Today I want to provide some general 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.
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
This is quite a desirable shape as many clothes will look good on you. In fact, many models nowadays have this body shape.
Celebrities for inverted triangle body shape
Celebrities with this body shape include 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 for this triangle body 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.
You can apply the following guidelines dressing for this body type.
How to dress for your inverted triangle shape
- Create vertical lines with vertical stripes
- 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 will accentuate the waist, like tops with banding or nipping at the waist or wrap style tops
- 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
Clothes for inverted triangle body shape – tops, jackets and coats
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.
- 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.
Dresses for inverted triangle, pants and skirts
This dress, as worn by Marie Louise is a particularly flattering shape if you are an inverted triangle because it features a halterneck top, and also creates a v-shape which has a narrowing, elongating effect.
It also nips in at the waist, and then the skirt flares out.
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.
This way, you can create the illusion of having an hourglass figure, where your shoulders and hips look as if they are a similar size, and your waistline curves in.
Opt for wide-legged and bootcut pants rather than skinny styles which will only emphasize your inverted triangle shape.
When choosing skirts, opt for those with some width or volume rather than a pencil style.
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, on the bottom.
Shoes and accessories
Of course, shoes and accessories can cross the boundaries of many different body shapes. You can help to draw attention to your bottom half by choosing bright shoe styles.
Choosing bags and accessories which feature stripes will compliment your figure and the rest of your outfits.
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 it has a widening effect
- Tapered skirts
9 looks using the pieces from our work wardrobe above
Want more tips on dressing for the inverted triangle body type?
Stylist Ruth shares her guidelines below.
More older outfit ideas
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Feature image by @mrsmlmode