Horizontal Body Types

Horizontal body proportion is the relationship between your bust, waist and hip measurements.

This method for analysing the body was the first to be used in figure and style assessment. Every aspect of figure and style analysis is based on balance and proportion. If one part of the body is narrow and another wide, widening the narrowest area will provide balance, and restore visual proportion. A personalised version of the Style Solutions Portfolio will determine your correct horizontal body type.

There are six recognised horizontal figure types:

  • The Hourglass Body
  • The Inverted-triangle Body
  • The Triangle Body
  • The Rectangle Body
  • The Oval Body
  • The Diamond Body

The Hourglass Body

Considered by many to be the most desirable shape. This woman has a bust and hip measurement that are similar and a waist that is about 25.5 cm or 10" smaller. Most commonly seen in conjunction with a balanced horizontal body. A woman with this shape is fortunate, as weight gain or loss is evenly distributed and will often go unnoticed for a long period of time. Clothing is often easy to fit and find.

Please note: the above are general recommendations only, your portfolio is made taking all of your body's characteristics and lengths into consideration and therefore, may differ slightly from the above.

The Inverted Triangle Body

The second most desirable shape. The body is larger above the waist than below. It is produced by a proportionally large bust line and small hips. Women who are short in the torso and have long legs are often this horizontal body shape.

An hourglass-like appearance can be created by increasing the visual width below the waist using:

  • A-line skirts,
  • Bold textures,
  • Horizontal stripes,
  • Fuller leg width in trousers.

Minimising the upper body with:

  • Open necklines and collars,
  • Vertical stripes,
  • Single-breasted jackets,
  • Garments that are smooth in texture
  • Garments that drape fluidly over the body.

Please note: the above are general recommendations only, your portfolio is made taking all of your body's characteristics and lengths into consideration and therefore, may differ slightly from the above.

The Triangular Body

This is one of the two most common female horizontal body types. The body is larger below the waist than above. This woman does not necessarily have a large hipline, rather it is often her proportionally small bust line which makes her appear triangular.

Women who have short-legs and a long torso, or are a balanced vertical body type commonly have a triangle horizontal body shape.

To provide the illusion of an hourglass figure, width needs to be created in the upper body to balance the lower half. Subtle (non visible) shoulder pads are a slimming accessory (even when not in fashion), especially if her shoulders have a strong slope.

Other slimming strategies include:

  • Smooth fabrics below the waistline,
  • Darker colours for skirts and pants,
  • Slightly tapered or bootleg trousers,
  • High placed accessories,
  • Medium to high heels.

Please note: These are general recommendations only, your portfolio is made taking all of your body's characteristics and lengths into consideration and therefore, may differ slightly from the above.

The Rectangular Body

Another very common figure shape. These women have little or no waistline definition. Long-legged and balanced horizontal body types most commonly have this shape. Some hourglass figures may become a rectangle with weight gain and/or maturity.

The illusion of balance can be achieved by:

  • Shoulder pads,
  • Colour blocking (to create the illusion of a waist),
  • Open single-breasted jackets, vests,
  • Soft fabric tops and matching skirts.

Please note: These are general recommendations only, your portfolio is made taking all of your body's characteristics and lengths into consideration and therefore, may differ from the above.

The Oval Body

This shape belongs to full figured women who have a round shape and a low stomach.

A pleasing silhouette is created by:

  • Garments and outfits that have a subtle inverted triangle shape,
  • ‘V' necklines,
  • Vertical design lines,
  • Medium-sized non shiny prints,
  • Abstract and geometric patterns
  • Medium to dark colours,
  • High placed focal points,
  • Medium to medium-high heels,
  • Below knee-length skirts,
  • Hosiery that blends with the shoes and hemline.

Please note: these are general recommendations only, your portfolio is made taking all of your body's characteristics and lengths into consideration and therefore, may differ slightly from the above.

The Diamond Body

This woman Is similar to the oval woman except she has a high stomach that causes a diamond-like appearance.

A pleasing silhouette is created by:

  • Garments and outfits that have a subtle inverted triangle shape,
  • ‘V' necklines,
  • Vertical design lines,
  • Medium-sized non shiny prints,
  • Abstract and geometric patterns
  • Medium to dark colours,
  • High placed focal points,
  • Medium to medium-high heels,
  • Below knee-length skirts,
  • Hosiery that blends with the shoes and hemline.

Please note: these are general recommendations only, your portfolio is made taking all of your body's characteristics and lengths into consideration and therefore, may differ slightly from the above.

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