I’m on a mission to help you feel good in your clothes! And to free you from dressing room frustration so you can find more fun and ease in getting dressed.
Taking your measurements and learning about your body type will help you hone in on styles that work for your body. Then you can use tested strategies to dress in a way that places the focus on the parts of your body that you love. And distracts from the parts that aren’t your favorite.
If you haven’t measured your body yet, my article about the body types can guide you through the process. If you don’t love the idea of measuring your body, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered there too, with some tips for beginning to view your body in a new light.
Today, I’m covering everything about the inverted triangle body shape and the best styles, accessories and coats for you! I share tons of examples to show you what to look for. And you’ll learn how to put together casual, work and evening outfits. And also, styles to stay away from.
Once you know the essentials, you can learn to create looks that feel like you, and still represent your personal style.
What should you wear with an inverted triangle shape?
If you’re an inverted triangle body shape, your lower body is smaller than your upper body. If you take your measurements and do the math, as I mention in this post, your hips are 5% smaller (or more) than your strong shoulders or bust. You have a straight waist, slim hips and a small rear end with long, lean legs. You wear a larger size on your top half than on the bottom half.
As a slender inverted triangle, you may be quite angular rather than curvaceous.
With a fuller figure, you may have a full bust with a shorter waist and heavier arms, especially from the shoulders to elbows.
With some tried-and-true styling tricks, you can draw the eye to the right places and downplay parts you don’t love.
Your primary goal as an inverted triangle is to strategically minimize your upper half with dark colors and the right shapes of tops and jackets. Then choose pants, jeans and skirts that add some volume to the bottom half of your body to balance out your wide shoulders. Create waist definition and accentuate your hips. Show off your beautiful legs!
By balancing the proportions between your broad shoulders and narrow hips, and defining your waist, you’ll create an hourglass shape.
As an inverted triangle body type, you’re in great company with celebrities Demi Moore, Naomi Campbell, Angelina Jolie and Cindy Crawford!
Ready to dive deeper into strategies for getting dressed? Let’s go!
Up top, keep your shirts simple.
- Lightweight matte fabric shirts and sweaters that open at the neckline are great options for you. Pick deep necklines that draw the eye up and down and to the center of your body, rather than wide necklines that draw the eyes to your broader shoulders.
- Scoop and v-neck tops draw the eye down to the center of the body.
- Thick strap halter tops draw attention to your face.
- Wrap style and peplum tops draw attention down to the hips and away from the shoulders.
- Wear fitted button-up shirts that are open a couple buttons at the neckline, stopping near the bust. Make sure there’s no pulling at the buttons across the chest. To draw attention to the hips, wear it left out rather than tucked in.
- Choose long sleeves that are loose rather than tight. Light and floaty sleeves can work if they don’t add any width to the upper body.
- ¾ length sleeves are a good choice to reveal the slimmest part of the arms.
- Choosing darker colours up top is a great way to minimize the upper body. The eye quickly skims over dark colors. Go for blacks, navy, and dark gray. Always have the darkest tone in your outfit up top.
- Avoid breast pockets, ruffles and embroidery, puff sleeves, boatneck tops, square necks, off the shoulder tops, bulky sweaters, high necks or roll neck sweaters, crewneck tees, horizontal lines and stripes, button shoulder tops, bulky sweatshirts and half-zips. And loose, oversized, shapeless and boxy styles.
V-neck Sweater | Cardigan Sweater | V-Neck Blouse | Crepe Wrap Top | Button-Up Shirt | Wrap Halter Top | Halter Neck Top | One Shoulder Sleeveless Top | Peplum | Simple V-neck Tee | Deep Scoop Neck | Sleeveless Wrap Blouse
Keep blazers simple too.
- Wear your blazers with a slim fit so they skim your body without adding extra weight. Read style descriptions and size down on “relaxed fit” blazers.
- Choose single-breasted blazers in dark colors with slim, long lapels.
- Choose a length that goes to the top of the hips or past the hips to bring balance to the top.
- Flap pockets on the hips draw the eye down to the waist.
- Look for a button that hits beneath the bust.
- Avoid breast pockets or puff sleeves and shoulder pads.
Coats should have simple sleeves with no breast pockets, shoulder puffs or shoulder adornments.
- Choose an A-line coat that is fitted in the shoulders and widens down to the hem.
- Pick short simple trench coats that just cover the rear end or come just above the knee. Make sure the hemline is as wide as the shoulders. Wear it tied at the waist to define the waistline and create an hourglass shape.
- Go for minimalist overcoats that flare out from the waist and long belted wrap coats with an A-line shape that tie at the waist to define the waistline.
- Be careful with bomber jackets and maximalist leather moto jackets, military style jackets, and stiff jean jackets. Avoid breast pockets that widen the upper body, and buttons, straps and pockets. Plus, shapes that create a boxy look, or that create a lollipop look with slim fitting bottoms.
- For a more exacting fit, size down on any coat that’s relaxed or oversized.
If you’re keeping the top simple, the bottom is where you get to have fun playing with bright colors, patterns, and shiny fabrics that draw attention to your lower half.
Pick styles of pants and jeans with a wider leg that add some volume to your lower half to balance your top half.
- For trousers, try wide-leg pants, flowy wide-leg patterned pants, girlfriend chinos, cargo pants, patch pocket pants, and pleated pants with a wide leg. Cargo pants with visible pockets on the hips draw attention to and widen your lower half. Sailor pants with buttons on the pockets, patch pockets on the front hips, and flap pockets on the back do the same.
- Look for thicker fabrics and fabrics with textures that hold their shape well. Like corduroy, tweed, velvet, and leather.
- Down the bottom, always choose colors that are lighter than your top. The brightest color should go on the bottom to draw the eye down.
- Choose mid-rise or high-rise pants. Be careful with high-rise pants if you are short-waisted, since they can shorten your upper body, making it look wider.
- For jeans, go for flares with a moderate bell, bootcuts, wide leg and boyfriend jeans. Mom and 90s jeans are great options.
- Wear skinny jeans carefully, as they can make your upper body look top heavy. Straight jeans are a great alternative. If you’re really tied to skinny jeans, wear them in white or light blue for warmer months. In cold months, wear dark colored skinny jeans tucked into knee-high boots or with a peplum style top or jacket that creates a waist.
- Look for lighter shades of blue denim and white and ecru jeans.
- Front patch pockets and back flap pockets add curves.
- Look for distressing, whiskering and bleaching, which draw the eyes to your lower half.
- Because of your slimmer bottom and straight waist, jeans that are 100% cotton are a great choice. They hold their shape and add a bit of volume.
- For skirts, have fun trying all the full skirt styles that add volume to the lower half. Try wrap skirts and skirts with tiers, ruffles, asymmetrical hemlines, modern box pleats, and drop waists.
- Embrace fabrics that have weight and texture since they hold shape.
- Play with prints, horizontal stripes, plaids, and shiny materials, especially if you’re opting for more simple A-line skirts.
- Be careful with straight skirts, bias cut skirts, and pencil skirts that taper in towards the knees, especially in thin fabrics, since they reveal a flat bottom and straight hips, making your top half more pronounced.
- Wear short and knee-length skirts to show off your great legs.
- For dresses, choose empire waist dresses, wrap-dresses that tie and add fullness to the hips, and wide strap halter dresses with a flouncy skirt.
- Skirts with tiers add vertical lines that visually widen the bottom half.
- Drop waists, asymmetrical hems and pleats are great for adding volume to the lower half.
- Avoid shift dresses that have a straight cut and make your hips and bottom half disappear.
- When choosing jewelry, a long delicate pendant necklace over an open neckline shirt helps to draw the eye to the center of your body. Steer away from chunky necklaces that hug the chest, weigh down, and draw the eye to the shoulders.
- Use dangly statement earrings to draw the eye to the face and add elegance.
- Statement bracelets draw the eye to your waistline.
- Belts are great for you for defining the waistline. Wider belts with chunky buckles draw the eyes to the hips.
- For bags, choose a crossbody bag that draws the eye to the waistline. Skip shoulder bags that add bulk to your shoulder line. To carry a lot of stuff, instead of a shoulder tote bag, try a messenger bag.
- For shoes, heels and pointy toes heels are great to lengthen your leg line. Play with colors and eye-catching styles to draw the eye down to your feet and around your body.
- If your ankles are very slim, show the arch of your foot and keep your shoes more delicate rather than chunky.
Outfit ideas for the inverted triangle
Let’s look at 6 outfit ideas that are great for your shape.
A scoop neck top and long tiered skirt
This tiered eyelet skirt has a gorgeous texture that adds tons of visual interest. The fabric has some weight to it, which adds volume to your lower half. The waistband is supportive and defines the waist. If you’re on the shorter side, choose a tiered skirt that comes to the knees and shows off your great legs.
The top is a simple scoop neck that you’ll tuck in. The scoop neck draws attention to the middle of your body.
The sandals are black, which is eye-catching and keeps the eye moving around your body. The slim sandal that shows the arch of the foot also keeps you looking light on your feet.
A gold chunky cuff bracelet with texture draws the eye to your waistline. Some drop earrings add an elegant touch to the look.
A v-neck cardigan sweater and relaxed jeans
Choose a slim woven fabric cardigan and then button it up like a top. This one has a relaxed fit so size down so it is more fitted and doesn’t add bulk to your upper body. If you need to wear a scoop neck tank top with it for more coverage, that works great since a pop of white or another color draws the eye to the center of the body.
Push up the sleeves or give the sleeve a cuff to reveal more of the wrist and draw the eye to your waist. Front-tuck the sweater to define your waistline.
These wide leg jeans have patch pockets that draw the eye to your lower half and add some curves.
Add visual interest with your shoes, earrings, a bracelet, bag, and belt. Play with colorful shoes to draw the eye down. The green suede mules keep the eyes moving around your body thanks to the unexpected pop of color. Dangling earrings add a feminine touch and the cuff bracelet draws the eye to the waistline. A crossbody bag falls at your hips, drawing the eyes down. This gorgeous chunky suede belt defines your waistline.
A blazer, v-neck sleeveless top and wide leg trouser pants
If you’re wearing a blazer to work, that’ll be the darkest piece in your outfit. Here, I’ve chosen a very dark navy blazer with a single button and a lapel that buttons below the bust. It’s simple without a breast pocket or puff sleeves.
Choosing a light colored wrap top creates a flattering open neck. Under the blazer, it creates contrasting vertical lines of color that draw the eye into the center of the body. The blazer ends at the hips. The buttons at the sleeves allow you to roll them once to reveal more wrist.
Wide leg grey trousers draw the eye down, add volume and create balanced proportions with the upper body.
Choose fun colored shoes to keep the eyes moving around the outfit. These green slingbacks give a fresh pop of color that makes this outfit super memorable.
For accessories, double ball drop earrings draw the eye to the face. A gold and pearl chunky ring is trendy and modern and draws the eyes to your hand. A creamy white crossbody bag is a fresh option that picks up the colors of the top and pearl ring. The gold clasp coordinates with the gold in the earrings and ring.
A scoop neck tee and short tiered skirt
This dark navy tank top with a deep u-neck is perfect for drawing the eye to the center of your body. Pair it with a fun and flirty multicolored sprinkled tiered short skirt that shows off your great legs, and adds some volume to your lower half.
White slide sandals cap off the look. You can also wear a pair of white sneakers for an even more casual look.
For accessories, light blue enamel hoop earrings add a pop of fun color that draws the eyes up. And a light blue crossbody bag worn at the waist draws the eyes to the waistline.
A halter neck dress with an asymmetrical wrap skirt
This black and white floral halter neck dress is stunning with an asymmetrical wrap skirt that reveals your beautiful legs. A small center cutout draws the eye to the middle of the body.
Wear some black delicate ankle wrap heels that show off your foot. A blush champagne quilted crossbody bag adds a soft complementary color. Pearl and silver drop earrings and a similar bracelet play off the white in the dress. The bracelet draws the eye to the waistline.
Carry a black pashmina for your shoulders if you get cold. Instead of wrapping it around your shoulders or neck, wear it hanging down and open.
A one shoulder top and pleated wide leg trousers
Here’s a glamorous outfit for a night on the town. Pair a black one shoulder sleeveless top with high-waisted pleated white pants.
The flowy wide leg creates a long lean line. Gold strappy sandals add a stunning pop of color at the foot. For accessories, gold delicate dangling earrings dress up and draw your attention to your face. A quilted crossbody black and gold purse can be worn over your shoulder and further draw the eye down to your hips. A gold bracelet also draws the eye to the waistline. To keep your arms warm, wear a minimalist hip length going out blazer.
Lean into the styles that work great for your body shape. And incorporate your unique style personality so you still feel like you! XO, Marya