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The scoop on body shapes

So you open your favorite mag, flip through the fashion section and see tons of awesome outfits you can’t wait to snap up. The only problem? How the heck are you supposed to tell which ones will flatter your figure when you don’t know how to distinguish between an apple, a pear and an hourglass?!

It’s time to demystify body shapes. Read on for the 411.

If you’re a pear… Your hip measurements are greater than your shoulder or bust measurements, creating a triangle with the point facing up toward your head.

If you’re an apple… Your shoulder and/or bust measurements are greater than your hips, creating a triangle with the point facing down toward your feet.

If you’re a banana, a ruler or “boyish”… Your shoulder, bust, waist and hips create a fairly even, straight line down your body without too much nipping in at the waist or curviness in the boobs or hips. This is said to be the most common body shape.

If you’re an hourglass… Your bust and hip measurements are almost equal and your waist is narrow and nipped in. It is long considered the ideal body type (think about the shape an old-fashioned corset gives a woman) in the West, but it’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of beauty. Just look at ideas of beauty from around the world!

If you’re petite… The world petite has come to have two meanings. Typically, it means short—think under 5’4”. Some retailers use the petite designation to mean super-small, so petite clothes are slightly shrunken versions of regular sizes that are intended to fit a smaller frame. Petite women can have any body shape.

If you’re curvy… Curvy usually means that you have boobs, a bum and hips. Chances are you have an hourglass figure with a nipped-in waist, but if your breasts are a bit larger than your hips or vice versa, you might fall into the apple or pear category.

If you’re sporty… You might have broader shoulders and more muscular arms and legs. Often, your body can look very straight up and down, or a slightly apple-shaped.

Wanna find out what body type you are? Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious, but you can always grab a tape measure and measure out your shoulders, bust, waist and hips. Asking Mom, a friend or a sib to help can make sure your measurements are accurate.

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 6/6/2011 12:00:00 PM


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