How to Pick the Best Skirt for Your Body Type
As we all know (or should know!) beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Long gone are the days when fashion only glorified the largely unhealthy 00-size beauty standard. Although fashion has been slow in coming on board with celebrating a diversity of shapes and sizes, it’s gradually making progress, such as with our friends at Needle & Thread who are now using a diverse range of dress sizes for their models.
Despite fashion’s strides towards inclusivity, many women remain confused about how best to flatter their body type. In this post, we’ll explore the different body types and how best to flatter them in picking out a skirt style for your modest wedding or prom dress.
Different Body Types
Generally, there are seven different body types that are recognized: the “triangle shape,” the “inverted triangle shape,” the “rectangle shape” or the “banana,” the “hourglass shape,” the “diamond shape,” the “orange,” or the “rounded shape,” and the “‘pear,” though it should be noted that the female form is in reality much more diverse than these seven general descriptions.
To use broad strokes, here are simple definitions of these body types:
- The triangle shape has hips slightly wider on an otherwise more athletic body type.
- The inverted triangle has shoulders or a chest that are the widest point of the body.
- The rectangle (or banana shape) is very straight up and down, with no one feature being significantly larger or smaller than an another.
- The hourglass shape has a waist that is smaller than the hips or bust, which are usually about the same proportion.
- The diamond shape falls between the triangle shape and pear shape, with a narrow bust and a fuller waist and hips.
- The rounded shape (or orange shape) is a body type where the bust, waist and hips all have similar measurements.
- The pear body shape features a rounder waist with the hips being the fullest part of the body.
Different Skirt Types
For modest prom and wedding dresses there is a wide array of different skirt styles, but they generally fall into these categories:
A-line skirts are the most traditional and popular skirt style, both historically and in recent years. A-line skirts flare out from the waist to a wider hem. An a-line skirt is ideal for triangle, rectangle and hourglass shapes, but can be flattering on all body types.
Like the a-line skirt, a ballgown skirt flares out from the waist to a wider hem (albeit more dramatically) and as such is ideal for all body types.
High-low skirts are, in effect, very similar to a-line skirt and generally suit the same body types: triangle, rectangle and hourglass shapes.
Fit & Flare (also known as Trumpet or Mermaid)
Known by many different names and by slightly different definitions, fit & flare (or trumpet or mermaid) skirts are fitted in the upper legs, usually to around the knee, where the skirt then flares out. This style can be very unflattering on some body types and is only recommended for inverted triangle, rectangle and occasionally hourglass shapes.
Sheath skirts are generally most flattering on inverted triangle and rectangle body shapes, but can also be complimentary on pear and rounded body shapes.
Tea-length skirts can come in a range of silhouettes, so it’s hard to make generalizations about them when it comes to body shapes. Generally tea-length skirts are a-line and suitable for all body types. Mostly, tea-length skirts are a great way to show off those legs!
Tiered skirts are almost always universally flattering on all body types, much like a-line and ballgown skirts.