All body shapes are absolutely beautiful and powerful. Embracing your body type includes understanding your shape and how to flatter your proportions. With my approach to style, I take into account your Energy Type and body shape to help you choose the clothing and accessories that really show who you are—both inside and out. When it comes to dressing the inverted triangle shaped body, I want to help you draw the eye down with clothes that accentuate your curves and de-emphasize the upper body.
It’s easy to feel limited by your shape and even uncomfortable with some of your features. We all feel that insecurity deep inside that tells us certain things are different about our appearance. For me personally, it’s my hands—they are disproportionately large for my body and a fact that can nag at my mind if I let it. Instead, I take power over my thoughts and appearance by choosing how I want to present myself.
I want to give you that power. By teaching you how to dress your inverted triangle shaped body type, I can help you achieve flattering shapes and proportions. Of course, these are not hard and fast rules! The best way to dress is however you feel comfortable. But, if you are feeling a little lost, I would love to help you navigate your wardrobe as your personal stylist.
What is an Inverted Triangle Shaped Body?
Of course, it’s pretty important that you actually have an inverted triangle body shape before we learn the best way to dress one. When it comes to the inverted triangle shape, you are likely to have broad shoulders that drop down into narrow hips. When you are dressing the inverted triangle shape, you will have to watch how you work around a larger bust, wide shoulders, and an undefined waist.
Characteristics of an Inverted Triangle Body
The inverted triangle is also known as the wedge body shape. The chest is broad and shoulders are wide. The waist is noticeably smaller than the shoulders, but larger or similar in circumference to the hips. And, the hips are small, typically with a flat backside. The bust tends to be proportionately on the large size. You might wear a bigger size on top and a smaller size for your bottoms.
This is the shape of many models and athletes. When well-toned, it is a highly coveted body shape.
You probably have great legs and a really nice bust. The trick is in balancing them out to avoid looking top-heavy. But, don’t worry—I’ve got lots of secrets and tips to share with you!
If this doesn’t sound like your body type, then you may want to look at the other shapes. An apple-shaped body is going to have a wider waist with more slender hips and shoulders. The pear-shaped body type (or the triangle body shape) is going to have smaller shoulders and wider hips.
The Goal of Dressing this Shape
With a larger top, you want to draw the attention away from the shoulders. You will want to accentuate your hips to make them appear fuller, while defining your waist with visual cuts, tailored parts or accessories. You will also want to show off your great legs, which are often lean with the wedge body.
I can show you some styles that are going to look incredible on the inverted triangle shape. Our goal of dressing the inverted triangle is simply to make the legs visibly balanced with the upper torso. Once you understand the general guidelines for dressing your body type, we will cover the kinds of clothing that work best for the inverted triangle shape.
General Guidelines for the Inverted Triangle Body Shape
I want you to love and appreciate your amazing body that has taken you through everything life has thrown your way. Our bodies are powerful! We should treat them with respect and be kind to ourselves. Too often, we beat ourselves up instead of focusing on inner power and manifesting that confidence.
Dressing to feel confident includes knowing how to shop for yourself and pick out clothing you love. When it comes to dressing the inverted triangle shape, the most common general guidelines include:
Avoid Shoulder-Focused Tops
Ruffles, embellishments, shoulder pads, or off-the-shoulder tops will call attention to your wide upper frame. Look for shirts that downplay the shoulders and then choose other pieces to embellish other parts of the body for visual balance. Choosing a jacket or blazer that is structured at the shoulder can be really flattering with your naturally wider shoulder lines.
Show off the Cleavage
Use lapels, eye-catching necklaces and lower necklines to draw your eye away from the shoulders and towards the cleavage. If you don’t have a larger bust, then keep the neckline a little higher and still use embellishments or accessories (like long, large-pendant necklaces) to draw the eye in from the shoulders.
Draw Attention to the Waist
Don’t let your wider shoulders create a line straight down into your hips. Cinched or belted tops will be your friend here, giving a visually smaller waist to help create those hourglass curves. As you accentuate the hips, use a visually smaller waist to draw the eye down. If you don’t have a slim waist, belts or cinches may need to be very wide bands to help flatten and tighten a bit.
Bulk up the Hips
A full skirt or pants with pockets can help add a little more shape to your hips. The right tops can also flare out and give the visual hint of wider hips to flatter your inverted triangle figure. These flirty styles can really be a lot of fun, so take advantage of bringing more focus to your hips!
Pay Close Attention to Patterns
Vertical lines are going to be your friend. Heavy patterns or horizontal lines on top are going to add volume to your upper half, but those same heavy patterns or horizontal lines might be perfect in the right skirt or bottoms. The same thing goes for textured patterns and thicker fabrics.
Wear Dark Colors on Top
Use dark and neutral colors to downplay your top half. Dark neutral colors can be very flattering with the inverted triangle torso. Solid tops will often pair well with patterned bottoms for a more balanced lower half.
Go for Straight Vertical Lines in Clothing
Aside from actual lines in the fabric patterns, you can also choose structures that create visual lines. An open jacket or cardigan, for example, will have those vertical lines from the open torso edges. These vertical lines push the eye down. This can also be accomplished in the shape of the neckline or emphasized seams that create those visual vertical lines. (If you are a Type 4 or have a Secondary 4, this is an excellent tip as straight lines are very complimentary on a Type 4.)
How to Dress for Your Inverted Triangle Shaped Body
Okay, now that you understand the basic guidelines. Here are some great pieces you can specifically look for when dressing your inverted triangle shape. Creating a visual balance doesn’t mean you can’t have fun trying different styles and combinations! I hope you simply take these ideas and see how they work for you.
Best Tops for the Inverted Triangle Body Type
When it comes to the waist, wrap tops or twist tops can offer a flattering cinched-in look at the mid-section of your torso to emphasize a smaller waist. Peplum tops can be very flattering by flaring at the hips.
The right tailored jacket or blazer, with straight lines or a small flare at the bottom, is going to help accentuate those hips while visibly toning down the shoulders. Coats that have hip pockets are great. Avoid heavy collars or crop-tops shirts. You really want your tops and jackets to come below the hip line.
Show off your cleavage in your tops by choosing halter necks, V-necks and scoop necks. If you find any tops with a low, square neckline, the lines coming straight down from your shoulders can be very flattering, while showing off the top of your cleavage a little.
Flirty Dresses for the Inverted Triangle Shape
Strapless dresses can be very flattering on you. Find dresses with a belt or tie in the middle to help accentuate the waist and create the visual curves. Shorter A-line dresses would be very flattering—think 50’s style dresses with the belted middle and flouncy skirt hitting around the knee. Details near the hem or hips can help create a fuller look that balances the upper torso.
Fantastic Bottoms for the Inverted Triangle Body Type
Flares, bootcut, bell-bottom and wide-leg pants are going to help give you a better balance than skinny—which will typically emphasize your inverted triangle shape. The exception to this wearing-wider-pants rule is when you have a top that really accentuates your hips and cinches at the waist—in that case, a pair of skinny jeans or leggings can be the perfect way to show off your legs while still maintaining balanced visual curves between the shoulders and hips.
You get to wear acid washes, ripped and embellished jeans to add a little visual weight to your bottom half. Back pockets can really be your friend—adding some shape to your backside. You also will look fantastic in skirts and pants that are very colorful or patterned, pairing them with a darker and more subtle top.
Flashy Shoes are Perfect for the Inverted Triangle Type
You can really dive into the shoe shopping (just kidding, I am not giving you permission to overspend and land in debt)! What I mean is, with your shape, “look at me” shoes are fantastic! Bright, bold, flashy, you can really show off a lot of personal style in the right pair of shoes.
Wedges, platforms, chunky heels, strappy sandals, ankle booties and regular boots are all going to be flattering styles that draw the eyes down. Look for bright colors, embellishments and patterns that will add some visual weight to your shoes.
Choosing the Right Style for You
Your body type is unique, and I want you to remember that every shape is beautiful. When I work with my clients, I try to pull out each woman’s personality with her style. Your body is your canvas! You get the chance to choose the way people perceive you at first-glace just by altering your style. How cool is that!
Not every body type is complemented by the same styles. You may keep selecting the patterns and colors you like, only to wonder why they feel so wrong on you. You might start to think “everything looks terrible on me” when you really just don’t know how to dress your body shape or for your Energy Type!
As a seasoned women’s stylist, I’ve noticed many women just don’t know what is going to look good on them. They feel trapped in the dressing room, hating piece after piece. This is so sad to me because the shopping experience should be FUN! But, it isn’t fun if you are stabbing in the dark without any “rules” to help you pick the perfect items.
Your wardrobe should be narrowed down to only the things you love. Clear out and let go of all pieces that don’t fit quite right or make you feel amazing when you put them on (a capsule wardrobe). You are going to feel such a mental release and clarity when you pair down your closet. Once you are down to only your most fabulous pieces, resist the temptation to purchase ANYTHING that doesn’t fit that category (looks and feels AMAZING). This guide for dressing the wedge-shaped body type should help guide you find more of those killer pieces.
If you want help with your personal style, you need to check out my resources for creating a personal style for your Type. Become a Lifestyle member where I will teach you how to create a personalized style and wardrobe that you’ll love! I want to help you feel empowered and find those items that just scream your name. Together, we can choose the right style to match who you are on the inside and flatter your figure on the outside. I can’t wait.
Check out the other posts in this series: