Silhouette Types and Tips

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There are many types of silhouette and one is not better than the other. Every body type has its advantages and disadvantages, we just need to know how to highlight what we like and hide what bothers us with a few simple techniques.

The hourglass silhouette is considered the ideal body shape, but if we do not have this body shape, we can easily create the optical illusion of an hourglass, using colors, accessories, materials, prints, ruffles, etc.

An optical illusion is an image, which aims to “fool” the brain by giving it a false image of reality. Optical illusions can be of many kinds, but we are only interested in fooling the brain to see what we want.

To make it easier for us, let’s first remember some ways to enhance our body:

* Light colors highlight, dark ones hide.

*Micro-prints thin out and macro-prints add volume.

*Prints, pleats, and ruffles create volume.

*The vertical prints lengthen, and the horizontal ones give the impression of width.


*The center of interest must be placed in the part that benefits us.

*A monochromatic outfit gives the illusion of being thinner and taller.

* We can focus on hiding what bothers us, or we can emphasize what we like about ourselves and thus distract attention from what does not value us.



Apple Silhouette

This type of silhouette is usually found in minions. The upper part of the body is wider than the lower one. The shoulders are wide, the chest is prominent and the waist is missing, the legs are thin and beautiful.

What to wear:

Long A-shaped skirts, which give the impression of length and balance the volume in the ankle area with that of the shoulders.

Very short and wide dresses, to highlight the legs and hide the abdomen.

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Corsets, which tighten the waist and accentuate the volume in the hip area.

Skirts or pants with a very high waist (just below the chest) and preferably in dark colors to create the illusion of a thinner waist. Even flared and very long trousers are a good option.

Light colors and volume at the bottom and darker colors and simpler garments at the top.

What to avoid: waist belts, bulky shoulders, bulky accessories on the head, we do not need even more volume in the upper part, crop tops.

Pear Silhouette

Here we have the lower part more pronounced than the upper one. The hips are large and the legs can sometimes be thicker, the waist instead is nicely accentuated.

We can be satisfied with the lower part of our body but consider that we need more volume in the upper part, then we will add volume in the area of the shoulders and chest. We can use macro-prints, ruffles, large accessories, epaulets, light colors. Short jackets with large shoulders are a very good option, as well as puffy sleeves. Another option could be a high-waisted skirt and a voluminous crop top.

If we are satisfied with the upper part, but we consider that we have too much volume in the lower area or the legs are a little thicker, we have to hide this. We will use dark colors from the hip area downwards and lighter ones at the top. We use length to hide the width. Straight and long dresses down to the ground are a great idea.


The waist can be marked to distract the hips.

Dresses and skirts under the knees will give the impression of thinner and longer legs.


Rectangular body type usually occurs in taller women and is a typical sporty conformation. The chest, waist, and hips are at the same level. There is no waist, but the hips do not exceed the normal volume. The legs are thin and straight.

For this type of silhouette, we have to emphasize the proportions. We can do this either by creating the illusion of a smaller waist, generally, if we add a belt of medium width, or by adding volume, both in the chest area and in the hip area at the same time. For example, a pleated skirt, a well-marked waist, and little volume in the chest area.

What to wear:

Medium-width straps at the waist.

Any length of dresses.


Anything that adds volume both at the bottom and at the top without hiding the waist.

Preferably two-piece outfits.

The contrast of colors and textures that merge at the waist.

What to avoid: very tight clothing, monochrome outfit.


We already have the proportions for this type of silhouette, but we must be careful to keep them. The waist is well-defined, and the chest and hips are the same widths.

What to wear:

Anything that keeps our proportions.

Monochrome outfits.

Tight clothes.

Accessories that accentuate the waist.

Symmetrical elements.

What to avoid: loose, shapeless clothes, asymmetry, volume in one side; for example a pair of flared pants need a little volume in the shoulder area.

BY Paula Radu

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