Do you have an inverted triangle body shape? Then you will love our dressing guidelines for the inverted triangle body shape. If you don’t know what your body shape is, please revert to my article: how to determine your body shape.

As always with these guidelines for the body types, you don’t have to follow them. You can look wonderfully stylish just trusting your instinct or ‘breaking’ these guidelines. However, if you like to have some guidance for the inverted rectangle body shape, you’ll find our guidelines below.

how to determine your body shape |

Characteristics of the inverted triangle are:

  • Top part of your body is larger that your bottom part and you usually wear a bigger size on top
  • Shoulders are wider than the hip
  • Bust tends to be proportionally large
  • Hips are small
  • Your legs are likely to be great

This is quite a desirable shape as many clothes will look good on you. In fact, many models nowadays have this body shape.

Celebrities with this body type

Celebrities with inverted triangle body shapes |

Celebrities with this body shape include Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Rene Zellweger, Naomi Campbell and Teri Hatcher, so you’re definitely in good company.

You will also see plenty of professional swimmers who have this body shape as they develop strong shoulders.

The aim of dressing this shape

If you desire to have what is considered to be the most ideal body shape, hourglass, you will want to draw attention away from your broad shoulders or big upper chest and draw attention to your slim lower body and often lean legs.

This will give the illusion of your waist going in before you create volume on your lower half so your hips look shapely.

Kylie wears a green halterneck dress |

A halterneck can be the perfect choice if you have an inverted triangle figure. Kylie @kylish_aus above opts for a tiered green halterneck.

Recreate her outfit with this similar halter neck dress (another option here), sandals, clutch and earrings.

Getting the balance right

As with most things in life, dressing to suit your body shape is all about balance.

For the inverted triangle, you will want to minimize your upper body and create volume on your lower body in order to harmonize your silhouette.

You are basically trying to do the opposite to the guidelines for a pear shape. Women with a pear shape are likely to want to minimize their lower half and add volume to their top half.

You can apply the following guidelines to dressing for the inverted triangle body type.

How to dress for your inverted triangle body type

Upper body

  • Create vertical lines with vertical stripes
  • Wear open necklines and collars, like halter necks, v-necks and scoop necks
  • Wear soft feminine textures to soften the shoulder line
  • Avoid extra width and wear single breasted tailored jackets
  • Wear jackets open to create a vertical line
  • Wear jackets that are well structured at the shoulder
  • Look for tops that accentuate the waist, like tops with banding or nipping at the waist or wrap styles
  • Wear tops that accentuate a vertical line, so go for V-necks and keep your shirts unbuttoned
  • Also find tops that balance the bust with your hips (if you have a large bust)
  • Wear tops just below the hip bone
  • Wear a darker color on top
  • Wear strapless gowns and tops
  • Use belts to define your waist even more

Lower body

  • Create more width and overall balance below with A-line or full skirts.
  • Use bold textures to create more bulk.
  • Horizontal stripes will make the lower body wider.
  • Fuller leg width in trousers, full or bootleg pants. Culottes will work for you too.
  • If trousers don’t fit your waist or bum, get them altered at the tailor.
  • Have pockets or embellishments on your trousers or skirts.
  • Wear bold and eye-catching shoes.
  • If you like to emphasize your lean legs, skinnies will work too when combined with tighter fitting tops or tailored jackets
Melanie in a halterneck top and pleated skirt |

Melanie @melanie.rae.miller above chooses a slimline halterneck which minimizes the silhouette of the upper body, and adds a flared skirt to create curves on the lower body.

Steal her look with this similar top, pleated skirt, sandals, clutch, earrings and bracelet.

Tops to suit your shape

When choosing your tops and jackets for your inverted triangle shape, look for pieces which nip in at the waist which are tailored, or which have a waist tie.

Stripes will also flatter your figure, and halter neck tops are particularly good for the inverted triangle because they balance out your wider shoulders.

You will want to make sure that the collars on your jackets aren’t too wide as this will create extra width that you don’t want.

Avoid anything which creates extra width on your shoulders such as shoulder pads, epaulets, embroidery and buttons as these will draw the eye outwards and make your shoulders look even wider.

To make the upper part of your body appear smaller, wear darker colors on top and lighter or brighter colors on the bottom.

Tops for the inverted triangle shape |

COS Floater Halter Neck TopLoveappella Faux Wrap TopMassimo Dutti Front Knot Linen Blend T-ShirtMassimo Dutti Striped Cotton Shirt

Halterneck top and wide jeans |

COS Floater Halter Neck Toprag & bone Sofie Featherweight Wide Leg JeansSteve Madden Irenee Ankle Strap SandalLongchamp Small Le Pliage Recycled Canvas Shoulder ToteFREIDA ROTHMAN Perennial Armor Drop Earrings

Coats and jackets for the inverted triangle

When choosing jackets, remember to look for single-breasted styles which won’t add bulk to your upper half.

Collarless styles will also work well for you. You can either opt for straight styles or those which nip in at the waist.

Tailored blazers will look perfect on you as it creates more shape for your lower half.

Look for coats in darker or muted tones and avoid detailing such as shoulder pads or epaulets.

Jackets for the inverted triangle |

Cinq à Sept Khloe Ruched Sleeve BlazerTreasure & Bond Stripe Linen Blend BlazerARGENT Belted Stretch Wool BlazerVince Belted Jacket

Marie-Louise wears a blazer and wide leg pants |

Marie-Louise @mrsmlmode above ‘breaks’ the rules a little when it comes to the inverted triangle. You could wear a darker color on top and a lighter color for your pants. However, as her pants are fairly wide, this adds balance.

Get her look with this similar top, blazer, pants, booties, bucket bag and necklace.

Dresses, jumpsuits and skirts for inverted triangle figures

The idea of dressing for the inverted triangle is to create some volume on your lower body, so that you balance out your wider shoulders.

The best dresses to choose, therefore, are those which add volume at the hips such as flared styles or peplums.

When choosing skirts, opt for those with some width or volume rather than a pencil style.

The inverted triangle also tends to look fabulous in a jumpsuit, so if you don’t already have one in your closet, it may be time to add one.

Dresses, jumpsuits and skirts for inverted triangle |

COS Halter Neck Maxi DressCOS Twised Detail Halter Neck JumpsuitMassimo Dutti Denim SkirtCOS Elasticated Pleated Midi Skirt

Halterneck dress outfit |

COS Halter Neck Maxi DressMassimo Dutti Jute WedgesTory Burch Mini Kira Top Handle BagPanacea Large Multiband Wrist CuffFREIDA ROTHMAN Perennial Armor Drop Earrings

Pants and jeans for inverted triangle shape

Opt for wide-legged and bootcut pants rather than skinny styles which will only emphasize your inverted triangle shape.

You might wish to either add some extra emphasis to your bottom half through choosing some volume, or you can do the opposite to a pear shape and choose a darker shade on top and a lighter shade, such as white jeans, or a print on the bottom.

Pants and jeans for the inverted triangle shape |

Wit & Wisdom ‘Ab’Solution Itty Bitty Bootcut Jeansrag & bone Sofie Featherweight Wide Leg JeansDIARRABLU Jant Isla Noir Print Palazzo PantsDIARRABLU Leer Palazzo Pants

Eugenia wears a beige jumpsuit |

Eugenia @theeageofgrace above (read her style interview here) chooses a jumpsuit that nips in at the waist to create an hourglass look.

She is wearing a linen top and wide pants from Banana Republic.

Shoes and boots for the inverted triangle

Of course, you can wear whichever shoes you like. But, there are certain shoe styles which will look great if you are an inverted triangle.

You can help to draw attention to your bottom half by choosing bright or metallic shoe styles.

You could opt for a pop or color or wear shoes which are embellished in order to balance your bottom half with your wide shoulders.

Rather than emphasize the triangle nature of your body by wearing a pair of stilettos, you could opt for block heels. As you are likely to have slim legs and ankles, you can also wear ankle straps without worrying about making your legs look shorter.

Boots which add some volume, such as slouch and cowboy boots could also be a good option.

Shoes for the inverted triangle |

Steve Madden Irenee Ankle Strap SandalMassimo Dutti Jute WedgesJohnston & Murphy Evelyn Open Toe Sandal BootieDolce Vita Zina Sneaker

Denim skirt outfit |

Massimo Dutti Front Knot Linen Blend T-ShirtMassimo Dutti Denim SkirtJohnston & Murphy Evelyn Open Toe Sandal BootieAimee Kestenberg Bali Leather Crossbody BagFREIDA ROTHMAN Perennial Armor Drop Earrings

Accessories to wear when you have an inverted triangle body

The old saying goes that opposites attract and this is true when it comes to styling your inverted triangle body.

Choose bag shapes which are curved rather than angular, such as round and hobo bags.

But, you can also choose to mirror the angles of your body and opt for structured styles.

Choosing bags and accessories which feature stripes will compliment your figure and the rest of your outfits.

When it comes to necklaces and scarfs, wear them in a long pendant or loosely-tied style to draw the attention down.

Statement rings and bracelets will also be good for you as they will draw attention to where your hands rest at hip level.

Accessories to wear when you have an inverted triangle body |

Longchamp Small Le Pliage Recycled Canvas Shoulder ToteTory Burch Mini Kira Top Handle BagAimee Kestenberg Bali Leather Crossbody BagPanacea Large Multiband Wrist CuffFREIDA ROTHMAN Perennial Armor Drop EarringsAllSaints Pyramid Stud Crystal Huggie Earrings

Greetje wears print pants |

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) lets her print pants be the star of her outfit.

Recreate her outfit with this similar shirt, pants (another option here), pumps, handbag, necklace and earrings.

What not to wear

  • Avoid shoulder pads or anything that accentuates the shoulders
  • Boat necks
  • Horizontal lines on top
  • Oversized collars or lapels on jackets
  • Very chunky knits (if you want to wear these, choose a dark color)
  • Big bold pattern and graphics on top as these can have a widening effect
  • Tapered skirts

9 looks using the clothes for inverted triangle body shape featured above

There are plenty of flattering ways you can wear all of the clothes, shoes and accessories featured here for the inverted triangle.

Here are 9 ideas to get you started.

A capsule wardrobe for the inverted triangle body shape |

shop the inverted triangle capsule wardrobe below:

More CAPSULEs for inspiration

Below are some capsule wardrobes we created earlier for the inverted triangle body shape. Although these items are no longer available in stores, these outfits can still provide inspiration for creating your own outfits.

A capsule wardrobe for the inverted triangle body shape |
A capsule wardrobe for the inverted triangle body shape |

If you like to know more about how to create your unique capsule wardrobe, read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

Want more tips on dressing for the inverted triangle body type?

Continue reading:

  1. How To Determine Your Body Shape
  2. The Best Dress Styles For Your Body Shape
  3. How To Dress The Rectangle Body Shape

Like this post on how to dress the inverted triangle body shape? Save it on Pinterest!

How to dress the inverted triangle shape body |

Feature image by Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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