Apple? Pear? Share your clothing vs body shape secrets!

  1. This thread is inspired by a response from Swanky Mama of 3 to one of my questions in another thread. Do you know which body shape group you belong to? And more interestingly, do you know how to dress for your body shape? Spill your secrets, ladies!

    here's a guide to get you all started:

    There are primarily 2 types of body shape commonly referred to, the 'pear shape', and the 'apple shape'. Women who fall in between these 2 categories are sometimes referred to as 'avocado' shaped.

    Pear shaped
    Pear shaped generally describes women who store fat below the waistline on their hips, thighs, and bottoms, as opposed to their stomachs and mid-sections. Such fat being stored on the thighs often leads to cellulite. Commonly the upper torso is relatively slim in comparison to these lower parts of the body, with shoulders and bust being narrow compared to the hips. Pear shaped women are commonly viewed as 'bottom heavy' with well defined waists.

    To see whether you are pear shaped, obtain your 'hip-waist ratio' (also known as 'trunk fatness') ~ divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement; if the ratio is 0.8 or below then you are pear shaped.
    Famous pear shaped celebrities include singer Baby Spice and Oscar nominated actress Kate Winslet.

    What to wear if you are a 'pear'
    Trousers or skirts that emphasise your well defined waist area (softly pleated or flat-fronted). Try hipster trousers, as these will eliminate that gaping waist problem common to all pear shaped women. A-line skirts/wraps are by far the most flattering for 'pears' as they slim the hips and emphasise the smaller waist area. Short, tight skirts should be avoided as these will accentuate the tops of your thighs, and divert attention to that problematic area below the waist

    Avoid light coloured bottoms and stick to darker blues and browns which absorb the light
    Tops should be fitted and focus the eye to your upper body (beautiful necklines, patterns and colours). They should not be baggy as these will cover your waist, and instead should finish at the top of your hips so that your waist is emphasised

    Choose accessories (jewellery and scarves) that avert attention upward away from the hips and thighs.

    Apple shaped

    Apple shaped tends to describe women who have wide torsos (full bust, waist and upper back), as they store body fat around the mid section of their bodies (stomach, abdomen and chest). Such women have relatively slim thighs and upper legs. Apple shaped women often have a 'top-heavy' appearance, with a bust and midriff bigger than their hips, a prominent tummy and a flat bottom.

    To assess whether you are apple shaped, again measure your hip-waist ratio; if the ratio is greater than 0.8, then you are apple shaped.
    If you are apple-shaped then you are in good company ~ other famous UK 'apples' include the beautiful Elizabeth Hurley and Oscar winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

    What to wear if you are an 'apple'
    Trousers and skirts that are straight. Avoid very fitted or tailored garments, particularly those with well defined waist bands as these will only draw unwanted attention to your mid-section Avoid mixing and matching many different colours. Choose monochromatic outfits, as the use of just one colour will create an overall impression of length that will focus away from your width. Tops should cover the hip area and be worn over tapered trousers that flatter slimmer legs. Shorter skirts also help to draw interest to your lower body region. Light coloured hosiery (preferably 'nude') will help focus attention on your legs.

    Pockets should be avoided as often these can be unflattering and attract unwanted attention to the upper body.

    Obviously, not everyone will fit neatly into these categories. For now, there seem to be 4main groups that i can think of:

    -tall, boyish and slender;
    -top heavy, often with slender and long legs (apple)
    -bottom heavy (pear); and
    -generally curvaceous all over.

    Hopefully, if this thread progresses, we may get lots of different combinations and tips from tPF's cosmopolitan population!
  2. OK, i'll start:

    To lengthen legs, I've found the following is great:

    -Bootcut jeans are your FRIEND. But not all types; make sure they are quite fitted in the thigh and that the bootcut is nowhere near a flare.

    -The hem of the jeans should skim the floor. This is a bit of a science, because you need to lengthen the expanse of material between your hips an the floor (illusion of longer legs), without allowing the material to "bunch" around your ankles (instantly cuts you off).

    -Wear heels and make sure your shoes are covered by the hem of your jeans, especially in the back. If you have to get your jeans hemmed on a diagonal, do so!

    -If your legs are very short compared to your torso, skinny jeans are not for you. Sorry!

    -If you can't resist a skinny jean, stay away from the "ankle huggers." Choose a jean that is skinny through the thigh and calf (stretch material is excellent) but has a bit of a give in the bottom - the jean needs to fit around your ankle and over your shoe (preferably heels) almost to the floor.

    -If you are long waisted, stay away from high waisted jeans. Go for hipsters (say a 7.5 inch rise as the lowest, though) and make sure you top ends just below the button. What you are trying to minimise here is metres of torso and the pelvic area.

    -stay away from whiskers around the crotch - these tend to cut you off at the pelvis, when you really need a seamless expanse of colour from floor to hip.

    -If you are short waisted, pretty much anything will look good on you LOL. But if you are so short-waisted that it makes you self-conscious, try a higher rise (say 8-9 inches). This will also lengthen your legs, as it adds the illusion of more leg between your hip and the floor. You can also get away with high waisted skirts - they will look great on you.

    -Dark colours are most effective. Never ever wear white or that light 80s stonewashed demin (hey, i still see those around LOL).
  3. Oh, and following on from that:

    -This can be a bit tricky, but look for jeans with front pockets that tilt slightly upwards. DO NOT, under any circumstances, buy jeans with pockets that slant downwards. An upwards slant will "lift" the pelvic area, giving the illusion of a shorter torso. A downwards slant drags down you torso and hips, and your legs may look like they start later than they should.
  4. And just one more thing before i go to bed :rolleyes::nuts:

    It'd be great if any posters could put a topic at the top of their post in bold and underlined (see my second post, above) to provide a reference for people scrolling through for their particular body shape/dress issue?

    Phew! ok, no more from me, i swear!
  5. I am an apple

    Although I gravitate towards shoulder details: puckered short sleeves, exaggerated shoulders, etc., I am trying to stay away from that because it makes me look more top heavy. And if I must wear it, I always wear heels.

    Really, it's about simple tops, and lengthening the legs.
  6. I am an hourglass, I'm curvy but have a small waist. I'm also really short! I need recommendations pls :smile:
  7. I have a small frame, I wear a size 0 or 2 and barely have a chest. :amuse: I cannot wear petite sizes though because I'm not that short. I am about 5'5-5'6. My legs are long so I don't need to worry about lengthening, however I like to focus on my butt. :yes:

    -Jeans for a flat butt
    I look for jeans with designs on the pocket, pocket flaps, etc. to give a little more "volume" to the butt area. Try to stay away from jeans that are baggy underneath and around the butt, it will make you look even flatter. Don't buy jeans that are extremely tight either..something that fits comfortably but more on the tight side is good.

    -Tops for a shorter torso
    Compared to my legs, my torso seems to be on the shorter side. I like to wear babydolls, tunics, and loose fitting shirts that are fitted near the chest. The top should end near the start of the pockets.

    Personally I find it very easy to dress with my body shape. I am comfortable with the way I am. There aren't really any restrictions to what I cannot wear. It is difficult sometimes when I can't find clothes that fit me because jeans might be the right length but the waist is too big. I have good luck with jeans at Saks and Nordstrom. (7FAM, R&R, COH)
  8. For pants, you want to lengthen your legs to add height to your body. Dark wash bootcut jeans should be a staple to your wardrobe. :yes: Stay away from wearing flats, obviously they won't make you taller. Heels will definitely help. I am not sure about tops..I am not curvy. :push:
  9. I am an hourglass, too--I don't qualify for pear, since my shoulders and hips are about the same width. Am always told I look a lot like Catherine Zeta Jones.

    For broad shoulders: I always avoid cap sleeves, and much as I love puff sleeves and gathered-neck gypsy tops, they don't look great on me either. I also avoid off-the shoulder sweaters (although I am fine with a strapless or corset top, since it doesn't enclose my shoulders). I prefer a v-neckline to any other, which keeps shoulders from looking too wide. And needless to say...NO shoulder pads!

    For a small waist with broad shoulders: I usually buy tops with stretch in them, and I love knits, since they fit my shoulders-and-waist combo much better. Tanks, strapless/sleeveless and corset tops are good because they fit my waist but don't bind my shoulders. I avoid button-down shirts and crew-necks, since if they fit my shoulders, they bag at the waist area.

    Small waist and ample booty: I always ask my sales associates for the jeans and skirts for curvy women; I can't wear shift dresses or anything too straight up-and-down. The stores now seem to carry tons of jeans and skirts with stretch in them for women with curves (thanks, J-Lo and Beyonce!); just ask for them!
  10. for my apple friends :biggrin:

    v-necks are a must, crew necks or boat necks can make us look like football players:p
    Fitted tops, but NOT clingy, just not loose. Loose tops make us w/ big ta tas only look pregnant.
    Boy cut jeans, curvy fit nips in too much at the waist for us, boy cut is more straight down - also good for skinny girls w/ muffin tops ;)
    I don't really never wear sweaters, they add too much bulk where I am already bigger:tdown:
    Reese Witherspoon is also an apple. My body is very similar to hers but w/ bigger ta tas :biggrin:
  11. Yeah I'm 5 feet tall but a 34D in the chest and 35" hips with a 24 inch waist. Wierd I know. It's so hard to find clothes that are perfect!
  12. I am neither apple nor pear, I am a ruler.

    I have narrow shoulders and hips, but a wide waist, so I'm straight up and down. Not an apple, because my shoulders and chest are small. Not pear because my hips and legs are narrow. When hip huggers and low-rise jeans became trendy it was a godsend, because finally I could find pants slim through the hip that I could actually button. It used to be either too tight in the waist or too loose through the hip/thighs. Tops are still difficult because I also have a long torso.
  13. Hmmm my hip to waist ratio is too small to be a pear, by a considerable margin given the parameters we're working with. I don't really know - I'm not an apple shape either. I am built solidly, I am 5'6 and do not have long legs, I'm muscular all over but still shaped like a woman - I have more muscle in my legs/hips than up top, and a 34B chest. I can normally wear Medium tops, though sometimes I get L cause I like them to fit longer. I always have to get petite/short jeans or get my jeans hemmed.

    I tend to wear dark colored jeans that fit close at the hip, because that is the widest part of my body and I don't like baggy things there because it makes me look dumpier. I have a healthy butt (lol) so I never have a problem filling out my jeans, in fact it usually makes me have to be pickier about what styles of jeans I do wear as I don't do well with rigid fitting jeans (I need a bit of stretch to fit properly around my curves).

    I look decent in strapless tops - my wedding dress was strapless and emphasized my strong shoulders perfectly - so I don't really like turtlenecks that much and usually prefer tank tops with a cardigan or hoodie layered over it. I like zip up hoodies or button up cardigans best. I know I'm short and I have short legs but I love ballet flats anyway! I have heels but i don't wear them all the time and don't really care much.
  14. I think I pretty roughly qualify as pear. I usually buy XS, S tops and 6-8 pants. I have very short legs and a "freaskishly long torso" (so says the BFF). It is nearly impossibly to find clothes. Tops are never long enough and jeans are always way, way too long. I'm 5'6" and the short pant sizes are always about an inch too shot.

    I try to stick to bootcut jeans with pointy toe heels (gotta extend that line on the legs to make them look longer). I wish I had advice for tops but I basically just buy any that fit! Haha. I love the new tunic style tops that are out now though, because buying shirts in junior high and high school was such a nightmare! I tend to wear a pretty, funky necklace or earrings to draw attention from the large hip/booty region. And don't even get me started on buying bathing suits.... nearly impossible.

    I have to wear dress clothes to school everyday and it's pretty nice because dress trousers and pants fit WAY better than jeans do. And sweaters/dress shirts are being made longer these days.
  15. Gosh, what am I? My extra weight is in my stomach. My butt is a little JLo-ish, but I'm not really too heavy. I guess you'd say I'm athletic.