Body Shape - H, O, V, A, S, X

What Are Your Body Shape Clues?

Body Shape - H, O, V, A, S, X

The first body element of the 5 Body Element System is Body Shape. I have found that many women are familiar with this body element. However, surprisingly, I discovered many women  don’t truly understand how one’s body shape gives the clues about how to dress impeccably.

I grew up hearing about women’s shapes as compared to fruit and geometric shapes:

  • Pear body shape
  • Apple body shape
  • Figure 8 body shape
  • Hourglass body shape
  • Rectangle body shape
  • Triangle body shape
  • Inverted Triangle body shape

Over the years many of these categories turned into negative connotations like pear or apple shape. I believe this is a sad state of affairs.

All women’s bodies, no matter the shape, are beautiful. This belief that only certain bodies are beautiful has to be abolished. Yes, some bodies might be in an unhealthy state, but that doesn’t diminish their beauty.

I contend that if you understand the clues your body shape and the other 4 body elements are telling you, then you can enhance your body by wearing the correct clothing. As a result, you will look and feel great, and at the same time emit more confidence and personal power.

In this post you will learn:

  • The 6 different body shapes
  • The clues these body shapes give

6 Body Shapes

A body shape is the outside line or silhouette of the body. It’s the visual line created starting at the shoulders, heading to the waist and finally landing at the hips.

There are two general categories of body shapes, which are based on the two clothing shapes. These categories are:

  1. Angular — Shoulders, waist and hips appear to be the same width
  2. Curved — Shoulders and hips appear to be the same width and waist appears to be smaller

Within each of these two categories there are three body shapes. Instead of denoting these body shapes as fruits or geometric shapes, I use letters of the alphabet. I do this to take away any stigma related to certain body shapes. Remember everybody’s shape is beautiful so don’t judge yourself.

The body shapes are the following:

  • H Body Shape (Rectangle Body Shape)
  • O Body Shape (Apple Body Shape)
  • V Body Shape (Inverted Triangle Body Shape)
  • A Body Shape (Pear Body Shape)
  • S Body Shape (Hourglass Body Shape)
  • X Body Shape (Figure 8 Body Shape)
body shape

To determine your body shape look in the mirror (naked if possible because you get a better understanding of your body shape). Compare your shoulders to your waist and hips; compare your waist to your hips and shoulders; and compare your hips to your shoulders and waist.

Body Shape Clues

What clues does your Body Shape give you? It gives you two clues:

  1. The silhouette or outside lines of clothes
  2. Placement of horizontal and vertical lines

Are You Angular or Curved?

Using the category in which your body shape falls, determine if you have an angular or curved body shape. Clothes come in the same two shapes. If your body is angular, look for and buy angular clothes. If your body is curved, look for and buy curved clothes.

Angular clothes have an overall rectangular shape. These clothes tend not to show a waist. Curved clothes indent inward at the waist so these clothes show a waist.

Body Silhouette

When shopping for clothes, before putting any item into your try on pile, look at the overall shape of the clothing by examining its silhouette. If an item matches your body shape, then put it in your try on pile. If it doesn’t match, put it back on the rack.

Where To Place Horizontal and Vertical Lines?

Many women make the mistake of placing horizontal or vertical lines in the wrong area. In posts on Horizontal Lines (click to review) and Vertical Lines (click to review), I discussed how these lines affect the overall look of an outfit, the importance of their placement and what style lines create horizontal or vertical lines.

As a review horizontal lines:

  • Stop the eye
  • Emphasize the area where the eye stops
  • Cut the body and make it appear shorter

As a review horizontal lines:

  • Stop the eye
  • Emphasize the area where the eye stops
  • Cut the body and make it appear shorter

Horizontal Lines

If you have an A, V or O body shape, the placement of horizontal and vertical lines is important. It is important because one body part is visually wider than the other parts. If horizontal lines are placed in the widest area, they stop the eye, make the area appear wider and create emphasis. The first step in placing horizontal lines is determining where you want the eye to stop.

I had an A shape body most of my life and as a result I had the eye stop around my waist and/or shoulders. By putting a horizontal line around my waist it emphasized that I had a small waist.

A Body Shape - Horizontal lines

I liked putting horizontal lines around my shoulders because they visually made my shoulders look wider creating more balance between my shoulders and hips.

Vertical Lines

The placement of vertical lines is also important for these body shapes because vertical lines can visually reduce visually large areas to make them appear thinner.

To help decrease the visual width of my hips I used princess lines in that area. However I never started the princess lines at my shoulders because they would visually decrease the width of my shoulders too. I always started the princess lines at mid arm creating a vertical line in that area.

A Body Shape - Vertical lines

Now that you know your body shape and the clues it gives you, go to your closet to look at that outfit you love to wear. Look at its silhouette and placement of horizontal and vertical lines. Does it match what you just learned? Comment below on your results and what you learned.

Wear Your Greatness!!

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