What Is My Body Shape? 5 Body Types & How To Measure Yourself

Photo: alones / shutterstock
woman in lingerie looking in the mirror

If, like us, you grew up reading all the fashion advice in Cosmo about what kind of bathing suits to wear to flatter your body, you know the struggle to actually figure out which prescribed body shape category you fall into is real. Figuring it out is essential when dressing your body for fashion success.

What is my body shape?

Am I an apple or a pear? An hourglass or an inverted triangle?

It all kinda sounds like a load of BS, but in reality, there are advantages to knowing what body type you have, especially when it comes to knowing which clothing choices will be the most flattering and attractive on you.

Celebrity stylist Corey Roché says there are 5 basic female body types, and she offered us the simplest explanations for each so you can figure out which one you have — as well as follow her advice on the 10 wardrobe essentials for your shape.

How do you know what body shape you are?

That's simple. You measure yourself

Grab some measuring tape and a friend to help you out with it. To find out your true body shape you will have to measure your shoulders, your bust, your waist, and your hips.

When you're done, use those measurements to help you figure out what shape most fits your body.

What are the 3 main body types? 

Even though there are several body shapes, there are only 3 main body types: Ectomorphs, Endomorphs, and Mesomorphs. 

1. Ectomorphs is when you have very little body fat and muscles; this body type can lose weight easily.

2. Endomorphs is when you have lots of body fat and muscles; this body type gains weight easily.

3. Mesomorphs is when you have the right amount of body fat and muscle; this body type is often described as athletic, strong, and solid.

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Here's a list of the 5 female body shapes.

Plus, find out how to tell which one you have, celebrities who share your type of figure, and the best clothing choices for each.


1. Apple body type

Celebrity apple shapes: Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tyra Banks

How to tell if you're an apple: "Your shoulders and hips are around the same size," Roché says. "Apple-shaped ladies have little difference between the measurements of their chest, waist, and hips. You as an apple-shaped girl have chest and waist size measurements that are fairly close, but your hips are about six inches smaller than your chest."

Apple body shape traits:

1. Hips and shoulders have the same width; waistline has the same width or is wider.

2. You gain weight mainly around the waist, at least in proportion to the other parts of your body.

3. You probably have slender lower legs and arms.

4. Your high hip is wider than your lower hip.

5. Your bust and midriff are larger than your hips.

6. You might be short-waisted.

7. Your thighs or hips are probably the narrowest part of your body.

Pear body type

Celebrity pear shapes: Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Kelly Clarkson

How to tell if you're a pear: "Your hips are wider than your shoulders," Roché says, "They are also wider than your bust, making them the widest area of your body. In numbers, your hip measurement is more than five percent bigger than your shoulder or bust measurements. With a pear figure, one of your best assets is your slim midriff, which many women envy you for. Make sure to show off your killer waist and balance your wider lower half. These basic items should be the foundation of a great wardrobe."

Pear body shape traits:

1. Your hips are wider than your shoulders.

2. You have round, sloping shoulders.

3. You have a well-defined waistline (and might even have killer abs).

4. Your buttocks and thighs are the fullest part.

5. Pear body shapes gain weight on their thighs.

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Hourglass body type

Celebrity hourglass shapes: Kim Kardashian, Dita Von Teese, Eva Longoria

How to tell if you're an hourglass: "Your shoulders and hips are around the same size," Roché says. "Your waistline is significantly smaller. The rule of thumb here is about 75 percent: Your shoulder and hip measurements are within five percent of each other. Your waist is at least 25 percent smaller than your shoulder, hip and bust measurements. Your waist is eight to 12 inches smaller than your hip or bust measurement."

Hourglass body shape traits:

1. Your hips and shoulders have about the same width.

2. You have round and sloping shoulders.

3. You have a well-defined waistline.

4. Did we mention cleavage?

5. Your buttocks are rather round.

6. Your lower hips are wider than your high hips.

7. Your thighs are full but narrower than the lower hips.

8. Hourglass body shapes gain weight through the hips and above the waist.

Rectangle (or ruler) body type

Celebrity rectangles: Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah, Cameron Diaz

How to tell if you're a rectangle: "Rectangles have a very athletic frame," Roché says. "That allows them to wear boyish clothes as well as a wide range of feminine ones. Your shoulders, waistline, bust, and hips are around the same size. Your shoulder, bust, and hip measurements are within five percent of each other. Your waist is less than 25 percent smaller than your shoulder or bust measurements. Waist measures from one to eight inches (2.5 cm – 20 cm) smaller than the bust."

Rectangle body shape traits:

1. Your hips, waistline, and shoulders have about the same width.

2. Rectangles gain weight evenly but may gain some more through the upper body on the back or neck.

3. You have rather straight shoulders.

4. Your buttocks are flat.

5. You have an athletic build and a small bustline.

Inverted triangle shaped body type

Celebrities with inverted triangle body shapes: Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Renée Zellweger, Miley Cyrus

How to tell if you're an inverted triangle: "Your shoulders are wider than your hips," Roché says. "They are the widest part of your body. Your shoulders are more than five percent bigger than your hip measurement."

Inverted body shape traits:

1. You have prominent and broad straight shoulders — wider than your waistline or hips.

2. You have an athletic build.

3. You probably have rather flat buttocks.

4. You might have a larger chest and fuller back than rectangles.

5. When inverted triangles gain weight, they usually gain it through the torso and back area.

What is the most attractive body shape?

According to a recent study done through Evolution and Human Behavior, the hourglass figure is the most attractive and perfect female body shape.

However, attraction is subjective so every man (or female) has different tastes.  

All images: Karen Cox/SheKnows

RELATED: 16 Things You Hate About Your Body — That Men Actually Love

Lisa Fogarty has written numerous articles for USA Today, The Stir, Opposing Views and other publications.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on December 7, 2017 and was updated with the latest information.

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This article was originally published at SheKnows. Reprinted with permission from the author.