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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 mybodygallery.com and was shocked to see how many people typified themselves as such.  According to womansmagazine.net 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: calculator.net ) 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!

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