How to Dress for Your Body Type (Part 1)

How to Dress for Your Body Type (Part 1)
Photo credit: good_studio/iStock

Shopping can be difficult. It’s hard to navigate through new trends, styles, and figure-flattering cuts. However, it’s too easy to pick up a piece you saw on a mannequin, bring it to the changing room and realize that it doesn’t fit quite right. Oftentimes we buy it anyways—even though we know it will sit in the closet with the tags on for eternity.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? If you answered yes, the solution may be getting to know your body a little bit better (if you want to, of course!) The easiest way to do this is to learn about your body type and the best ways to dress it. By finding out, you can avoid purchases that you regret.

Personally, I like Quebecois stylist, Louise Labrecque’s method of describing body types. She uses the letters V-I-A-X-H-O to represent body types instead of fruits. As she mentions in her book Avec style – Secrets d’une garde-robe bien pensée, being told that you look like an apple or a pear is not very flattering.

Unlike shopping, determining your body type is always easy. It can be as simple as looking at yourself in a mirror. Or, if you’re unsure just by looking at your reflection, you can use a measuring tape for a more precise reading.

How to Dress for Your Body Type (Part 1)
Photo credit: Louise Labrecque

1. Taking your measurements
Before starting the process, make sure to have a pencil and paper at arms length. This way you’ll be able to write down all of your exact measurements quickly. This is important because your body type is determined by these measurements. You can always ask someone close to you for help if you’re having trouble doing it by yourself.

Important: For all measurements, hold the measuring tape straight for accurate results.

  • Shoulders: Place the measuring tape around you at the extremities of your shoulders as if you were wearing a shawl.
  • Waist: Bend your upper body to one side. Your waistline is where your body creases naturally. Place the measuring tape at this height and wrap it around your torso.
  • Stomach: Turn to your side in a mirror and place the measuring tape at the height of the largest part of your stomach. Wrap the measuring tape around your torso.
  • Hips: Take this last measurement at the extremity of your bum or the largest part of your thighs. Look at yourself in the mirror from the front and from the side to determine which measurement you should take.
How to Dress for Your Body Type (Part 1)
Photo credit: thomas_eyedesign/iStock

2. The results
Based on your observations and your measurements, what is your body type? (You may be a combination of two silhouettes. This just means that you can follow style advice for both body types)

  • You have a V silhouette…if your shoulders are larger than your hips.
  • You have an I silhouette…if your shoulders and hips are the same measurements.
  • You have an A silhouette…if your hips are larger than your shoulders.
  • You have an X silhouette…if your shoulders and your hips are the same measurements and your waist is noticeably smaller.
  • You have an H silhouette…if your shoulders, waist and hips are the same measurements.
  • You have an O silhouette…if your stomach and hips are the same measurements.

Now that you know your body type, you’ll be able to choose clothing that flatters you. We’ll be sharing our tips on how to dress your body type in the second part of our blog post. You’ll find everything you need to put outfits together that highlight all of your best features. Just wait, there’s a whole world of fashion waiting for you to explore.


*For extra styling help, find the closest Laura store to you. Taking your body type and preferences into consideration, our style advisors can help you build a month’s worth of outfits with only 15 key pieces. Stay tuned for more details.


Adapted from French by Kylee Ross


Written by Jessica Paquin

Whenever anyone in Jessica’s entourage needs fashion advice, they go straight to her. As an active feminist, (fighting for women and not against men) Jessica is also known for being involved in her community. A self-proclaimed part-time geek, she’s an expert in dad jokes—a talent she was graced with through genetics—loves Japanese animated films, and is obsessed with adorable animal videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Frank Lyman Design

Designer Spotlight: Frank Lyman

How to Plan Your Summer Vacation