body types, and that’s perfectly fine! If they don’t love your curves, it’s their loss. Instead, try bootcut, wide-leg, or straight-leg pants. They’re like friends who genuinely appreciate you for who you are.

The Dressing Room Revelation

And here comes the moment of truth—the dressing room. You’re about to embark on a fashion adventure, and this room is your superhero lair. But wait! Before you dive in, remember this: sizes are like opinions; they can vary. Don’t be disheartened if a size that fits you perfectly in one store is a different story in another. Embrace your body; you are not defined by a number on a tag; you’re a magnificent, ever-evolving work of art.

Embrace Your Canvas, Paint Your Masterpiece

As you emerge from the dressing room, triumphant or in contemplation, remember that fashion is your playground. It’s a place to experiment, make mistakes, and find what makes you feel like the star of your own show. Your body is your loyal companion on this journey, so be kind to it, dress it up, and let it shine. 

Conclusion: Your Body, Your Fashion Journey

To sum it all up, understanding your body type is like learning a new language. It might seem overwhelming at first, but with practice and a dash of humour, you’ll become fluent in the art of dressing for your shape. Your body is your canvas, and fashion is your paintbrush. So, go ahead, create your masterpiece, and let the world be your gallery.


Let your style be your personal artwork, a masterpiece waiting to be unveiled to the world.
psychology of dressing
Cheers to self-expression!

A good article to read is: “How to Incorporate Statement Pieces Into Your Wardrobe“.

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Photo source: Personal Archive

I'm assessing fashion and iconic characters through the lens of cultural theory, with a focus on symbolism, art, and anthropological references. Making connections between diverse things and thinking extensively about a particular topic is what my reflections entail.
MARIA-DROB_Fashion Archivist

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