The Ultimate Guide to Dressing for Your Body Type as a Woman

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Release Date

Monday, March 20, 2023


As women, we come in all shapes and sizes, and dressing for your body type is one of the best ways to feel confident and comfortable in your own skin. Whether you are petite, curvy, or athletic, understanding your body type can help you choose fashion pieces that show off your best features while drawing attention away from any areas that you may not be very confident about. Keep reading to learn more about dressing for your body type as a woman, so you’ll never have to wonder which outfits look best on you.

About Body Types

Before going further into how to dress for your body type, it’s a good idea to be aware of the four most common body types for women and their main characteristics.

  • Apple-shaped: Women with this body type tend to have broader shoulders and a larger bust than their hips and carry weight in the midsection.
  • Pear-shaped: If you have this body type, you will have a smaller bust and shoulders, and carry more weight in your hips and thighs.
  • Hourglass: Women with this body type have a well-defined waist, equal hip and bust measurements, and rounded shoulders.
  • Athletic: Women with an athletic body type tend to have a more muscular build, with broad shoulders and hips, and only a little waist definition.

Once you have figured out your body type, it makes it easier to determine what styles of clothing to go for. This stunning collection of womenswear from Max Mara has lots of options with something for all body types. Remember that no body type is ‘better’ than the others; we are all unique and beautiful in our own way.

Choosing the Perfect Clothes for Your Body Type

Once you know your body type, it’s time to figure out how to dress for it.


If you have this body type, your main goal with clothing may be to draw attention towards your arms, legs, and chest area, and away from your midsection. There are several ways to do this, including choosing tops with v-necklines that elongate your torso and create a vertical line that draws the eyes upwards. Avoid wearing anything too tight or clingy; slightly loose and flowy is very flattering on this body type. A-line and wrap dresses are a great option for creating a more defined waistline.


With this body shape, the main goal of fashion is to balance your proportions out by drawing more attention to your upper body. You can do this by choosing tops with detailing at the neckline, as this draws the eye upwards and away from the hips. Avoid anything that’s tight or that has a lot of volume around the hips and go for fashion pieces that flow away from the body. Skirts or pants that are straight or flared slightly can be ideal for balancing out the hips, while flare or A-line dresses can help you with creating a more balanced silhouette.


The main goal for fashion with an hourglass body shape is to accentuate your curves and balance your silhouette. You can do this by wearing form-fitting tops that show off your waistline, such as wrap tops or tops with a deep-v neckline. High-waisted skirts or pants that cinch at the waist and accentuate your curves are also a great option. Avoid bottoms with a lot of volume, or bottoms that are very tight. When it comes to dresses, there are several options to go for that will show your curves off, such as wrap dresses and bodycon dresses.


If your body type is more athletic, your main goal with fashion may be to emphasize your toned physique while creating the illusion of more curves. Choose tops with pleats, ruffles, or draping to create an illusion of curves, or go for off-the-shoulder or crop tops to show off your muscular figure. When it comes to trousers or jeans, flared or bootcut are ideal for a curvier look. Wrap dresses or fit and flare dresses are a fantastic option for drawing attention to your toned physique while adding curves in all the right places.

Additional Tips to Keep in Mind

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to dress for your body type, keep these further tips in mind:

  • Focus on fit: Regardless of your body type, finding clothing that fits you well is key to looking amazing. Choose clothes that are not too tight or too loose and skim your body in the right places.
  • Embrace shapewear: Shapewear can be an ideal way to create a smooth and streamlined figure that boosts your confidence no matter what you are wearing. Look for items that are comfortable and avoid anything that creates visible lines under the clothes.
  • Add color and patterns: Adding patterns and color to your wardrobe can be a great way to draw attention to the parts of your body that you like, and experiment with your personal style.

No matter your body type, you can easily find the right fashion for you when you know what you want to achieve with your outfits.

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