We all know that style is nothing if the clothes don’t fit us well. So to find the most flattering pieces of clothing, you need to know your body type. To do so, look at yourself in the mirror in your underwear, according to Joy of Clothes. Stand with your legs together and your arms a bit away from your sides. Examine the area from under your arms, past your bust and ribcage, over your waist and hips to the fullest part of your thighs. Then check your proportion against our guide below. 

Your shape: Pear 
You have: Shoulders narrower than your full hips, and a defined waist   
What to wear: Camouflage your hips but show off your shoulders and accentuate your small waist with fit-and-flared dresses, like Kate Winslet here. Your no-fail outfit is a fitted top that hits the smallest part of your waist, pulled together with waist-cinching belts, and deep pleated a-line skirts. Separates also work best.

Your shape: Straight 
You have: Shoulders, waist, and hips are within the same ratio
What to wear: Create an illusion of curves around hips and bust and of the waist. Anything flowing and feminine adds subtle volume to an otherwise boyish figure.Gwyneth Paltrow emphasizes her slim waist with a belt (see her billboard) and a high waist style and creates roundness on her neckline and sleeves.

Your shape: Hourglass 
You have: Broad shoulders, a trim waist, and full hips. 
What to wear: Show it off in a slim-fitting dress with a nipped-in waist that flaunts all your curves. Salma Hayek stays away from boxy shapes and always opts for a silhouette that skims her hourglass figure. Invest in a very good bra that will provide your bust full support and define your waist even more. 

Your shape: Apple  
You have: Round shoulders, a full middle, and a big bust
What to wear: You want to unnecessary bulk (or excess fabric) around the bosom, waist and tummy. So keep it simple in this area, going for clothing line that’s straight or slightly fitted. Catherine Zeta Jones cuts a slimmer figure by keeping her silhouette fitted here, from the bust along to her waist. 

Your shape: Inverted triangle 
You have: You have square shoulders that are wider than your hips.
What to wear: You want to balance your bust with your hips so look for tops that will accentuate your waist. The wide band on Jessica Alba’s dark-colored dress here defines her waistline while the deep V-neck narrows her upper body. Always go for tailored shirts and jackets. 

Additional text by Leah Nemil-San Jose. A version of this article appeared in the January-February 2013 issue of Good Housekeeping Philippines.

PHOTO: Via Instagram  

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