Is there a full proof way to dress your body? If you want the clothes you wear to flatter your body, then yes, but remember, we’re talking about shapes and fit and not colors which are a whole different subject. It also talks to the shopping dilemma of sizing which is such a mishmash that labels on clothes have become meaningless.
Whatever style you prefer or trend that you love, not every style or trend is for everyone as it may not look right on your body. Dressing for your particular shape promises you’ll be more comfortable and confident if you embrace your silhouette, rather than work against it. It’s simply a matter of knowing your measurements. And from your measurements we derive your body shape.
The hourglass shape is the most desired shape and designers all too often design only to this shape. But for crossdressers and trans women, we’re more likely to be an inverted triangle or a rectangle or in my case, an apple which is just a rectangle with an extra bulge. We’re using Oprah’s fashion expert Bradley Bayou’s foolproof technique. Bayou’s system uses math and we’ll walk you through it—to double-check that you’ve found your real shape.
With that said, get out your tape measure and scroll down to find your real body shape!
Shoulders: Have someone help you measure from the tip of one shoulder all the way around you. The measuring tape should be high up around your shoulders so it almost slips off.
Bust: Pull the measuring tape taut across the fullest part of your bust and around your back. Don’t pull the tape so taut that your breasts start to squish!
Waist: Measure the smallest part of your natural waist, just above the belly button.
Hips: Start at one hip (below the hip bone) and wrap the tape measure around the largest part of your butt.
Now that you have your measurements, you’ll use those numbers to determine your body shape!
You’ll notice the equations below allow you to use your bust or shoulder measurements interchangeably. Doing this accounts for those who have especially big or small busts or especially narrow or broad shoulders. You may find that doing the equation with your shoulders versus your bust places you in two different body-type categories. This means your body type may actually span more than one category; for example, you may find you’re more of an A-line when using your bust measurement and more of an hourglass when using your shoulder measurement. If this is the case for you, you should consider both body types when shopping and, ultimately, make purchases by seeing what looks best on you.
Scroll down to see which shape description matches your body, and then use Bayou’s equation to verify you’ve found your true shape. While there as many as 48 different shapes or combinations of shapes, there are only three of interest to us and the main purpose is to disguise whatever shape you are to appear as the ideal hourglass.
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are an inverted triangle if your shoulder or bust measurement is more than 5% bigger than your hip measurement (shoulders or bust ÷ hips ≥ 1.05).
For example, you are an inverted triangle if your shoulders are 36 inches and your hips are 34.25 inches or smaller.
What looks amazing on you: Fitted jackets with a nipped-in waist and a flared bottom.
Why: The defined waist and flare over your hips create the illusion of lower-body curves and will help balance out your broad shoulders
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are a rectangle if your waist is less than 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust (waist ÷ shoulders or bust ≥ .75) and your shoulder, bust, and hip measurements are within 5% of each other.
Find this out by looking at your shoulder, bust, and hip measurements. Call the largest of the three measurements t (usually it will be your shoulders) and the other two measurements y and z. Multiply t by 0.95. If y and z are greater than the result of t x 0.95, then your shoulders, bust, and hips are within 5% of each other.
For example, you are a rectangle if your shoulders are 36 inches and your waist is 27 inches or more
What looks amazing on you: Skirts with volume-increasing details like ruffles, bows, or embellishments.
Why: They fill out your slight hips and balance your upper body.
Confirm by checking the numbers! You are an hourglass if your waist is at least 25% smaller than your shoulder or bust (waist ÷ shoulders or bust ≤ 0.75), your waist is at least 25% smaller than your hips (waist ÷ hips ≤ 0.75), and your shoulder and hip measurements are within 5% of each other.
Find this out by looking at your hips and shoulder measurements. Call the larger of the two measurements t and the smaller of the two measurements y. Multiply t by 0.95. If y is greater than the result of t x 0.95, then your hips and shoulders are within 5% of each other.
For example, you are an hourglass if your shoulders and hips measure 36 inches and your waist is 27 inches or smaller.
For most trans women, the use of foundation garments like waist clinchers, girdles, and corsets are needed to achieve an hourglass figure
What looks amazing on you: Wrap tops and dresses.
Why: They accentuate your waist and enhance your hourglass figure.
Actually there is much more but you’ll need to read our Body Shape Compendium in the Sister House Library for a more complete review of body shapes. What you’ll also find there are all our recommendations on which clothes to buy that will absolutely flatter your body shape. So take a few more minutes to explore and then check out our Pinterest pages on clothes for the hourglass, inverted triangle, rectangle and apple-shaped bodies. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and now you know.