Your body shape is the sum of your bone or skeletal structure plus muscle mass and fat distribution.
There are not very many shapes, yet you may come across a variety of names for the same shape. Is an apple an oval? Is an oval a cone? It’s the same!
And then there’s the body shape beauty standard.
The Ideal Shape Isn’t So Common
You may have been socialized to believe the hourglass is the most common shape because it’s the most celebrated. Were you the girl who thought every other girl had the “perfect” hourglass figure but you? Perhaps the hourglass was more common many moons ago. Think Sophia Loren. But research has shown that women’s shapes are changing, but the fashion industry isn’t keeping up with our shifting forms. In our modern times, the most common body shape is the rectangle or banana. Surprised?
Roughly 50% of women are rectangle or banana, according to coordinated research by AlvaProducts and North Carolina State University¹. The spoon (a close relative of the pear) is the next common shape for women, followed by the inverted triangle.
Love Your Body Shape
I have read too many posts and comments by women who feel bad about their bodies because they’re not the coveted hourglass, a model industry height or possess the year’s most glorified body part.
It is important to love the skin you’re in, including your body shape. Some styling tips suggest wearing clothes to achieve an hourglass figure. We’re not going that route with Modest Fashion Stylist 101: Skirt Girl Edition.
If you’ve struggled in the fitting rooms, you’re not alone. The fashion industry fuels this frustration because many of the clothes hanging on the racks are sized and designed for the hourglass figure. In actuality, very few women are an hourglass, at the tune 8.4% of American women². For some reason, we continue to perpetuate the hourglass as the ideal shape. But the shapes of real women say it’s not the norm.
It’s okay if you don’t fall into the slim 8.4% hourglass category. Your body is beautiful — be it pear, apple, spoon or rectangle, etc. Embrace it! I want you to have a healthy body image. This isn’t about an hourglass illusion, but achieving balance to help you look your personal best and feel confident. Perhaps being armed with this knowledge will help you to shop, see clothes and dress yourself with a sense of empowerment.
Join me for the following segment, which will describe the rectangle shape with Skirt Girl Edition modest styling tips.
1. "AlvaProducts, North Carolina State University Reveals How Industry Can Tackle Problems of Poor Fit by Addressing More Than an Hourglass Figure". alvanon.warkulwiz.com. 17 November 2005. 2. "Clothing Pattern Adjustments Addressing Differences in Body Shape and Body Deviations Affecting Fit of Clothing". North Carolina State University. 14 April 2014.