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The Lifestyle & Fashion magazine is a community blog that allows passionate bloggers (and readers alike) to talk about their latest beauty tips, the newest fashion trends, and how everyone can live their best life.

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Every woman’s guide to gorgeousness: Here’s what you need to do first.

Get this right, and you will never pick an ill-fitting dress again.

Just like you, when I dress up for work every morning, I step away from the tall mirror, narrow my eyes, tilt my head and imagine what I might look like to a third person.

And just like you, I am not always impressed.

But then when I want to try wearing something different – I realize that though my wardrobe is overflowing with different types of clothes, colors and brands, they feel all the same.

The variety we see in our closets is often misleading. — by Preeti Pillai
The variety we see in our closets is often misleading. — by Preeti Pillai

The big stacks of outfits and the ‘variety’ in them are only tricking the eyes; and we still don’t have enough of those perfect dresses that will make us look and feel stronger, more confident and will serve as a silent reassurance that our body is beautiful, just the way it is.

If you think of it, we all do secretly love our bodies, and we want to find the best way to present them. But fads, trends (and sometimes, friends!) get inside our heads, and we end up having clothes in which we feel unflattered or misrepresented.

Does what you wear do justice to the features of your body? — by Preeti Pillai
Does what you wear do justice to the features of your body? — by Preeti Pillai

You and I know how tough it can be to find the outfits that compliment our body structure. If it fits the bust, it’s tight around the hips, if it makes our bust look good, it makes our arms look small.

But I’m here to hit ‘stop’ on the rant, and give you the only information you need to find the right clothes for yourself. With this weapon, you will never pick a dress you regret again. Imagine a wardrobe full of clothes that make you look good and feel happy!

1. Pick up the measuring tape, pretty woman!

That’s right! Find, borrow, steal a measuring tape, because it is going to change the way you dress. In a place where you feel safe enough to write your numbers, stand tall, and make a note of the following measurements:

  • The bust
  • The waist
  • The hips
  • The thighs (feet together, measure at about 10 fingers above your knees.)

Don’t bother indulging in how good or bad the numbers are, because you need to brace yourselves for the next step.

2. The shape of you:

It doesn’t matter where you are from, what you do, or how you feel – your body, the only one you have, can be described as one of the following shapes. The shape doesn’t define you, it gives you the only clue you need to find the perfect fit for it.

If:

  • The bust area is wider than the hips
  • The arms look slimmer and the shoulder looks wide
  • The legs look slimmer when compared to the upper body

then you have an Apple body shape.

You've got an Apple body shape if your bust area looks wider than the waistline. — by Preeti Pillai
You've got an Apple body shape if your bust area looks wider than the waistline. — by Preeti Pillai

If:

  • The hips are much wider than the bust
  • The hips, thighs and the behind look heavier than the upper body
  • The shoulders are narrower and sloping
  • Fuller, more muscular legs

then you have a Pear body shape.

Wider hips as compared to the bust are the sign of a Pear body shape. — by Preeti Pillai
Wider hips as compared to the bust are the sign of a Pear body shape. — by Preeti Pillai

If:

  • The bust area is about as wide as the hip area
  • There are no deep curves around the waist
  • There’s extra weight around the midriff, giving the body an even, rectangular look

then you have a Rectangle body shape.

An even and straight-looking midriff is a feature of the Rectangle body shape. — by Preeti Pillai
An even and straight-looking midriff is a feature of the Rectangle body shape. — by Preeti Pillai

If:

  • The hips and the bust area have almost the same measurement
  • There is a deep curve around the waist
  • The arms and legs look bulkier, along with a fuller behind

then you have an Hourglass body shape.

A curvy wasitline is the highlight of an Hourglass figure. — by Preeti Pillai
A curvy wasitline is the highlight of an Hourglass figure. — by Preeti Pillai

There’s a lot of versions of these categories on the internet, and going through too many of them would only confuse the mind. The list above cuts through the fluff and highlights every key feature of the 4 most common body types.

If it feels that your body is not an exact match with any of the above, the key is to pick the one which most closely describes it. Once you’ve boldly acknowledged the body shape you have, you are ready for the next step – knowing the right kind of clothes that flatter your figure.

Me? I'm an Hourglass.

This article was originally published on @preeti_p