Our face shapes and body shapes can help us choose the most fitting hairstyles, clothing and accessories. Here are ten tips to help you accentuate your best features.
Photo by Ianitta (Shutterstock)
9. Figure Out What Face Shape You Have
The first step is to figure out what shape you fit into (more or less). For faces, that's generally oval, round, heart, square, diamond or oblong. This flowchart from the Beauty Department can help you determine your face shape, whether you're a guy or a gal.
8. Pick The Best Hairstyle For Your Face
7. Choose The Best Sunglasses (Or Glasses) For Your Face
Your face shape also affects how glasses and sunglasses look on you. If you have a round face, best to go with larger and angular styles, while people with square faces will benefit from frames that aren't too heavy looking.
6. Select Jewellery Most Suitable For Your Face Shape
Anything you wear around your face could either enhance your face shape or work against it — including earrings and necklaces. Mystic Beauty explains which jewellery complements your face shape and why. (Hint: avoid earrings that are the same shape as your face.)
5. Pick The Best Beard Style For Your Face Shape
This one's for the guys. Birchbox recommends grooming your "optimal beard" by making your face shape and beard style work together to create a graduated, oval shape. If you have a square face, for example, you'll want to keep the hair fuller on the chin and shorter on the sides. Check out the guide here.
4. Buy Tops With A Flattering Neckline Or Shirt Collar
Shirt collars and necklines also work with (or against) your face shape. A point collar, where the tips of the collar are not spread too far apart, is best for round faces, while a wider spread collar is best for angular faces, according to this article from Black Lapel.
Likewise, certain neckline styles are more flattering with certain face shapes, as this graphic posted on Gurl suggests:
3. Identify Your Body Shape
As with face shapes, we all fit more or less into different body types. Shop Your Shape has a guide to the women's body types shown above as well as a calculator for you to input your measurements to get a result.
Men can check out this Fashion Beans article describing five categories of body shapes: trapezoid, inverted triangle, rectangle, triangle or oval.
Both sites offer suggestions on the most suitable clothing styles for your body shape.
There's also a theory that there are three main body types — ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph — for both men and women. You can take this test at Bodybuilding.com to find out which you fit into best and how that might impact your diet and exercise.
2. Choose The Right Handbag Based On Your Body Shape
When you carry around a bag, you want it to be proportionate to your body so you look balanced. If you're short, a long rectangular bag might make you look taller, for example, while a round handbag could benefit slim and tall women.
To some extent, these suggestions on bag shapes and sizes could come in handy for men and their briefcases or "man purses."
1. Look Better In Photos Based On Your Body Type
Finally, if you're taking photos and want to look your best, you can trick the camera into making you look taller, shorter, slimmer, or wider just by the way you angle yourself and your choice of clothing colours and backgrounds. These tips might, most importantly, make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera, whatever your body type.
Remember that these are just guidelines — style yourself however you like! Still, the ideas are there if you don't know what flatters you and you want to use your own shape to make difficult style and clothing decisions.
This article first appeared in February 2015. It has been updated since its original publication.