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The Different Shapes of Plus Size Women
Plus-size women, like all women, fall into specific categories of body types. Body types have nothing to do with size, but with the proportions of the bust, waist and hips. More than just a label, a woman’s body type determines which clothing styles are most flattering.
Body Type Categories
Knowing the characteristics of the seven specific body types will help you determine your type, as well as what looks best on you.
Diamonds carry the most weight in the middle, and the waist is not clearly defined. Hips are wider and thighs fleshy, but the shoulders and bust are smaller. Shoulder pads and horizontal necklines help widen the shoulders and draw attention away from the waist, creating a more balanced look.
Triangles have full hips and thighs and a defined waist. Their shoulders and bust are proportionately smaller. Shoulder pads, lighter colors and wide necklines broaden the appearance of the upper body.
The rectangle body type has no clearly defined waist, and the hips and bust are similar in size. The body, from shoulders to thighs, appears to be straight up and down. Rectangles should dress to create the illusion of a more defined waistline and curvier silhouette.
Ovals have no clearly defined waist, but they do have a prominent tummy. They usually have a fuller bust, with proportionately slender arms and legs. Ovals look best in clothes that emphasize their thighs, hips and legs while de-emphasizing their waist.
An hourglass body type has a defined waist that is smaller than the hips, shoulders and bust, which are similar in size. Open collars, v-necklines, and clothing that accentuate the curves are the best clothes for an hourglass.
6. Inverted Triangle
An inverted triangle body type is the opposite of the triangle. The shoulders and bust are larger, with the waist, hips and thighs being proportionately smaller. Wearing darker colors on the top and lighter colors on the bottom will help balance out the inverted triangle’s silhouette.
7. Figure Eight
The figure eight is a combination of body types. The overall shape is like the hourglass, but with fuller hips and thighs like the triangle. The waist is defined, but less so, and the oval’s prominent tummy may be present. Dress to elongate the torso and de-emphasize the fuller bottom. Open collars and v-necklines will help draw attention to the face, neck and bust.
How To Find Your Type
Stand in front of a full-length mirror in a swimsuit or fitted clothing. Are your shoulders narrow, wide or average? Compare your bust and your waist. Is one fuller or are they equal? Make the same comparison between waist and hips, and then between bust and hips. Is your waist clearly defined? It may help to measure your bust, waist and hips so you can see the actual numbers. Now, take your comparison or measurements and look at where they fit in the body types.
There is no right or wrong body type, and no body type is best. Knowing your body type, however, can help you select clothing that is most flattering to you, helping you to always look your best.