What is the best top for your body type

by Sylvia

What is the best top for my body type | 40plusstyle.com

Even though you don’t always have to dress to flatter your body, I believe that you often look best when you highlight the things you like about yourself and downplay those parts that you would rather not emphasize.

Many women over 40 like to downplay their tummies and their upper arms.

Pauline was one of those women and since she could not find the perfect flattering tops in the store, she decided to create them herself and Covered Perfectly was born.

Today, let’s look at which tops would be best for your body type!

Even though every woman has their own unique shape, body types can generally be divided into 5 main categories. If you need to find out yours, you can read more about it here. If you combine your body shape with your vertical body type, you can work out some guidelines for yourself as to which clothes suit you best.

Pear body shape

Main objectives: highlight the upper body, bust and waist and widen your shoulders.

best tops for pear body shape | 40plusstyle.com

  • Striped jacket with tie waist: emphasises the waist, draws attention to upper body with stripes and V-line layering
  • Mandy: If you like to highlight your bust for a very feminine look then this is the perfect top for you!
  • Tracy: Ruching on top combined with the V-line and the slim silhouette draw attention to your upper body.
  • V-neck with stripes (no longer available): Horizontal stripes balance your upper body with your lower half while the asymmetrical lines and the V-neck have a slimming effect.

Apple body shape

Main objectives: highlight the bust, create the illusion of a waist or create vertical lines for a slimming effect.

best tops for apple body type | 40plusstyle.com

  • Flowing jacket: creating a column of color is very effective in hiding a tummy as it creates a slimming vertical line. The pattern of the jacket further disguises and detracts from your tummy.
  • Color block woman’s top: Creates a slimming and lengthening effect with a vertical line while also accenting your waist.
  • Mandy print orange snake: this top puts the emphasis on your bust and not your tummy. It creates an illusion of a waist too.
  • Cascading vest: Creates a lengthening and slimming vertical line and camouflages the belly.

Hourglass body type

Main objectives: accentuate your very feminine shape with tops that fit the bust and accentuate your slim waist.

best tops for hourglas body type | 40plusstyle.com

Rectangle body type

Main objectives: either create more curves by defining the waist or opt for surrendering waist looks.

best tops for rectangle body type | 40plusstyle.com

  • Black and white cascading striped jacket: if you don’t feel the need to create more curves then this jacket will be perfect for rectangles. It still breaks up the rectangle shape with the horizontal stripes and is very effective at hiding your tummy.
  • Dana cold shoulder: This top is perfect for adding some sex-appeal to your look!
  • Tracy: if you like to add more shape and femininity to your rectangle body then this top does just that. It acccentuates the waist and flares out. Flare and shape is extra emphasised by the flare in the sleeeves as well.
  • Mandy: If you like to add more curves and shape to your body, then Mandy will be a perfect top for you

Inverted triangle body type

Main objectives: If you like to achieve a more balanced hourglass look, 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 leg.

best tops for inverted triangle body type | 40plusstyle.com

  • In spirit by Mindy (similar): this darker color top with open neck line will minimise your upper half while still adding a touch of femininity with the flower print.
  • Leopard print draped ladies top (similar): The v-neck draws attention away from your broad shoulders and creates a feminine look. Further enhanced by the print.
  • Flowing jacket: The flowers soften your broad shoulders and the jacket creates a slimming vertical line
  • Simple comfort pattern P: A flattering open neckline and a lovely print will camouflage a large bust.

The tops above are just a selection of the great assortment of tops available at Covered Perfectly so I encourage you to have a look at all their tops. 40+Style readers will enjoy a discount of 20% at checkout with the promotion code 40+!

Again I want to highlight that these guidelines are not set in stone. What works for you depends also on your specific personal style preferences. I hope though that these examples will give you some direction in your buying choices so you can find the perfect top for your body type and your style personality!

What is your preferred top for your body type?


This post was written in collaboration with Covered Perfectly

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cynthia

I think the main thing that has made me happy with tops is figuring out that I prefer a shallow scoop or bateau neckline, and that I should wear shaped wovens rather than clingy viscose knits. And also that my outer layer or skirt tend to be the statement pieces in my outfit so my collection of tops should be very simple and neutral. My favorite lately is just an asymmetrical sleeveless long tank from Eileen Fisher! It actually is a viscose knit but being EF it has the right heft to it to drape rather than cling.


2 Sylvia

It’s great that you know very clearly what suits you Cynthia!


3 Glenda Bibbero

What about the wrap over design with the ruched band? Would that work well with an apple shape? and what’s the reasoning if it does not. I got it thinking it would flatter my shape and hide my tummy but it doesn’t seem to be doing the job. Any suggestions on how to style it?


4 Sylvia

It can work well depending on how big your tummy is. If it’s bigger then it will still show. It would work better if you go for a printed top which camouflages the tummy area. For bigger tummies layering tops to create vertical lines may be better.


5 Petra

Being an apple, I long ago discovered that a v-neckline is the best thing for me – that, plus an empire line as well. It’s SO hard to find these kinds of tops in the right fabric, colour etc. I think if one can find a good seamstress to make clothes for you (if you can’t sew – me!). Also, keeping the top and bottom in the same block colour works well, with something eye-catching in the form of an accessory – bracelet, handbag, shoes etc.


6 Tammila Goodwin

What about petites? I am small but curvy. I have a very hard time finding tops that do not swallow me. Sometimes when I shop I feel like a live in a land of Giants. Maybe I should move to China…The tops that you showed for curvy women make me look like I have on a maternity top. Its very frustrating to say the least.Cheers!


7 Sherry Edwards

I’ve read in books and saw on t.v. that they say not to draw a harsh horizontal line across the body since this will make you appear shorter. However, if the colours are in tone it is not as noticeable. Also, another point I recall is that “lines” should remain “straight” and not become rounded or disoriented. What are your views on this or is this now “old-fashioned” advise?


8 Sylvia

It all depends on where you end the top on your body. Proportion is a key (keeping the golden ratio in mind). I don’t think it’s necessary to be so strict with lines. Again it comes down to balance and proportion of your outfit. Of course I’m a big proponent of vertical lines (https://40plusstyle.com/asymmetric/) especially those created with asymmetrical tops as they are often interesting and flattering.


9 Sherry Edwards

Good points Sylvia. Also, I am average small breasted so I don’t like to draw attention to that area.


10 Sherry Edwards

My preferred tops do not releave my lack of cleavage but still like to highlight breasts if possible. Also, a top that cinches in the waist. Top needs to look good under a jacket or sweater but still look good on its own. AND must look good with a scarf.


11 marlene parker

I am an inverted triangle but I do not have a large bust. I have a curvy backside though.


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