Women’s Body Shapes: The 5 Most Common Body Types

Womens body shapes: de 5 meest voorkomende lichaamstypes - Contour Lab - The Acquired Report

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. That is part of what makes each of us unique. It is important to know that there is no “average” or “typical” body.

Some of us have narrower hips or broader shoulders, one has a more defined waist and others are straighter or have a more rounded shape. This is all related to our body structure and has nothing to do with weight or health.

While no body is the same, our shapes can be classified into a few general categories.

For example, study from 2004 showed that historically, there are 5 categories into which a female body can be divided:

  • Inverted triangle
  • Triangle (also known as the pear shape)
  • Oval (known as the apple shape)
  • Straight(-angle)
  • Hourglass

In combination with a certain body shape, you may be seen as small or tall. If you are smaller than 1.64m or 5’3, you are considered “petite”. Anything above that is considered “tall”.

Finally, cup size plays a role. If your cup size is larger than cup “C”, you have a larger bust. This doesn’t necessarily affect your body shape, but it does affect how a certain body type can dress.

What falls under these different body types?

It is important to know that categorizing these body types is never an exact science.

There are always more subtypes within the general body types. But more or less, it is always possible to determine which shape most closely matches yours and more importantly, how to dress your body type to get the most out of your shape.

Inverted triangle

The characteristics of an inverted triangle are that your hips are smaller than your shoulders. You don’t have a clear waist or full buttocks, but you do have straight hips. Strong shoulders often give this body shape an atheletic-looking physique. Through clothing, you can shift the focus from your broader shoulders by emphasizing your hips and legs. You can also choose to highlight your strong shoulders.


Your upper body is narrower than your lower body and you have a defined waistline. The widest point of your body is your hips. By creating more volume on the top and accentuating your waist, you can balance your body. Through wrap and A-line dresses, you balance your body while highlighting your feminine shapes.


An oval figure has hips and shoulders that are equally wide.  The typical features are a large bust, narrow hips and legs and a less defined waist. There is a mistaken impression that persons with an apple figure are by default plump or heavier people. However, this is not the case. It has only to do with the shape of your body and the absence of a clearly defined waistline. In general, there are not many people with an oval body shape. An oval body shape is best dressed in items with curved seams that reflect the lines of the body. A-line dresses also work extremely well for this body type. Slim legs can be emphasised with slim fit trousers.


Typical of this body type, your shoulders and hips are the same width. You generally don’t have a pronounced waistline or large breasts. You can emphasise your natural straight shape by working with straight lines in clothes or choose to focus on your waistline.


Your shoulders are as wide as your hips and you have a distinct waistline. When you choose to use clothes to balance your body shape and camouflage certain areas, you are working towards an hourglass. This is by adding more volume at the top, bottom or emphasising the waist. With an hourglass figure, you can also choose to emphasise your curves less by working with straight lines in your clothes.


This blog post was created in collaboration with our partner Contour Lab, which allows you to shop your clothes on The Acquired by body shape.

Go to the body shape analyser and find out which items work best for your body shape.

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