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
- 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 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.
Lizzi (below) opts to wear her moto jacket draped over her shoulders – which adds volume to the hips, where the jacket ends.
You can check out more of Lizzi’s chic outfits in her style interview
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 dressing for the inverted triangle body type.
How to dress for your inverted triangle body type
- 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 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
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.
Kylie (above) opts for a bright green on top. Worn with black pants, this could draw attention to the top half of your body. But, the white pants add balance.
Some good tops to choose for the inverted triangle
Sweaters for the inverted triangle
Nic (above) opts for a gray sweater and balances her silhouette with the use of a flared black skirt.
coats and jackets for the inverted triangle
Abi (above) wears a black moto and adds volume with a maxi skirt.
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.
Look for coats in darker or muted tones and avoid detailing such as shoulder pads or epaulets.
Skirts and dresses for inverted triangle figures
This dress (above), as worn by Marie Louise is a particularly flattering shape if you are an inverted triangle because it features a halter neck 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.
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.
Dressing the lower body for the inverted triangle
- 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.
Pants and jeans for inverted triangle shape
Ashley (above) wears a pair of bootcut jeans, which can be a great shape to choose if you are an inverted triangle.
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, on the bottom.
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 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.
Nina (above) wears a pair of lace-up boots with her flared skirt.
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.
Wear your bag at your hip to draw attention downwards like Greetje (above).
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.
I would tend to avoid chunky necklaces and large earrings, which will only draw attention to your shoulder areas.
While Melinda (above) wears her scarf at her neck, she draws attention to her hips with the way she wears her back.
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.
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?
Stylist Ruth shares her guidelines below.
- How To Determine Your Body Shape
- The Best Dress Styles For Your Body Shape
- How To Dress The Rectangle Body Shape
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Feature image by Greetje
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