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How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Type

Our How to Dress Your Body Type is a series designed to help break down the basic guidelines for dressing all body types.

Today, we wrap up our week long feature with How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Type

If you have extra broad shoulders, or you have a large bust and narrow hips you fall into this category.

Inverted Triangle Body Shape Formula

You are an Inverted Triangle if your shoulders OR bust are larger than your hips.

It’s pretty easy to tell if you are an inverted triangle, but the formula to confirm it is:

Formula: shoulders or bust ÷ hips = ≥ 1.05 

If the number is ≥ 1.05, then your shoulder or bust is more than 5% bigger than your hips making you an inverted triangle. 

How to Dress The Inverted Triangle Shape

How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Shape

It’s Important to Note: Bone structure tends to dictate body type rather than weight and height.

Of course, we need to consider all these factors when we get dressed, so these guidelines are just that, guidelines.

Think of it like this: 

Body Type is your bone structure, your body composition.

Fit/Size is your proportion; you may be “regular,” petite, tall, or plus. 

Weight fluctuates for most of us, so it’s very possible to straddle between two body types if you tend to gain weight in one specific area. 

There are a few things to remember about the Inverted Triangle 

Your shoulders or bust are larger than your hips, and your hips tend to be narrow.

Below, I rounded-up four images of famous women with an inverted triangle body type to give you a visual. I included different heights and sizes to show the diversity in the category. 

Famous Inverted Triangle Body Types

Famous Inverted Triangle Body Types

First up, the delightful Jennifer Garner, who is tall at 5’8.

I picked this look specifically because she’s creating a shape by wearing a pleated front pair of shorts. This adds volume to her narrow waist and hips, balancing out her shoulders. 

Next, Renee Zellweger always does a fabulous job showing off her gorgeous shoulders.

When you dress, focus more on what you love about your body and less on what you’d like to change.

As a result, you’ll find you feel more empowered and confident. 

If you fall into the category of an inverted triangle, asymmetrically cut tops, like her one-shoulder dress, or off-the-shoulder looks, are excellent for you as they will both highlight and minimize your shoulders. 

Next, Jill Scott is a fantastic example because often, inverted triangles are also full busted.

I love that she highlights her curves in a way that brings balance to her look. She does this here with a v-neckline. AND it still shows off her gorgeous legs. 

If a fitted dress feels intimidating, you can create a similar look with a swing or caftan-like dress that stops at your knee.  

Finally, Charlene, Princess of Monaco, is a tall, athletic, inverted triangle.

Of all the examples, her shape is the most pronounced.

The look featured above is not your typical royal look, but it does show a more realistic separates-based outfit. 

The line of her blazer pulls in her waist, the length helps create volume, and her trousers are a full leg, again balancing out her shoulders. 

Best Tips for Dressing Inverted Triangle Body Types

Focus on adding volume to your hips, and balancing your shoulders and bust. 

What should you avoid? 

Skip embellished or strong shoulders.

Shoulder pads are a no-no because you don’t need them.

Also, avoid skinny pants.

Best Tops for Inverted Triangle Body Types 

Off the shoulder or one-shoulder, v-necks, scoop necks.

Peplums will help you create a hip. 

Try jackets that are waist-length or cropped. If your coat is long, consider one with a belt to bring attention to your waist. 

Best Bottoms for Inverted Triangle Body Types 

Focus on straight, wide, or bootleg bottoms.

Avoid super skinny bottoms.

You can also wear more trendy pants, with pleats or tie-waist details. 

Best Dresses for Inverted Triangle Body Types 

A wrap, fit-and-flare, a-line, or straight skirt with a complimentary top similar to those mentioned above are all perfect options.

A swing style or caftan-inspired cut that hits at the knee will also look fantastic. 

Remember, these are guidelines.

I can’t reinforce this enough.

Everyone’s body type is unique.

Use these recommendations as a starting point in dressing well, knowing that you’ll have to make adjustments for your individual needs. 

How to Dress an Inverted Triangle Body Type

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 Join Megan Kristel for a comprehensive, 3 hour long, LIVE Virtual Workshop sharing personal style and shopping tips for women over 40 on March 31, 2023.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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