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8 Different Body Types: Brilliant Tips to Help You Find Out Your Body Type

The human body comes in all shapes and sizes, and finding the most flattering clothing for your body shape can be tricky. Read on to understand more about the different body types and discover yours.

While bodies are all different, there are about eight general body shapes. If you’re wondering what body shape you are, the answer may not be only one type. You might have characteristics from a couple of different types. Using shapes as a reference can be a handy way to visualize general body types. 

Having a positive body image and high self-esteem matters more than if your body resembles a pear, apple, hourglass, or any other shape. Regardless of how you’re shaped, maintaining a healthy weight with a balanced diet and exercise you enjoy is a great way to stay healthy and happy.

Your body shape can also change. Genetics largely determines where fat accumulates on your body, but different physical activities can also change your body’s proportions. For example, distance runners tend to have a different body shape than people who lift weights. Some people have surgical procedures to alter their body shape and end up with a different shape than they had before.

There are a few online tools that can calculate your body type. To find out your body type, you can measure your bust, waist, and hips. You’ll generally measure your bust at the fullest part, around the nipples, and your waist at the narrowest part. The high-hip measurement is where the top of the pelvic bone flares, and the low hip is where the hips flare (where the thigh meets the pelvic bone and near where your pubic hair starts).

If you put these measurements into an online body-shape calculator, you’ll get your body shape. You may be close to a couple of body types. Other calculators factor in the breadth of your shoulders, which can make a rectangle shape closer to an inverted triangle or vice versa. 

You can also get a rough idea of your body shape by looking at yourself in the mirror or taking a photo and drawing the different body shapes over yourself. You may notice you’re wide in the hips and narrow through the bust and shoulders or more of a straight up-and-down shape.

Many people want to find out what body shape they have in order to find clothes that emphasize the best parts of their bodies. When choosing clothes that flatter your body type, it’s important to remember that you’re celebrating a favorite part of your body, not hiding or disguising perceived flaws. 

Certain body proportions can also indicate particular health risks. Understanding your body shape can help educate you about these potential health concerns.

You can’t change the overall configuration of your skeleton, such as the angle at which your femur connects to the pelvic bone or the width of your shoulders. However, you can lift weights to change the shape of your hips and butt, or practice endurance sports such as running or cycling for a more athletic or rectangular shape. People who practice sports that demand a lot of upper-body strength, such as swimming and gymnastics, may end up with an inverted triangle (athletic) body shape.

If you’re overweight or obese, the shape of your body will change depending on where you store excess fat tissue. If you have a banana/rectangle-shaped body at a normal body mass index (BMI), weight gain may change your shape into a diamond at a higher BMI. 

Natural aging, puberty, and childbirth can also change your body shape. For example, some people’s hips spread during pregnancy and don’t return to their pre-pregnancy proportions.

An hourglass body shape has a bust and hips that are roughly the same measurements and a narrow waist. This body shape is generally described as curvy. People with this body shape will typically gain weight in the breasts and the hips. Because people with this body type typically gain weight proportionally, it may be more difficult to notice the weight gain. 

If you have an hourglass figure, you may want to emphasize the narrowness of your waist compared to your fuller breasts and hips. Many hourglass-shaped people have larger, rounded butts and choose to accentuate them. Most clothing is created for an hourglass shape, although some people with this build may find it difficult to find sheath dresses or some styles of pants that fit.

A pear or triangle shape has narrow shoulders, a smaller bust, and a slim upper body. People with this body shape typically have wider hips. When pear-shaped bodies gain weight, it’s typically just in the hips and thighs. Obese pear-shaped bodies may still look fairly lean from the waist up. It may be more difficult for pear-shaped people to lose weight

No matter your body shape, having a BMI greater than 30 (obese) comes with health risks including metabolic syndrome (a cluster of disorders like abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and high triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels).

People with a pear-shaped body may choose to show off their shapely arms and slim chests or collarbones with boatneck or off-the-shoulder tops or delicate camisole tops. It may be difficult to find off-the-rack pants that fit. Pear shapes can look great in clothing that defines the waistline, especially high-waisted skirts or tailored dresses.

Apple-shaped bodies typically have narrower hips, fairly large breasts, and broader shoulders. People with an apple-shaped body may accumulate extra fat tissue around their middle. Abdominal fat can affect your liver and metabolism. The tissue that surrounds your midsection and internal organs can trigger the release of excess hunger hormones. Abdominal obesity (waist circumference of greater than 40 inches in men and greater than 35 inches in women) can also lead to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and clogged arteries, which can lead to serious complications such as stroke.

One-piece clothing may not be particularly flattering off the rack. Jumpsuits or structured pant suits may need alterations to accommodate your larger bust. Clothing with shaping around the waist can give the appearance of a curvier figure. Most people with apple-shaped bodies tend to have slim legs, so shorter skirts or shorts that show off your legs can be great options.

A spoon shape is similar to a pear shape in that the hips are larger than the bust. People with a spoon-shaped body may be a little heavier in the upper arms and chest than people with pear-shaped bodies. They may also have larger thighs.

Clothing that flatters pear-shaped bodies also tends to flatter spoon-shaped bodies. Many spoon-shaped people look great in clothing with empire waistlines or baby-doll-style dresses.

People with a wider waist and relatively symmetric bust and hip measurements generally have rectangular or banana-shaped bodies. This body shape generally means narrow hips and a small bust. Violin hips or hip dips are fairly common with this body shape. People with a banana body type need to be careful of excess weight gain around their midsection. Excess fat around the abdomen can have dangerous effects on your internal organs.

Banana-shaped bodies look great in form-fitting clothing. Tube dresses and off-the-shoulder tops look good on rectangle-shaped bodies, as do belted clothing styles that define the waist.

A diamond body type typically has hips broader than the shoulders, a fuller waistline, and a smaller bust. While the shoulders aren’t narrow like the pear shape, they aren’t generally as large as the apple shape. Diamond-shaped bodies may have slim arms but tend to have larger thighs. People with a diamond body shape may gain weight in their thighs and around the middle. As with all body types, it’s important to be careful of weight gain around your middle, as excess fatty tissue in the midsection can lead to health conditions like heart diseases, hypertension, and diabetes.

People with a diamond-shaped body may have slender legs and look nice in clothing that emphasizes them. Flowing, off-the-shoulder and boatneck tops are also great choices. You may also look good in skinny jeans or floaty dresses.

A round body type is shaped a bit like an egg. People with this body type tend to have wider waists and slimmer hips. The bust is usually the largest measurement. When people with round-shaped bodies gain excess weight, it will tend to be in the bust and the waistline.  People with this body shape may also have more excess body fat around their abdomen.

Round body shapes tend to look best in tops that flare at the top or peplum styles that define the waist. They may also look nice in clothing with vertical embellishments or patterns.

Athletic body shapes have a waist that isn’t overly pronounced and shoulders that are relatively slim. This body type is similar to the banana shape, but with defined musculature. Halter-top, racerback, and strapless tops and dresses will show off your collarbones and the definition of your arms and shoulders. Form-fitting or body-con dresses will show off your toned muscles.

Everyone is shaped differently, and there’s no one shape that’s better than another. Understanding your body shape can give you ideas about how to show off your best features. Many department stores have professional stylists who can suggest clothing that will flatter your shape.

Although some people want to find clothing that suits their body shape, these suggestions are just that, and no styles are off-limits. Play around with the “rules,” and make choices based on your personal taste and what makes you feel comfortable and confident.

https://www.omnicalculator.com/health/body-shape

https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/september/body-shape

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466911/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK221834/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5041043/

researchgate.net/publication/238103641_Female_Figure_Identification_Technique_FFIT_for_apparel_part_II_Development_of_shape_sorting_software

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/metabolic-syndrome/about-metabolic-syndrome

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