Our bodies have different shapes and sizes. Some of us are curvier or bigger in certain areas of the body, while others are narrower or smaller in those areas. Some of us are fatter, while others are thinner. Some are taller, while others are shorter.
This makes all individuals unique and interesting. “Variety is the spice of life,” they say.
This diversity of the human body shape also underlines the important fact that there isn’t a typical or ideal body shape. Everybody is special in their way.
Yet, interests in the subject of body shape have peaked so high that general descriptions have been offered in a curious effort to identify body shapes by categories.
You must have heard terms like rectangle, triangle, inverted triangle, hourglass, diamond, and oval. These are geometric categorizations used to describe the female body shapes. You may also have come across words such as banana, pear, or apple, as used to describe the female body shape. These are synonymous descriptions to the geometric classifications. There are possibly other alternate terms.
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And for some reason, like most people, you want to know what the female body shapes are, and where you fall under the female body shape spectrum.
So, “what are the female body shapes?” you’ve asked.
The 4 Distinct Female Body Shapes
There are generally four common categories of the female body shape. These are the:
- rectangle, straight, or banana
- triangle, (spoon?), or pear
- inverted triangle or apple
Other categories exist, however; but these aren’t as distinct as the listed four. Anything else still falls under these categories and would only be a slight variation, an overlapping combination, or just a synonym of the original four.
However, since some still bear certain peculiar characteristics, they deserve separate attention. After all, body type categorization isn’t a precise science.
That said, the other female body shape classifications are the:
- top hourglass
- bottom hourglass
- oval or round
So, together that gives us 9 female body shape categories. Let’s now take a deeper dive into each one. Hopefully, you will be able to identify where you belong and find some helpful fashion tips.
1. Rectangle, straight, banana
The rectangle body shape describes the female whose waist measurements are typically less than 9 inches narrower than her hip or bust measurements. Usually, a female with this body shape looks boyish with a small or average-sized bust and slender arms & legs.
If you’re a rectangle, your shoulder, bust, and hips measure about 5 percent of each other. Typically, your waist will be less than 25 percent narrower than your shoulder and bust width. The hips and the waist measure about the same width, de-emphasizing the curve of your figure and highlighting a usually flat buttock.
Rectangle’s boyish or athletic look makes it easy for them to adapt to both male and female clothes.
Synonymous terms include a straight, ruler, or banana.
Rectangle body shape characteristics
Here is a list of Rectangle body shape characteristics:
- Hips, waist, and shoulder/bust are approximately the same width
- Undefined curve throughout the body frame
- Small or average midriff
- Little or no waist definition
- Almost equal distribution of weight around the body
- Straight shoulders and ribcage
- Flat buttocks
- A boyish or athletic look
- Small bust
Here is a list of Rectangle body shape celebrities you may think of:
- Cameron Diaz
- Anne Hathaway
- Kate Hudson
- Keira Knightley
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Eva Longoria
Dressing for rectangles
Stylists agree that rectangle-shaped women should aim for clothes that add curves by defining the shoulders, hips, and waist.
2. Triangle, spoon, pear
This describes the female whose hips-width measures significantly bigger than her bust and shoulder measurements. Your hips are the widest area of your body.
Typically, such a female has round heavy buttocks and a defined waistline. She will characteristically have full thighs and sometimes shorter legs.
Speaking of dimensions, the hips of a pear-shaped female are more than 5 percent larger than her shoulders and bust widths.
The saying goes “Flaunt it if you’ve got it,” so make sure to show off your lovely womanly curves.
Triangle body shape characteristics
Here is a list of Triangle body shape characteristics:
- Hips are wider than shoulders and bust
- Round, sloping shoulders
- Well-defined waistline
- Buttocks and thighs are full and well-defined
- Extra body weight distributed on the thighs and lower body
Here is a list of Triangle celebrities you may think of:
- Beyoncé Knowles
- Shakira Mebarak Ripoll
- Jennifer Lopez
- Kelly Clarkson
Dressing for triangles
With this traffic-jamming figure, you should have a great wardrobe. The dressing shouldn’t be an issue because almost any clothes will fit. Your clothing style should be outfits that flaunt your waistline and curves.
*Note: Even though the names are often used interchangeably and are the same, there are still differences between the triangle/pear and the spoon female body shapes.
3. Inverted triangle or apple
A female with an inverted triangle or apple shape has broader shoulders and larger busts than hips. Her hips appear relatively narrow and she may have slim legs and flat buttocks. Generally, she has more fat in her upper body, especially on her abdomen, chest, and face.
Sometimes, an apple-shaped female may not look significantly bigger on the upper body. She may even tend toward the rectangle shape, with fairly close chest, waist, and hip measurements. However, her hips will remain about six inches visibly smaller than her chest and shoulder widths.
Inverted triangle shape characteristics
Here is a list of Inverted triangle shape characteristics:
- Shoulders are broad and prominent, more so than waist and hip measurements
- Chest and back look fuller than a rectangle’s
- Might have an athletic build
- Weight gain is distributed mostly on the torso and back
Here is a list of Apple celebrities you may think of:
- Tyra Banks
- Elizabeth Hurley
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
- Federica Pellegrini (Italian Olympic swimmer)
- Naomi Campbell
- Demi Moore
Dressing for apples
You should go for tops that have natural curves or emphasis in the waist region and outfits that flaunt your legs.
Choose blouses and tops with U, V, or uneven necklines and blouse with flared long sleeves. Dark-colored clothing and plain tops will be nice on you.
4. Hourglass or x-shape
The famous hourglass describes the female whose hip and bust widths are almost equal in size with a relatively narrow and well-defined waist measurement.
Often considered the ideal female body shape, the hourglass represents only about 8 percent of the female population. These stats are according to research conducted on more than 6000 women at North Carolina State University in 2005.
An hourglass female has a well-balanced body structure. Quite often, her buttocks are round, her shoulders are rounded, and her hips are high.
There are 3 different types of hourglass shape:
- Top hourglass
- Bottom hourglass
These are the same thing but are distinctive enough to deserve individual mention, as we shall see in later categories.
Hourglass shape characteristics
Here is a list of Hourglass shape characteristics:
- Hips and shoulders are about the same widths
- Rounded or sloping shoulders
- Well-defined and significantly smaller waistline
- Round buttocks
- Full bosom and deep cleavage (most times)
- Wider lower hips than upper hips
- Full thighs with legs proportionate to the entire body
- Weight gain distributed through the hips and above the waist
Here is a list of Hourglass celebrities you may think of:
- Kim Kardashian
- Nicky Minaj
- Christina Hendricks
- Kate Winslet
- Sofia Vergara
- Sophia Loren
- Raquel Welch
- Eva Longoria
Dressing for hourglass
Regardless of what Hollywood culture wants us to believe about their super teeny tiny starlets, we must agree that it’s the smoking hot, perfect hourglass who got our hearts racing.
As an hourglass female, you’re everything a designer hopes for—a breathing mannequin. Stylists may point you toward clothing that highlights and flaunt your perfect curves.
You should go for fitted clothes; clingy, flowing fabrics, dresses with defined waistline; straight and gently flared pants or shirts; accessories (waist belts, pencil skirts, strappy sandals, high heels, and peep toes) to flatter your shape; or just about any clothing.
So that wraps it up for us on the 4 main female body shapes. Anything else still falls under these categories and would only be a slight variation, an overlapping combination, or just a synonym of the original four.
Other Female Body Shape Categories
Here is a list of other body shape categories:
- Top hourglass
- Bottom hourglass
- Oval or round
Continuing our list from the preceding four, let’s examine these other female body shapes in detail.
Some blogs and other resources use the terms triangle, pear, and spoon interchangeably. While these are synonymous words, “spoon” can still be slightly dissociated from the rest.
Like the triangle or pear, the spoon-shaped female has significantly larger hips than the bust. It is the most prominent area of her body.
Unlike the triangle or pear, however, the spoon-shaped female may have hips shaped inwards to form a “shelf-like” appearance. She might also carry some extra weights on her arms, more so than the traditional triangle-shaped female.
Not so much of a difference, right?
Well, that’s why they’re rarely separated in the first place. Regardless if she’s strictly spooning, pear, or triangle, a female in this shape class has hips significantly larger than any other parts of her body.
2. Top hourglass
A top hourglass female is still strictly “hourglass”, but her bust measurements are slightly larger than her hip measurements. If this is you, then your most flattering apparel could be boot cut (rather than flared pants) and A-line shirts.
3. Bottom hourglass
A bottom hourglass female is still strictly “hourglass”, but her hip measurements are slightly larger than her bust measurements. If this describes you, then you can go for clothing that fits closely around the waist and hips to emphasize and flaunt your rare assets—don’t hide those curves!
The bottom hourglass is probably the best representation of the idolized “figure-8”.
A diamond-shaped female has an undefined waist with a large and high stomach. Her hips are broader than her shoulders, and she has a narrow bust and a fuller waistline. Her buttocks may also be full or flat. Because she’s diamond, her upper legs may have some extra weight, while her arms are slender.
Your shape is nice, with your large hips and slender arms. This means that you should have little wardrobe issues.
However, the best clothes to flatter your shape should be dresses that show off your slender shoulders while taking some attention up and off your waist and hips.
Cocktail-style dresses are a huge plus, as they will flaunt your calves and draw the eyes away from your thicker thighs. “A-line” dress styles will be nice on you.
5. Oval or round
An oval or round body shape female has a larger bust than other body areas. She is also identified by her narrow hips and fuller midsection.
As the word suggests, a female with this body shape will look “round”, especially around the waist area. She will likely have an undefined waistline and fuller upper thighs. Weight gain distribution for her will occur in the midsection. Her buttocks may be full or flat (often the case) and her legs slender.
Celebrity examples include Dame Judi Dench, Rebel Wilson, and Melissa McCarthy.
Females in this shape category should try to draw attention away from the midsection but upward toward the shoulders and face. Earrings, necklaces, scarves, and similar items will do a good job.
Choose semi-fitted or loose-fitting apparel. Untuck tops to de-emphasize the stomach’s roundness. You can wear tops and dresses that flow through the waistline and straight pants made of soft flowing materials. Fitted bras and support underwear will reduce the bulging appearance of your tummy.
“Different strokes for different folks” hold for the female (and male) body shape. Quickly dismiss whatever they tell you about the “ideal” body shape…there’s no such thing as that. Or maybe it only lives in an individual’s head, which makes it all the more subjective. One man’s make is another’s Mar. What you think is your weakness may be admired as your strength by other people.
You never can tell.
You’re beautiful the way you are, regardless of what body shape you carry. What matters more is your health and happiness.
And if you still feel concerned about your body, it should encourage you to know that you can do something about it. With the right balance between dieting, exercise, and fashion, you can make the most of what you have to effect significant improvement.
Consult with your doctor, fitness trainer, and/or fashion stylist for specific answers to your questions. Their expert advice will help you a great deal.
Anyway, were you able to identify yourself under any shape category?
My name is Grace Gyimah, a devoted wife and mother of 2. I’m a licensed Social worker, currently working with the Veterans administration. I’m so glad that you have taken the time to check out Gurlzcare today. As a woman I take joy and pride in seeing my fellow women’s needs being met; hence the birth of Gurlzcare. From the latest trends in fashion, fitness tips, home, makeup, and many more; our goal is to take care of you. Thanks for visiting today and have an awesome shopping experience.