Oftentimes when we’re shopping for a new outfit, heading to the changeroom to try on that beautiful new piece, we find that what looked flattering and elegant on the rack doesn’t sit quite right on our bodies.
There are certain undeniable, fundamental rules to dressing and if you can get them locked down now, they will serve you for life! These core rules are ultimately determined by your body type, so for each for us these will vary.
In this article, I am going to focus on the inverted triangle body type. If you are an inverted triangle, your shoulders will be set wider than your hips and more often than not, there will be little curve to the waist. If this sounds like you, keep reading!
We are of course all different, so there are many, many variations to this, however the focus will always remain the same: Minimise what is larger, in this case the shoulders, and maximise what is smaller, in this case the waist.
Learning how to dress for your body type will take a bit of practice but If you can understand the WHY, you can apply it to any situation and feel confident in making clothing choices.
To begin with, let’s talk colour.
If we apply colour theory to how we dress in this instance, we know that dark colours minimise, and lighter colours maximise. So, just as an example, if you were to paint a small room white, the room would appear bigger and more spacious, and if you were to do the inverse and paint the same room black, the room would appear smaller and more claustrophobic.
If we can understand this, we can use it to our advantage. Using this principal to dress an inverted triangle body shape, I recommend opting for darker colours up top and choosing a lighter colour to accompany down the bottom.
Knowing colour theory is not enough on its own. We also need to understand what shapes we should be emulating and the kinds of clothes that will be the most flattering. For the inverted triangle body type, we should be aiming to create the effect of an hourglass body type, bringing the width of your hips out to match the width of your shoulders with a curve in the middle. We can achieve this through illusion dressing.
Starting up at the shoulders, we want to avoid anything with too many design accents (as seen in the example below inn red). Puffed sleeves and epaulets are out. Any kind of shoulder detail will make you look like an American Football linebacker (I think that’s the technically correct term). These design flourishes are beautiful of course, but for the inverted triangle lady, they act to pull the body out of proportion. Aim for something simple and sleek. In the example below (navy blue top), you can see the difference this makes.
You will also see a perfect example of the benefit of increasing the total area you have to bring into the waist. Extending this area further down below your hip creates the illusion of a much narrower waist, which is what we want.
As much as I love broad shoulders, there are some other tricks you can use to help bring the shoulders in and give a more feminine look. Applying an asymmetric line across your shoulders (as in the example below) makes your shoulder look smaller by cutting it in half. Other options available include Halter Necks and Cross Body Tops.
One thing to be conscious of when shopping is to avoid tops and jackets that cut you off in the middle. In the example below, you can see that this gorgeous lady is wearing a jacket that makes her look a little too square. The harsh cut-off line of the jacket doesn’t allow for any shape to form in the outfit, matching widths at your waist and shoulders. We’re left looking a little boxy.
In the second example, the jacket is much more flattering. Aim for something that will extend down to the hip bone. This will give you more length and softness, balancing out the shoulders by taking all the emphasis away from that area.
Another thing that I love about the second example is the layering effect. Layering works so well for you! Just make sure your colours are offset (if you’re wearing a black jacket, try a white shirt) and the length of the bottom layer extends further than the top.
To complete any painstakingly prepared ensemble, you need to have a good base. Also, wearing something down below is just more socially acceptable, so make sure you do that!
Skirts are going to be the inverted triangle lady’s best friend because they widen at the hips, creating a floaty, feminine look. This widening acts to offset your shoulders and tightens the waist, cascading down and flaring out.
One thing you may experience is that skinny jeans don’t quite suit you. For the inverted triangle lady your hips are generally much straighter and more narrow. Wearing skinny jeans only emphasises what is not there, particularly if they are dark or black. The remedy for this is to wear some bulk in the bottom half, like in the examples below.
With all of these, you should be aiming for tight in the waist and flowing into a flare as you move down. Boyfriend jeans are always a great choice because they are looser and will always look beautiful on you. As a note, look for jeans and pants with as much detail at the top and in front towards the hips.
Love the body type you have because we are all perfect and beautiful just as we are. If you can learn to dress your body properly, the sky is the limit. Have fun and experiment with all of these tips. Try new outfits and new combinations, and pretty soon you will know exactly what looks perfect on you.
I would love to hear how you go with this!
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