Confused by all the lingerie options out there? Need some advice about which styles best suit your size and shape? Ultimately you want lingerie that offers comfort and support but that also makes you look and feel fabulous and sexy. Start with this guide to determine your body shape and then read the tips to flatter your shape and accentuate your figure.
If you're a pear shape you will have a petite upper with a fuller lower body. You will carry your weight on your hips or thighs, and your shoulders will be narrower than your hips. Pears have a well-defined waist and usually a small bust. You probably wear a larger size on your bottom half.
When choosing lingerie you should aim to balance out your shape. Victoria Fielding, bra fitting consultant and owner of Lingerie by Victoria, recommends using balcony or push-up style bras with padding. “This will increase your cup size and give you a more hourglass appearance,” she explains.
“On your bottom half, choose knickers that don’t squeeze your hips or bottom. A high leg will be more flattering as it makes your legs look longer and your hips appear smaller,” says Fielding.
You're an apple shape you if you carry your weight around your middle. Apples have a round shape with a fullness around the stomach and are usually characterised by a bigger bust with slim hips, but no defined waist.
Fashion blogger Jia explains that apple-shaped women should try pieces that draw attention away from their middles. “I feel baby dolls with a low plunge front and details over the bust area would look fabulous on apple shaped women,” she writes.
“Corsets are also a great choice to accentuate your breasts and minimise the thickness of your tummy,” says Jia. A corset with good boning will pull in your waist and create a smooth but curvy outline. When choosing knickers go for a high-waisted pair that will cinch you in and help create a more defined waist. Alternatively French knickers are an elegant and flattering option.
When choosing lingerie you should aim to make your bust appear smaller and more in proportion to your hips. Look for well-fitting structured styles to enhance your curves. If you have a very large bust then you may want to consider a minimiser which doesn't sound very sexy but it's all in the structure, most are styled to look pretty as well as being practical.
The hourglass body shape is the classic feminine shape. You're an hourglass if you have a defined bust and waist with hips the same width as your shoulders and you wear clothes in the same size on your top as on your bottom.
The hourglass figure is the shape most women aspire to so when choosing lingerie draw attention to the symmetry of your shape and show it off. If you're fortunate enough to be an hourglass then you can take your pick of the styles available as you can't really go wrong! If you're brave enough, consider a Basque or a bodice for the ultimate curvy silhouette.
If you're a rectangle you may also be described as having a boyish or lean body shape. You're a rectangle if you have straight up and down proportions with little or no waist definition. Often rectangles have a small bust.
Joy of Clothes fashion designer Michaela Jedinak recommends using lingerie to create the illusion of a waist, or to create curves. “Two pieces do just that and make rectangle body shapes appear a little curvier,” she explains. Look for bras with padding to boost your cup size, balcony and push-up styles will add maximum effect. Bras with lots of detailing will add a look of fullness and draw attention to your upper body.
When deciding on knickers look to add width to hips as this will give you a more defined waist, you can achieve this with frills and patterns. Alternatively choose a high-waisted style to pull in your waist.
You're an inverted triangle if you have broad shoulders and narrow hips, you wear bigger size clothes on your top than your bottom and have little definition between your waist and hips.
When choosing lingerie for a triangle shape you should aim to even out your figure. Select a bra to complement your bust size and choose one with medium or thick straps as a bra with thin straps will make your shoulders look bigger. Add width to hips by choosing knickers with ruffles or side detailing.
Whatever your body size and shape choose the right style of lingerie to flatter your figure. What you wear underneath your clothes can affect how you feel so follow this guide to feel sexy and confident.