Inverted Triangle Shaped Body
Having an inverted triangle body shape denotes that the shoulders, and occasionally the bust area, are proportionally broader and larger than the width of the hips. This makes the shoulders stand out as the most prominent feature across the body.
Due to the structure of the physique and squareness of the shoulders, this body shape tends to lean more athletic and sporty. The waist, on the other hand, often has little to no definition on this body shape.
Some popular celebrities who have the inverted triangle shape include Angelina Jolie, Victoria Beckham, Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Clarkson, Pamela Anderson, Demi Moore, and Lucy Liu.
You may find these physical attributes if you have an inverted triangle body shape:
- Shoulders that appear broader than the hips
- Squared or strong-looking shoulders
- Little to no definition on the waist
- A bust area that may be small, medium, or big
- Hips that look flatter compared to the shoulders
- Likely to have a small or flat bottom
- Slender legs
In view of the wider shoulder line, the inverted triangle figure naturally looks top-heavy. Thus, the key to styling this body type is to make the body look more proportionate by drawing attention away from the shoulders and emphasising the bottom half of the body instead.
To achieve that balanced silhouette between the top and bottom halves of the body, opt for dresses that make the hips and bottom look more curvaceous while accentuating the waist and downplaying the upper body.
To soften the harsher edges of the shoulders, select soft, weighty fabrics that are plain, with no patterns or prints. Your aim is to keep the upper body uncluttered. There are many ways to add curves around the hips, such as to add volume and use detailed fabrics with brighter colours.
Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes down to styling an inverted triangle figure:
- Choose dresses that are clean and uncluttered on either the top half or entirely to create an illusion of balanced width
- Opt for dresses with skirts that are patterned and colourful
- Refrain from any details that may highlight the shoulders
- Stay away from dresses that are too tight
- Dresses with detailing across the midsection will define the waistline
- Avoid necklines that make the shoulders look wider than they already are
- Pick out dresses that add volume to the hip area
When styling with dresses, those with an inverted triangle body shape should focus on bulking up the hip area with volume to balance out the wider shoulder line. Dresses with a prominent flare at the bottom, such as A-line dresses, work wonderfully.
Other aspects to look out for with dresses are details on the lower half of the dress, including pleats, ruffles, and patterns, that draw the eyes towards the bottom half of the body. Belted dresses are also a great way to accentuate the waist.
Here is a breakdown of the dress silhouettes that work with an inverted triangle body shape:
- Shift dress: A shift dress has a clean and simple straight line that runs down the body, thus disguises the disproportionate shoulder to hip ratio.
- A-line dress: Not only does an A-line dress keep the top half of the body uncluttered, it also flares out at the bottom to balance out the shoulders.
- Fit-and-flare dress: A fit-and-flare dress is snug at the hips and flares out into a full skirt, which is exactly what we are looking for for an inverted triangle body.
- Paneled waist dress: The panel hugs the waist to create an illusion of a curvier body before flaring out at the bottom, which is ideal for an inverted triangle figure.
- Pleated skirt dress: It’s all in the details, and a pleated skirt dress adds a little interest while drawing the eyes downwards.
- Nipped waist dress: This dress style wraps around the waist to create definition, making the body appear more curvaceous than it is.
- One-shoulder dress: A one-shoulder dress masks the harsh edges of the shoulders. Just ensure that the cut is clean and not too loud.
- Wrap dress: This dress style perfectly cinches the waist and flares out at the bottom, which offers you the best of both worlds.
- Peplum dress: A peplum style dress adds volume to the hips and de-emphasises the broad shoulders.
For an inverted triangle body shape, always opt for dresses with fabrics that are softer and less structured. These will drape over the shoulders beautifully to soften the sharp lines, hence making them appear less prominent.
If the dresses vary in fabric on the top and bottom half, choose thicker fabrics like cord, tweed, velvet, and knit for the bottom, and more lightweight fabrics such as fine knits, chiffon, linen, and cotton for the top.
The neckline on the dress you opt for should downplay the wide shoulders and the bust area if it is equally as pronounced. It should also effectively diminish the horizontal line across the top half of your body.
For that reason, stick with necklines that are long and slim, such as U- or V-necklines. Other ways you can disguise the width of the shoulders and chest are asymmetrical necklines, like a one-shoulder neck.
Necklines you should avoid are those that are wide and low, including off-shoulder, square, bateau, and Sabrina styles, which would then be counterproductive as they would only build on width on the shoulder line.
Here are the necklines that would most definitely work for an inverted triangle body shape:
- Scoop neck
- Asymmetrical neck
- High neck
- Halter neck
- Fitted crew neck
Sleeves serve the same purpose as necklines by way of making the upper profile of the body look narrower and slimmer. To that end, all sleeves that are fitted complement an inverted triangle body shape.
It is best to avoid thin straps that broaden the look of the shoulders, such as spaghetti straps, and complex detailing, like ruffles, puff sleeves, padded shoulders, and tulip sleeves. Simply ensure that there isn’t too much volume and you should be good to go.
When it comes to short sleeves, try tapered sleeves, dropped shoulder sleeves, cut-out sleeves, and shoulder slits. Longer sleeves have a different function as they help to bulk up the hip area, so try flared sleeves, like dolman, raglan, and kimono sleeves.
Here are some sleeve styles that work best with an inverted triangle body:
- Drop shoulder sleeve
- Cape sleeve
- Bell sleeve
- Butterfly sleeve
- Kimono sleeve
- Raglan sleeve
- Wide strap sleeve
- Dolman sleeve
As aforementioned, the skirts on dresses should add volume to the lower half of the body to balance out the strong shoulder line. The skirt styles you select should also nip at the waist to provide you with some definition and give you more of an hourglass figure.
This suggests that all types of skirt styles that flare out from the hips, and those in bright colours, details and prints are ideal for an inverted triangle figure. The hemlines are less significant in this case, so you can always be flexible with the length of your skirts.
On the contrary, you should be avoiding tight-fitted skirts that will further minimise the width of your narrow hips. These include drop waist skirts, pencil skirts, bodycon skirts, and fitted mini skirts.
Try these skirt styles to flatter your figure:
- Bias cut
As a honourable inverted triangle folk, you have the permission to go big and bold with your footwear. This will be helpful in building up volume around the lower half of the body to achieve the balanced effect you are after.
To draw more attention to the bottom half of your body and add interest to your overall look, choose shoes with bright and loud colours, patterns, and embellishments. Also, the chunkier the shoes, the better it will be!
Some suggestions include platforms, wedges, and heels. Ankle strap and ankle boots also give off the same effect in warmer weather, and so do cowboy boots, snow boots, and Ugg boots when it is cold outside.
While we do want to keep the chest and shoulder area looking clean and uncluttered, you may still wear jewelry around the neck that look simple and aren’t too busy. Long necklaces with pendants, for instance, help to narrow down the chest vertically.
If you must wear jewelry, focus them around the wrists and hands instead to further detract attention from the width of the shoulders. Try chunky rings and bracelets or bangles. Additionally, big earrings should be avoided as they will visually magnify the shoulder line.
One must be wary when accessorising with scarves as they should not add bulk to the shoulder line. If you must wear one, keep the scarf profile long and thin. Those that fall straight down the chest and touch the waist or hips make the body visually more slender.
Chunky scarves that drape around or wrap across the shoulders will only broaden them further. The scarves should also be kept plain and simple with no obvious patterns, prints, or colours that add clutter.
Petite Body Types
When you have a petite inverted triangle shape, make sure to never pick a dress that has a loose fit on both the top and bottom as the excess fabric will simply swallow your small figure and make you look frumpy. Dresses with a mid- to high-waist will do you wonders.
While you can apply the concept of keeping the top half clean and bottom embellished, monochromatic looks work best for you as they elongate the body while keeping the frame sleek. Just be mindful of hemlines that land on your calf as they can make you look shorter.
In regards to necklines, choose those that are deep and narrow, such as a sweetheart or scoop neck, to help lengthen the torso. Avoid horizontal lines and keep patterns small so as not to overwhelm your figure.
Tall Body Types
When you have a tall inverted triangle figure, you may look more athletic than others of regular height. For that reason, you may want to pay more attention to softening the harshness of your shoulders with the right necklines and sleeves.
Midi and maxi dresses work best for your figure, and if you wish to wear short dresses, simply assure that the hemlines fall just above the knee. Anything shorter will result in the attention being turned back on your shoulders and upper body.
One rule of thumb to dressing a tall figure is also not to over clutter your outfit and keep things simple. You have already got your height to your advantage, so be strategic with your prints and patterns, and keep accessories sparse.
When you do have a midsection that is compact, you can try dresses with vertical prints and deep and narrow necklines, like V- or scoop necks, that give off a lengthening effect. Wearing pendant necklaces further lengthens the torso visually.
With an inverted triangle body shape and a short torso, a shift dress or drop waist dress are the two silhouettes that are best for you. Not only will the dresses mask where your midsection begins and ends, you will still get the volume you are after on the bottom half.
When accessorising an inverted triangle figure with a short torso, you may still use a belt. However, it is key to ensure that it is skinny as anything too wide will take up the entire torso and will further highlight your short midsection.
With a long torso and an inverted triangle body shape, dresses with a high waist work best. High-waisted dresses will also provide you with the waist definition you need, and you will look more proportionate as the volume of the bottom half of the dress will start higher.
If possible, look for dresses with a contrasting top half to exaggerate the aforementioned effect and make the broad shoulders look even more insignificant. You should also avoid any dresses that are drop-waisted.
You can match your shoes to your dresses, particularly when wearing midi or maxi lengths, in order to create an unbroken vertical line. Besides that, avoid any shoe that hits you mid-calf. Finally, wear wide belts as you do have more space at the torso to work with.
Do not be deterred by your inverted triangle figure! If anything, you do have the leeway to get away with anything on your bottom half, and you naturally have stunning legs to flaunt. Rebalancing your proportions isn’t as tricky as you think it may be.
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