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Body Types Revisited

"Can you tell me what my body type is?"

I've been asked the question a lot lately.  And I see so many people mis-typing themselves, it's crazy!  At Plus Size Fashion Diva, we believe in helping you dress for your body type, but if you don't know your body type, it's really hard to dress correctly.  Even I mistyped myself as an apple for many years before realizing that I'm actually a high-hipped hourglass.

Speaking of hourglasses, I was looking at and was shocked to see how many people typified themselves as such.  According to only 8.4% of women are actually hourglasses, while a whopping 46.12% are rectangles.

So how do we define our body shapes?  There are many ways.  You can try our body type quiz (which definitely needs an overhaul, but it's a start!), you can take your measurements and figure out your ratios (good place to do it is here: ) or you can tape a roll of wallpaper or other big piece of paper to the wall and have a friend draw your outline (remember tracing your hands in school? Same idea.) and then analyse your silhouette.

Where should I measure?

Well, despite popular belief, it is not your BUST that makes your body type, but your shoulders in relation to your hips, and then the relation of those to your waist.  You can be busty and and hourglass, but small busted women can also be an hourglass. 

I drew the following pictures to help you figure out your type.  Please be advised, I am not an artist, nor do I play one on tv! :)  Be gentle with me! I purposely didn't put boobies on these ladies because your boobies your figure type do not make. It can be very helpful to take a picture from the BACK to see your real figure type without getting distracted by big, medium or small ta-tas!

So, let's talk about the differences.

Hourglass (top left).  An hourglass has nearly equal measurements of the shoulders and the widest part of the hips.  The waist is *much* smaller than either the hips or shoulders. Your waist is AT LEAST 9 inches / 22 cm smaller than your hips and shoulders.  You gain weight evenly all over, or you may be told you "carry your weight" well.

Pear (top right).  Hips are wider than your shoulders, at least 2" / 5 cm, and your waist is less than 9.25" / 23.5 cm less than your shoulders. You tend to have a much smaller upper body, sometimes even 2 sizes or more smaller than your lower body.  You gain weight in your thighs, bum, hips and tend to look "bottom heavy".

RectangleStraight (middle).  You are an hourglass without the waist.  This is the most common figure type by far, with about 46% of all women falling into this category.  Your shoulders and hips measure about the same, but your waist is LESS THAN 9" / 22 cm smaller than your shoulders.  Like the hourglass, you tend to gain weight all over, but tend towards a larger belly than the hourglass.  

Apple (bottom left). Your waist is at least 2" / 5 cm larger than your shoulders or hips. You may or may not have a big bust, but your chest itself is at least as wide as your waist.  Your hips are your smallest measurement, smaller than your shoulders or waist.  You tend to gain weight in your upper body, neck and face and your general appearance is "round".

Inverted Triangle / V (bottom right).  Your shoulders are your largest measurement while your hips are your smallest measurement, smaller than your shoulders and smaller than your waist.  You may think you are an apple because you tend to gain weight on your upper body, but your waist is at least 2" / 5 cm smaller than your shoulders.  You tend to look top heavy and gain weight in your upper third (shoulders, back, neck and face).

There are also other influencing factors that can determine how you should dress like short or long waists, being busty or small breasted, even the size of your feet in relation to your body!  But that's a topic for another article.

So, with that all cleared up, let me know what body type you are!

Summer Dresses That Will Take You into Fall

UPDATE: We just received a special promotion code from eShakti for 10% off your order and combinable with all the other online specials they are offering right now.  Promo Code: AM22UGL  Valid until August 31, 2012.

It's already August, where has the time gone!  It's that hot, sticky time of year that leaves you feeling like a melting piece of chocolate.  But already the days are getting shorter and in a few short weeks time the evenings will be cooler and before we know it autumn will be here.

At Plus Size Fashion Diva we are all about getting big bang for your clothing bucks.  Anything you buy now should be wearable for months to come.  But what to do when it's high heat and humidity now and crisp and cool in a month or so?

We took a look at our favorite online plus size designer, eShakti.  While they are not technically "plus size designers", their standard sizing goes up to a 26W, and with their customization service, even higher.  Why do we love them?  Let me count the ways:

First of all, they have beautifully designed and wonderfully made clothes that you won't find anywhere else.

Secondly, they let you customize pretty near every darn thing on each piece of clothing for a very modest fee ($7.50!).  If you don't like the sleeves on a blouse, change them!  A dress is too short or too long for you?  Change the length!  You have big boobs and small hips?  Everything will fit beautifully because each garment is made for you.  How incredible is that?

Thirdly, their prices are incredible and their quality amazing. 

Here's our pick of best plus size dresses that you can wear now and that will take you into fall:


Globe trotting dress Fall Fashion Trend 2012: Red, White and Black 

This is the perfect real wrap dress for apples.  We've got slimming black on top with a nice deep surplice V-Neck, a slim cream skirt that optically evens out your figure and a bright red band pulling the eyes down to your best feature, your lovely legs.

The map graphic on the skirt is embroidered, not printed!

Wear with strappy sandals and a bright red purse for summer.  In fall wear it with a blazer to the office or with a knit shrug, tights and knee-high boots for a day on the town.

This is the Globe Trotting Dress at eShakti.


Pretty in plum dressFall Fashion Trend 2012: Deep Jewel Hues

This mid-weight woven crepe dress will accent an hourglass' curves exceptionally well.  Fabric covered buttons showcase eShakti's attention to details.  The waist tabs highlight your small waist, while the ruffles and cap sleeves accentuate your femininity.

Worn with a clutch and heels, this is easy dressing for hot summer days.  Color block with pink and rose in late summer or try some high boots and a long, light cardigan in fall.

This is eShakti's Pretty in plum dress.


Sinnett sheathFall Fashion Trend 2012: Green

This stretch cotton dress is just what the doctor ordered for us ladies with straight or "rectangle" body types.  Rectangles are basically hourglasses without the waist definition, the figure is proportionate throughout the shoulders, hips and thighs and it is important not to put too much emphasis on one part of the body.

This dress really ramps up the curves by optically nipping in the waist.  Pick up on the green hues and accessorize with all shades of green from your purse to your shoes to your jewlery for summer.  Add a little green jacket or shrug and some green anklets for fall.  Or be very daring and color block with green tights and black shoes.  This is a dress that you will get a lot of mileage out of.

This is the Sinnett sheath


Red retro frockFall Fashion Trend 2012: Red

Not just red, this dress is also available in green (also fantastic!) and black (clasic and basic).

This mid-weigh woven poplin woven dress is really lovely with it's rounded square neck and wide v-neck back. Great for pears, the fitted bodice and the full, below knee length skirt will accentuate your tiny waist and hide big hips and thighs making you look small all over.

This dress just needs sandals for summer.  For fall, add a white high-quality long sleeve t-shirt or blouse underneath and a black shrug or blazer.  Tall black boots will finish off the combo, taking you from plain red to the trendy red-white-black graphic feel.

This is the Red retro frock.

Inverted Triangles:

Candy dots sheath dressFall Fashion Trend 2012: Polka Dots

Polka dots are everywhere this fall!  And this little dress is just too cute with it's colored dots.

This is a great dress for inverted triangles.  The detailing at the shoulders and the little cap sleeves minimze broad shoulders, while the corset styling at the waist gives you definition.  The straight paneled skirt is very slimming and highlights your great legs.  It also has a beautiful keyhole back.

Wear as is for summer or add a tiny colored belt at the waist for even more defintion.  In fall you have tons of options, color block using the colors of the dots, say a green blazer and blue shoes or go all black and let the dots do the talking.  Very versatile, you'll love wearing this dress.

This is the Candy dots sheath dress.

In our next article we will look at accessories that will go from summer to fall.

Disclosure: Plus Size Fashion Diva did not receive compensation for this article, we just really love eShakti's clothes.  If you click on one of the links, it will take you to the product page at eShakti.  Should you buy something there only then does Plus Size Fashion Diva receive a small commission from the merchant, which has no impact on your purchase price.  This is how we finance our website, server costs, research time, writers, etc.  Thank you for supporting us!

Plus Size Belts

Ok, ladies, let's talk about something that I have been stewing about for months and months.

Plus size belts.

How hard is it to find great, stylish belts for us curvier girls? Especially if you are like me and not blessed with any type of waist!  I personally need about a 38 inch belt, more like 40-42 inches if it is to be worn on my hips.  And they are just about impossible to find!

How many of you look in the men's department for belts? I know I have.  Haven't found anything nearly resembling a cute belt there, though.  Belts are for me one of the top accessories in dressing great.  Belts, shoes and purses should always be in the best quality you can afford.  Scrimp on buying trendy pieces that you are only going to wear one season anyways, but never compromise on the quality of your shoes, handbags or belts.

Which leads me to my conundrum.  If I find plus size belts at all, they are usually really icky!  Lots of plastic crap that looks worn out the second time you wear it.  Which sent me on a hunt online for FANTASTIC belts.  Here's what I found!

Plus Size Belt in Corset Style

I heart heart heart this belt!

It's a stretch belt with snakeskin embossed panels with metallic studs, big hook and eye closure and criss-crossed bands in the front.  To.Die.For.

Think of all the possibilites with this one!  Turn that boring plus size lbd into a stunner.  Cinch that tunic over skinny jeans.  And the best part is, it's only $19.50 at Ashley Stewart.

Plus Size Belt in Leopard Print

  Here's a different kind of belt, one you can wear in your belt loops or over a cardigan or sweater.  Love the leopard print to really pep up an outfit. Try this one with black trousers, a black shirt, black cardigan and camel colored shoes and bag.  Easy and oh-so-chic!

On sale for $17.99 at One Stop Plus.

Stretch Red Stone Tab Belt

If you are looking for a lot of choice in belts, Torrid is your go-to place!  It was really hard to pick just one example of their great styles, but I managed! :)

Really love this red stretch belt with rhinestone tabs and a big buckle.  Would look great with camel colors!  $22.00 at Torrid.

Plus Size Wrap Belt

This might not look like much in the picture, but this is a really wonderful wrap belt from Igigi. 

This is really trendy and along the lines of what I had been looking for in a belt.  The two-tone colors in caramel and deep brown go great with just about every thing and the double leather looks great peeking out behind a cardigan! 

$55 at Igigi.
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