How to Dress a Triangle Body Shape – Tips, Recommendations, Outfit Ideas

Christine Steuber
Mar 18, 2022
966
Do you think your triangle body shape can't look stylish? I'm here to prove you wrong! Check out my guide with tips and styling ideas.

Not so long ago, I decided to dedicate some space on my blog to women with different body shapes. The reason is simple: society imposes beauty standards on us that have nothing to do with reality. As a result, we end up comparing ourselves to models who often have augmented figures and have undergone various plastic surgeries to look as perfect as they do. However, it doesn’t mean your body is a lost cause.

Today, I want to talk about the triangle body shape. Women of this body type often have trouble balancing the top and the bottom of their figures. Apart from that, there’s also an inverted triangle body type, with broad shoulders and narrow hips, which can also be quite challenging to dress.

But is it impossible?

Of course not. I’ve researched this problem and put together helpful styling tips and outfit ideas to show you that your figure can look absolutely stunning in the right clothes.

What Is a Triangle Body Shape?

First, a triangle-shaped figure has smaller shoulders compared to the hips. It is generally characterized by a more petite upper body, including the shoulders and bust, with a larger lower body, particularly the hips and thighs. 

You can follow this guide to check if you belong to this group:

Triangle body shape characteristics First for Her

Let me decipher this for you: you are a triangle-shaped woman if your shoulders are 36 inches and your hips are 37.75 inches or bigger.

Possible health issues and complications

I’ll start with good news – triangle-shaped figures are usually considered lucky because the fat accumulation is mostly distributed around the thighs, hips, and buttocks, which reduces the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and diabetes.

Nevertheless, you may face some other issues like pressure on the knees, veins, or joint disease, so focus on healthy and active living. 

Besides classic triangle-shaped bodies, I would also like to mention inverted triangles. According to nutritionists and doctors from Penn Medicine, gaining weight, in your case, can make you susceptible to breast cancer. So, take care of your breast density through regular mammograms.

Differences between a triangle figure and an inverted triangle body shape

Have you ever heard of an inverted triangle body shape before? Let me explain the basic differences between these two figure types.

In case you have a triangle shape, your shoulders would be narrower than your hips. An inverted triangle shape is the opposite: your shoulders are wider than your hips. 

Here you can see the major differences:

Triangle body shape vs Inverted Triangle Figure Comparison First for Her

Although there’s only one extra word in the name, these two body shapes are completely different. The biggest contrast is in the shape of the waist area where most fat accumulates.

Triangle vs. pear vs. spoon body shape

You’ve probably heard of apple-body shapes and banana figures, and I’d like to add pears to that “fruit group” now. Pear body shape is often identified with a triangle figure, but I would not completely agree with that. Let me explain why.

The main difference between these two figure types is in their fat storage. Pear bodies tend to store it in the hips, thighs, and buttocks, while triangles store it in the waist and pelvis area. 

Some people include spoon body shape in this category, too. But I can’t entirely agree with this either, and here’s why: if you have a spoon body type, you are going to accumulate excess fat tissue on your thighs while your hips have a “shelf” appearance, and that’s not the case with triangles or pears.

Yet, pear, spoon, and triangle body shapes are similar in a few ways. For example, each body type has a curvy midsection, meaning that your waist is smaller than your hips and/or bust. Let’s emphasize the main characteristics of the pears and spoons once again.

Pear body shape:

  • Slimmer chest area
  • Hips are broader than shoulders
  • Small and well-defined waist

Spoon body shape:

  • Shoulders are narrower than hips
  • Bigger thighs
  • The shelf-like appearance of the lower body

To conclude, let me summarize the most important differences:  pear body shapes have hips that are nearly the same size as their busts, while spoons have hips that are just slightly wider than their busts. And finally, triangles have hips that are significantly wider than their chests.

Celebrities with triangle-shaped figures

Let’s stop believing that 36–24–36 inches (90-60-90 centimeters) are the “ideal” proportions for women.

Because of the emphasis on these measures in fashion magazines, your best friend, sister, or you may feel bad if you fall into a different category, such as triangle body shape. 

And my question is – why?  

The triangle-shaped body type is the perfect frame for showing off the best assets and emphasizing a sexy figure. You can draw attention to beautiful collarbones and shoulders just like Rihanna did wearing the off-the-shoulder shirt, boyfriend jeans, and shiny heels. Take a look at this fantastic outfit:

Rihanna outfit for a triangle body shape
Credit: Vogue

And while Rihanna is a perfect example of a triangle body shape, many models, actresses and singers have an inverted triangle body shape. My personal favorite in this group is actress Angelina Jolie. Just look at how exquisitely she matched a white T-shirt and wide-leg khaki pants that give the desired volume to her lower body:

Angelina Jolie inverted triangle body outfit idea
Credit: WhoWhatWear

As you can see, it’s absolutely possible to style a triangle and an inverted-triangle figure. Here, the most important thing is to know how to highlight all the advantages of your body and hide flaws by choosing the right clothing items.

How to Dress a Triangle Body Shape

If you identify with a triangle figure, following the simple fashion tips I created will help you find the best clothes that fit perfectly and will build a basis for a whole new wardrobe that you’ll definitely adore. 

Okay, let’s dive into the suggestions, style tips, and outfit ideas that will complement your triangle body.

Styling tips and recommendations

Before you decide to make changes in your wardrobe or go shopping, read and keep in mind the following tips:

  • Wear off-shoulder shirts and ruffle sleeves. This way, you will create a body balance.
  • Create the illusion of a slim waist and hourglass body by wearing the belt.
  • Opt for darker bottoms.
  • Wear bright colors on the upper body.
  • Try to avoid anything that emphasizes or shows off legs or thighs, like high splits in skirts or tight jeans.

Now that we’ve made a baseline, it’s time to be more specific. Here are the best tops, bottoms, bathing suits, and other clothes for a triangle-shaped body.

Tops

When choosing the tops, your main goal should be to create a balanced silhouette by adding volume to your upper body.

I recommend the following ideas to choose the shirts, jackets, and coats that will fit you perfectly.

Shirts

I recommend opting for boat, round, or heart necklines because they will make your shoulders look broader. I also suggest checking out blouses with ruffles on the shoulders and in the chest area for extra volume. And here’s how such a blouse can look in a  super-cute outfit below:

Outfit idea with ruffled top for a triangle shaped body

Go for high-waisted pants, attractive block-heeled boots, fancy sunnies, and a lovely purse to complement the overall look.

The second must-have garment is a simple T-shirt with small to medium-sized horizontal lines that will make your shoulders look broader. Since casual clothes predominate in almost every wardrobe, I believe you will really like this comfy combination:

T-Shirt outfit idea for a triangle shaped body

And if you want to add a touch of elegance to your style, go with billowy sleeves and loose fabrics. These pieces of clothes also draw attention to your upper body, away from your midsection. Take a look at this lovely floral cropped blouse in combination with a denim skirt:

Cropped blouse outfit for triangle body shape

Avoid: shirts with gathered waists and pockets on the chest. These styles will draw more attention to your midsection.

Jackets

When choosing jackets for triangle body shape, look for styles that accentuate the slimmer parts of your figure and draw attention away from your lower section.

For instance, you can try a belted jacket or a blazer. The belt will create the illusion of curves by drawing the eye to your natural waistline. I really like this style below and the whole outfit in wonderful autumn colors:

Belted jacket outfit for triangle body shape

For a more casual and sporty look, wear a longer foil-style jacket. Check this out:

Foil-style jacket outfit for triangle body shape

Avoid: jackets that are boxy or straight-cut. These will make your shoulders look even narrower.

Coats

If you want to find the perfect coat, you should look for something that drapes over your hips and draws attention up to the upper part of the body.

For instance, you can choose a coat with a collar and large pockets on either side of the waist that will help balance out hip-width. Let me convince you how good it can look with this outfit:

Jacket with pockets outfit for triangle body

I am a big fan of coats, so I can’t finish the section with only this one. I picked one more fantastic style that will fit your triangle-shaped body perfectly. Tie belt coats will define your waist and make you look taller by drawing more attention upward. 

Okay, now I want to hear your opinion – do you like this fabulous blue coat as well? Take a look, I literally fell in love with it:

Belted coat outfit for triangle body shape

Avoid: puffy coats with no belt because this style will make your hips look even bigger.

Bottoms

Let’s start with general tips. Overall, wide-leg pants and A-line skirts will balance your smaller torso, while flared shorts will show off all desired curves. In general, I’d also recommend opting for everything that helps define the waistline. 

Now, let me give you detailed guidance about dressing the lower body properly.

Jeans and pants

First and foremost, you need to draw attention away from the broadest part of your body, so that’s why high-waisted and wide-leg pants are a fabulous choice. These models can help create the illusion of an hourglass shape. Check out this outfit which is a fantastic example of how this style of jeans can look flawless and create curves:

Flared jeans outfit for triangle body shape

Pairing a crop top and high-waisted jeans is a perfect option for all petite girls because it will visually lengthen their figure.

Let’s move to more elegant pants for a triangle body.  The dark color is always a great choice because this way, you can make the lower body look slimmer. 

The champagne-colored blouse in the outfit below contrasts perfectly with wide black pants, while the brown belt creates an hourglass figure.

Black flared pants outfit for triangle body shape

Avoid: jeans and pants with vertical lines or cutouts on the legs, as these details can make your legs look shorter or wider than they really are.

Skirts

Now it’s time for my favorite clothing piece – skirts! My dear triangles, you will have to look for A-line skirts because these styles create a nice balance between your hips and legs. 

The next outfit includes just about everything you need to highlight the best of your triangle-shaped figure. A blouse with wide sleeves, A-line dark skirt, heeled boots, lovely earrings, and cute purse – this tandem will make you look stunning:

Short A-line skirt outfit for triangle body shape

Are you a fan of longer skirts, like me?  The following pinky outfit is made just for you.  A floral blouse with puff sleeves and an A-line skirt tucked at the waist make the balance your triangle body needs:

Long A-line skirt outfit for triangle body shape

Avoid: kkirts with large pockets or embellishments at the hips and thighs. These details add volume to your lower part.

Shorts

When choosing shorts, you have to go for a high-waisted style to create an hourglass figure and balance the upper and lower parts of the body. So, opt for the shorts with a waistband or belts, especially if you choose jeans. 

For instance, take a look at the outfit I put below. Soft dark denim shorts, a belt, a burgundy T-shirt, and details like a black backpack and sunglasses look flawless together and create the balance I was talking about:

Belted shorts outfit idea for triangle body shape

If you are a fan of floral details, then take a look at the following outfit that exudes romance and girly energy, and will fit your triangle-shaped body perfectly. Casual shorts are a great choice for a triangle body shape because your hips won’t stand out and your legs will look visually longer:

Cropped shorts outfit idea for triangle body shape

Avoid: shorts that have details at the waist or pockets located there, as that will emphasize your triangle shape even more.

Summer outfit ideas

Many women are afraid of summer shopping because the swimsuit is the first association for them. Why? Mostly because women are often having trouble finding bikinis for their proportions and, knowing the peculiarities of triangle figures, you can see why choosing swimsuits can be a problem for people with this body shape.

Does that mean that you can’t look amazing at the beach? Of course, not. Trust me, there are a lot of swimsuits that will fit your triangular body excellently. So let’s start first with a one-piece bathing suit for a triangle body.

Take a look at the swimsuit in the following image. It is very simple, there are not too many details, and the only thing that adorns it is the belt in the waist area. This belt creates a transition and curves in the right body parts:

Belted one-piece swimsuit outfit for triangle body shape

And if you prefer a bikini style more than one-piece swimsuits, no problem! High-waisted briefs without too much detail will suit your body shape the right way. On the other hand, choose a bikini top with as much detail as possible to achieve volume. Check out how great this bikini top looks with a ruffle that extends over one shoulder. Totally chic, isn’t it?

Two-piece swimsuit idea for triangle body shape

Avoid: щne-piece swimsuits with too many floral patterns, dots, and lines. Also, steer away from low-waisted bikini briefs with too much detail.

Wedding dresses

Let’s now talk about perfect wedding gowns for brides with triangle-shaped figures. You need to create a look using dresses that have a simple style, like a sheath which is actually my personal favorite.Take a look at the outfit below. I love dresses like this because they exude elegance and simplicity at the same time. In addition, they fit almost any figure, including the triangle, apple, and banana shape of the body. All the tenderness of the shoulders and arms stands out, and all the flaws hide with this dress style. Take a look at this beauty:

Off-shoulder wedding dress for triangle body shape

My second favorite for your body type is an A-line wedding dress. These dresses have a belt around the waist area and thus create the transition and illusion of an hourglass figure.

The dress you can see in the picture below is an excellent choice for your body shape as it emphasizes the collarbone, chest, and shoulders. The deep neckline and pleated material make the upper body look more voluminous.

Add beautiful silver jewelry, and you will shine like a real star on your most important day.

A-line wedding dress for triangle body shape

Avoid: dresses that add volume to the hips, such as ball gowns or mermaid-style dresses.

Styling Tips for Men with Triangle-Shaped Figures

You’d be surprised but men with triangle-shaped figures also have difficulties choosing the right clothing for their bodies. So, guys, I haven’t forgotten about you and decided to dedicate this section to reveal some clothing tips that will be very helpful.

Wear clothes that fit you

One of the biggest mistakes I see triangle-shaped men make is wearing oversized clothes. While you may be tempted to wear clothes that hide your stomach or lower body, it can actually make you look larger or wider than you really are.

Next, opt for T-shirts that are not too loose but not too tight either. You will know that you’ve chosen the right one when you feel completely comfortable wearing it. Use the outfit below as inspiration:

Outfit for men with triangle body shape

As you can see, the T-shirt and sports pants do not stick completely to the body. This style will fit your body shape flawlessly.

Wear a blazer to balance your shape

If you want to add volume to your upper body, choosing the right blazer will help your figure to look more balanced. A button-down blazer can be worn over a basic T-shirt for a casual and classy style, just like you can see in the outfit below:

Blazer outfit for men with triangle body shape

Paired with a nice belt and matchy shoes, this look will balance your figure and make you look more attractive.

Over to You

As you can see, looking and feeling confident in your clothes does not require a perfect female or male body.

There are several ways to dress a triangle body type, and here are the main rules you have to pay attention to:

  • Wear clothes that add volume to your upper body.
  • Choose shirts with collars and ruffles.
  • Pair shirts with high-waisted pants.
  • Always wear a belt near your waistline.
  • Opt for jeans with a wide leg.
  • Wear A-line skirts and dresses.
  • Decide for plain one-piece bathing suits.
  • Wear high-waisted bikinis.
  • If you are a man, avoid loose clothing and wear blazers to balance your body shape.

Follow these useful guidelines and pick the right triangle body shape clothes to make your figure look flawless! For more fashion tips, self-care ideas, and home improvement suggestions, take a look at my blog and enjoy reading!

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