Body Types Continued…Hour Glass Figure


Perhaps the most desired body shape by men and perhaps the most uncommon. I say uncommon because with today’s western diets and sedentary lifestyles, even if you’re an hour glass, you will most likely look like a pear or have turned into one.

The hour glass figure is the same width across the shoulders as it across the bottom, making this body type proportional. An hour glass will also have a tiny waist.

The first hour glass that comes to mind is Tyrah Banks. During her modeling days Ms Banks was your typical hour glass.  This is not a criticism but an observation which she has kindly acknowledged on her television show. When she gained weight, unfortunately the once well proportioned body  turned into a pear, piling most of the weight around the hips and bottom.

Tyra Banks - Hour Glass

Tyra Banks weight gain and loss.

On he show, confronting the media with a cutout  of herself.

Losing the weight…

Despite claiming to be happy with her body, after that picture of her in a bathing suit, Tyra Banks lost the weight.


This body type needs to work on both the upper and the lower body. Squats and dead lifts for the lower body push ups and chest presses are just some of the more common exercises you can do to maintain the tone of your body if you’re this body shape. Most women with this body shape may also have large breasts. Important to wear supportive bra if doing a lot of jumping. Walking will also keep your legs toned. Walk up hill to work into the bottom area.


I’m this body shape and it’s just as challenging to find clothing for hour glass as it is for the pear. Most hour glasses will have the combination of broad shoulders and large breasts meaning good luck finding a shirt or blouse that fits on the top without the buttons pulling and gaping around the breast area. You will also have the same problem as the pear in that finding pants, skirts, and shorts that fit without gaping at the waist will also be near impossible. You may have to get your pants, skirts, and shorts taken in to fit.

As an hour glass I turned to the fashion of the women in the 50’s. This style tends to suit me best than the more masculine less tailored cuts of other fashion era’s. I also do retro very well. Flared pants and fitted tops. I don’t wear lose tops because they make me look bigger because of my chest. A lot of women think fitted means tight. It’s not! Hour glass figures look better in classic clean cuts that define their shape rather than hiding it.


Avoid baggy tops or tops with a lot of frills or detailing around the chest area. If you’ve got a really big bust, prints will be very destructive so opt for plain fabrics. Choose colors that suit your skin tone. Wrap tops though hard to find because they are not in fashion at the moment are great especially if they wrap around your waist and not your back side. Avoid long tops as they hide your waist which defines your frame. Go for soft feminine fabrics, they will sit better on you. Halter necks are great as they show off your shoulders. Be careful with turtle necks if you’ve got big breast. Off the shoulder is great to show of the shoulders.

Pants, Skirts, Shorts

Again important to have these taken in at the waist as it’s more than likely the generic size wont fit you on the waist. Flared pants look the best on the hour glass because they show off your shape. High waisted skirts and pants also best suit this shape.  I don’t like skinny jeans. Wide legged, straight legged jeans or pants look better. Also avoid thick winter fabrics. They seem to add weight to your thighs. Wrap skirts preferred. Be careful with A-line skirts, depending on the fabric most of them go out too much and can make you look wider if they don’t drape nicely. I prefer skirts that gather at the waist and have a thick waist band.


Wrap dresses, fitted dresses are fine as long as they have a lot of lycra to accommodate your hips and bust. Avoid lose fitting dress they can make you look like a sack. Alter neck dresses and strapless dresses look great.


Wear thick instead of thin belt to define your waist. If you have big breast  make sure you don’t wear jewelery that lands where your breasts are. Chockers are great, focuses attention on the neck line away from the bust area.


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