How to Choose Outfits that Compliment Your Body Type in Nigeria

Body types
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

The whole essence of learning to choose outfits that compliment your body type is to bring out your best look as a woman. Any woman would definitely want to pull off an appealing look in whatever dress or outfit she chooses. Especially for such occasions as parties, weddings, dates, and more. You may not be able to change your body shape directly or entirely. Except through cosmetic surgery or special forms of exercises – but that’s another discussion. 


Ultimately, your fashion style expresses who you really are; your creativity, tastes and individuality. But note that body type or shape is largely influenced by genetics. Your diet, age and lifestyle further influence how those genes manifest; which is even more obvious with women tending towards buxom shapes. But you can still draw attention to your special body features and unique shape – with the right type of clothes that accentuate them. Overall, a good choice of outfits that compliment your body type enhances your confidence, and makes you look more attractive. 

You Need to Study Your Body Type/Shape

One of the best ways of enhancing your fashion style and choices is to understand yourself and your natural look. You should know your body shape, in order to choose outfits that compliment your body type exceptionally well and reduce embarrassing wardrobe fails. It will further highlight your body assets and make them more beautiful, while drawing away attention from the less flattering. 

In general, we have the following body types/shapes:

  • Rectangular body type
  • Hourglass body type
  • Pear (Triangle) body type
  • Inverted triangle body type
  • Apple body type

Rectangular Body Type

This body type is sometimes called ‘banana’ or ‘straight’ body type. This body type has roughly equal measurements at the bust (chest or upper body), waist, and hip (buttocks or lower body). To reduce the appearance of ‘straightness’ which may appear featureless, attention needs to be drawn to the waist. You can do so by creating an illusion of a ‘shaped’ or defined waist; or attractive clothes that fit the body shape itself. 

Recommended outfits that enhance the rectangular shape include:

    • A-line dresses. These are dresses that are form-fitting around the chest or trunk, but flare out from the waist downwards with a triangular look. 
    • Belted dresses. They could be flared or straight dresses. But the belt draws some attention to the waist, to make the wearer look more elegant. It creates a slight look of an ‘hourglass’ shape.
    • Flared pants or trousers to draw attention away from the small shape.
  • Fitted/Bodycon or Tube dresses
  • Dresses/Outfits with a Sweetheart or V-neckline
  • Outfits with a detailed or prominent collar

Hourglass Body Type

An hourglass body type has roughly equal measurements at the bust (upper body) and hip (lower body/buttocks); but with a well-defined waist. Also called ‘figure 8’, It is a naturally appealing body shape that appears good in all manner of outfits. So it is no wonder that lots of women adore this type of body shape. Nevertheless, the goal is to highlight the natural waistline. 

Recommended outfits that enhance the hourglass shape include:

  • Wrapped dresses: They show off both your natural waistline and curves
  • Fitted/Bodycon dresses
  • Flared and high-waisted trousers
  • Wearing belts (and belted dresses)
  • Wearing fitted sleeves
  • Wearing outfits with round, oval or jewel necklines
  • Wearing keyhole tops

Pear Body Type

Also called the ‘triangle’ body type, the hips are wider than the bust/chest measurement in such women. The waist appears small (but not actually), and the shoulders seem narrow. So naturally more attention is drawn to the hips. 

Recommended outfits that enhance the pear body shape include:

  • Wearing A-line dresses and skirts. The flared shape can subtly hide the enlarged hips. 
  • Wearing Empire-line dresses. The high waistline draws more attention to the bust/chest area than to the hips. The flared bottom achieves the same purpose of slightly disguising the hips.  

Inverted Triangle Body Type

An inverted body shape features a bust that is larger than the hips in measurement; the waist is small, quite undefined. 

Recommended outfits that enhance the triangle body shape include:

  • Wearing push-up bras
  • Wearing outfits with wide and low neckline
  • Wearing clothes that show off the legs 
  • Wear outfits with flared or loose sleeves
  • Additionally, don’t indulge in ruffled skirts

Apple Body Type

An apple body type has a large/broad bust or middle section, with an undefined waist. The shoulders and hips have roughly the same width or measurement. We can also say they have broad shoulders, and large middle section or bust as well. A person with an apple body shape should aim to create the illusion of an elongated bust or torso. 

Recommended outfits that enhance the apple body shape include:

  • Wearing V-neck dresses and outfits: They draw attention to the upper body, with the appearance of a longer torso
  • Wearing shift dresses: These are clothes that hang from the shoulders, creating the appearance of a leaner frame.

Final Words

Above all, the recommendations above are general guidelines. We urge you to experiment with fashion styles that appeal to you, to see which outfits truly complement your body type. You can discover and/or create your own unique fashion style. Get creative!!



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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.