Dressing For Your Body: Identifying Your Plus Size Body Shape

At Love Marlow, our primary goal is to make you feel beautiful and confident no matter what you throw on. Helping women understand their inner and outer beauty is truly what gets us up in the morning and we love recommending outfit ideas that we feel will flatter your body. 

You’ve probably seen all the different articles on body shapes. There’s ones that talk about fruit or vegetables or have dozens of different options that have your head spinning by the end. That’s why we compiled a more simplified way to identify body shapes, and how to dress for them. After all, there is some serious truth to the fact that certain articles of clothing flatter certain body shapes over others. 

Even as plus size women, similar principles from straight sized women hold true. But this article is for you, curvy lady. There are certain ideas of what women should wear based on their body type, but as plus size women ourselves, we get that there’s no way you’re going to comfortably wear some of their suggestions. 

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you feel like a rockstar in whatever you’re wearing, even if it’s not necessarily “figure-flattering.” Just be yourself and learn and don't be afraid to learn a few tips and tricks about dressing for your body shape. Celebrate the body you are in and as always, Love Marlow is here to find that perfect piece to rock in your wardrobe. 

Identifying Body Shapes, simply

Let’s not make this over-complicated. We’ve sorted through all the different shapes, fruits, cars, and nonsense to bring you 4 basic body shapes: Triangle, Circle, Rectangle, and Hourglass. Yep--that’s it! 4 shapes.

All women are unique and have their own characteristics, but after all the research, we found that essentially at the heart of all different body styles are these 4 shapes. So let’s be like Dwight Schrute and use the KISS method. Keep ISimple, Stupid. 

For each body shape, we’ll describe the shape, some common characteristics, and make a few recommendations on how to dress for that shape. 

Triangle Body Shape Identification


graphic that says identifying triangle shaped plus size bodies


Triangle shape body types can be identified by a distinct difference between the size of their lower body vs the upper body. Triangle shapes tend to have larger hips and thighs with a small waist and arms. Triangle shapes can get confused with hourglass body type, but the hourglass ladies tend to have larger arms and shoulders that are more proportional to their lower half.  

Especially in plus size women, Triangle body shapes may not appear plus size when only looking at the face, shoulders, and arms. 

A few quick dressing tips for Triangle Shapes:

  • Enhance your small waist by wearing wrap tops or dresses, ruched tops, and belts.
  • Fit and flare tops like peplum or babydoll also accentuate your waist.
  • The neckline is also important for triangle shapes because they are smaller on top! Show off your shoulders and arms by wearing off-shoulder or cold-shoulder tops, along with open & wide necklines.

Circle Body Shape Identification 

Identifying Circle Plus Size Body Shapes

Circle-shaped body types are also known as apple shapes or rounded, but let’s simplify and just say circle. Circle-shaped women tend to have slim legs and a larger chest and middle section. Circle shapes may have larger chests but this could be due to larger shoulders and not necessarily the tatas. Circle shapes are very common, so there are a lot of variations in how weight is carried on top and the shape is especially common in plus size women. There are a lot of great style options for this body shape!

A few quick dressing tips for Circle Shapes:

  • You will want to create/define a waist. Deep v-neck tops help with this illusion. If a deep V isn’t your thing, a deep stitch detail can give this illusion if you’re not wanting to show off the tatas.
  • Jackets that are at the natural waist-length also help define. NOTE: Your natural waist may not be where you think. Find a natural waist by bending to the side, where you crease is your natural waist. 
  • Wearing a print on the bottom also helps to accentuate your slender legs & give an illusion of a waist. If a pattern isn't your thing, try a color.

Rectangle Body Shape Identification


Identifying Rectangle Shape Plus Size Bodies


Rectangle body shapes are sort of rare and can be hard to define, especially in plus size women! So congrats if you're reading this and believe you're a rectangle, you're a real rare gem!

Rectangle shapes tend to have an undefined waist that is the same size as the bust and hips. Essentially, straight up and down rectangle shapes are the same in all body areas, which has a more athletic look to them.

A few quick dressing tips for Rectangle Shapes:

  • Rectangle shapes are proportionate so you can really go for it by wearing bolder prints and more daring cuts.
  • Shorter waisted rectangles might want to try longer tops in order to elongate the tummy... Think, tunics, duster length cardigans, or even A-Line dresses.
  • Create a bit of femininity by wearing tops and materials that add movement such as ruffles, or asymmetrical cuts. 


Hourglass Body Shape Identification

Identifying Hourglass Plus Size Body Shapes


Hourglass body shapes tend to have larger chests and bottoms with a well-defined midsection. In plus size women, look for a defined waist closer to the rib cage area, as hourglasses can carry weight in the mid-section and still have a defined natural waist. They can be difficult to dress for, especially in plus size women because our clothing tends to be flowier, while hourglass women need more tailored clothing to define their curves. 

A few quick dressing tips for Hourglass Shapes:

  • Wear more tailored clothing to show off your waist. This can also be achieved by belting tops or select tops that are cinched or ruched. 
  • Avoid bulky tops, especially oversized sweaters and cardigans that do nothing for the waist. 
  • Patterns that draw the eye toward the middle



Did you learn something new?

We hope that you have found this information to be valuable! Just because we are plus size, does not mean that we can't dress figure flattering and the first step is to do that is to identify your body shape so you can start learning! Dressing for your body shape will completely change your perspective on your body and feeling good in it. After learning our own, we felt more confident in selecting clothing and felt like we could go out and powerfully rock any outfit!

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more clothing and outfit ideas, or pop into our Boutique in Sioux Falls to have us assist you.


Identifying The Shape Of Your Plus Size Body