Although I laid out some basic guidelines on how to dress after 40, I feel that it’s even more important that you dress for your body shape. I feel that you can ignore some of the guidelines mentioned there, so long as you know your strengths and dress according to your body type.

This is the first in a series of articles on how to dress for your body shape. First of all we need to determine what your body shape  is.

So let’s have a look at 5 basic female body shapes.

There are several ways to define your body shape. The most basic way to do it is to determine if you are either a

You can  split these main categories in sub categories to further customize your body shape, but let’s keep it simple for now.

Check this video or continue reading below.

How do you find out which one you are?

Characteristics of the hourglass:

  • Well defined (narrow) waist
  • Hip and bust tend to be almost the same and quite big

The hourglass body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Patricia

Charateristics of the inverted rectangle are:

  • Shoulders are wider than the hip
  • Bust tends to be proportionally large
  • Hips are small

The inverted triangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Marie

Characteristics of the rectangle are:

  • No defined waist
  • The hips tend to have a similar width as the shoulders
  • You do not have a lot of curves
  • Your bust tends to be small or average

The rectangle body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Sylvia

Characteristics of the pear:

  • The hips are wider than the shoulder
  • Fat tends to accumulated on the hips and buttocks

The pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Annette

Characteristics of the apple

  • No defined waist
  • Weight tends to form on the stomach
  • Average bust size

The apple body shape | 40plusstyle.com

Julia

Determining your body shape with measurements

If you know the measurements of your bust, waist and hips you can also use this online calculator which will give you a general idea. Please note that we are all different and the 5 mentioned shapes above are just the 5 basic shapes.

For example when I changed my bust size with just 1 cm, I got different results. But we are all leaning towards one of these basic shapes and only few of us will be exactly one of these.

In my case I’m lingering between a pear and a rectangle. My hips are wider than my bust and my waist is not so defined. But if I add 1 cm to my bust in the calculator above, I’m defined as a rectangle, because my bust and hip size are quite similar.

All this may well change in the future as many women over 40 get a completely different body shape once they go through (peri)menopause, so in that case the style of clothes you chose may have to change as well.

I hope that you got a clearer idea what body type you are? 

If you like to kickstart your style right now, you may like to download our Find Your Style  style guide. This will get you on the right style track in no time!

For more information on how to dress for your particular body type you can also read my articles:

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How to determine body shape | 40plusstyle.com

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