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How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Shape: The Ultimate Guide

The inverted triangle body shape is one of eight common body types, with wider shoulders than the hips and lower body. If you have an inverted triangle shape, keep reading to learn tips for styling inverted triangle outfits, including the best types of dresses for people with inverted-triangle-shaped bodies.

An inverted triangle shape is also known as an athletic body type. It’s one of the eight common body shapes:

  • Straight (banana)
  • Hourglass
  • Spoon
  • Pear
  • Inverted triangle (athletic)
  • Diamond

The inverted triangle body shape is described as having the following features:

  • Broad shoulders with an ample bust and a wide back
  • A proportionally large upper body
  • Slim hips
  • A bottom that may tend to be flat
  • A subtle waist where weight is gained first in the belly and upper body
  • Little definition between the waist and hips
  • A straight and squared shoulder line
  • Shapely legs that are often considered by many people with an inverted triangle body shape to be their best feature 

People who have an inverted triangle shape typically wear a size larger for their tops than for their bottoms. Less than 5 percent of women fall into this body shape category.

Wondering how to dress broad shoulders? When it comes to choosing clothes for an inverted triangle body shape, many people like to balance out their shoulders, chest, and back with their slim lower body. 

Some general tips include:

  • Wear clothing that shows off your fantastic legs.
  • Choose clothes that add curves to the hips and bottom. 
  • Choose clothes that create a more defined waist.
  • Use belts to define your waist. Wide belts can be especially effective.
  • Shoulder pads or detailing on the shoulders (such as buttons or embroidery) can draw more attention to the shoulders.  
  • In general, leave the detailing to the bottom half of your body. Shirts for broad shoulders can be simple to avoid drawing the eye.

People looking for shirts for wide shoulders can accentuate their waist and balance their bust with their hips. Some great options include:

  • Wrap-style tops with a flare below the waist, which can help add more curves to your hips
  • Tops with tightening (such as banding or nipping) at the waist
  • Narrow V-necks
  • Tailored tops
  • Dark-colored tops to make your upper body seem smaller
  • Open necklines and collars
  • Adding a jacket to your outfit to achieve a vertical line 
  • Tops that end just below the hip bone
  • Strapless tops

Generally, people who have an inverted triangle body shape have great legs that they want to show off. Whatever your best asset is, you can choose to flaunt it in your outfit choices. Pants that balance out the shoulders and refine the waist might be bootcut or wide-leg styles with side pockets, which add volume and balance out the upper body. 

Skinny jeans will emphasize a top-heavy figure.

When it comes to choosing dresses for an inverted triangle body shape, you can:

  • Highlight your legs
  • Minimize your shoulders
  • Refine your waist

Dresses that are flattering for wide shoulders have straight lines or an A-line design. A dress with a fuller A-line skirt will make the upper body seem more proportionate. Detailing such as jewelry, patterns, and sparkles around the hips can draw attention away from the upper body. Mini-dresses that show off a lot of leg are another option for dresses for broad shoulders. 

People with an inverted triangle body shape don’t always want to show off their legs. A maxi dress with a belt or tightening around the waist can add definition and look great. 

If you’re looking for dresses for wide shoulders, be aware that bodycon dresses may accentuate the imbalance between the top and bottom.

Accessories for an inverted triangle body type can include:

  • Statement bracelets and rings that draw attention to the hips 
  • Handbags that are carried in the hand, drawing attention to the lower body
  • Eye-catching shoes that bring attention to your legs, such as wedges, platform heels, bright sneakers, and shoes and sandals that tie up around the ankle

Statement necklaces, chokers, and large earrings will draw the eye to your upper body.

Swimsuit styles that will emphasize your best features if you have an inverted triangle body type include:

  • Simple halter tops
  • Patterned, bold, or light-colored bottoms paired with solid, plain tops or bottoms with embellishments, side ties, or ruffles. This will draw the eye to the bottom and the legs
  • Bathing suit bottoms that cut straight across the hips
  • One-piece suits with side cutouts
  • Tankinis with simple halter tops

People with an inverted triangle body shape tend to have wide shoulders, a subtle waist, and great legs. Those great legs might be an asset that you want to show off. Dressing with your body shape in mind can make shopping a much smoother experience. 

There are many options when choosing clothes for an inverted triangle body shape. Clothes for broad shoulders focus on bringing attention to the hips and lower portion of the body. All body types are beautiful as is, and these tips are just suggestions. No matter what the tips are for your particular body shape, what you wear is up to you. Choose the outfits that make you feel confident and happy.


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